Sunday, March 18, 2012
WonderCon 2012: Rants and Remarks
The internet has given us so many wonderful things. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and internet porn have revolutionized the world of information, communication, entertainment, and masturbation for every possible generation. Among the less glamorous benefits that don't require a constant supply of lube is liveblogging. It used to be that whenever there was an event you couldn't attend, like a comic convention, you either had to wait until reports came out days later or take a few hits of acid so you can at least fantasize you were there (minus the pink elephants of course). Liveblogging has been a great way to keep up with comic cons that I'm either too busy or two drunk to attend. This past weekend, Wondercon hit the fine state of California. It is without a doubt the third most attractive event behind pot dispensaries and Disneyland.
The timing for Wondercon comes at a vital time for Marvel. In a mere two weeks, Avengers vs. X-men kicks off in what Marvel promises to be the biggest event since the invention of chicken wings and Monday Night Football. They been releasing so many teasers lately that it almost fits the Geneva Conventions definition of torture. But as someone who has already been tortured by ex-girlfriends, law enforcement, and angry Twilight fans I'm more than willing to endure. We already know the basis of Avengers vs. X-men. The Phoenix is on it's way to take a massive, flaming shit on the world and Hope Summers is the key to either stopping it or egging it on. The Avengers and the X-men must then battle over her fate and hope they don't fuck each other up too much before their world gets burnt to a cinder like Charlie Sheen's TV career.
Both Newsarama and Marvel's official website ran a liveblog of a panel for Avengers vs. X-men. The information presented was fairly basic and added only slightly onto what we already knew. For one, Jeph Loeb stated that the end of X-Sanction (the final issue of which is coming out later this week), will lead directly into Avengers vs. X-men #0. Also, Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort made it a point to dispel any rumor that Marvel was going to follow DC's lead and reboot their line.
Tom Brevoort: There's no reboot coming. There's not going to be a reset. The Marvel Universe isn't broken.
I imagine Brevoort was pounding his fist on the table when he said this and I think it's a point worth reinforcing. The reboot has been working fine for DC, but they did it because like a guy at a strip club after his wife leaves him they fucking had to. Marvel didn't. In fact, Avengers vs. X-men makes that a pretty lousy theme because according to Brevoort, the seeds of this story were sewn way back in 2006 with House of M when Wanda Maximoff decided to pull a mini-Flashpoint of sorts and de-power nearly every mutant on the planet. So what if it takes six years to bring the story full circle? Like a lap dance from Megan Fox, some shit just shouldn't be rushed.
And in accord with pretty much every major comic book convention where Marvel has a presence, someone did ask a Jean Grey question. Since I did one of my Sunday rants on her and I'm still working under the assumption that Marvel will look for ANY excuse not to bring Jean Grey back even though she's the one most associated with the Phoenix Force, I'm compelled to bring it up. At the Newsarama liveblog, a fan asked if Jean Grey was going to be involved. Mark Waid (writer of the upcoming Infinite Comics) told the fan to check out the second issue of Infinite Comics. I'm not sure what to make of that. It may be code for "We're going to completely ignore the shit set up in the past and recton the hell out of Jean Grey and the Phoenix so we have even more excuses never to bring her back." Until I hear otherwise, I'm working under that assumption.
That brings up another important announcement from Wondercon. Earlier this month, Marvel announced a new digital initiative called Infinite Comics that will start with Avengers vs. X-men. It's basically Marvel's way of adding some extra elements to their digital comics aside from just running them through a scanner and charging the same fucking price for them, even though digital pirates have been doing that shit since Bush's first term in office. It's part of what they call Marvel ReEvolution. And I say it's a good thing in my drunken opinion. Considering the fact that Marvel only recently began offering day-and-date digital for all their titles and DC only started seven months ago, it's usually the case that comic companies have been glacial at embracing digital means. I get the sense that they think digital shit is just an excuse for fans to get drunk and rant about comics online. Well, they're partially right, but let's face it. Paper is going the way of the typewriter. This is the era of Ipads, Kindles, and Nooks. Not everybody wants to go out of their way to pay four bucks for 20 pages of ink that may only collect dust in their book cases. We are a very superficial species in that we like shit that's pretty and flashy. Something like Marvel Infinite Comics could be just what the unliscended doctor from Cambodia ordered!
While Avengers vs. X-men was the big draw for Marvel, it did have some other important announcements. For one, Captain Marvel is returning. However, it's not in the way fans were thinking. You see, Captain Marvel isn't technically coming back from the dead. Carol Danvers, aka Miss Marvel, is taking that mantle. That's right, a pretty blonde is taking on a title once held by a man. So all those feminazis who whine about women in comics constantly have to throw the penis-bearing population of the world a bone here. Because Miss Marvel not only looks more badass in her new uniform. She looks like something little girls can dress up as and not come off as porn stars.
Another major announcement involved the return of a fan-favorite X-men series, Xtreme X-men. While the title itself implies that it's the over-exposed energy drink of the X-books, it was actually a damn good series back in the day and by back in the day I mean 2001 to 2004. It was another brilliant run by Chris Claremont, who simply is never satisfied being the most prolific X-men writer of all time. However, Chris Claremont isn't coming out of retirement again a la Brett Favre to write this series again. This time, it's Greg Pak who is running the show. And unlike the original Xtreme X-men series, this one will follow the alternate universe characters that Pak set up in his lone Astonishing X-men arc that I found myself giving a favorable review. That means the alternate universe Emma Frost, Wolverine, and Kid Nightcrawler will be back! It also will bring Dazzler back into a more prominent role with the X-books, which is somewhat fitting since she's been pretty much an afterthought since X-men Regenesis. Pak is calling this series a successor to the Exile series of sorts, which is not a bad thing. That series made itself awesome by traversing many different alternate worlds in a way that didn't fuck up the regular continuity too much. Since Pak has shown that he can do a damn good job on an X-men book, hopefully Xtreme X-men will keep him on board for more than one arc.
There were a shit ton of other announcements at Wondercon 2012, but I'm not sober enough to go over every one of them. However, after getting sufficiently wasted and following the liveblogs, I think it's safe to call this event a success. It's like the calm before the storm or that anticipation you get when you slip a hooker a hundred bucks and she agrees to come up to your hotel room for a drink. For Marvel and X-men fans like me everywhere, Wondercon 2012 is Marvel's last major gathering before they charge head first into Avengers vs. X-men. If you're not ready, then have fun falling on your ass because the rest of us are charging ahead! See you next year, Wondercon! Now we're off to see the X-men and Avengers beat the shit out of each other! Nuff said.