Last week Peter David signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Comics. The contract has exceptions for stuff he’s already working on, like the Spike mini-series and Fallen Angel (both at IDW). The comments on that post linked to an interview at CBR, which had this interesting remark:
DC has been great and I’m very pleased and relieved, bizarrely enough, that they cancelled “Fallen Angel.” Had they not, I’d be in a very tough position because if they were still publishing it and Marvel wanted me to go exclusive, well they certainly wouldn’t have let me keep writing “Fallen Angel” for DC. So, I would have had to make a really tough choice—weigh a comic book I love against my family’s security and health. Fortunately enough I was spared having to make that decision.
It reminded me of the time I realized that VR.5‘s cancellation freed up Anthony Stewart Head to join the cast of Buffy. Or that the Sci Fi Channel turned down the B5 spinoff Crusade in part because they’d just launched Farscape.
I do wonder, though. JMS also had several books grandfathered in when he signed an exclusive with Marvel. Those included Rising Stars and Dream Police at Top Cow… and a Babylon 5 graphic novel for DC/Wildstorm (which has yet to be finished). I suspect the facts that it was a media license and a one-shot probably helped.
It’s also interesting to read Peter David’s comments about Fallen Angel and Icon. You’d think Marvel’s Icon label would be perfect—bigger circulation, lower price, still creator-owned—but IDW put so much effort into relaunching the book that he felt it would be wrong to just pack it in and take it to another publisher as long as they still wanted to publish it.
It would have been odd, though. I wonder how many books have, at different times, been published by both Marvel and DC? The only one that comes to mind right now is Elfquest. Marvel reprinted the original series through Epic in the 1980s, and DC is now handling the manga-sized reprints, the Archive editions, and new stories (still from Wendy and Richard Pini).
It seems Marvel Comics’ insane lawsuit against City of Heroes has been settled. Details are sketchy, but “no changes to City of Heroes® or City of Villains’™ character creation engine are part of the settlement.”
Given that the lawsuit was basically the equivalent of suing pencil manufacturers because they could potentially be used to draw Spider-Man, it’s good to see that Marvel didn’t win (though a precedent-setting loss for Marvel might’ve been better in the long run).
Now that I’ve got the complete Alias comic book in TPB form, I’m selling the individual issues on eBay. In getting that set up, I was reminded of an interesting piece of symmetry between Alias and another Bendis series, Powers.
Both feature ex-heroes who now work as “normal” detectives. Christian Walker is a homicide cop, and Jessica Jones is a private investigator. Early on we learn that Walker’s hero identity was Diamond. When we finally get the details of Jessica’s back story, it turns out she went by the name Jewel.
The similarities pretty much end there, though. Despite the names and circumstances, the characters, stories, and overall feel of the two books are quite different. Alias is “comic book noir,” and Powers is a cop show in a city overrun with super-powers. Alias tends to be far more character-driven. Jessica gets into trouble during investigations, but it’s her and the people she’s looking for who are most affected. Powers works on a bigger scale, looking at superheroes as celebrities, and when things go wrong, they affect everyone.
(I’ve got a dozen or so issues of Powers up for auction as well — for the same reason!)