Tom and Carla lock down 2020

Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman review the year that was for Marvel and DC, while looking toward the future for both companies.

From 2009 to 2015, Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman collaborated on year-in-review posts centered around DC and Marvel. Circumstances kept them apart for a while; but it turns out that being stuck in your house for months on end can also help you reconnect. Therefore, Smash Pages proudly presents the return of an annual tradition, as Tom & Carla lock down 2020!

[This conversation has been edited from an extended Slack chat that occurred in December.]


Carla: Okay, so main topics for the year I see right up front are production (company decisions, strategies, etc), story (what’s actually happening in the comics) and media (TV and movie stuff).

Anything else this doesn’t cover? What’s the most important of these do you think?

Tom: I would say the production side of things – shutting down Diamond for six weeks, plus all the DC layoffs and cancellations, and DC changing distributors twice (or at least 1 1/2 times). Didn’t Marvel have some cancellations as well? Feels like Marvel had a low-key year event-wise, although it went from Empyre to X Of Swords to King In Black.

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‘The New Mutants’: The kids are alright

Carla Hoffman reviews ‘The New Mutants,’ the film based on the classic comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

I was terrified, you know.  Despite having it marked in my digital calendar (a few times, really), despite my overblown excitement at seeing a lobby poster at the end of last year (‘this time, for sure!’ listed as the date), sitting on my couch in excitement through an online SDCC panel, I still couldn’t find myself to be excited, let alone relieved, that The New Mutants was finally going to be viewable to the public and streaming online.

Repetitive disappointment can do that to a person; the constant backstage chatter, the infinite new release dates, the literal fall of Fox Studios as an independent movie production company, mergers and major misspeaks by the director regarding casting, this movie felt destined to fail.  It was Schrodinger’s Movie: as long as we didn’t see it, the film was either a hit or bust and for a long time, it was just better not to know.

So what was The New Mutants?  Is the cat alive or dead?  Is this the secret savior of the Fox-X Franchise or an ugly cousin they had every right to keep hidden from prying eyes?  Keep reading and let’s see what we can make of it.

(SPOILERS: to discuss the movie means that we have to talk about the movie and all the twists and turns it takes.  Find your own online digital copy and watch and read along!)

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‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ sequel is coming… to a comic shop near you

Tokyopop will release the sequel as single issue comics, full-colour tpbs and black & white “manga”

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey’ (Tokyopop)

In a surprising announcement, Tokyopop has secured a deal with Disney to publish a sequel to the 1993 Tim Burton stop-motion animated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas in sequential art form. The beloved film has never had any official continuation until now.

Announced as a Hollywood Reporter exclusive,  The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey will be written by D.J. Milky aka Stu Levy (Princess Ai) with art from Studio DICE (Beauty and the Beast). The story will follow Jack Skellington’s loyal dog, Zero, as he gets lost in Christmas Town.

Slated for spring 2018, the comics will be available for the 25th anniversary year of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The series will be released first as standard, serialized comic issues, then will be republished as a full colour tpb as well as black and white manga “pocket book” format graphic novels.