Now that we're back to regularly writing about comics every week, is there any need for The Week in Comics anymore? Maybe we'll just cancel it… next week. For now, here's what happened this week in comics…
The Week in Comics News
Bleeding Cool Rumourmonger-in-Chief Rich Johnson kicked off the week with a report that the Teen Titans will call Harry Potter "problematic" in an upcoming issue of their comic. Leave it to the comic book industry to find a way to turn cancel culture into a super-mega-crossover event. Can cancel culture variant covers be far behind?
God damn it. Too late.
Shazadam No More
After a brief but memorable run, DC Comics finally decided to change Shazadam's name back to Black Adam.
"Just so we're very clear, at no time ever, in the history of the planning of this book, in any format, in any stage, in any way has the production ever been about Black Adam changing his name, his legacy or anything," said writer The Great One Brian Bendis. "His name is Black Adam and someone else calls him something in the book."
"Also, Rich Johnston can **** my ****ing ****," The Great One added, we assume, in an off-the-record quote not included in the press release.
"Pip pip," said Johnston in reply.
Welcome to the Dark Side
Remember when Marvel first started publishing Star Wars comics and they sold better than most of Marvel's other books and didn't require constant reboots and other gimmickry to sustain them? Well, a few years later, and Marvel has managed to do the property what it does to all of its comics and now the first-ever Star Wars super-mega-crossover event is set to kick off this Summer in War of the Bounty Hunters. You see that, people? I take one year off from writing about comics and this is what it comes to. I'm sorry. I'll never leave you again.
Crime and Punishment
Rich Johnston reports that The Punisher may use the upcoming Heroes Reborn super-mega-crossover event as an opportunity to ditch his trademark skull in response to the symbol being coopted by fascist cops, right-wing militia members, and other despicable groups who fail to understand the character. Welp… problem solved then! Yay!
Interest from the comic book industry in scamming large sums of money from idiotic speculators and crypto enthusiasts continued to explode this week, with Wizard World getting into the crypto-collectibles game by adding blockchain to old videos of their comic book conventions. And one digital artist introduced a Justice League NFT with a price tag of one million dollars. How has this happened? Has the world gone completely mad?
Well, the truth is this is just the natural evolution of where comics have been heading for years, increasing prices while failing to grow the audience beyong hardcore regulars, resulting in a continuous need to bilk more money out of the same group of people for less value in order to show revenue growth on a quarterly basis to stockholders. Asking the most obsessed and gullible of readers to shell out a million bucks for a shitty animated gif of the Justice League isn't a bug. It's a feature.
We're quietly holding out hope everyone will come to their senses and crypto art will turn out to be a fad, but the more likely story is that this NFT crap is here to stay and big comics publishers are going to fully embrace it.
This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
If you ever feel you may be in danger of feeling too optimistic about the state of the world, have a look at the comments section of this article about Ed Brubaker saying he has mixed feelings about Disney making billions of dollars off of the concept and character of The Winter Soldier, created by Brubaker and Epting, but not giving him any of that money, and see all the jackasses saying Brubaker should STFU because the story was created as work for hire.
Hold the Line at $5.99?
Rich Johnston reports that DC Comics will raise the price of some of their comics to $5.99 starting in June, prompting thousands of DC Comics fans to finally grow a spine, band together, and vow to absolutely stop buying these things if DC raises the prices one more time after this.
Freelance Artist Job Way More Lucrative in Venezuela
For our final story, a new article in the Associated Press tells the tale of Venezuelan teenager Samuel Andrés Mendoza, who sells drawings on Twitter to help support his family and pay for his own special dietary needs. Mendoza sells his hand-drawn pictures of cartoon characters and soccer stars for a dollar each, which makes a difference in Venezuela's economy, where the report notes the average monthly salary is $2, which is incredible if you think about it. Even an American comic book artist could probably manage to hit a deadline of two pages per month. Maybe even three.
For Mendoza, that means his family can afford nutrient-rich food like peanut butter and his mother can take fewer risks finding work. For comic book creators currently being exploited by the multi-billion dollar superhero industrial complex in America, it sounds like a dream.
"I think it's great that this kid has taken the initiative to start his own business and to… and… wait, how much did you say he makes per drawing?" said one prominent comic book creator when asked for comment. "You mean to tell me he can afford to feed himself with art? What the fu–"
We cut the creator off, having heard enough. Clearly, there are untapped opportunities for struggling American comic book creators if they are willing to move to Venezuela, where the extreme poverty rate tops 70% but where artistic skills are obviously truly valued.
"I can't stop thinking about how lucky this kid is," said the comic creator we were talking to earlier, barging back into the conversation. Comic creators are notoriously difficult to get rid of unless you have a spare piece of pizza lying around you can toss in the street to get them to chase it. "Do you know when the last time I was able to afford actual real peanut butter was? Usually, I have to buy a 99 cent pack of Blue Bonnet margarine and rub empty Reese's wrappers on the sticks to imbue peanuty essence. Then I eat it right out of the package because bread is a luxury only for more important people like editors."
Unfortunately, comic creators aren't the only ones inspired by Mendoza's success. "So what you're saying is that we are drastically overpaying our creators," said high profile editor from Marvel Comics when told of Mendoza's story. "Get this kid on the phone and see if he wants to draw Spider-Man!"
But the editor may be disappointed, because, just like any self-respecting American comic book creator, Mendoza dreams of one day moving beyond the field of comics and into a more lucrative field that will garner more respect and dignity. He "would like to make YouTube-style videos about videogames when he grows up," the Associated Press article reports.
And that's the week in comics news.
X-ual Healing X-Men Recaps
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics for lovers of soap opera drama.
This issue is, thankfully, the end of the dumbass King in Black crossover. Basically, Frenzy and Manifold team up to kick Venomized Cable's ass, with Frenzy ripping off his tech arm so he can't teleport or buy bitcoin (while telling him she wants to bang his dad), and Manifold teleporting a piece of the sun to Krakoa to blast Knull with. Well, that's a new twist on the throw the villain into the sun trope. The other half of the issue consisted of Jean Grey telling off Abigail Brand. That's all the details you're getting on that because you shouldn't care about super-mega-crossover event tie-ins anyway. They're a waste of your time and money.
There was one interesting development to come out of all this though:
Something on Krakoa is causing scary hallucinations. Black Tom Cassidy tries to stop mutants from masturbating in the woods of Krakoa only to be swallowed by the island. Sage gets wasted and considers having a one-night-stand with The Blob. Jean Grey is trying to get some action from Wolverine on the moon but he has really nasty coffee breath and she and Cyclops decide to stick to just one dick this week.
Esme and Quentin Quire visit Sage and Beast and learn that Beast has suffered a stroke, which the three of them figure out is a result of a psychic attack affecting everyone's nightmare's the previous week. Quire uses his powers to learn what happened with Beast. It was the Quentin clone creature, which depresses Quentin because he views its evilness as an extension of his flawed character. Sage kills Beast (as per their security agreement) so he can be resurrected.
Quentin ventures into the astral plane to try to track down the threat with only Esme to back him up. he comes face-to-face with the astral projection of the clone and his own fears about being a shitty person as the issue comes to an end. A bonus page tells is Sage is now an alcoholic. Well, every team has to have one.
Wolverine's Wiener X-Pick of the Week
X-Force wins the Wolverine's Wiener X-Pick of the Week award for the sexual tension in that one scene. Congratulations to the creative team on this honor.
And that's the week in X-Men comics!
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If you're lucky, The Week in Comics will return next week. But no promises!