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Newsletter #11 The More Things Change...
…the more things stay the same.
Hello! Thanks for your patience as we get back on schedule here, guys. Things have been wild. I would not give up the short vacation I went on a few weeks ago for anything…but also, the stress and chaos both before and after that week (a week in which I also worked a lot!)…man, there’s gotta be a better way. Some day I will get good at living life. But probably not.
Then again, complaining about having a lot of work, is a sort of tiny violin situation. I’m very lucky and I know it. And you guys really make that possible. So what I’m saying is…thank you for my working vacation and also the stressful post-vacation state in which I find myself. You get the credit AND the blame, that’s cool, right?
What I’m Doing!
Finally! This week! Tomorrow in fact! BLACK WIDOW #10 is out! This is the end of the “I AM THE BLACK WIDOW” arc - and we wrap some big things up, see some more of what Nat’s new suit can do, tease some additional mysteries/threads we’re building for the next arc, AND we get a surprise guest appearance that I’m pretty excited about it. Please make sure to pick it up and tell all your friends…also tell strangers on the street…it’s okay to bother them, you’re DOING THEM A FAVOR.*
*please don’t actually do this.
Here’s the incredible Adam Hughes cover to keep your eyes out for - just look at the title and credits integration! So goddamn cool! (there’s also a gorgeous Mark Brooks variant and a rad Marvel Games Variant by Netease to look out for if you’re into the variant thing):
Here’s a couple sneak peeks of what’s coming!
WHAT I’M DOING!
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s recurring Visible Women project happened yesterday on Twitter again and it’s never too late to surf that hashtag and find TONS of incredible creators to follow - and hire if you’re looking for someone.
Matt Rosenberg announced his incredible new creator-owned comic with Tyler Boss on io9 last week and it’s so exciting. The book is called WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE and I cannot wait to read it. Matt is of course known by many for his work at both Marvel and DC, but he and Tyler also made one of my favorite indie books of all time in 4 KIDS WALKED INTO A BANK a few years back and if you haven’t already read it, I give it my highest recommendation…read it, and prepare yourselves for WTFPFH!
We finished ALONE S8 (The History Channel) as well as DAVE S2 (FX/Hulu) this past week and overall I’m weary and disappointed with both. ALONE is just padding their episodes so much. There are only so many times I can watch people say the same platitudes over and over to a camera. I don’t blame the contestants, but the editing, jesus, just make the seasons shorter if you must, the repetition is insane and tiresome. Also, while I am wildly impressed with the strength of will these contestants have…it’s not fun watching them basically starve to death. Nobody can catch a fish to save their life (quite literally) and I don’t know what that’s about because they all seem to have pretty impressive skill sets…but at some point they have no energy to do anything or be successful at anything and we’re just watching people starve…I don’t know, this might be my last season. : /
I can’t possibly guess at what went wrong with DAVE S2, but it’s a shell of its brilliant former self. Season one took me completely by surprise in how smart and funny it was - while still constructing a wildly rewarding and surprisingly emotional narrative. DAVE S2 has a few bright spots - and a few solid smart episodes - but for me - as a season - it was a complete misfire. Worth noting perhaps that while Adam agreed it was a bad fall off from S1, he liked it much more than I did.
Oh! I did want to mention that last month we watched M.O.D.O.K. (Hulu) and while we found the first episode pretty underwhelming, it really finds its feet as a show quickly - by episode 2 we were having a good time. A lot of stuff really really works about it and we got some great laughs out of it. Shout out to M.O.D.O.K.’s son Louis “Lou” Tarleton (voiced by the fantastic Ben Schwartz) as one of the most genuinely interesting and funny takes on “the kid character” I’ve ever seen on a TV show. Usually “the kids” in a show with a family dynamic are so broad and boring and full of unfunny stereotypes, but M.O.D.O.K. really chucked that idea and went all in. Lou is easily my favorite character and I’m struggling to think if that’s ever happened before?
Black Widow #10 - 8/25/21
Captain Marvel #32 - 9/1/21
Black Widow #11 - 9/15/21
Captain Marvel #33 - 10/6/21
Amazing Spider-Man #75 - 10/6/21 (I have a short in here! It’s very exciting!)
The covers to look out for:
Anonymous Mills sent in a fun question: “You’ve said in a recent interview that you liked the Black Widow movie particularly the family dynamic with Nat and Yelena. But has the film influenced how you write/your plans for their characters? And what are you hoping to see done with Yelena in the Hawkeye show?”
Yeah, I thought that family dynamic anchored the movie in a really emotionally resonant way that I wasn’t quite expecting, and the stuff between Nat and Yelena both as kids and adults I found particularly powerful. It also really made sense from a storytelling POV for what The Black Widow movie inherited - both good and bad - as well as where they hoped to move things forward with the character and franchise in the future.
I had always planned for Yelena to be in the first arc of BLACK WIDOW, but knowing how talented Florence Pugh is, and knowing she was very likely to be a hit with fans, I beefed up her role. And when I fell in love with how Nat and Yelena were on the page together in our book, it was an easy decision to keep her around for more. It really made sense on every level.
We’ll obviously never quite sync up with the MCU history as far as Nat’s origin goes and her relationship with Yelena (too much comics history to just sweep that under the rug!) will always be fundamentally different at its core, but I was really pleased to see that despite the backstory differences, the approach to the relationship “today” between Nat and Yelena was pretty similar to what we’ve been developing. It’s been fun to lean into it and I hope we’ll get to keep playing with it.
As for the HAWKEYE show…I guess my hope is that they aren’t enemies for long - that after a short tussle and general misunderstandings that they quickly see that they both loved her, and team up for the betterment of all.
Still going with some older pics…this is how The Monarch sleeps sometimes. It’s amazing:
That’s it for this week…I’ll see you next week, my lambs. In the meantime, wear a mask, be careful out there, and be as kind as you can. <3