J. Michael Straczynski has had a strange ride in comics over the last few years.  The Twelve, which finally wrapped up last year, was highly regarded by critics.  Superman walking across the country… not so much.  When JMS first started doing comics on a regular basis (he’d dabbled a bit here and there, earlier), it was over at Top Cow with Rising Stars and Midnight Nation.  Two of his own concepts.  One super hero, one horror.  Regular work at Marvel and DC came later.

In May, JMS is bringing his Top Cow act back to Image, starting with Ten Grand.  JMS is probably a little past due to stretch his SF/F/Horror muscles after an extended run in the world of capes.  Ten Grand sounds closer to Midnight Nation, too.  Here’s the premise and some of Ben Templesmith’s art for the title.

The premise: Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agrees to one last job, little realizing that the man he’s been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survives Joe’s attempt and comes after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lies dying, an angelic force promises that if Joel agrees to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn’t most people.

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  1. “I thought this would be about how much of Chris Roberson’s Superman residuals he pilfered.”

    Not for nothing, but Roberson agreed to that arrangement before he agreed to work on that book. And I’m pretty sure he could have agreed to leave the book at any time and DC would have likely been fine finding someone else to write it.

  2. Well this will be tricky. Looks great, love JMS’ books, and it’s good to see Templesmith art again. But the Twelve, Superman, Wonderwoman, and Thor all were abandoned or suffered from major delays. His track record for completing projects is terrible. I’ll judge when I see it on the stands I guess.

  3. I don’t care for the writer (not my cup of tea), but those pages turned Templesmith from someone who’s work I avoided into a cartoonist who has definitely caught my eye.

  4. All this negativity against JMS, ’cause people do not read interviews or avoid reading between the lines… sigh…

    Superman and Wonderwoman were “abandoned” because of health issues. Sorry that JMS wasn’t healthy enough to continue with them. /sarcasm off

    Thor was not delayed nor abandoned, JMS specifically said that Marvel wanted Thor to go in a direction involving that year’s crossover that he didn’t feel comfortable with, so he opted to leave. To put it bluntly, it was an editorial mandate, he either played along or he didn’t play at all, which was his, and every writer’s, prerogative.

    The only series that was not finished on time was the Twelve, but you have to delve a little deeper to get the real picture of what happened with that, so I admit it feels like his fault (which to a point it might also be).

    All in all, I think people are just angry at some of his choices over the years, especially concerning Peter Parker, but that is not excuse to call him names (not here in the Beat, of course), or judge him for choosing what to write when his health or his inspiration allows him to.

    That’s what creators do, and everyone is entitled to like their creations or not, but please get all the facts before you go from subjective povs to “facts”.

    Thank you.

  5. Hey, I’m not buying it because JMS doesn’t make comics I like, not because of some grudge about his professional ethic.
    I found his Rising Stars to be a huge let down after all the hype and I thought his Spiderman comic was just another Spiderman comic. I bare the man no ill will, he just doesnt make the kinds of comics I enjoy reading.
    Don’t lump me in with the fanboys rage.

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