So 2013 is drawing to a close. What a shame, eh? Continued was the trend of explosive comic book events whether you love them or (more likely) hate them. There have been some really strong running series’, minis, indie prints and just about everything inbetween. There were also a number of “Comic Book Movies”, but if anything, 2013 seemed to further the hype for going into 2014 and beyond… not to mention it’s saturation of TV.
Then there were tons of headlines in the world of comic book news, and then… well… we popped up in March.
At this time of year it is easy to imagine that – in a booze-induced fog – many of you may be just a little bit forgetful, so to help you out, let’s take a look at the year that was 2013;
- DC announced it would be making April WTF month. In hindsight it really wasn’t anything overly WTF!
- The Former Bond Girl Eva Green was announced as the female lead in the Sin City sequel “A Dame to Kill For”.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 cast Paul Giamatti in the role of The Rhino.
- Invincible #100 hit shelves on the 23rd of January and featured the much hyped death of the titular character. And, well, it didn’t last.
- Young Avengers arrived in stores the same week and went on to second print. One of strongest titles of 2013 and a favourite of the team’s.
- It was widely reported that Keith Giffen left Legion of Superheroes after only two issues, The book was later cancelled and announced in its place was Justice League 3000. Keith Giffen is now working on that title as co-writer.
- The Highest selling book for January: Superior Spider- Man #1 with estimated sales of 188,182 issues
- News of Damian Wayne’s upcoming death in issue 8 of Batman Inc. broke before its release. With the Robin RIP covers hitting Twitter weeks beforehand, the story spread through a number of news sources including major newspapers.
- Sony added another cast member to Amazing Spider-Man 2 with the news that Chris Cooper would be playing Norman Osborn. Set photos had also leaked showing Spidey in a more traditional costume in February.
- The Glasgow Film Festival took place with one of the highlights of the KAPOW! strand being a showing of the fan film Judge Minty which would later delight many when it surfaced online. Joss Whedon was in attendance at the Gala showing of the festival for his movie “Much Ado About Nothing”.
- The Highest selling book for February: Justice League of America #1 with estimated sales of 307,734
- On March 14th, after working together on a previous project, Team BCP came together and founded the Bigcomicpage.com. The team would go on to add two more permanent contributors during the year. The first being David McIntyre (aka Big Dave) who was followed shortly thereafter by Alan Shields (aka Al).
- A Bradford man made worldwide headlines when he brought in a wanted criminal to a police station. It was later revealed they were friends who had been at a football game and the suspect needed a lift to hand himself in.
- At the SXSW festival Marvel announced a number of projects (mostly related to the delivery of digital art content) one of which was the release of 700 free number one issues that would be made available for a limited time through Comixology. Demand for the freebies absolutely choked the Comixology servers and brought services to a halt as a result.
- Shock and Awe ensued when it was announced that Neil Gaiman would be bringing the Spawn character Angela (which he won the legal rights to in a court battle with Todd Macfarlane) over to Marvel. She later made her in-continuity début in the concluding issue of Age of Ultron.
- Fox secured the rights to Mark Millar’s “Secret Service”, which is now in production and should be released next year.
The Highest selling book for March: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 with estimated sales of 211,312
- Iron Man 3 uniblasted cinema goer’s wallets, becoming the highest grossing flick of the year. Don’t expect an immediate sequel though, as Director Shane Black also confirmed in April he would be working on a planned adaptation of pulp hero Doc Savage.
- Superman turned 75, as April 18th marked the début of Action Comics #1 from 1938. This was a year in which Superman books proved big sellers and saw the eagerly-anticipated ‘Man of Steel’ movie hit the big screen.
- Warner Bros announced the follow up to Arkham City would be titled “Batman: Arkham Origins”. This had been hinted at beforehand after a number of derivative webdomains were scooped up by the media giant. In related news, April also saw the release of DC Comics fighting game “Injustice: Gods Among Us”.
- DC Comics launched it’s month long ‘WTF’ initiative. Essentially the idea surrounding it was the use of intentionally-shocking gatefold covers showing scenes such as Bruce Wayne pointing a gun at James Gordon. This proved somewhat of a success as Batman #19 had the highest estimated sales that month.
- C2E2 saw both a loss and gain for X-Men fans as Marvel announced that X-Factor would be cancelled at issue 262, but softened the blow slightly by announcing “Battle of the Atom”, the first major X-Men crossover since Avengers vs. X-Men met it’s conclusion in 2012.
- Jupiter’s Legacy, a new series from Mark Millar with art by Glasgow based artist Frank Quitely hit shelves. The anticipated Millarworld title met with a postive response from fans and critics alike. Further books by Millar in 2013 included Kick Ass 3 which arrived in June slightly ahead of the movie release of Kick Ass 2.
