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The 5 Biggest Announcements From New York Comic Con

In just eight years, New York Comic Con has already become one of the biggest cons on the circuit, becoming just as vital for fandoms of all kinds to attend/pay attention to as much as Comic-Con International. Publishers and companies are noticing this, too, saving whatever big announcements or projects they didn’t announce in San Diego at NYCC. With the con officially wrapped up, these are the five biggest announcements we saw that got us excited.

Gundam Is Coming Back to America In A Big Way

Probably the biggest anime franchise that failed to catch on in America during the ’90s anime boom is Gundam. The franchise–a multiverse of shows revolving around teenagers piloting giant mech suits called Gundams in combat, for the uninitiated–is so embedded in Japanese culture that there’s even a 1:1 scale statue of the main Gundam from the original 1970s series, Mobile Suit Gundam (which they plan to make move at some point) and academic scholarship.

While many Gundam shows aired in America over the years–the first being Mobile Suit Gundam Wing in 2000–and hooked a sizable amount of fans (including myself), it never really became a mainstream phenomenon the same way Dragon Ball Z or Pokemon did. While the franchise’s famed model kits are a presence at anime cons to this day (and can also be bought from Barnes & Noble), thanks to Bandai Entertainment closing in 2012, the DVDs were out of print and could only be found at ludicrously expensive prices.

Well, now no one need scour eBay auctions for G Gundam ever again. At NYCC, Sunrise–the makers of Gundamannounced at their panelthat they were teaming up with Right Stuf Entertainment (primarily known as a retail website, although they’ve licensed some shows in the past), to bring every Gundam series out on DVD in North America starting in Spring 2015.

First up on that list, according to Sunrise, is the 1979 original series, Mobile Suit Gundam (which aired on Toonami but was axed amid concerns about violent TV post 9/11). But the even bigger news for hardcore Gundam fans? Sunrise is finally bringing 1999’s 20th anniversary series Turn A Gundam to America. This is a big deal for both Gundam diehards–the titular Turn A Gundam has one of the coolest designs of the franchise–and for regular anime fans–the music is provided by none other than the legendary Yoko Kanno.

Hawkeye Is Continuing…With A Green Arrow Writer

Source: Comics Alliance

Source: Comics Alliance

Alongside Hawkeye achieving mainstream recognition in The Avengers, Marvel Comics quietly reinvented the superhero comic by launching a Hawkeye comic all about the famed archer managing an apartment and dealing with his brother Barney and similarly named protegé Kate Bishop in 2012 by writer Matt Fraction (The Invincible Iron Man, Sex Criminals) and artist David Aja (The Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil). Between Aja’s astonishingly unconventional art and Fraction’s unique voice given full range, the series became a critical smash and a perennial awards winner. The book’s picked up loads of honors from an Eisner Award for the already-legendary “Pizza Is My Business”– told entirely from the point of view of a dog Hawkeye has adopted named Pizza Dog–to being an official selection at France’s prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival.

The series is so well-regarded that Marvel has let the book go on hiatus in the past so that, when Fraction takes care of his other commitments (most notably the TIME-lauded Sex Criminals), the book can continue being such high quality. Accordingly, it was a huge shock to the comics world when Fraction and Aja announced over the summer they’d be leaving the book with Hawkeye #22.

Given that the duo has become so associated with the title, some were wondering whether or not Marvel would cancel the book after their exit. At NYCC, the House of Ideas revealed that while the current series will wrap up, a new Hawkeye comic will launch in March with a new team, writer Jeff Lemire and artist Paolo Rivera. This is welcome news: Rivera has done exceptional work on a variety of Marvel titles for years, and Lemire has become a true star with his one-man indie efforts The Essex County Trilogy and The Underwater Welder and mainstream work writing for DC on Animal Man and writing and drawing Sweet Tooth for Vertigo.

The funny part about all this? Lemire starts his Hawkeye run having just wrapped up a year-long stint as the writer on Green Arrow, a run that saw him and artist Andrea Sorrentino meld the visual dynamism of Hawkeye with elements of the TV show Arrow to well-regarded results. In an interview on Comic Book Resources with Rivera, Lamire and editor Sana Amanat insist that the whole thing is merely a coincidence. Still, it’s pretty funny that Lemire went from the Emerald Archer to “Arrow Guy.”

There’s Going To Be A Lynda Carter Wonder Woman Comic

While DC”s “New 52” initiative has met with a large amount of criticism as much as praise, the company’s DC Digital imprint has been applauded again and again. A large part of this is that the imprint has been putting out digital-first comic titles continuing beloved DC TV shows while heavily respecting the source material. These titles, such as Smallville: Season 11, Batman Beyond 2.0 and especially Batman ’66 (a continuation of the iconic Adam West series), have met with huge success and acclaim.

