This week I dig in to The Terrifics, Netflix cancelling future seasons of Daredevil, and some gorgeous comic fans shelfies!
Featured Comic Of the Week –
(Spoilers For These Issues Follow!)
Title: The Terrifics #1 to #8 and Annual #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Ivan Reis, Joe Bennet, Doc Shaner, Dale Eaglesham, Jose Luis
Where to find: The Terrifics
It’s hard to know when to cancel a comic book. I’m generally discerning in what I add to my pull list, based on character, creative pedigree, and overall impact on any shared continuity. Admittedly, when I added The Terrifics to my pull list during the halcyon days of Dark Knights: Metal, it was with tremendous enthusiasm. A proposed creative lineup of Jeff Lemire and Evan “Doc” Shaner doing a Fantastic Four riff in the DC Universe with Mister Terrific, Metamorpho, Phantom Girl, and Plastic Man.
What’s not to like?
Turns out the greater challenge is finding elements (no pun intended) to enjoy with anything more than casual acceptance. Despite my admiration for the creative talents – and believe me, with a comically unstable rotating crew of artists, there are loads of them – The Terrifics is about as average as superhero comics come. There are brief moments of inspiration (the Dark Multiverse Galactus corpse splash page in issue one, the four panel structure during the Shaner issues, the Mark Russell written Java short story in the annual) surrounded by utter mediocrity.
And the return of Tom Strong. Score another slap to DC on Alan Moore’s bearded face.
In many ways, it’s ironic. Lemire is among my favorite writers in comics the past two years, in part because of his completely non-traditional superhero storytelling in the pages of Dark Horse’s Black Hammer. In an interview on Off-Panel recently, Lemire extolled the virtues of exclusively telling stories that avoid stock trappings and failings of standard superhero fare. To date, the Black Hammer universe has done this magnificently under his pen.
Apparently all those stock trappings spilled out into The Terrifics, though, a book that simply makes me wonder what the plan ever was. As I read through the fist eight issues, I kept waiting for a turn, or twist, or something to reel me in. It never came.
In a lot of ways, The Terrifics feels like the perfect summation of DC’s “New Age of Heroes.” Grand ambition, effective promotion, and no follow through.
At the end of the day, this is why I’ll be removing The Terrifics from my pull list. I don’t have the space or the time for such a disappointing series, especially knowing everyone involved has much worthier material.
COMIC BOOK TV
NEWS: Netflix Cancels Daredevil
The long slow descent of competing copyrights continued this week with the announcement that Netflix is cancelling Daredevil following the release of the series’ third season. This news comes on the heels of Iron Fist and Luke Cage cancellations, leaving only Jessica Jones, Punisher, and I guess maybe Defenders as “live” Marvel-Netflix properties.
While the news of Luke and Danny’s demise ranged from imminently understandable to unfortunate but cogent, cancelling Daredevil hot on the heels of a critically acclaimed third season has upset a lot of fans.
Ironically, I had only recently started watching Daredevil, now four episodes into the series final season. While this is more commentary on the general decline of the Marvel-Netflix brand than Daredevil specifically, it says something that the series that launched to midnight viewings in 2015 now feels like a show I’m more than content to wait months to see.
Nonetheless, ever since Disney announced plans to roll out their own streaming service, and have begun weaving promises of Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, it seemed clear that Marvel-Netflix was on its last legs. Big picture, I think this is a great thing. The content has been stale for nearly 2 years, and a refresh is precisely what is needed.
Daredevil does feel a bit different, though, in that it has remained the property’s most consistent high quality offering. Again, I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the matter when I complete the season, but I can just say through four episodes how good it feels to be back with the Daredevil universe this cast and crew have created. That seasons one and two have remained inside my top 10 favorite MCU offerings to date is not an accident, and I expect season three will only solidify the series’ high ranking presence.
The strangest piece to me in all this news is the slow rollout of Marvel cancellations. The lone assassinations seem to imply that certain other Marvel-Netflix properties will continue unencumbered, which seems extremely unlikely as Disney’s owned offering nears launch. If that truly is the case, Daredevil’s cancellation is wildly misguided, and genuinely difficult to understand. The only reason I can really come to terms with is Netflix striking first and recognizing reliance on Marvel assets puts them in a position of indebtedness. Netflix has clearly staked their claim on original content, and Daredevil doesn’t necessarily ensure them rights in perpetuity.
On a final note, although I can understand fans depressed by the lack of a fourth season, I do think we too often overlook the value of ending on a high note. Too many comic book titles and shows drag on well past the point of excitement (no one’s pointing fingers, Arrow-verse). Like Barry Sanders and the Sex Pistols, sometimes it’s better to burn out than fade away. Excelsior, Netflix-Daredevil, you were great!
LOVE OF THE WEEK
I’ll be honest, despite my avid love of comic books, I’m inherently terrible at display. I keep things somewhat simple as a result, and this year have determined that any books that won’t fit on a single bookshelf in my office will be donated to the local library.
That said, I love seeing the designs other fans come up with, and this past week @BennetWins looped me in to a glorious chain of #Shelfies on Twitter.
Apparently, the wave of comics organization was sparked by the asinine (and gleefully repurposed) hashtag #SJWsDontBuyComics. I highly recommend giving the link above a look to see the beauteous designs from real life fans!