Comic Fodder

The Signal Watch: Week Two

How Do We Increase Traffic?

A bit of housekeeping, but I'm curious... Travis and I have been doing this for a bit of time. I have no idea who is popping by aside from a handful of people who occasionally comment.

What can we do to improve Comic Fodder? How can we make this site work better for you? More content? More reviews? Are my columns tedious and difficult to bear?

Don't pull any punches. I'd love to hear from you.

Spidey Meets Obama

It's been inauguration mania in the press, and the "he hasn't actually done anything, so we will treat him like Caesar" bit the press is doing reached down and noticed that Spidey was meeting Obama in the pages of "The Amazing Spiderman".

Apparently Marvel sort of failed to alert retailers what sort of hoopla they were going to put in place in the press. And maybe Marvel would have done better had they decided that the cover weren't an incentive variant cover and just printed up a bunch of copies with Obama and Spidey sharing space. (Honestly, going to the press with a variant cover of all things...? Who thought that one up?).

And because no fairly simple idea can just go off in comics, there were some unpleasant stories at retailers, and then Erik Larsen and Steve Wacker went positively middle school at Robot 6.

Final Crisis Spoilers

So I couldn't help but notice that for once, one of the Big 2 kept its PR department from going monkeypants and alerting the whole world to Batman's death in the pages of Final Crisis (after previously reporting it would occur in the pages of Batman RIP).

There are a lot of different reasons for the seeming reluctance of DC to get on the media to report on the death of Brice Wayne. And it does seem odd that if the information were shared that the media would demonstrate such indifference to the character who earned WB a billion dollars this summer kicking the bucket. And as the NY Times most likely does not have a "Superhero Beat" reporter, the moment went unnoticed. So it must mean DC didn't bother to tell them, which is kind of an interesting thought.

This is a different reading than Rich Johnston's assumption that the press here in the states bothers to follow super-hero comics, and/ or does much but reprint press releases it finds to be easy, eye-catching filler.

We're going to have to assume all is not as it would seem, and that perhaps some parties may have overreacted a tad. While others had the perfect response.

DC Solicitations reveal Plotpoint for Blackest Night?

Couldn't help but notice that DC's solicitations this week, specifically in the DC Direct portion, gave away a pretty big spoiler. Although they tried to cover it up, it still seems to have appeared in the solicitation copy.

It's the DC Direct portion. Look here if you don't mind spoilers.

I'm fairly certain that were I Geoff Johns and I was unaware that DC's marketing team did this without my knowledge, I would be releasing the hounds.

So... what's going on in the Superbooks?

I couldn't help but notice in the April solicits that the Superman: World of Krypton book seems to have been handed over to James Robinson and Greg Rucka as of issue #2 from writer Andrew Kreisberg as listed in the March 2009 solicitations.

I can only speculate, but as recently as January 8th, Kreisberg was doing comic press on the series. He is a writer for TV, so perhaps he had better paying gigs to pursue. But one does sense a certain air of detachment from the series in the Comic Book Resources interview. So... who knows? Perhaps he already knew he was moving on.

Items that Got Me Especially Excited in DC's April Solicitations

-Flash: Rebirth
-JLA Deluxe Edition Hardcover Vol. 2
-Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool TPB
-Absolute Promethea Vol 1 HC (if you've never read Promethea, I pity you)
-Bayou Vol. 1
-Seaguy: The Slaves of Mickey Eye
-Action Comics (because thanks to early imprinting on Sarah Douglas, I am an Ursa fan)

Other Bloggers

Congrats to the former Blog@ crew who has moved in part to Comic Book Resources, bringing their magic to a site called Robot 6.

Carla and Lance Hoffman are now out of the hospital. Neither Comic Fodder nor The Signal Watch has a personal relationship with the Hoffmans, but we have been following their story and wish them the best.

Sarah Jaffe's most recent post at the new Blog@ just kind of made me sad as a Superman fan. I guess I just never understand the aversion to the character so many never get over. Let alone happily admitting to enjoying the read but then still seeming embarrassed at having enjoyed it.

Questions? Comments? Hate mail?

Come on, I can take it.


Ryan is an Op/Ed columnist for Comic Fodder. He keeps his comics and himself in Austin, Texas where he manages the long running blog League of Melbotis.

He likes Superman.

You can reach Ryan (aka: The League) at

I don't get it - what's the Blackest Night spoiler? I thought we all assumed that anybody who had died had the potential to be a Black Lantern. Seeing "him" is cool but not a shock IMO. Now when DC Direct spoiled the return of Superboy-Prime that was sucky.

As for the new solicits:
Oracle: Farwell To A Heroine (my own added subtitle)
Action Comics - Rucka baby! And Ursa, interesting. I'm guessing at some point prior the Phantom Zone is emptied.
Secret Six
Flash Presents: Mercury Falling - a very good Impulse story.
JLA Deluxe Vol 2 - how timely?
Robin: The Teen Wonder - I have all these issues and this is a great collection.

I thought Seaguy was the worst Morrison story ever - and I own over 170 issues with his name on them (not counting 52) - and Promethea, while very interesting, still bored me to tears.

-- Posted by: David at January 20, 2009 5:39 PM

Ah. I saw the character as more metaphor than real in Infinite Crisis, and so seeing him return in such a concrete fashion to the DCU is a little... odd and surprising. And it seems like they'd gone to such lengths to shadow out the character, why tell us the identity at all?

It's one thing to know anybody could come back... but this one took me utterly by surprise. Especially out of context.

I iwll be picking up Oracle. I think the Phantom Zone was emptied as of last week's Action (or at least of the major three PZ Villains). Never read Mercury Falling, so I am considering picking it up. I am deeply considering the Robin collection. We'll see.

SeaGuy was my least favorite of the three three-issue stories Morrison did that year. I confess that I did not "get it" completely. But I'm willing to give it a shot.

As per Promethea... I felt it was absolutely gorgeous from the first panel to the last, and every panel had something to say. Maybe not an action story (quite the opposite), but a lovely use of the medium.

-- Posted by: Ryan at January 20, 2009 6:01 PM

As per Promethea... I felt it was absolutely gorgeous from the first panel to the last, and every panel had something to say. Maybe not an action story (quite the opposite), but a lovely use of the medium.

Don't get me wrong, a great book with awesome themes and amazing art as you said - the way it transitions from level to level with each book could have served as a template for how Final Crisis should have been handled. I just felt that the "plot" was left wanting.

-- Posted by: David at January 22, 2009 4:58 PM

Well, I think it's safe to say that at some point "plot" gave way to something else. Agreed.

That said, I appreciated the attempt to pull together ideas by way of characters interacting directly with those ideas... the scales may have titled to far toward the expository, but it held my attention.

-- Posted by: Ryan at January 22, 2009 6:52 PM