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The Thirteenth (Mostly) Annual Rumour Awards 2014

They began in the year 2000. Welcome to one of the longest running annual awards in comic books, the Rumour Awards.

Except for some reason we seemed to miss it out last year. How odd.

Anyway, feel free to catch up with previous years by clicking on these links.

Visual Of The Year

We've had lots of lovely things at Bleeding Cool to look at over the year. Here are a few highlights.

We start with the Melted Joker's Daughter #1, what happens when you put a suddenly insanely hot comic book in an oven. And make it really hot. And yet it still sold for $17 on eBay. An uncooked 3D cover still sells for $30 on eBay.


The fourth printing cover of Sex Criminals sees Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky starring on their own cover, wearing very nice jumpers, recognising that Fraction was no longer the writer of Inhuman and entering the classic Viz Comic "Up The Arse Corner" photo competition.


A certain photo taken by a certain Editor-In-Chief at Bleeding Cool Hannah Means-Shannon, as Rich Johnston and Dean Haspiel got a little closer and a little more nude to each other than might be considered respectable.


Plucked from the past came this competition entry, published by Marvel six months before they debuted a certain character called Wolverine in The Incredible Hulk.


And then there was…


Nuff said.

killing joke

There was the original art to a certain Killing Joke that we unearthed. And then had to censor because of Internet.


The WTF cover that never was, as the plot for the book was re-re-rewritten from above.


There was Alan Moore in gold paint and platform heels for his Jimmy's End films.

But my favourite had to be the visual that launched a thousand Brazilian homophobes, it had to be Lipstick Lobo…


 Scoop Of The Year

We began the year with rumours that Scott Lobdell would be junked from Red Hood And The Outlaws in favour of James Tynion. And it happened. But bigger were rumours that DC were to run what they deemed "holy shit" covers. As the cover solicitations for that month began to emerge, Bleeding Cool realised that they were going to be gatefold covers, and that the other side of the gatefold would reveal something that would make the reader go "holy shit".

At least that was the intent.

There were a few cover stories like that for DC, Bleeding Cool ran the scoop back in 2012 that September would feature Villains Month, then that it would see each book renamed to the villain in question with a new number one,with DC's villains taking the leads, as well as the news that they would feature 3D covers. We even worked out that the whole thing would be grabbed by something called Forever Evil.

When details of that series came out, we were also on hand to call it as the return of the Crime Syndicate Of America and that Nightwing would get Civil Warred… but that he wouldn't be killed off as some assumed.

But it wasn't just DC stuff we managed to ferret out. Wolverine losing his healing factor as part of Age Of Ultron was a big one, as well as Wolverine killing Ant Man in Age Of Ultron – which was hidden alongside the return of Angela as a Marvel character.

The revival of Inhumans by Matt Fraction in a Game Of Thrones-style was our April 1st revelation that many people presumed was a Fool. It was not. Although the fool would be on us, when Fraction was from the Inhuman series untimely ripped.

Joshua Hale Fialkov walked off two of the Green lantern books he'd only just been appointed to write, after he was ordered to kill off DC's most prominent black character, the Green Lantern John Stewart. First rumoured by Bleeding Cool, then confirmed by CBR and The Beat, it was quite the move. Albeit one cushioned well by Marvel.

As Batwoman lost her creators over the lack of marriage issue, we discovered that there were less marriages than we thought in the New 52 and that Aquaman wasn't married to Mera, though Geoff Johns had written it in a way so that that no one noticed.

We scooped the head of AMC confirming that they were making the Preacher TV show, but also that, like Breaking Bad before it, it was coming through Sony.

We said there was a plan at DC Comics from Dan DiDio for Stephanie Brown, Spoiler, the ex-Batgirl. And with the announcement of Batman Eternal, everyone else discovered it too.

Five Years Later was a story that Bleeding Cool covered incessantly, a September event and a new weekly comic it seems, leading even DC Comics to play along in their weekly videos.

The news that DC Comics were to up sticks en masse to Burbank, which necessitated a quick press release from DC, was a big one. And, I'm told, by Bleeding Cool breaking the news out when we did, helped a number of people able to make decisions that otherwise they may have declined. This might have been the comic book scoop of the year.

