Well, here are the stories we're expecting to see come out of the major publishers at New York Comic Con. You can follow along with us after the fact and see how many of them really materialized.
DC Comics's "Third Wave" of New 52 titles was a bit anemic, and the titles cancelled seemed somewhat arbitrary. Justice League International goes away, but The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men gets to stay despite worse reviews AND sales?
With Men of War already disappearing and at least one new title on the horizon (Justice League of America), it looks like the January solicitations will test remarks made earlier in the year by DC brass that The New 52 would likely cancel and introduce titles in waves, rather than one at a time, to keep the feel of an "event" going each time.
A number of DC's more sci-fi-style titles, including Time Masters which would likely star Booster Gold (seen at right), haven't yet had a shot in the New 52, so don't be surprised to see one or two of those.
Marvel's Creative Team Assignments
This one's pretty much a no-brainer, in that it's unlikely they could make it through a convention the size of New York Comic-Con without the creators in question being cornered and slipping up, but it seems likely that Marvel will confirm the as-yet-unannounced Marvel NOW! titles that have been teased in the last few weeks. Dan Slott's three-artist book that most assume to be Spider-Man is joined by "Amateurs," Frank Cho's "Savage" that most think will be Wolverine, etc. The real question probably becomes whether they tease the announcements out all weekend long or drop a bomb with all of the announcements in one of the first Marvel NOW! panels.
Just the other day, DC's Bob Wayne was interviewed about last month's sales numbers and the topic of Man of Steel (the movie) came up. His response to the question posed?
"Every time that our colleagues at Warner Brothers release a feature film based on one of our properties, we work with them to maximize the attention we can get for our publishing program.
"When Man of Steel debuts in June, next summer, I think you will agree that we have done quite a bit to get people's attention to remind them that there's a movie coming up, and remind them that we publish comic books every week.
"So we've been having those conversations literally for over a year."
What conversations might those be? What about a Man of Steel series by departing Justice League artist Jim Lee and best-selling Batman writer Scott Snyder? That's been the rumor for a while now, and DC has sidestepped the question enough times to make it seem like either the answer is yes, or they're happy allowing readers to believe it is in order to keep an even cooler secret.
Why? Because Marvel is hyping their TV panel pretty hard, and with a cast already listed on IMDb (although now absent) and a list of character descriptions circulating for the last week, it wouldn't be at all surprising to get an announcement from Jeph Loeb regarding casting for the series, or at least a status update on the script that, last anyone heard, was almost ready to go.
Who's taking over Action Comics now that Grant Morrison is leaving? It's anybody's guess, as nothing has officially been released, although Bleeding Cool has been hammering away at Andy Diggle's name for a while now--a move that makes sense, given that he's not on Green Arrow in spite of the fact that there's a TV show being made right now based on his and Jock's interpretation of the character.
In any event, Morrison has said that January's #16 is the final issue of his run, which gives DC just enough time to make the announcement at New York. And, really, it deserves a convention audience's enthusiastic response. Whoever is stepping into this job will be taking over DC's flagship title in a year when the book's main character will have a major motion picture to support.
This one's really a subset of the above thing with Marvel's as-yet-unannounced creative changes, but it's also a story unto itself. With a feature film coming around soon and Marvel's biggest writer seemingly poised to take over the title, Guardians of the Galaxy could be the next big thing. Certainly Marvel thinks so, as they've got a convention-exclusive coffee mug featuring Rocket Raccoon.
Expect this one to be one of the first, biggest announcements to come out, so that they can capitalize on it throughout the convention weekend.
The Dark Knight Rises Digital
Could John Blake be headed to your computer, tablet or handheld device? Don't be surprised if he is. Remember back when Dan DiDio said something on Facebook about John Blake's first mission? Well, at San Diego Comic-Con International he also said that Smallville, based on the popular television series, is one of DC's best-selling digital titles and that it has brought in new readers more than almost any other product the company sells. Would it be all that surprising, then, for them to want to continue the universe of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy in some way via ComiXology?