DC Digital finally confirmed at NYCC what many fans were a.) already asking for and b.) pointing out what would be the next logical step. Wonder Woman ’77, a continuation of the famed 1970s TV show starring Lynda Carter, will launch in December and will be written by current Batwoman writer Mark Andreyko, with art by Nicola Scott (Earth 2, Secret Six) and other artists to come. Like the other series mentioned, the series will publish in weekly digital installments and later be collected in print.

This is welcome news indeed (even though I was never the biggest fan of the show). This, like Batman ’66, will be a real treat for fans of the source material.  What’s more, we’ll probably get to see a lot of Wonder Woman punching Nazis, something that’s always welcome.

NYCC Attendance Was Bigger Than Comic-Con

The day after NYCC ended, several comic book sites began reporting that attendance at the Javitts Center outstripped the hordes of Comic-Con this year. With a final estimate of 151, 000 to SDCC’s 131,000 , this marks a tidal shift in convention culture. For so long, San Diego has been the preeminent con, a position that allowed it to morph from a comics convention to an all-purpose Hollywood hype machine. Granted, NYCC covers all media, but with comics at the forefront, a sea change has apparently been made.

Now, as comic book writer Jim Zub and others pointed out on Twitter, this sort of claim is statistically hard to verify due to a variety of factors like counterfeit badges, whether or not staff members are counted among that, and so on. But if it’s true, this is a pivotal moment for geek culture. The rapid growth of NYCC–which was only founded in 2006, after all–says something to what fans want out of cons today. Things like, for instance, a clearly stated and enforced harrassment policy, are changing the face of con culture, and it seems NYCC is leading the way.

The Fantastic Four Are Disbanding

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Finally, confirming something that many had begun suspecting after an ominous-sounding collection solicit popped up online last May, Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and current Fantastic Four writer James Robinson confirmed on Sunday of NYCC that the adventures of Marvel’s First Family will be ending in 2015.

The reasons why haven’t been publicly stated, but the consensus is that the Disney-owned Marvel is looking to undermine the upcoming FF reboot film from movie rights-holder Fox. A similar conclusion has been floated around the X-Men–whose most recent film, Days Of Future Past, had almost no merchandising whatsoever–but that’s a bit harder to believe, given that Marvel has been devoting their top talent, including their golden boy Brian Michael Bendis, to the franchise.

Conversely, despite the well-publicized death of the Human Torch a few years ago and top-tier creative talent on the book, Fantastic Four the comic hasn’t been selling all that well; its sister title, FF, was cancelled some time ago. Furthermore, the FF’s prominence has slipped over the decades, with Spider-Man, the X-Men, and now the Avengers, having succeeded them in both sales and as the center of the Marvel Universe.

Still, it’s a damn shame that the book that basically made Marvel what it is today and really helped cement both the Marvel Age of the 1960s and the position of superheroes as the biggest genre in comics is coming to an end. On the bright side, since comics are comics and we know the FF will still be around in some fashion or other, it’s not inconceivable that Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the blue-eyed, ever-lovin’ Thing will reunite at some point. Until then, there’s a legacy of great runs and stories left behind for new fans to explore.

Cover image via

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Categories: Comic News, Lists and Editorials

Author:Tom Speelman

A lifetime of reading comics and watching television has left Tom with an inexhaustible supply of pop culture knowledge from the obvious to the obscure. Rather than keep it all in his brain for use at parties, Tom turned to writing a few years ago to help him share that knowledge with as many people as are remotely interested. Tom writes for several websites including The Mary Sue, Strange Horizons, Loser City and others. For even further rambling, follow him on Twitter @tomtificate.

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5 Comments on “The 5 Biggest Announcements From New York Comic Con”

  1. 10/16/2014 at 3:31 PM #

    Reblogged this on tomtificate and commented:
    I know I didn’t cover EVERY announcement NYCC made but I hit the big stuff, so that’s okay with me. Also, holy crap, I’ll be able to finally get Turn A Gundam!!!

  2. 10/16/2014 at 4:03 PM #

    The revenge explanation for the cancellation of Fantastic Four seems unusually vindictive for stuffy corpocrats in suits.

    Still odd to hear about that cancellation.

  3. 10/16/2014 at 4:05 PM #

    It is quite odd, indeed. The revenge angle might be sensationalized a bit but it’s probably there on some level.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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