But the biggest scoop I ran, I think, had nothing to do with comic books whatsoever. It was relying on a few old radio engineer contacts from my days as a radio advertising copywriter, that senior Doctor Who production staff were gossiping about the imminent return of missing episodes of Doctor Who found in Africa and they would be released in the anniversary year, paid off even earlier than expected, in October. With more, much more, expected…

Winner: Doctor Who Missing Episodes To Return

Rumour Of The Year

Of course there were also stories, the veracity of which is still not ascertained.

Like the rumour that as well as the recovered films there are still around eighty episodes of Doctor Who waiting recovery, with tons of film coming in from Africa and beyond. We're not sure what condition they are in though, and dread the tales of them turning into vinegar. I do hope they haven't had their chips.

The news that broke out at San Diego that Marvel lifer John Romita Jr wasn't reupping at Marvel and has been offered the Superman book at DC Comics – which led to some rather obsequious behavior from Marvel at the John Romita Jr Spotlight panel. Expect to hear more of that later this year.

That Marvel are planning to consolidate all their digital services into one app and make ComiXology's service obselete, at least as it gos for Marvel.

While some of what we reported for Five Years Later has been confirmed, there's still the unconfirmed story that it will make up the September event for 2014, with all the DC titles moving forward into the Five Years Later universe, so we'll see possible futures for every character, including the Batwoman marriage, a child for Superman and Wonder Woman and so much more.

Of course, before then, we expect to see the Return Of Damian Wayne and an Earth 2/Earth DC War.

While DC hurried to confirm our story about the move to Burbank, there are unconfirmed details, such as the date being April 2015, that Will Dennis and Mark Doyle aren't moving, and that Eddie Berganza and Shelly Bond are…

It's also still to be confirmed that Steve Wacker is leaving Marvel Comics for Marvel Animation.

Then there were rumous of a live action Young Justice planned for the CW. Which appears to have been such a scoop that the news had yet to reach WB or the CW. All we can confirm is that there were big talks…

But the Rumour Of The Year may just have to be the Death Of Wolverine in 2014. We ran this back in February and recently ran news that may suggest it is coming in September.

Keep watching those solicitations… oh and watch Bleeding Cool later today, for a Lex Luthor story that may end up the Scoop Of The Year… for 2015.

Winner: The Death Of Wolverine

Maddest Moment Of The Year

So many mad moments. Whether that be Paul Jenkins telling Bleeding Cool he has script amends that said that "Batman doesn't sit down" and as a result, he didn't get the character. Which led us to find all sorts of contradictory evidence.

One mad moment came from three decades ago, as Grant Morrison espoused the theory to Kevin Smith that Batman kills the Joker at the end of The Killing Joke.

Then there was Frank Cho, a meticulous artist, not known for his speed, answering demands from Marvel Comics to draw fifteen pages of Battle Of The Atom in just ten days, due to late scripts.

There was the retailer who reviewed Pretty Deadly to his customers by ripping up a copy, which SAW Image Comics withdraw the comic entirely from the shop in question.

lexBut the winner had to be, for my money, the man who stole comics from one shop, possibly a number of shops, and then gave the excuse that it was to raise money to start his own comic store. And didn't seem to see anything much wrong with that.

Oh, and he was called Lex Ledger. And just in case you weren't sure it was him, tattooed his name on his arm…

Winner: Lex Ledger

Firing/Resignation Of The Year

Oh there were so many.

John Romita Jr, as previously mentioned, walked off Marvel for DC's Superman, though that's still to actually go through. There's a lot of money involved.

Kevin Maguire was fired from Justice League 3000 after drawing an entire first issue, replaced by Howard Porter and the comic rescolicited.

Ben Templesmith disappeared during the production of JMS' Ten Grand, necessitating the appointment of CP Smith to draw the book.

Wil Moss walked from DC Comics to Marvel just as the decisions over who would stay and go at DC hotted up. While details are still being kept from creators, Wil Dennis and Mark Doyle are two who will definitelky be leaving DC.

Steve Wacker left Marvel for the West Coast, as did Arune Singh. James Vascardi and Lauren Sankovitch left Marvel entirely, though Lauren still freelance edits a few books for now.

Bruce Timm stepped down from his position as "supervising producer of Warner Bros. Animation's action series."

Matt Fraction leaving Inhuman – the series he'd already stepped down on duties on Fantastic Four and FF to write – without completing a single issue, was Marvel's big unplanned creative change of the year, Charles Soule taking his spot from the first issue, as if Fraction was never even involved.