The Highest selling book for April: Batman #19 with estimated sales of 132,147
- May the 4th witnessed the yearly “Free Comic Book Day”. Unlike earlier years, the “big two” released fairly child-friendly fare with their free comics being issues of “Hulk Agents of S.M.A.S.H/Avengers” from Marvel and a “DC Nation Sampler” from DC. This is in contrast to previous years where their entries into the scheme gave tasters to crossover events on the horizon such as when Age of Ultron and Trinity War were teased far in advance.
- International news headlines were made when a copy of Action Comics #1 was found in the wall cavity of a renovated house by a Minnesota resident. The issue was believed to have been a 3.0 but depreciated to a 1.5 after a relative ripped it in excitement devaluing the comic by just under half its estimated value. The comic eventually sold for $175,000.
- Joss Whedon confirmed that Quicksilver would be appearing in the – at the time unnamed – Avengers sequel, A week later Bryan Singer confirmed that Quicksilver would be in X-Men: Days of Future Past tweeting “Before he was an #Avenger, He was just a really fast kid. Thrilled to say #EvanPeters is joining #XMen #DaysOfFuturePast as #Quicksilver“. Talk about a #PissingContest, Coincidentally Evan Peters Kick Ass co-star would nab the role over at Marvel Studio’s [More on that below]… Can’t they all just learn to play nice?
- Threshold, Demon Knights, Legion of Superheroes and Dial H were added to the pile of New 52 titles that got canned.
The Highest selling book for May: X-Men #1 with estimated sales of 177,633
- The cross platform PS3, XBOX 360 and PC game adaptions of Deadpool made its much-anticipated release. The game featured the 4th wall breaking humor and gallery of characters associated with the character and fared reasonably well with critics and gamers alike.
- Indie companies BOOM! Studios and Archia merged after BOOM! bought the smaller rival.
- William Fichtner of Prison Break fame was cast in the role of The Shredder in the upcoming “Ninja Turtles” movie, This news led to many to believe the makers of the film had whitewashed the role.
- Concept artwork for legion of Superheroes replacement title/ Future set Justice League; Justice League 3000 hit the net raising the question of which characters are on the team. The title is due for release in February.
- In late July in the run up to its release – Kick Ass 2 was denounced by actor Jim Carrey over it’s use of violence.
The Highest selling book for June: Superman Unchained #1 with estimated sales of 251,456
- San Diego Comic Con took place during the 18th – 21st, Marvel Studios initially got fans hyped by announcing the name of the Avengers sequel “Avengers: Age of Ultron” only to be surpassed later on by Zack Snyder announcing that the Man of Steel sequel [as yet still not named] would feature Batman. Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples shredded the Eisner awards with Saga.
- Other big announcements out of SDCC came in the form of a sequel to Wolverines origin min-series imaginatively titled “Origin II” with the team of Keiron Gillen and Adam Kubert, Released recently as of the last week of this year. Also announced is the 2014 Marvel UK crossover “Revolutionary War” with the team of Andy Lanning and Alan Cowsi – Expect it to hit shelves as of January.
- Proving to be a month for cons; Glasgow Comic Con also took place during the same weekend, guests included Alan Grant, John Wagner, Simon Bisley and Carlos Ezquerra among others. Our team were in attendance and their posts can be found here. The SICBA awards took place with James Devlin and Morag Kewell scooping all awards between them for their respective books; Dark Ascension and Big In Japan.
- The Wolverine made it’s release on the 17th of the month, Met with a fairly positive to mixed response it did have a DofP-Centric post credits scene, It was also revealed later in the year that a deleted scene (available on Blu Ray) had Logan gain the iconic yellow and black mask.
- July seen DC’s long awaited first company wide crossover event since the New 52 began “Trinity War” hit shelves, The series culminated in August and served as a feed in for their next event “Forever Evil”. The response to this ending was largely negative.
The Highest selling book for July: Superman Unchained #2 with estimated sales of 165,754
- Kick Ass 2 arrived in Cinemas on August 14th, The sequel under performed at the box office making less than the original. It was also met with a mixed response from critics.
- Veteran actor James Spader was announced as the titular role of the Android in Marvel Studio’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
- At Fan Expo in Canada it was announced that as of Spring 2014, The Justice League of America title will be renamed Justice League Canada with the current team moving their base of operations North of the Border.
- BATFLECK … INTERNET EXPLODES!!
- Fox’s Don of Comic Book Movies and hype machine Mark Millar announced that the planned Fantastic Four reboot would be in continuity with Fox’s X-Men franchise.
