Comics Should Be Good Mailbag for 11/26

Here's the latest installment of a weekly reader interactive segment on the blog, where I answer reader-submitted e-mails to bcronin@comicbookresources.com (and other e-mails that don't require responses).


Reader toto toto wrote in to ask:

I checked the Marvel Comics Solicitations, February 2009 at the CBR site & the Hulk #10 cover featuring the Defenders had a new (??) different Dr. Strange & I don't remember reading any news about a Dr. Strange change so do you have any intel.?

The thing that is odd, if it's a change, is how come Marvel resisted the desire to change it by a female Dr Stange? :)

Here's the cover in question:

No, toto toto, that's likely just Jeph Loeb returning Doctor Strange to a previous look he once used in the late 60s.

Towards the end of Doctor Strange's first series (which took over the numbering of Strange Tales), Roy Thomas and Gene Colan did a storyline where Doctor Strange took on a new masked identity.

This presumably was to make Strange look more like a superhero, as the sales on the title weren't exactly awe-inspiring. The book was canceled not too long afterward.

Loeb is likely just bringing back that look.

But I suppose we'll know for sure in February!_______________________________________

Nick Marino wrote in to ask about an old comic book color question...

I don't know if you've already covered this or not, but here's the question: What's the deal with all the super villains who wear either purple, green, or a combination of both? A huge chunk of classic comic book super villains (Lex, Joker, Doom, Magneto, etc.) are clad in these colors. Was it just accepted that purple and green would largely be reserved for baddies, or is there something else to it?

I dunno if anyone has ever officially declared that this is the reason, but I'm pretty sure that yes, people decided that the primary colors would be used for superheroes while purple and green would be villain colors._______________________________________

Reader Cord asked:

Like many Germans and Europeans in general, I am a huge fan of Don Rosa and the nostalgic, gentle, occassionally anarchic humour with which he has reinvigorated the Donald Duck Clan.

To my surprise, a friend of mine recently told me, that there are nearly no Duck-Comics published in the US at the present moment. He added that Rosa is more or less ignored by fandom at conventions. Is that true? Has the US and A lost interest in these characters that, after all, embody fundamentally American values?

Sadly, Cord, that is, in fact, the case.

While beloved by readers of his work (as well they should, as he is excellent), Don Rosa toils in mostly obscurity in America.

Disney Comics are a tough sell in the United States, and Gemstone Publishing has been doing their damndest to keep the comics in print, but it's a tough row to hoe.

Currently, they're down to two titles, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories and Uncle Scrooge, which are both over-sized (with great reprints each issue) and $8. They're trying to find a format that works. _______________________________________

Reader Tim (Blackjak) asked a couple of questions...

Firstly, as a UK comics fan, and subscriber to 2000AD, I was wondering how well-read it was in the States, particularly as it is now available online via clickwheel.net (http://www.clickwheel.net/features/219)...

Or has it been missed due to a lack of marketing in the States? (I have to say I've only seen it mentioned in 2000AD itself, and a really brief press-release on CBR)

I was just thinking that there is so much out there that you guys are missing both art and story-wise and was reminded by the news that Andy Clarke is doing the new R.E.B.E.L.S. comics with Tony Bedard...

Yeah, for all the quality it holds, 2000 AD is definitely not all that big in the States.

But thanks to your comment, maybe more people will check out clickwheel.net!

Secondly, and here's complicated question... How many animated Spider-man TV shows have there been, and how successful (both critically and by number of episodes produced) have they been... I would have guessed that the old Hanna-Barbera-style 70s show had the most episodes, but the "Spider-man-The Animated Series" show from the late nineties may have been the better received... (apart from some of the 3D backgrounds which now look quite dated...)

I'm just not a fan of the character-design in the new "Spectacular Spider-Man" series, particularly as Gwen and Aunt May look so similar...

Well, going by amount of episodes made, the original 60s series and the 90s series both had over 60 episodes (the original series has the most, with 77 episodes).

By quality - the original series is beloved, especially the theme song ("Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can!"), but that's likely just nostalgia.

I dunno, I don't think any of them were all that good. I guess my favorite was Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. _______________________________________

Rich Handley has been writing me a few times to let me know about the Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology, so, well, here's a link to the new book coming out that is, you know, the Timeline of the Planet of the Apes:The Definitive Chronology!_______________________________________

Reader Eric wrote in to ask:

I borrowed the hardcover of X-Men: Messiah Complex from the local library. I get the X-Factor series and I was collecting Cable & Deadpool (mostly for Deadpool) but I haven't kept up with the main X-Men titles in quite some time. Can you recommend any sort of primer to try to figure out who a lot of these characters are, without having to read a very large number of comics as background?

I'd imagine that uncannyxmen.net would help you a lot.

Plus, we have a thread at the X-Men forum at Comic Book Resources (a forum I moderate) that is just for readers to ask questions, so feel free to stop by there!

The other thing I wanted to ask doesn't have anything to do with comics, but I figured comics is part pop culture and nostalgia. I've been trying to figure out the name of an old TV show I remember. Maybe the question could go in the column if you don't know the name? In the show, a family was somehow transported to an alternate Earth (so it already sounds sort of like a comic!). I want to say they might have gone through some sort of pyramid? In this other reality they were somehow in trouble with the law, and constantly hunted. In the one episode whose plot I sort of remember, the teenagers of the family became pop music stars by performing mainstream hits that they remembered from their own reality. The authorities were able to figure out it was the family they were hunting, though, because of the likeness of the toy figures produced in their likeness. Sound familiar at all? Probably from sometime in the 80s.

Wow, I don't have the slightest idea.


Margot the Publicist wrote in about some bonus material on the new Wanted DVD.

Check out the bonus material here and


John Zito wanted folks to know about the following:

Book signing with graphic novel author Kevin Colden (Fishtown) this December 5th for First Friday at Brave New World in Old City.

My writing partner and I will be joining him (BlackCherryBombshells.com) along with Miss Lasko-Gross (Escape from Special).


Reader Nate P. wanted to take the time to share his point of view regarding $3.99 comics...

As a comic fan, I have a hard time sometimes reconciling my feelings about comics when prices are as high as they are. I feel like publisher's don't care about people like me. But comics are an escapism I do enjoy.

I used to by comics all the time when I was a kid and a teenager. As a young man, I must rely on SSDI. I don't have much disposable income, and can't afford new comic books. The way the comics are priced now, even buying comics at Half Price Books is a bit expensive. Aside from borrowing from the library, I get old comics from a street vendor for 25 cents each, or bargain bins (dollar, 50 cents, etc) at comic shops.

When I'm in a shop, I feel really weird having to go straight to bargain boxes, when most guys my age are buying hardcover trades, or piles of $3-4 comics. I'm outside the cultural experience discussing new plots bring.

Comic publishers, creators, and their stories ignore issues of poverty in America. Publishers should make lower cost comics, by using cheaper paper, and forgoing color, while keeping quality of story telling. It would also help to do shorter arcs. And in their comics themselves, it would be cool if social issues relating to economic class, and also disability, were examined more often and in honest ways.


I believe that's it for this week!

Be sure to send me an e-mail to bcronin@comicbookresources.com with the subject heading "Mailbag" if you want to be included in next week's mailbag!

Another week of good e-mails - keep it up!

Have a good Thanksgiving tomorrow!

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