By Steve Morris

Fan Expo Canada unfolded across this weekend, bringing all sorts of unwashed comic creators to Toronto. And with them came all sorts of pictures and words which, when assembled into coherent form, will result in exciting and surprising announcements for us all to digest, before experiencing a series of hot sweats. Read on for a handful of the announcements, eh.

Marvel had a few of the stranger announcements, revealing that the creative team of Joe Keatinge and Rich Elson, fresh off a mysteriously cancelled ‘Thanos’ miniseries, have been snapped up by editor Steve Wacker to create an ongoing Morbius series. Yes, Morbius the Living Vampire is now the star of his own series! Debuting in January, this will spin out from the recent Lizard/Morbius/Spider-Man storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, and will be set up in Amazing Spider-Man 699.1, in December.

Marcos Martin’s variant for issue #700 of Amazing Spider-Man was also revealed, while Wacker explained that Stan Lee will not be contributing a story to the issue due to time constraints. Instead, Stan has elected to write the letters column for the issue, with a different Spider-Man celebration story planned wth The Man somewhere else. Wacker isn’t telling where, yet.

Some of the New Mutants will be headed into Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers books, indicating there’ll be even further integration between Marvel’s two franchises as we head into 2013. “I hope Doug Ramsey is one of them!” said nobody. A new cover was revealed for All-New X-Men, which shows the Extinction Team alive and well – save for Namor, the most prominent member to still be AWOL.

And again, all the X-Men are grimacing at readers

Rumour at the moment suggests these odd background characters present in all the ANXM covers may be the characters introduced in ‘The First X-Men’, Neal Adams’ current miniseries for Marvel. Or they might be new creations from Bendis. Or they might be Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in disguise.

DC were a little lower key, with their main announcement being a new series from Geoff Johns and David Finch.

Justice League of America will feature all the characters above, forming the new third tier of the ‘Justice League’ family. Catwoman, Martian Manhunter, Steve Trevor, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Baz (the new Arab-American Green Lantern with glowy arm fonts and a gun), Katana and Vibe are all on the team. This team will, as you may have guessed, operate as a bit of a shadowy counterpoint to the actual Justice League… but just not as shadowy as the Justice League Dark team. Slightly grey, really. Perhaps a 2B pencil.

On top of that, there’s going to be another one of them there ‘Before Watchmen’ books coming out, again capturing one of the best artists in the industry in order to induce tears from Alan Moore. Before Watchmen: Moloch will come from the creative team of Eduardo Risso and J. Michael Straczynski, revealing the past of the magician character who played a bit-part in the original story.

Before Watchmen: the little kid who reads the pirate comic, coming March 2013, presumably.

Anything else I’ve missed? What caught your eye in Toronto this weekend, Beatniks? (also, is ‘Beatniks’ the collective team for a group of Beat Readers?)


  1. I just love the new and improved, snarky and unimpressed version of the Beat. Im glad you guys have cornered those vastly underappreciated and underutilized traits here on the internet. Keep up the great work :/

  2. Could be that the X-Men are looking serious to contrast with the younger X-Men, which are shown on the full cover that image you selected belongs to. But hey, why think things through when you can defult to snark, am I right?

  3. “Fan Expo Canada unfolded across this weekend, bringing all sorts of unwashed comic creators to Toronto.”

    I don’t know about the creators but the last (and I mean last) time I was there some of the fans coulda used some speed stick. #pu

