State of the Multiverse 41

Are we suffering from Big Event overload however? Image United seems to avoid all of the pitfalls, being self-contained. And is it possible DC have taken the hint?

Image United First page - Prophecies of doom

If you haven’t picked up Image United #1 already, today is your second chance. (Although if you go for the Collectors Edition, it has a $10 price tag!) Now when I first heard about this project, with different artists collaborating to draw their own characters, panel to panel, I thought it was interesting, but I also thought it would be a nightmare to co-ordinate, possibly a cacophony on the eye, and in the early tradition of Image comics, unlikely to ship on time.

Well, fortunately I was wrong. The first issue is merely a set up issue, but that not withstanding, it works. Starting with a most apocalyptic introduction sequence, other than villains attacking various cities for no apparent reason, there is no hint of what the protagonists will face. Still, I have high hopes for this series, and I hope it meets the standard set by the vastly under-rated Shattered Image mini from a few years ago. It’s a shame Image have waited this long to create another all-star series.

Todays shipping list has plenty to keep us occupied, the big events keep rolling out. The Zombie Watch will notice the Flash and Wonder Woman Blackest Night minis. Considering the climax of Blackest Night last week, I wonder what we are going to see, will they be wearing the Black Rings as the issue opens?

In the mean time, we also see the beginning of SIEGE in Siege:Cabal, as Norman Osbourne sets his sights on Asgard. There’s not much left of the Cabal now, Namor and Emma Frost have defected (back) to the X-Men, Loki cannot be trusted and Doom no doubt has his own agenda.

Also, Fall Of The Hulks. Now I haven’t been writing about it, but I have really enjoyed the Hulk titles recently, and I like the new additions to the Hulk family, in the shape of the Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk, and especially the new Savage She-Hulk, daughter of Hulk and Thundra. I’m that should be the All-New Savage She-Hulk, but I think that title has been used already. That’s not discounting Skaar and Hiro-Kala, both Sons-Of-Hulk, but they have been around a bit longer. So far every guess I have had as to the Red Hulks identity has been wrong, so much so I’ve given up thinking about it. The only guess I have left is Major Talbot, but he’s died twice already I think.

It may not be the most ideal jumping on point, but the opening pages as previewed on Newsarama have certainly piqued my appetite. I’ve wondered in the past what would occur if the greatest villainous minds were to actually work together, and to see them raid the vaults of the Eternals homeland of Olympia made me smile.

Are we suffering from Big Event overload however? Image United seems to avoid all of the pitfalls, being self-contained. And is it possible DC have taken the hint? They have waited for the first wave of crossover mini-series to conclude before launching this second wave, and I know there are many wallets across the nations that are grateful to this.

Which brings me to another topic, that I will explore further on Friday. Is there a better way to do this? I adore these big crossovers (can you tell?), but my bank manager must dread them. Skimming through the solicitations to see just how much I would have to spend to keep up with the SIEGE storyline made steam erupt from my calculator.

In his monthly interview with Newsarama, Dan Didio asked the regulars to that site what they thought of digital comics. Some people hated the idea of them, others wanted ones they could download, rental models were put forward (baring in mind all the mistakes that Marvel have done already with their online subscription service), and still others wanted to wait for the appropriate technology to come out.

My preference is a downloadable comic, that I can pay a lot less for that the print version, which would enable me to follow all of these events. There are still ones that I would physically buy, and many fans are so wedded to the print version that they would never give them up. Myself, I live in a small place, there are only so many comics I can fit in the house, so digital would be ideal, taking up no space at all. But I would be wedded to my laptop, because as much as I love my new e-reader, comics don’t work on it. The screen is too small, the fact it is black and white does not bother me too much, I grew up with British b&w reprints, but the small screen is a real obstacle. Squinting to read the small print is no better than tired eyes from my laptop’s backlit screen.

So, I open the floor. What would you like to see in a digital model for comics distribution? I don’t want to hear from the naysayers, this is a discussion for those of us that want good digital product. What about DRM? Ensuring the creators get paid so that they keep producing for us?

DC sounds like it still has an open mind on the issue, unlike the other Main Player. So, what do we want to tell them?

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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