IGN Anticipates Demand for Comics Many Readers Won’t Read

IGN’s written up a list of the mainstream comics they’re hotly anticipating, along with some independent ones, and the political correctness of their citations couldn’t be more blatantly obvious. For example, what they say about where X-Men is going next:


In 2020, most of Marvel’s X-Men comics were united under the Dawn of X banner, with each title exploring a different angle of the dramatic new status quo for mutantkind. Now that the X of Swords crossover has concluded, X-Men head honcho Jonathan Hickman and his team are beginning the next major phase – Reign of X.

With Krakoa having triumphed in Otherworld and gained thousands of new citizens in the process, things are looking up even more than ever for the mutant race. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t major challenges ahead, including both new and old enemies and growing divisions within the Quiet Council. If Marvel’s Reign of X teaser art is any indication, fans can look forward to big developments like the return of the Shadow King and Arcade and the birth of Nimrod. Along the way, we’ll see creative team shake-ups and entirely new series make their debuts in 2021. And we can only assume this is all building to another major crossover event in the latter half of the year. After the reign may well come the fall.


So there’s another event of some form in store, and if it ends up bearhugging so many titles together in a whole widely spanning story, no objective view taken whether this is a bad idea in the long run? Guess not. Same goes for their statements on Future State:


DC is kicking off 2021 with an ambitious, two-month crossover event wherein most of their ongoing books are temporarily replaced by limited series set ten years or more in the future. Future State sheds light on the DCU a decade after the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal, revealing a world full of new possibilities and a younger generation of heroes rising up to replace the old. Not only that, Future State promises to deliver some truly excellent creative pairings, whether it’s John Ridley and Nick Derington on Future State: The Next Batman or Jen Bartel writing and drawing Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman.

Nor is Future State a simple, hypothetical detour into a possible future timeline. While we don’t know exactly how these stories will intertwine with DC’s regular publishing lineup, it’s clear that at least some of these new characters will continue to appear after Future State itself has wrapped up.


And that’s exactly the problem. Some of the characters in the crossover are social justice catering incarnate, and the smart person knows the reprehensible editorial won’t let go of them so easily, if that’s what it takes to insult their audience ever further. Which is what happened when Marvel did something awful to the Eternals prior to the latest edition:


Things have been pretty quiet on the Eternals front at Marvel Comics, particularly after these highly evolved beings were slaughtered in a 2018 issue of The Avengers. But as with most characters in the Marvel Universe, the Eternals never stay gone forever. They’re making their grand return in 2021, just in time for the franchise’s MCU debut.

The new Eternals series looks to provide a perfect entry point for this quirky franchise, and one that emphasizes the team’s connection to Thanos. Marvel has certainly picked the ideal creative team to relaunch Eternals, with The Wicked + The Divine writer Kieron Gillen joining forces with Secret Wars artist Esad Ribic.



With those kind of people on board, it’ll be the perfect jumping off point, as was the previous tale in the Avengers. It’s the same with the following Batman/Catwoman comic:


Technically, Batman/Catwoman launched in December, but so far we’ve only gotten a brief, tantalizing taste of this long-awaited follow-up to Tom King’s Batman run. The series will continue to play out over the course of 2021, showing the evolution of the Bat/Cat romance in three separate timelines. We’ll also see The Phantasm worked into Batman’s comic book mythology for the first time and learn how the Joker ties into this sordid love triangle. Batman/Catwoman is shaping up to be a worthy conclusion to a modern classic, in no small part because artist Clay Mann is delivering what may well be the best work of his career.


If I can recall samples of Mann’s previous art, that’s why I won’t buy what they say at all about his resume. But it’s King who’s truly the sour note here. That part about “classic” is hilarious. Another example is Venom:


Marvel is in the midst of the King in Black crossover as 2021 gets underway. The symbiote god Knull has come to Earth, and things are looking pretty bleak for Venom and his allies. But even though this is the climactic story writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman have been building toward since 2018, it doesn’t appear that King in Black marks the end of Cates’ Venom saga. Immediately following the conclusion of this crossover, the monthly Venom comic will celebrate a big milestone with Venom #200, an issue that promises to redefine Eddie Brock’s place in the Marvel Universe and set the stage for whatever is coming next. It sounds like the perfect way to get in the mood for Venom’s return to the big screen this summer.


