It’s time for the January Mailbag Q&A, in which I answer all of the questions you fine folks submitted to me over the last week or so. And I have to say, you all impressed the heck out of me. There’s a fantastic mix of questions here, and a whole lot too. It’s taken me way longer than I expected to get through them all, but get through them all I did. Let’s get straight to those questions, and thanks again to everyone who submitted something for the Mailbag. I appreciate it!
Comics, books, films, television, games, whatever media you like… What are you looking forward to in 2020? – Mark Tweedale
First and foremost, the ending of The Good Place. This final season has been mixed, but I feel a strong finale coming our way. I love this show, and I’m hoping for greatness at its conclusion.
In terms of movies, I love Christopher Nolan, and I think Tenet looks incredible. Very, very into that. I looooove Bill & Ted, and the third movie in the series coming next year is going to be a first day watch by me. I love the premise of Bill & Ted Face the Music, and it’s going to be a blast seeing what they do with this. In terms of big franchises, I’m there for Black Widow, The Eternals (CELESTIALS, BABY!), and Godzilla vs. Kong. Oh, and despite having no connection to the story, Denis Villeneuve is brilliant so I will be watching his version of Dune.
In regards to books, games and comics, I honestly don’t even really know what’s coming. It can be hard to keep track long term on everything. I’m here for Jamie McKelvie’s The Killing Horizon. That’ll be good. More Kaijumax. Faith Erin Hicks’ new version of Ellsmere in One Year at Ellsmere at First Second. There’s a lot! I can’t wait to enjoy it all.
Do you have any comics related New Year Resolutions? – Ryan Alcock
I probably should! There are plenty of reading based ones I probably should have. I don’t really do New Years Resolutions, but if I did, I’d say they’re mostly built around growing the audience and support for SKTCHD and Off Panel. Being a one man team is a lot, and the ability to promote your own work without grating on people (or yourself) is one thing I really wish I could learn from Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. I’m hoping to continue to grow all of this, so I’d say if I have a goal this year, it’s that. Keep on growing, and don’t drive everyone away during that process. Fingers crossed!
If you could pair up ANY comic writer and artist (living or dead) on Superman, who’d it be? And same question for Batman. – Rasmus Lykke
It’s boring because they worked together already, but Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson is my answer. No one loves Superman more than Waid and he’s done shockingly little work with the character. Samnee is a perfect fit for the character, and Wilson naturally comes with. I think that’d be an A+ combination.
The less boring answer would be a total reboot from Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh, reimagining the character for a new era. They are a heck of a team, and given what they did with Harley Quinn, I think they could do something very interesting with the character.
For Batman, let’s get super crazy. I feel like all of the Batman stories I get are largely in the same vein, yet Batman has been a whole lot of things over the years. Let’s give Emily Carroll three Black Label issues to tell her own spooky mystery story featuring Batman and a haunted Wayne Manor. Let’s get weird!
I agreed with your recent discussion about the Dawn of X books. I loved HoX/PoX so much, and even my favorite DoX books (like you, mine are X-Men and Marauders) have felt small-potatoes in comparison. There were so many huge ideas in HoxPox (Moira’s abilities and lives, massive collective intelligences like the Phalanx…and their similarity to Cerebro in the wake of mutant resurrection), and I guess I’m just hoping these amazing big ideas will be picked up again at some point. I guess my question is, do you think they will? Should I have faith and hang in there? – James Kaplan
I think we’ll get there eventually, but stories – like life – are rarely just a series of massive events like House of X and Powers of X were. If all we got were HoXPoX level reveals all the time, we’d get over it quickly. They have to build the drama between there. So yes, if anyone has a plan, it’s Jonathan Hickman, so I think we’ll get there. I don’t personally believe you have to stick it out with the whole line, though. I dropped Fallen Angels already, and Excalibur followed this week. Of course, I’ll be getting Wolverine and X-Men/Fantastic Four, so those will offset completely. But if any writer has proven he’ll pay off ideas, it’s Hickman. I don’t think you’ll need to read all of the titles to get there with him, so I’d suggest paring it down to what you really want to read and going from there.
Which new-to-comics illustrators are you most looking forward to second runs from? – Alex Dimitropoulos
This probably means actual second runs, but I’m not sure who I know that actually did a first run on anything in recent memory. However, in terms of artists I’m looking forward to more from, Leonardo Romero’s high on my list, as his old school aesthetic and pristine storytelling is very much up my alley. Jorge Fornes is much the same. I might have a style. Lastly, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell! I love her work on Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, and while I know it’s not her first project, I can’t wait to see what she does next. She’s a heck of a talent, and someone I’m excited to see more from.
What are your top 5 “what were they thinking” moments in Marvel publishing history, from a creative standpoint? (for example: the clone saga, Avengers #200, etc.) – Chris Burton
There’s this restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska that’s open 24 hours a day. It’s a little diner, and drunk people love it because once they become drunk, eating food seems like an incredible idea. At times in my life, I’ve been at that very restaurant. The wild thing about that place is even when you’re drunk – when everything tastes amazing – this restaurant is still bad. It’s uncanny, and I truly don’t know how it maintains that quality through your drunkenness. It’s impressive in its badness, standing out even through a drunk person’s incredibly low standards.
Anyways, that’s a metaphor for the Clone Saga, a story so bad that even young David Harper – who loved everything! – was like, “Wow this is bad” as I read it in my youth.
#2 is that time The Punisher became the angel of death and had ghost guns. What an absolutely absurd time that was.
#3 is Trouble, a comic about the sexy adventures of Peter Parker’s parents and aunt and uncle. I have not read it, but the fact it exists astonishes me to this day.
#4 was the one 100% super bad time in Daredevil’s post Frank Miller existence: Shadowland. That comic was so very disappointing.
#5 was the incestuous relationship between Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the Ultimate universe. Because incest. I remember reading that and just being astonished, and not in a good way. This is in a Marvel comic?! Maybe this should be #2…