2015: IN ANTICIPATION, A LIST
By Molly Jane Kremer and Jarrod Jones. We here at DoomRocket like to think we’re a patient lot, but in reality, all we ever do is clamor. You know how it is; sitting at home, refreshing the home pages to ComicBookResources and Variety, eagerly waiting to get at that new piece of information, or a glimpse at a new trailer, or completely neglecting what little of our social lives remain in the name of new things. Because, NEW THINGS! And guess what? There’s a new year to consider, just piled to the ever-lovin’ brim with all the new films, comics, games, and other stuff we can’t wait to just go crazy over. So let’s get to it…
THINGS WE NEED IN 2015
MJ: More (Lucas-less) Star Wars. While we’ve technically been getting “new” Star Wars material for the past decade and a half, this year… it just feels different. There are reasons for this positivity: George Lucas no longer helms the franchise with his oppressive heavy hand, a new film – the oh-so-anticipated Episode VII – is due on December 18 (did that teaser give you chills? Because it freaked us out), and Marvel Comics is putting their top-tier talent on three new ongoing Star Wars series (Star Wars by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, and Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry and Rachel Dodson). The Force will be with us, indeed.
JJ: The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1. While it’s true that this isn’t the final chapter to Grant Morrison’s bug-fuck crazy DC Comics spectacular, this is the chapter that everyone has been waiting for. Every step along the way, Morrison has been careful to include this dread comic in each installment of The Multiversity, a funny book with dire implications for DC’s mutiverse, and with March seeing the release of this purportedly “haunted” comic book (or “cursed”, y’know, whatever), we’ll finally get to behold the energy it holds. Morrison has played these kind of tricks before, breaking the fourth wall for a solid narrative punch (as he so famously did wayyy back in his Animal Man days), but Ultra Comics has the feel of something more.
MJ: Image Expo 2015. Last year’s Image Expo announced scads of new creator-owned comics penned and pencilled by industry masters. While a few still have yet to enter your local comic shop (Brandon Graham’s 8House and Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Nameless we patiently await), many already had their day in Previews, and became some of our favorite comics of 2014. If this year’s Expo results in even half as many great titles, we can look forward to another amazing year of superb comics.
JJ: Mad Max: Fury Road. Don’t even front… you know you want this too. Tom Hardy finally chills out with the arthouse and steps into the big budget, fuck-you-Hollywood leading man role that every single person out there always knew he was capable of. (I mean, let’s be real, how many of us went to see Locke? That’s what I thought.) With director George Miller returning to the franchise that made him (and Mel Gibson, we shan’t forget about him) famous, Fury Road looks like a real return to form, plus or minus a few hundred million dollars. How much pyrotechnics can be purchased for $150 million? I guess we’re going to find out. (Just… let’s just watch that trailer again. It won’t hurt.)
MJ: More (Quality) Lady-led Comics At Marvel. While Marvel is lamentably cancelling both She-Hulk and Elektra, the publisher is attempting to refuel that estrogen by releasing two reeeeally fun-looking, female-led comics: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson features everyone’s favorite babysitting, Doom-defeating, Great Lakes Avenger. And Jason Latour’s and Robbi Rodriguez’s Spider-Gwen sees an alternate-universe Gwen Stacy split her time between fighting crime on the streets of NYC and playing drums in her all-girl rock band, The Mary Janes. While the loss of Charles Soule’s She-Hulk will NOT be soon forgotten, these anticipated titles are a step towards forgiveness.
JJ: Batman: Arkham Knight. Yeah, I’m not too pumped about Batman’s jacked-up Batmobile either (not one, but two gun turrets? Who’s writing this thing?). But, c’mon, this is Rocksteady coming back hard, giving us very patient fans the final installment we both deserve and need right now. (After the tumbleweed that was Arkham Origins, I think we’re all ready for this.) Not satisfied with only touting the Scarecrow (easily the coolest adversary from Arkham Asylum) as the game’s big bad, Knight has the gall to introduce yet another villain to Batman’s rogues gallery, the eponymous Arkham Knight (who may or may not be Hush, but try to tamp the speculation). No matter how bloated this thing may ultimately be, one thing’s for sure: Arkham Knight is gonna rule.
MJ: More of CW’s The Flash. Nothing, and I mean nothing, rocked us as hard as CW’s The Flash this year. We really didn’t expect a network that tosses dreck like Reign to offer such a joy-filled celebration of heroism and humanity. Unlike its sister-show Arrow, The Flash doesn’t need the “grittiness” that plagues most superhero comics these days. It’s created a flawless dichotomy between Grant Gustin’s Flash and Stephen Amell’s Arrow that has already eclipsed Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman. The Flash has some first-season wrinkles to iron out (please, please write Iris West better!), but it remains the one television show, week after week, that we still get actually, legitimately, excited to experience.
JJ: What the hell, let’s bring back Howard the Duck. Waugh! It’s the duck who ran amok in the 70s, come back because James Gunn decided to stuff him in Guardians of the Galaxy‘s tail-feathers. Since it seems we’re stuck with the quacky private-eye – and now that Marvel has (somewhat) ironed out the kinks with Steve Gerber’s estate – what the duck: it’s time for a new Howard book. If it’s manned by the smooth operators (or is that Sex Criminals?) known as Chip Zdarsky and artist Joe Quinones (whose Twitter header image never ceases to make me chortle), there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be pumped about Marvel’s latest foray into the silly. Trapped in a world he never made? Well shit, Howard, welcome to 2015.