- Matt Fraction was announced as leaving the Fantastic Four books as of September.
The Highest selling book for August: Infinity #1 with estimated sales of 205,819
- DC kicked off their Forever Evil/Villains Month/3D Cover month amidst a sea of problems. Firstly, they weren’t able to fulfill initial orders for 3D covers with many retailers. This led to widespread speculation that it was a deliberate attempt to increase, well…speculation. Secondly, there were reports that people who left comics next to windows were seeing their covers damaged. And thirdly, many 3D titles were snapped up immediately and wound up on Ebay at hugely inflated prices. Sales in DC books spiked in September however, proving that for all the negative backlash to the initiative it had indeed proved rewarding to the company.
- DC announced two planned TV projects in the form of Constantine for NBC and a Fox series surrounding Jim Gordon. Both are still very much in early development. Additionally, The CW announced actor Grant Gustin for the role of Barry Allen in the Arrow and a proposed Flash spinoff. Over at AMC, a Walking Dead spinoff series was announced.
- George Perez the legendary artist behind the success of such titles as New Teen Titans, Crisis of Infinite Earths, several runs on the Avengers and so much more, sadly announced he had lost the use of one of his eyes.
- Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarksy’s Image title “Sex Criminals” hit shelves and sold out of its initial run, A 4th print was announced on December 19th.
- A proverbial sh!t storm kicked off on the internet after DC revealed it’s competition for artists to draw panels in the first issue of Harley Quinn’s ongoing series included the artist drawing her nude in a bath tub and killing herself. There was cries of it being sexist as well as trivialising mental illness. Series writer Jimmy Palmiotti clarified his intent in a large response – the nut and bolts of which is “We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did.“
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D hit TV screens, with the pilot episode being shown by ABC on the 24th.
The Highest selling book for September: Forever Evil #1 with estimated sales of 139,976
- Season 4 of The Walking Dead aired its first episode for AMC on the 13th of the month. Interestingly, The Walking Dead issue 115 was estimated as the highest selling comic of the month, which would suggest that the show is a still a massive sales driver for Image Comics.
- Daredevil was announced as being cancelled as of issue #32 by editor Steve Wacker. However, a month later Mark Waid and Chris Samnee revealed to The Nerdist that it would be relaunched as one of Marvel NOW!’s new wave of number one titles, with Matt Murdock’s character moving to San Francisco. Expect issue 1 to hit shelves in March.
- Marvel released images and details of the new Ghost Rider, This time he is behind the wheel of a car [Wouldn't that be Ghost Driver eh Marvel?] and will see a teen by the name of Robbie Reyes assume the fiery emanating skull mantle.
- The Green Team, Vibe, and Katana were added to the ongoing list of New 52 titles to get canned.
- Marvel Studios’ second release of the year “Thor: The Dark World” was released internationally in late October, making its way across the Atlantic more than a week later.
The Highest selling book for October: The Walking Dead #115 with estimated sales of 310,584
- The Thought Bubble Festival took place in Leeds. Guest included Matt Fraction and David Aja, Jamie Mckelvie and Keiron Gillen and a number of other internationally renowned guests. Our team were in attendance and their posts can be found here.
- Doctor Who celebrated its 50th anniversary. In print IDW celebrated this with the year-long “Prisoners of Time” crossover. 2013 was also the year where we saw a new Doctor and IDW’s license to Doctor Who expire (Both in December).
- Uncanny Avengers featured the death of major characters Rogue and Scarlet Witch in issue 14. Because hey, it isn’t like Scarlet Witch has been through enough already, right?
- Eyeing up the last corner of the media market not superhero-orientated, Marvel and Netflix announced unprecedented plans for the digital movie subscription service to produce series’ of four major Marvel characters; Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones culminating in a crossover called “The Defenders”. Luke Goddard is attached to the Daredevil adapation.
- Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen signed on as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
- Over at Fox, A viral campaign for X-Men: Days of Future Past “The Bent Bullet” focused on their (in-comic) father’s role in the JFK assassination. This was the same month as the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination.
- Venom and Captain Marvel were revealed to be joining Guardians of the Galaxy as of Free Comic Book Day 2014.
The Highest selling book for November: Batman #25 with estimated sales of 125,602
- The Killing Joke courted more controversy this year (earlier this year Grant Morrison said on the Fatman on Batman podcast he believed it was the last ever Batman story and that Batman killed the Joker) when original artwork was unearthed that showed Barbara Gordon in a state that would make one believe she had been sexually as well as physically assaulted.
