DC Comics continues to run the gauntlet in its weekly comic, recently given the full title of Countdown to Final Crisis. The weekly series, which picked up where last year’s 52 left off, has been a mixed bag, alternating between great moments and unneeded filler. It’s also been a letdown to fans who held 52 in high regard, but that should change once Grant Morrison and JG Jones kick off Final Crisis this spring. Morrison’s always been known for brilliant takes on the superhero community and, this being his first huge crossover event, he’ll most likely use every trick up his sleeve. As long as it’s better than DC’s last event—the confusing continuity mess that was Infinite Crisis—fans will be in for a real treat. Let’s just hope that the Final in the title is a promise.
Geoff Johns and Scott Kollins, who had one of the most amazing runs on The Flash of all time, return to the book they left too soon with a six issue mini-series centering on the Flash’s rogue’s gallery. Johns also will continue to breathe new life into the Green Lantern, paving the way for big things to come for everyone in the Green Lantern world.
Marvel has used most of 2007 as one giant build up for this spring, when just about everything gets a payoff. Secret Invasion, Brian Bendis’ Skrull invasion story, has been coming to a slow boil with subplots running through both his Avengers titles, and it finally comes to a head in his eight-issue series illustrated by New Avengers artist Lenil Yu.
This year is also looking to be huge for writer Mark Millar, who was absent for most of 2007. Hot off the heels of their 25-issue run on The Ultimates, Millar and artist Bryan Hitch will take over Marvel’s First Family, The Fantastic Four, for 16 issues starting in February. Around the same time, he and classic artist John Romita Jr. will launch a creator-owned book called Kick-Ass through Marvel’s Icon imprint. Then, once summer hits, Millar and his Civil War co-hort Steve McNiven will try to strike gold again with a top-secret project that’s yet to be announced. But if Millar knows anything, it’s how to promote a project, so it shouldn’t be long before someone spills the beans and the hype begins in full swing.
The comics world also will have a big year at the box office as three major heroes get their time on the silver screen. First up, Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark and old Shell-Head himself in Iron Man. Director Jon Favreau has embraced the comics community and promised a faithful and entertaining adaptation—and with Downey as the lead, things are already looking good. Next, Edward Norton tries using his newfound strength to erase Eric Bana from everyone’s memory in this retooling of The Incredible Hulk. And in July, there is the one that everyone is most anticipating, Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel The Dark Knight. Nothing really to say about this one yet, except that so far, Heath Ledger’s Joker looks amazing.
Whether or not any of these projects—comics or film—live up to the hype is anyone’s guess. Sometimes, it works (Batman Begins). And sometimes, it doesn’t (all three Star Wars prequels).