MJ: More Hawkeye. While Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye is one of my favorite comic series ever written, it’s achingly intermittent release schedule (only six issues released in 2014) was certainly detrimental. So I looked upon the announcement of a new creative team for a relaunched Hawkeye with both an auspicious and dropping eye: though the the Eisner Award-winning team of Fraction and Aja have left, we may get Clint, Kate, and Lucky on a nigh-monthly basis again with Eisner nominee Jeff Lemire, of Animal Man, and Eisner winner Ramón Pérez, of A Tale of Sand. All good things must end, but I’m very much looking forward to seeing where these two talented Canadians take my favorite archers.
JJ: The finale of Endgame. If you’ve been savvy enough to be up on Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s incredibly arresting Batman series, then you already know what’s up. But for the uninitiated, allow me to offer a word of advice: go back and buy the preceding issues that have lead to the engrossing saga known only as Endgame, touted as the “ultimate showdown” between the Batman and the Joker. (And after you read Death of the Family, the only question you’ll have – it’s okay, I know – is “HOW.” Endgame culminates with an early 2015 finish, and if it moves with the same momentum as the first three installments, one things for certain: Endgame is going to roll on each and every one of us. Beware the Batman.
THINGS WE CAN DO WITHOUT IN 2015
MJ: A Trailer For (The Ridiculously Titled) Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. I haven’t fully sussed out whether I want the trailer for BvS:DoJ to be terrible or be great. If it’s terrible, I won’t get my hopes up. But if the trailer is good? Well, those aforementioned expectations may increase, and I’m not sure I can deal with the same heartbreak I experienced while watching the shallow and emotionless Man of Steel. While this is the film debut of Wonder Woman, the fact that I’m nervous instead of excited about seeing her on the big screen makes my stomach hurt. However much I enjoy that trailer, I’ll be keeping my hopes as low as possible. Do your worst, Zack Snyder. I already think it’ll be exactly that.
JJ: Batman: Earth One, Vol. 2. While there are plenty of people in the comics world who worship at the altar of Geoff Johns, I sure as shit ain’t one of them. And since I’m still reeling from the bitterness of purchasing the hardcover to Johns and Gary Frank’s rather blase Batman: Earth One three years ago, I’m hard-pressed to pump up expectation for the second volume of what promises to be more laziness from a late-career Geoff Johns. (You expect me to choke down the molasses that is Men of Tomorrow and then go all squishy over a Johns-scripted Batman book? DC, you’re always good for a laugh.) Since the last hardcover ended on a reliably predictable cliff-hanger, there’s no reason to think that this won’t be yet another business venture for the DC CCO. Frankly, I just don’t have the time. Or the money.
MJ: Sigh. More Gotham. I’ve never been one to “hate-watch” a show. Some do, keeping up on television series’ to point out each tiny way they detest it. I must confess… I think I’ve been hate-watching Gotham since its pilot. After ten episodes, there’s still no apparent direction (gritty cop drama à la Gotham Central? The origin of every goddamn Batman villain? Bruce Wayne beginning his Bat-destiny 10 years too early?), and the directions taken have been either underwritten or laden with obvious and idiotic subtext (ooh, Harvey Dent’s face is always half in shadow, how telling). Despite good casting, unless there’s a massive increase in quality, I may resign myself… to the hate-watch.
JJ: Absolutely zero plans for another Superman animated series. Seriously, boys. What’s the problem? Are we still so skittish after Green Lantern: The Animated Series‘ unceremonious cancellation that there’s no longer any space for adventure? Or maybe it’s because soulless computer effects have dominated over lively cel animation that the application of originality is beyond the point of comprehension? Either way, 1996 was a long time ago, and if you want to get me to believe that a Henry Cavill can fly, you better start backing your own horse, DC. Get Warner Bros Animation to concoct some brilliance into a new Superman. Call Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. You sure as shit don’t ask them for much else.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE IN 2015
MJ: Spider-Man at Marvel Studios. With all the ill-gained “news” from Sony Pictures’ unfortunate hacks, the only parts I paid attention to were the bits concerning your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The possibility of Peter Parker heading over to the Marvel side of the street was a lovely thing to dream of, but after hearing it was a possibility that was considered, well… now I’ll just be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. Though I do love Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man (especially as Peter Parker) I’d accept new casting, if only to see Spidey swinging in to help out Cap and Thor during the next big catastrophe in MCU-NYC. Now, if we could just get Fox to start thinking about giving up that Fantastic Four license…
JJ: Event Fatigue. Convergence. Secret Wars. Give me a break, already. I know that I’m of the age that to say “enough” is redundant, but for real. I’m simply not in the market for this garbage anymore. Crossovers? Cross my heart: if I have to buy seventeen more tie-ins to your bullshit events, DC or Marvel, I swear that I’ll burn my entire collection to cinders, and warn everyone I ever meet against buying your product. Here’s a thought: since DC thinks sunny California is the spot for creative innovation, while they’re making their move, let’s just not buy anything from their buffer event, saving Convergence for the recycle bin. Because God knows that’s where it came from.
Agree? Disagree? What are YOU looking forward to in 2015? Let us know in the comments below.