So does this stem from a crossover too? If so, that’s one more reason why it’s inorganic, and besides, Marvel hasn’t felt like Marvel for a long time. It’s enough to laugh for the wrong reasons at how a series like this is reaching a milestone 200 issues, when stuff like this wore out its welcome artistically long before. The same goes for Swamp Thing:


DC will begin publishing a revamped and consolidated line of monthly comics in March once Future State has wrapped up. None of these books has us more excited than Swamp Thing. Not only is the new series the first ongoing Swamp Thing comic since the New 52 series wrapped in 2015, it features rising star Ram V as its writer. V was our pick for the best comic book writer of 2020 thanks to his work on Justice League Dark, Catwoman and Blue in Green, so the prospect of him taking over our favorite plant elemental is definitely exciting.


Anybody who thinks Justice League should be defined as dark isn’t giving reason to be excited. Nor is anyone who promotes it over what’s assumed to be the more optimistic title, which may not be the case due to a certain writer assigned to it now, which I’ll get around to in a moment. Another book cited is one more Star Wars comic coming out, the High Republic:


To date, most Star Wars comics and novels in the Disney era have stayed very close to the events of the movies, fleshing out specific moments and bridging gaps. With the advent of The High Republic, creators now have a chance to paint on a much broader canvas. The High Republic isn’t a singular story, but rather a collection of interconnected tales (both novels and comics) that all spring from a single instigating event 200 years before the movie era. Those who still pine for the storytelling freedom of the Expanded Universe may find plenty to like here. And now we know this ambitious saga will spill over into live-action, as Leslye Headland‘s Star Wars series The Acolyte is also set in the High Republic era.


More like they’ve stayed very close to events of the recent sequels, which saw diminishing returns, particularly the Han Solo-in-youth film. And “freedom” for storytelling? That’s become pretty hard to find these days, when corporatism’s ruined everything. No wonder a lot of the SW comics were cancelled recently, also due to the PC mentality finding its way in there. There have been signs George Lucas regrets selling the franchise to Disney. But that’s why he shouldn’t have sold it at all, just assigned a special employee at Lucasfilm to oversee creative control on any future projects. Now, it’s too late. Another example IGN’s fawned over is Batbooks post-Death Metal crossover:


DC may be consolidating its publishing lineup in 20021, but there will never be a shortage of promising Batman comics on the stands. James Tynion IV is continuing his ongoing Batman run after Future State, with Joker War artist Jorge Jimenez returning for a major Scarecrow storyline. Tynion is also launching the first ongoing Joker comic in 40 years alongside artist Guillem March, with the series showcasing the international manhunt for the Clown Prince of Crime.

We’re also very excited for the new creative teams announced for Detective Comics and Nightwing. Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora will helm the former, and Injustice: Gods Among Us’ Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo are on board the latter. In short, the Batman line will be packed with creative firepower in 2021.


Nope, most of these people are just hacks, and as I’ve said before, there’s too much emphasis on all that’s Bat, right down to the startling number of related books on the slate this year. There’s nothing promising about these. Not when Tamaki, author of a Young Adult title coming up later, is toplining one of the books. IGN’s staff may be “excited”, but the audience isn’t. They even bring up Millarworld:


While we’re still waiting to see the first fruits of Netflix’s purchase of Mark Millar’s Millarworld imprint, Millar himself is keeping very busy on the comic book side of things. Millar recently tweeted an image teasing a number of new books set to launch in 2021 and 2022. While he didn’t reveal the names of those books, the creative talent alone – including Frank Quitely, Olivier Coipel, Stuart Immonen and Travis Charest – is more than enough cause for excitement.


Coming from that overrated creator, I just don’t see what’s so exciting, honestly (and Netflix is a channel I do not want to subscribe to, based on some of their content). Nor would I expect it from Marvel’s new Aliens and Predator adaptations:


Marvel may not publish as many licensed comics as they did back in the ’80s, but both Star Wars and Conan have become major weapons in their arsenal in recent years. Now Marvel is adding Alien and Predator to that arsenal. In addition to publishing new omnibus collections of Dark Horse’s back catalog, Marvel will kick off brand new projects that expand on the movies. The first of these is Alien, from Marvel Zombies Resurrection writer Philip Kennedy Johnson and Star Wars artist Salvador Larroca. We assume a Predator series will also be announced for a 2021 debut, with even more spinoffs to follow.