JH Williams III and Hayden Blackman announced that they were walking off Batwoman, as their carefully constructed plans for the character had been rewritten and rewritten and rewritten too many times. Their announcement by blog also saw DC fire them off the very issue they were working on, and a frosty relationship over on Sandman.

Robert Venditti was off Constantine rather quickly, Jim Zub off Birds Of Prey before even one issue could be published with his name on it, and Ales Kot's run on Suicide Squad was rather shortened.

But the winner, by a nose, was Joshua Hale Fialkov, for walking off two of the Green lantern books he's only just been appointed to write, after he was ordered to kill off DC's most prominent black character, the Green Lantern John Stewart. First rumoured by Bleeding Cool, then confirmed by CBR and The Beat, it was quite the move. And, again, cushioned well by Marvel.

Winner: Joshua Hale Fialkov.

Swipe Of The Year

Scooping the news on Nate Stemen as he became our official Rob Granito of 2013 gave us so many swipes to choose from in the original article…. and the resulting follow-ups until his apology.



There were similar problems with eBay artist Damien Bowie seeking inspiration for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Joss Campbell

The Kyle Lambert Vs Bryan Hitch discussion is still ongoing… is he a fake swiper or a genuine swiper?

There was the brazen unlicensed colouring-in books sold on Amazon that has seen the seller repeatedly legally challenged as a result of our article.

The Thirteenth (Mostly) Annual Rumour Awards 2014

There was a classic swipe file with Lone Sloane by Philippe Druillet and Wolff Et La Reine Des Loups by Esteban Maroto from the early seventies compared to Dark Horse, Eerie Presents EL CID, republishing the work of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar from the mid seventies.


Annu Liu saw her designs ripped off by Chile's Lollapalooza.


This is the cover to Bluewater's third biographical comic about Lady Gagawhich rather resembles Eliot Brown's Dazzler.


There was Marko Manev's Silver Surfer which rather looked like a Francesco Francavilla image created a few years ago – and now being published by Marvel.

But Francesco did some swiping of his own for Grindhouse.

1633134-terrorb131 grindhouse_bee_vixens_from_mars_Francavilla_cover_low1

One identification of Baby Bel swiping a very famous Mike Netzer Superman image for their ads, saw the agency remove the ad from YouTube.

18174-superman-corey-fisher-saved-the-day-with-his-clutch-free_1440x9001-243x350 babybel-600x378

Nick Cody's theft of Peter Bagge's Whatever Happened To Babs Bradley for a short film was identified, but only as a result of a far bigger swipe,  Shia LaBeouf whole heartedly stealing Dan Clowes' comic for his short film.  And Bleeding Cool identified that he was also stealing his apologies as well, something he has kept up. He he trying to turn theft into an art form?

Almost swipe of the year that one. But the biggest, has to be for DC Comics' biggest launch of the year, Superman Unchained, by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee and its similarities to Rick Veitch's Superman pastiche Maximortal.

mx2 mx3


Whether a deliberate swipe or not (and not, it seems), this gains the prestigious spot for what it means. Currently mainstream comics are happy using plots that twenty years ago were served for alternative, indie, satirical works trying to send up the comics – who are now using their plots. Basically, it's Fox News hiring Jon Stewart and no one blinking…

Welcome to 2014, folks!

Bleeding Cool Forum Member Of The Year

Bleeding Cool's forums have a reputation for unmitigated hate and despair, one I think is unfair. There will usually be one or two rather offensive comments, but they will be countermanded and challenged by others. I agree with Neil Gaiman in that that solution to problems with free speech is… more free speech. So amongst the trolls, the haters, the baiters and the spammers are some true gems.

Whether that be HellBlazerRaiser who, despite medical hardship, has kept on reviewing and flaming. Nightwing97, who created one of the best articles for Bleeding Cool that I was unable to run, and for providing a teen perspective to the site. There's much love for the Matts, both Spatola and KrotzerJamal Igle is a pro who plays the game, deserves this. without answering flame with flame, and gaining respect as a result. Richard Pace also gains much love. But the winner has o be the man who generates more discussion than anyone else, and whose victory will no doubt create even more… discussion on the boards. It's Marvel Group Editor, Steve Wacker. Here is one of his finest moments. So an honourary prize goes to QCCBob as well.

Winner: Steve Wacker.

Let the next year begin!

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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