Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by the Un-X-Pected

Sometimes you think you know what’s coming when you really don’t. This week’s first item in Comics Disassembled — a look at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the week of comics — was proof of that. Let’s get to it.

1. Hickman and Capullo on Wolverine, I Guess!

Well, I did not see that coming.

After Greg Capullo tweeted out a page that clearly said “Wolverine” on it earlier this year, it seemed likely that the artist would be working on the character’s new title in the Tom Brevoort Era of the X-Men. Likely, but untrue. Then, it seemed that Capullo had to be doing his own Wolverine title, but who his collaborator may be was uncertain. That it proved to be writer Jonathan Hickman is where the surprise really comes in, both because a) it’s Hickman kind of returning to the X-Men and b) it’s another miniseries for the man with the master plan, amongst a great many right now. Regardless, the upcoming Wolverine: Revenge looks promising, as it’s Hickman, Capullo, and friends telling an incredibly straightforward story about a whole bunch of bad guys (including Sabretooth, Omega Red, and Deadpool, apparently) beating Logan up and the best there is at what he does aiming to get — you guessed it — revenge upon all of them.

It’s a five issue miniseries that arrives in August, and the entire selling point is Hickman and Capullo doing their thing. I suspect Marvel knows that because there is very, very little that was actually said about the nature of this story in its announcement. I also suspect Hickman advocated for that very idea, because he’s all about keeping things a secret, if possible. My final suspicion is that Marvel may have given a simple synopsis for this story because it is in fact a simple story, one that’s really just Hickman and Capullo telling a Wolverine getting revenge tale, as the title suggests. Sometimes, you don’t need to say a whole lot to paint the necessary picture. I’m into it, even if I suspect that I may read this in Marvel Unlimited or when it’s collected (although the Hickman draw is always strong).

Last thing before we go. I saw some conjecture online about how this project, the upcoming Aliens vs. Avengers, the recent Doom one-shot, the ultimately limited nature of G.O.D.S., and the singular nature of Ultimate Spider-Man as an ongoing means that Hickman’s architect era is at its end — especially in concert with Marvel’s shift towards shorter run comics. That may be true. I suspect it isn’t. The reality is all these projects save for Ultimate Spider-Man are likely done or nearly done on his end, as the longest of the remaining runs is just five issues (besides USM). Combine that with the idea that Hickman is the guy that Marvel goes to for big swings, as he’s said in the past, and that leaves a lot of blank space out there for something else. Something big, even. I have no idea what that could be, so this too is just speculation. But just because we think we know what something means doesn’t necessarily make it true, as Greg Capullo’s own pages and this announcement combined to remind us.

2. Kickstarter, Sharing New Visions

The crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has become a crucial part of the comic book ecosystem, as an increasing number of creators and even publishers don’t just use it but rely on what it offers them. But with the crowdfunding space getting increasingly competitive and Kickstarter being comparatively ancient — it’s celebrating its 15th year in 2024 — it was possible they needed to make some adjustments to better fit today’s marketplace. It was clear they agreed with that idea, because Kickstarter rolled out “a new vision” for what they do this week.

To be honest, “a new vision” may be overstating it. There are definitely changes, but that’s a pretty dramatic way to put it. While these changes do slightly shift what they do — as they say in the post announcing it, the “Kickstarter we’re building today is more than just a crowdfunding platform; we’re evolving into a comprehensive funding and launch platform that supports independent Creators and innovators at every stage of their journey” — and makes them more than the place you go at the beginning of your project’s journey, it’s still really just three changes they’re making for now.

The first is arguably the most impactful. They’re now letting creators accept late pledges, meaning that once your campaign ends and you’re all funded up, people can still order from you until you move to the fulfillment phase of the project. That allows creators to continue to generate sales on their projects as they conclude their graphic novel, single issue, art book, or whatever they might be doing, helping raise your ceiling while you simply finish the work. This is something other platforms have done and Kickstarter has already tested, and it’s had strong results already. This is a good move.

The other two are going to be important as well, but they’re going to be a little less obviously impactful. The platform launched the Kickstarter Performance team, a group dedicated to marketing support for creators, helping everyone raise their ceilings in the process. Fancy that! Marketing! Who would want to use such a foreign concept like that?! Lastly, they’re rolling out “improved backer surveys to make fulfillment easier,” which includes a bunch of nitty gritty stuff I won’t bore you with. But the simple idea there is if you make the process easier, you will lose fewer backers through it. That makes sense.

Kickstarter says that this is just the beginning, and while these early changes are very creator-centric, there will be backer solutions coming too, including an improvements to the mobile app to better track your pledges and the information you give. But this new vision is really just making necessary adjustments to Kickstarter’s product in a market that continues to evolve. It makes sense, and all this could have a real impact on comic folks who operate in this space going forward. This will be one to watch, even if it will be difficult to measure the impact of these changes from the outside.

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