And if that happens, it’ll be far too much; let’s not forget how this genre’s become overemphasized lately. Naturally, they won’t acknowledge how laughably low sales on comics compared to the movies makes it difficult to credit the assertion these adaptations are “major weapons.” Now, about the Justice League:


When Brian Michael Bendis announced he was leaving the Superman line to tackle an even bigger DC project, there was really only one place for him to go. Bendis is reuniting with The Defenders artist David Marquez in March to take over DC’s flagship Justice League comic. In the tradition of Bendis’ landmark New Avengers run, the new League roster will be an unusual mix of iconic favorites and unpredictable newcomers like Queen Hippolyta, Black Adam and Naomi. As an added bonus, Justice League Dark writer Ram V is continuing his run in the form of a recurring backup story.


So this is DC’s little game, eh? First Bendis got his mitts on team books like Legion, and now, it’s the League. A major embarrassment. Even if it were seemingly angled towards brightness, Bendis alone has the ability to turn gold into straw, and that’s what makes this irritating – there’s times these days when, if a certain title is seemingly emphasizing optimism, they force a catch onto it like woke political agendas, to say nothing of insufferable writers, taking away any and all ability to appreciate an optimistic direction. And there’s another terrible writer who comes up here, penning a book called Abbott 1973:


Writer Saladin Ahmed is spinning storytelling gold wherever he turns, but 2018’s Abbott is easily among his strongest works to date. That’s why we’re so happy to see Ahmed reuniting with artist Sami Kivelä for a sequel dubbed Abbott: 1973. This sequel is set against the backdrop of the election of Coleman Young, Detroit’s first black mayor, with Detective Elena Abbott drawn into another dark, supernatural conspiracy.


And I wouldn’t be shocked if this is more leftist ideology on parade. Ahmed’s reprehensible attitude is a leading reason why I wouldn’t want to put money into his pockets for this book. Next is a Daredevil volume, and this one seems to involve gender-swapping in the costume:


Daredevil #25 really threw us for a loop in December, as writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto introduced the new heir to the mantle of Daredevil – Elektra. Needless to say, the series will undergo a dramatic shift in 2021 as Elektra settles into her new role and Matt Murdock continues fighting to stay alive in prison. The series was already among Marvel’s best monthly comics, and we don’t see that changing in 2021.


So now Elektra Nachios takes up Matt’s outfit. I seem to remember a decade ago, Black Panther donned the DD costume too. But this gimmick’s been rendered tasteless by Marvel’s modern ideologues, mostly because they’ve just run out of fresh ideas. So too has DC, whose Young Adult offerings are cited too, including one that got a pretty poor reception:


DC may be publishing fewer monthly comics in 2021, but the company is placing an ever greater emphasis on standalone graphic novels for the YA market. As the massive success of YA projects like Raina Telgemeier’s Guts shows, that’s clearly where the market is shifting in recent years. DC has several promising new books lined up for 2021. We can’t wait to read The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel, a family-friendly Hellblazer revamp from Jughead’s Ryan North and Derek Charm. We’re also intrigued by I Am Not Starfire, which features Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani exploring the plight of Kory’s gloomy daughter Mandy.


A daughter who’s characterized as a lesbian, and an ugly duckling, in what’s apparently an insult to princess Koriand’r. Last one cited in the item is an indie title, Serial:


Terry Moore has a real knack for creating deep, nuanced female protagonists. And then there’s Zoe, the underage, bloodthirsty killer who quickly became a fan-favorite character in Moore’s Rachel Rising. Zoe is getting the spotlight all to herself in Moore’s newest project, Serial. We’re looking forward to a gory, lighthearted alternative to apocalyptic drama of Five Years, though with the same impeccable character work we’ve come to expect from Moore.


What’s so lighthearted about goriness again? There’s something wrong with killers becoming fan-favorites too, and that’s decidedly a problem permeating – but not limited to – the Joker in Batman. Heroes should be the fan-favorites, not bloodthirsty villains.

IGN sure knows how to be very cynical when they want to be, and they’ve accomplished that feat yet again, proving why they’re outmoded.
Originally published here.
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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1