BY MATT TUCK
DC is cancelling Superman and replacing him with his son, Jonathan Kent, beginning in July; Batman/Fortnite #1 is the hottest comic on the market; and Russell Crowe apparently spoils his Thor: Love and Thunder mystery role.
DC Comics has kept fans talking for the past year, but it’s not always for the right reasons. While the DCEU got a popularity boost thanks to the Snyder Cut, there has been considerable doubt and worry about its publishing house. Now the ongoing Superman title, a staple of DC since 1939 over its numerous volumes for over 80 years, will come to an end.
Whether or not this will be a permanent change remains to be seen, but July will see Superman come to an end, succeeded by the Future State/Infinite Era tie-in, Superman: Son of Kal-El. If you have been following the Future State event, Jonathan Kent has taken up the Superman mantle, aiming to prove himself worthy of the title. Now it seems DC is fully vested in Jonathan as the Infinite Era Superman, though Clark Kent will keep the red cape in Action Comics.
This is nothing new in comics. Marvel has used the Coke Classic/New Coke trick many times over the years, introducing a new version of a timeless hero only to give the original a triumphant return down the road, thus boosting sales. I remain skeptical that Jonathan Kent will be the official DC Superman for too long, and we will eventually see Clark Kent return in Superman.
Just when it seemed the Fortnite craze was past its prime, the Batman crossover has topped the comic world. According to Bleeding Cool, Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1 led last week’s sales charts among comic shops.
Part of the hysteria for this issue was the Fortnite codes that will appear in all six issues of the limited series. Once players have the codes, they can then unlock a new armored Batman skin for the game. The first issue also has a code for a Harley Quinn skin, and her popularity could also be propelling sales. This is not the first Fortnite crossover with comic characters as the game already has a number of Marvel character skins available.
The comic’s creative team, which includes Epic Games Chief Creative Office Donald Muster, say the crossover will have a significant impact on Fortnite and possibly DC Comics, and that could be another factor in the sales figures. Does that mean we will meet some new characters that could move into the DC Universe? It sounds like that could be where this is headed, but that is purely speculation on my part.
On the secondary market, the multiple covers of Batman/Fortnite #1 are generally fetching $15-$20 on eBay, and there have been copies of Cover A sealed in their polybags that have sold for as much as $40.
Whether or not those prices will continue and if the rest of the series can match the pace remains to be seen.
Although the news has not been made official by Marvel Studios, the word around the campfire is that Russell Crowe spoiled his Thor: Love and Thunder mystery role. During an interview with an Australian radio show, the actor said he would be portraying Zeus in the fourth Thor film.
Neither Kevin Fiege nor Love and Thunder director Taiki Waititi have commented on Crowe’s role, so this could be an elaborate prank, though I suspect the news is legitimate. Personally, I had hoped Crowe would voice Beta Ray Bill, but having him portray Zeus ushers in the Ancient Greek pantheon of characters.
Over the decades, Marvel Comics has adapted many of the Greco-Roman mythological characters, but none are as famous as Marvel’s Prince of Power, Hercules. He has long been rumored to be on the minds of the Marvel Studios creative team, and having Zeus in the MCU would roll out the red carpet for him.
As predicted from the first episode, FATWS pleased its fans by establishing the evolution of Sam Wilson into the official MCU Captain America.
Just like the comics, the decision to put the shield on Sam was polarizing among fans, but FATWS did its job and won over plenty of new supporters. Much of that can be attributed to Wyatt Russell’s portrayal of John Walker, especially after he defiled the shield by using it to murder a Flag Smasher in public, no less.
Now that Sam has fully embraced the stars and stripes, the rumor is that Marvel Studios will put him in the lead role of its fourth Captain America film. Anthony Mackie showed his acting chops in FATWS, so I have changed my opinion on him carrying a movie in that role, but I do hope the costume department eases up on the foam padding inside his muscle suit.
Speaking of the Greek gods, Zeus’ arrival in Love and Thunder sets the table for the god of war and bloodlust, Ares. The Olympian is already in the MCU as he was a Thor: Ragnarok Easter egg on the Grandmaster’s tower depicting champions of the arena. Having Zeus join the cast of Love and Thunder would all but confirm that Ares is on the agenda.
As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wrapped up its season, there is even more fan speculation that the Dark Avengers or perhaps the Thunderbolts are incoming. If Ares makes an appearance in Love and Thunder, that will lead to even more hype for one or possibly both of those teams as the war god was a key member of both factions.
Forget Agatha; it was Sharon Carter all along.
The hints were everywhere that ex-patriot Sharon Carter was, in fact, the mysterious Power Broker. In the comics, the original Power Broker was Curtiss Jackson, but Marvel Studios went for the swerve by having the former SHIELD agent turn her back on her country after she was branded a traitor. After the conclusion of FATWS, we see Sharon leveraging her renewed SHIELD position to help her profit in Madripoor’s shady underground.
There are many implications that go along with this move, and it could position Sharon as a powerful background figure in the overarching MCU. I lean toward this being a plot point for Secret Invasion, which stars Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, and possibly the future movies and streaming series starring Sam Wilson’s Captain America.
There is speculation that Sharon is actually a Skrull, which will tie into Secret Invasion, but I saw no hints or allusions to that in FATWS, plus it would not be logical. I suspect these theories are born out of the WandaVision finally that saw a Skrull reveal herself to SWORD agent Monica Rambeau in the closing moments. This made sense for Monica’s character since she is directly tied to the Skrulls after the events of Captain Marvel. Sharon, on the other hand, has no connection with that alien shapeshifters that we know of. Unless there is new information out there, I call this theory highly unlikely.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.