Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee’s former caretaker charged with elder abuse

Plus: Jonathan Hickman details his plans for the X-Men, comic sales in April and more.

Stan Lee’s former caretaker and manager, Keya Morgan, has been charged with felony elder abuse. The charges include felony counts of false imprisonment of an elder adult, theft, embezzlement, and forgery or fraud against an elder adult, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

A warrant for Morgan’s arrest had been issued. The 43-year-old memorabilia collector was served with a restraining order by Lee’s family last summer, when they accused him of elder abuse. Lee passed away in November.

Creators + Interviews

Marks the spot: Jonathan Hickman talks to ComicBook.com about his plans for Marvel’s X-Men titles. Hickman details being approached by Marvel to work for them again, the meetings he had with senior editorial on his approach and why the current X-titles will end:

Okay, so, for the most part, I don’t believe incrementalism works in fictional universes, and that, I think, is why almost every big franchise change that occurs has a delineated starting point. I mean, it does work, which is why the industry often abuses it as a sales tactic.

And in the spirit of ‘what works’ and also ‘what the market is used to’, I didn’t feel like just doing a new number one was enough. I also didn’t think that if we were serious about what we were trying to do we should have a mixed message in the market about what an X-book is.

So I argued for cancelling the entire line: Why it would work, why it was a good idea, and most importantly, why it was what we needed to do narratively to return the X-Men to their rightful prominent position in the Marvel Universe.

We needed to sell the idea that this is what we’re going to be doing for the next few years. So if you want to read X-Men books during the run from late-July through September, House of X and Powers of X are the only new X-books available and everything that’s going to follow is based on them. We wanted to be clear to the fans, to the stores, and just as importantly, to the creators who are going to be staffing these books in the future. We wanted the message to be very clear: This is a whole new era for the X-Men. This is what we’re doing now.

And so, POX and HOX is how we’re starting. It’s a solid plan, I think.

Interviews: Tom King talks to The Hollywood Reporter about his plans for Batman, including the upcoming “City of Bane” storyline.

The Biz

Outcasts of Jupiter

Awards: Congratulations to Shobo and Shof Coker, whose Outcasts of Jupiter received this year’s Creators for Creators grant.

Comic sales: Comic sales to comic shops dropped in April vs. the year-ago period, according to John Jackson Miller over at the Comichron. Citing no big anniversary issues — Action Comics #1000 came out in April 2018, while Detective #1000 arrived last month — Miller also notes that DC Comics has lowered the number of titles it is publishing. War of the Realms #1 topped the charts for April with 187,000 copies, followed by the first issue of Symbiote Spider-Man. The first Magic Order trade topped the graphic novel chart.

Comic strips: The Chicago Reader has dropped several comic strips it had been running by John Porcellino, Melissa Mendes and Mike Centeno

Commentary

Rockin’ the spinneracks: Avery Kaplan looks back at the comic book music acts of the 1960s and 1970s, including the Archies and Dazzler.

Commentary: Greg Burgas wonders aloud, “Has political correctness run amok in comics?!?!?” and then looks back at Batgirl #37 and the changes the creative team made to the collected version of the story as a result of reader feedback.

Commentary: Mostly known for his podcasts of late, Dave Harper is back to writing articles for his site Sktchd. I greatly enjoyed this oral history of Marvel’s Annihilation event.

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