- After being postponed, “Inhuman” found itself with a new writer as Marvel switched Matt Fraction with Charles Soule (also currently writing Swamp Thing and Red Lanterns for DC). The reasons why still remain vague but Marvel Editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told CBR ” This is just an instance where we – meaning Marvel and the writer, Matt Fraction – came to the realization that we weren’t on the same page“.
- Jeff Lemire announced that Animal Man would be finishing its run as of issue 29, with Buddy Baker switching over to Lemire’s Canadian Justice League title.
- Bryan Singer confirmed the sequel to X-Men: Days of Future past via tweet [Where else?] saying simply “#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!”
- The first full trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit the web [Pause for applause] and heavily hinted further at Sony’s plans for an expanded Spider-Man based universe. This was followed soon after with news that there will be both Venom and Sinister Six spin off movies.
- The Man of Steel sequel initiated hype overdrive after adding Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman to its cast. Further speculation in the weeks since have linked a number of well known names to various roles with no official confirmation. Watch this space in 2014!
- Rounding off December as a month for movie hype was the confirmation that, fresh off Anchorman 2, we will see Paul Rudd play Ant Man in Edgar Wright’s loooooooooooooooooooooooooong gestating Marvel Studios project.
Sales figures not published so far by Diamond for December.
Likely conclusions for 2014: The Walking Dead #115 will likely be the highest selling comic of 2013, Combined with the glut of announcements about TV adapations of comic books, This trend seems likely to increase.
In both the WTF and Villains months DC enjoyed spikes in sales so expect the “gimmick” issue trend to increase.
Both Forever Evil and Infinity sold the highest number of issues in their respective months so again expect event-lead comics to increase.
With the bulk of the rest of this years top selling issues being number one’s expect more cancellations and renumbering….
So …ehhh… nothing much different.
The Big Comic Page’s 2013 in a nutshell.
Founding: March 14th
Charitable events held: 2 = August 18th / December 23rd
Favourite Comic Books / Trades of 2013
- Al: Rat Queens – Kurtis J Wiebe/Roc Upchurch (Image)
- Ceej: Daredevil – Mark Waid/Chris Samnee (Marvel)
- Chris: East of West – Jonathan Hickman/Nick Dragotta (Image)
- Dave: Transformers – More Than Meets The Eye – James Roberts /Alex Milne&Various (IDW)
- Gary: Doctor Who Special – Paul Cornell/Jimmy Broxton (IDW)
- Greg: Zero Year – Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV/ Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and Rafael Albuquerque (DC)
- Jamie: Burn The Orphanage – Daniel Freedman/ Sina Grace (Image)
- Samii: Sex Criminals – Matt Fraction/Chip Zdarsky (Image)
- Stu: Transformers – More Than Meets The Eye – James Roberts/Alex Milne&Various (IDW)
10 Most viewed articles of 2013
10) Absolutely jaw-dropping fan made Superman vs Batman trailer
9) Keiron Gillen confirms the end of Young Avengers
8) A look at ‘Vampire Vixens of the Wehrmacht: If You Want Blood’
7) BCP Interview with Steve Stark (Director and Animator of Jay and Silent Bobs Super Groovy Cartoon Movie)
6) Let’s talk Sony’s future for an expanded Spider-Man universe
5) GK’s Under The Influence: Comic Book Men, Heroes or Villains?
4) Complete list of DC ‘Villains Month’ titles (with covers and creative teams)
3) William Fichtner is Shredder
2) GK’s Where Are They Now?: Nubia, Wonder Woman’s black twin sister
1) Amazing Spider-man 2 concept art surfaces
Most Engaging Tweet
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Artist we find the funniest user of social media in 2o13
Most listened to podcast
“The Big Comicast #18″ by 2001 downloads
Our visitors by country
Weirdest search engine term 0f 2013
“Big Penis Comics“, Number of time we have been found by this term… twice.
Special 2013 Thanks To
All the fantastic creators who humoured us with an interview in 2013… Some true greats in the industry, Comicbookroundup.com, Comic Blog Elite, Geek Retreat, Rufus T. Firefly, Forbidden Planet: Glasgow, City Centre Comics, Bunny’s Beads, Oscar Cat Creations, Planet Jimbot, John Lees, Chris Connelly, Neil Slorance, Black Hearted Press, David Lloyd and Ace’s Weekly, J. Sarge, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, 2000AD, BOOM! Studios, Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, All the self publishers we have reviewed, The Staff on Glasgow Film Festival, The staff at Thought Bubble, The staff at Glasgow Comic Con, All those who generously donated to our Christmas Toy Drive, Yorkhill Childrens Hospital… And of course YOU! – Thanks for reading, We hope to bring you more delights in ’14.