  4. some of the things mentioned at the Arrow screening is the drawing of the hooded bowman figure was done by Mike Grell and Grell’s run is a heavy influence on the series. Dinah Laurel Lance will mainly go by the name of Laurel Lance Pubilc Lawyer. The series is highly filmed in and around Vancouver British Columbia and the star is lamenting that since the island scenes which will be a linear flashback will all be filmed on the same cold barren rocky island in the North of B.C. Canada and not a warm tropical island. No Green Lantern, No super powers but there are plenty of easter eggs including a split second scene in the pilot of Deathstroke’s mask on a pike. Dinah Lauel Lance’s younger sister was on the boat with Ollie and was swept to sea when he was shipped wrecked. Dinah Lauel Lance’s father is a police detective investigatin the hooded bowman in this series. Deadshot will make an appearance somewhere in the first six episodes. John Barrowman of Torchwood is slated to make an appearance after the sixth episode but his character is being kept under wraps. Ollie has a sister who may end up being Speedy. Star city is now Starling City just to keep from being presumptious. No Trick Arrows, not even a tribute to them on the wall. No Magic or Super powers yet however there will be conspiracies and the Arrow would be called Oliver Queen the series just to keep to a vigilante vibe instead of Super Hero if they could. Drakken is one of the villains in the pilot. There are many mob and gang bosses to come.

  5. “I just love the new and improved, snarky and unimpressed version of the Beat. Im glad you guys have cornered those vastly underappreciated and underutilized traits here on the internet.”

    Quoted for truth.

    Seriously, Beat. Plenty of other sites do this already (and they do it better). You don’t have to go down this tired old path.

  6. Yeah, if you’re gonna snark, you should at least question that flag with twelve (eleven?) stripes (and 48 stars?)!

    Or snark about the illegal alien on the Justice League: America team! Perhaps he’s doing that to qualify for citizenship? No sartorial satire of his loin cloth? Or the similarity to The Avengers? (Catwoman = Mockingbird, Green Arrow = Hawkeye, Steve Trevor = Steve Rogers (roverT:Rogers?)… Or how Stormwatch (The Authority) was a Justice League analog/archetype?

    Why the 9/11 symbolism? Or is this the third arc to Countdown?

    Is that Stargirl? Is this her first New52 appearance? (Yes! Yes!) But she’s not living in Blue Valley… I guess Nebraska is just “fly-over” territory in the DCU…

    Why are all the Terran Green Lanterns American? An Arabic GL would have been interesting…

    Before Watchmen: Bernie and Bernard will chronicle the two parallel personalities, presenting the boring, everyday existence of the world affected by Watchmen.

    Before Watchmen: Steve and Joe will be a police procedural, focusing on the police strike and the Keene Act.

    When DC publishes Before Watchmen: Fred and Barney, you know it’s time to move on.

  7. I’m with Jimmy on this one. WTF ”unwashed”
    Really??? Forget the explanation. A retraction and/or apology asap !!!!!!

  8. I haven’t read any BEFORE WATCHMEN issues, but have read some reviews, to see how readers react. One review of DR. MANHATTAN #1 indicated that Straczynski has the doc in full control of his powers, unlike as he was in WATCHMEN. The reviewer:

    It’s a tale particularly crafted for the comic book medium, one in which reality can shift from panel to panel and whole new worlds can be mirrored down the center of a page. One wonders if the author’s intentions here have greater ramifications for the entire event. Could we have been reading a different quantum comic book universe all along?

    Given the doc’s powers and commercial imperatives, it would be simple to have him alter reality, or move to an alternate reality in which the massacre never happened, Rorschach didn’t ask to be killed, etc., so that all the characters are available and writers could proceed to write stories in the “Watchmen universe” as if WATCHMEN hadn’t been written.


  9. I like snarky remarks, but I think that one should separate them from the news. You give the news, then you make fun of the news.

    Bernie and Bernard is a series that I’m looking forward to. And if they ever do (or when they do) an After Watchmen series, I’m looking forward for Seymour’s Decision… and the Bubastis/Battlecat crossover.

    I would also say that Marvel probably made a mistake about the Morbius ongoing series and will soon rectify that information saying that is actually a 6-issue limited series. Probably once the 2nd or 3rd issue is published.

  10. @Jimmy Palmioti

    I think any creators involved with Before Watchmen have such a stink on them they may as well be unwashed.

