§ Nice Art: We’re still celebrating Jack Kirby here so more Jack Kirby, this time his drawings of God, some of the very few pieces of his own art that he kept on display in his home. A complicated guy, that Kirby.




§ As you doubtless have either heard or strongly suspected, when Secret Empire wraps up tomorrow with issue #10, it will reveal that Steve Rgers, aka Captain America, isn’t an evil fascist after all! This “news” was hinted at strongly in the pages of The New York Times of all places! The story reminds us that this all kicked off back in may 2016 with the “Hail Hydra!” panel and it’s been rainbow unicorn ice cream ever since.

There were death threats aimed at Mr. Spencer on social media, accusations of anti-Semitism (the Sentinel of Liberty, as the hero is nicknamed, was created by two Jewish men, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, and fans did not like the character cozying up to evil) and more. Read New York magazine’s “First Captain America Became Evil, Then the Comics World Erupted,” for more details.

Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor in chief, stands by the project, and Mr. Spencer’s desire to tell a tale about creeping fascism. “We understood the story would challenge readers, but we also know how it ended,” he said. “We also thought the story had something important to say about democracy, freedom and the core American values that Captain America embodies.”

Well, let’s see how the collected edition does. While I haven’t read Secret Empire, and the Times story doesn’t have specific spoilers, there are plenty flaoting around out there and if you guessed it was the Cosmic Cube all along…you’ve been reading a lot of comics!

I’ve been told by several people that Marvel committed to this storyline years ago, and just the fact that the US has been taken over by actual fascists wasn’t enough to slow it down. I get standing by your ideas, but by God, this has been a brutal slog.

§ Joe McCulloch, aka Jog, is quitting his job previewing the weeks comics for TCJ, a post whichextends even further into the past. he link is his penultimate column, an ode to 90s Good Girl comics. His final final column will be out today and I’ll link to it in a future KnB. I wasn’t as much a part of the Jog cult as most other bloggers, but he’s unquestionably one of the most talented and perceptive writers about comics of the last decade or so, and he’ll be missed.

§ Mostly he’ll be missed because of stuff like this. A story on CBR was called The Most Attractive Hulks but the URl reveals a very different appeal to seo: “hottest-hulks-you-want-to-sleep-with.” Ta fact that there are enough HUlks to necessitate a sexy round-up may be the most depresing thing of all.

No, the most depressing thing of all is that this story appeared on CBR.

§ Apparently at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Ben Affleck walked the floor in a costume so ineffective that girls squealed as he walked by.

§ Streaming giant Netflix has become a worry to the rest of Hollywood as it’s become bigger than they ever could have expected. This story at The Decider lays out some of the territory and points out that original content is key to Netflix’s future, making the Robert Kirkman Amazon and Shonda Rhimes Netflix deal all the more important.

§ In retrospect to all that dealmaking, the Mark Millar deal where Netflix acquired Millarworld is even more of a big deal. THR has a MUST READ on the deal from last week or so that I should have linked to, incuding estimates of what the deal was worth:

Netflix, however, determined the answer was quite a lot. Terms of the Aug. 7 deal were not disclosed, but two sources pegged it in the $30 million to $50 million range. Complicating things were side deals Millar had to make with his co-creator artists to sew up rights in order to make the ironclad sale to the streamer. Some artists may have walked away with six- or seven-figure payouts, sources say.

Also part of the deal are future works; one source says Millar has been holding back a wave of titles in anticipation of such a deal. “You get whatever he comes up with next, that’s the value here,” says one executive with knowledge of the deal. Additionally, there may even be a component that has Millar act as a story consultant for other Netflix projects.

The story also notes that Millar has gone to ground since the deal was announced, refusing all interviews. Seriously, this guy is so smart. He doesn’t need to promote his shows – Netflix will do that – and by staying enigmatic he makes certain that when he does speak, it will be huge news. Well played, Mark!

§ Claire Napier interviews Matt Hawkins for WWAC – I can’t imagine an odder team-up, but it works.

§ WWAC also reviewed the Netflix Death Note Movie, and there were problems.

§ I read this story called James Gunn Gives Major Update On Missing Guardians Of The Galaxy Easter Egg and when I was finished I had NO IDEA what an easter egg is. is it an actual egg that ws hidden in the movie? I don’t get it, Big Dan.

§ Lots of convention links. Flame Con was AWESOME! Maybe some day I will write about it like all the other dozen shows I’ve been to so far this year. But here’s an excellent round-up of of the cosplay which was spectacular.

§ Here’s a student newspaper piece on Boston Comic Con/Fen Expo Boston which has a refreshingly balanced look at what worked and what didn’t. Glad to see media moving beyond the “Oh there were costumes and Norman Reedus!” narratives, but then it’s UMass.

§ OTOH there ws a con in Haslemere and the Haslemere Herald write-up does nothing but talk about costumes. I wasn’t sure where HAslemere was, but it’s in England, in the middle of a forest, which passes for the middle of nowhere in the UK, so anything to break up the day.

§ There was also a Vermont Comic con, and here’s a very thorough write up:

Walking alongside him through the Burlington Sheraton on the final day of the convention was Corin Sprout, 16, of Underhill, whose costume also turned on an accessory. Her red riding hood marked her as Red Riding Hood, of course, but her take on the fairy tale character was embodied by the (fake) severed wolf’s head she carried atop a stick. “I saw a picture and kind of liked it,” she said. “It put a B.A. spin on Red Riding Hood.” Asked what B.A. stood for, Sprout offered a common but somewhat colorful term meaning tough and fearless. Sprout and Rogers said it was their second year at the event.

That would be “bad ass.”

But it is not entirely good news:

Kennison said she loves how the event has grown over the last few years, but that she was not pleased to learn this was the last year it was in Burlington. Next year’s Vermont Comic Con is slated to be in Barre. Founder J. Moulton said the event had outgrown the Sheraton, and that the new location will have greater capacity while allowing them to slash ticket prices 25 percent. “In Burlington, you’re going to pay Burlington prices,” he said.

Oh those Burlington prices!

§ The comics shop Nostalgia Newsstand is dealing with flooding issues. No, it isn’t in Houston, but North Carolina. But it’s a bad flood.

“We close late on Wednesday, and at 7 o’clock I saw water coming in through the front door,” store manager David Tilley said. “It came in so fast I could only get 10 or 12 boxes off the floor,” before owner Charles Lawrence told him to leave, fearing the rising water would reach the electric outlets. The boxes contained 250-300 back issues of comics and 109 boxes in the retail space and storage were damaged by the water, Tilley said. He estimates the business lost more than $100,000 in inventory along with some business records. Most of the water had receded by Thursday morning, he said.

§ Justice League Described As “Direct Sequel” To Batman V Superman – YOU DON’T SAY.


  1. Flame Con is always awesome! It’s secretly the best con every year!

    I’ll miss Jog. I read him every week, even if I didn’t always agree with him, but it was a fun round-up. Other than him, TCJ since Deppe left has been a waste of time.

    The Kirby God pictures are amazing.

    Secret Empire has to be the most tone-deaf thing the Big Two have ever done and that’s saying a lot. I kinda love it for how bad an idea it’s been. Turning Captain America into a neo-Nazi symbol really took some work.

  2. UMass-Boston, Heidi, not UMass (which most people associate with the campus in Amherst,). I only point it out because it’s my alma mater.

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