  11. I guess my last comment was kinda mean, but I just don’t think anyone cashing Before Watchmen checks should pretend like they have a shred of integrity.

  12. Name calling on any level is not cool. This piece is as unprofessional as it can get. Reads like a message board posting. Such a shame.

    And Chris, It was kind of mean. I give you points for noticing that.

  13. I think any creators involved with Before Watchmen have such a stink on them they may as well be unwashed.

    The creators involved with BEFORE WATCHMEN exercised bad judgment, IMO. Moore’s ability to make a living wasn’t damaged, he wasn’t hurt—but his intellectual property rights were violated. If someone wants to treat a WATCHMEN character like a toy, he can, but he shouldn’t think that breaking the toy accomplishes anything.


  14. Can we quit vilifying the people working on the Before Watchmen project? After the tool who posted the negative stuff a few weeks ago about Joe Kubert’s involvement (at the time of his death) I really thought that we’d be able to move on. Of course, I’ve seen a few internet posts vilifying the people that have bought it so I guess that seal’s been broke.

  15. There’s a principle involved in criticizing BEFORE WATCHMEN: that creating a story involves creating all the elements in it. One would think, from reading superhero stories, that 70 percent or so of the work involved in writing stories lies in creating the lead hero. Make him look good, make him easy to identify with or like, and the rest of the work involved is fairly minor. As long as a reader loves the hero, and what he does in the story doesn’t offend or, worse, bore the reader, he’ll keep coming back for more.

    That’s not creative storytelling.

    If, years from now, BEFORE WATCHMEN is regarded as a success and DC has moved on to publishing AFTER WATCHMEN stories or doing more stories about minor characters, such as Moloch, the lesson learned will be that treating readers as though they were children who are unable to exercise critical judgment works. That’s not work to be proud of.


  16. Do you know what FanExpo 2012 was this year? It was really the year nothing weird happened within the industry. No Hurricane stranding people in Toronto for an extra day. No sudden merger buyout by Disney. No wild drunken parties at 3am with Stan Lee running down the hotel hallway wearing slippers and an open robe shouting Excelsior. I mean there was Neil Armstrong’s passing but most didn’t catch the news until Sunday Night or Monday Morning so by that point the show was over. It was the year I walked away and not one promotional pen was given away. The promotional stuff was at a very minimalist stance all round this year where past years you could walk away with half a dozen or more each of either DC or Marvel comics this year it was one or two at those boothes with DC handing out Vertigo titles Saucer Country or Fairest and nothing else unless you wanted a Alfred E Neuman mask or Before Watchmen poster; Marvel had promotional Season Ones or AvsX titles. Booth babes seemed to relegated to people promoting but unable to sell like Red Rain, Dr Pepper, or Anchor Bay films. This was also the year that the show ended earlier in the evening where other years the floor would end at 9pm you then caught a promo, film or Q&A this year Show floor ended at 7pm and most on-site events were done by 9pm and cleared out. First year in a decade the masquerade ended before 11pm with the winners announced 25 minutes later. Five years ago the show hosted the World Cybergames and this year barelyfour dozen computers on the floor with 8 screens for assassin’s Creed 3, a dozen for Battlefield whatever, 8 for Halo 3, and a dozen for some Call of Duty. Still no notifications for anything after Christmas or after American Thanksgiving. Roughly this years FanExpo felt like an old home week where people made an appearance because it felt like the family obligation and Great Aunt Ethel with the trinkets from the airport gift shop had to be wheeled in as if this was her weekend away from the old folks home and she forgot her luggage but would you like a lozenge sweetie? Still you like the old deary and that is the underline of how the show felt this year. No Rogers, No TeleToon, almost no G4 TechTV, No Zellers, No YTV, No BlockBuster, No Image or Darkhorse, No Rob Granito, No super big Star Wars or Star Trek crowd; It was no hustle just lots of bustle. That’s what FanExpo 2012 was.

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