Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

Deathstroke vs. Batman

Monday, January 29th, 2018

This miniseries has been in the works for nearly two years, having gone through several conceptual and format changes and originally presumed to coincide with the announced Batfleck film (now “The Batman” and directed by Matt Reeves). I doubt the DCEU film will echo much of our Deathstroke vs. Batman (though that would be fun!) but we’re spinning out of the momentum created by our Defiance arc into this, the ultimate custody battle between these mirror-image characters. As I see them: Batman is someone Deathstroke almost admires, if only Deathstroke weren’t so screwed up, Batman is someone he himself might have become. Deathstroke, meanwhile, is someone Batman is still capable of becoming if he compromises his self-discipline. This character study is an interesting challenge for me as a writer, and I am delighted to be reunited with artist Carlo Pagulayan– one of the most underrated and brilliant draftsmen working today–who launched the Rebirth Deathstroke two years ago.

Justice Lost

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Sorry to be gone so long, I’m spinning a lot of plates these days. I am hearing very kind (maybe too-kind) things about “The People vs. Justice League” (which is actually the first half of a 10-issue run titled “Justice Lost”), which kind of surprises me a little in that I just assumed most fans would either not notice I was over there on JL or would hang me in effigy (as some are doing for my upcoming Deathstroke vs. Batman, a book that’s not even out yet and I am apparently being blamed for ruining Damian Wayne and Talia al Ghul).

The premise of my JL run is fairly simple: what if these people were real. What if there really were, in our real world, in our cynical, zero-sum, statically polarized Fox News vs. MSNBC world, a group of demi gods who has a clubhouse in orbit above us. How would the world respond to a real Justice League? My run wakes the world from it’s Silver Age (and even Grant Morrison-era) coma when what the team perceived as a relatively low-priority mission goes terribly wrong (issue #34). The starts the dominoes falling for the full ten issues, increasing the atmospheric pressure on this group of allies-if-not-quite-friends and forcing their philosophical differences to the surface. The point of the arc is to examine the question of what justice actually means in today’s deeply conflicted and unequal society, and how do the Justice League– a quaint Silver Age concept of people in gaudy costumes seated around a conference table– fit?

Relatively new guy Pete Woods is just a joy, an amazing gift to me for this run. Pete’s ultra-clean style clears away the noodly over-rendering as his amazing gift for storytelling adds depth to these scripts that is not actually on the page. It’s Pete using his head– and an amazing eye– to take these typed words to a new level. He is also a monster colorist whose approach to color adds our dramatic soundtrack to this work, giving it even more life and breadth. I’m just awed and so very grateful Pete took this on.

Unfortunately, Pete’s only got two hands, and we were unable to land an artistic partner who could co-create with us, which has resulted in several issues being drawn by several different artists. All of these folks are swinging for the fences and doing their best work, but the incongruity of art from issue to issue is not the best situation we could have hoped for. I am nonetheless grateful for just how hard each of them worked on getting things right, while the overall continuity of artistic vision couldn’t help but be compromised because everybody is drawing at the same time.

“Justice Lost” beats the drum toward the weekly event called “No Justice” and a completely new vision for JL on the way this summer.

January 2018 comics thread

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Priest’s still pretty busy (JL is twice monthly!), so he might not answer any questions here for a while, but in the meantime talk amongst yourselves.

Priest Week – December 6!

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

The final issue of Inhumans: Once and Future Kings (#5), the first Priest-written issue of Justice League (#34), and a neither first nor last issue of Deathstroke (#26) all hit stores this week!

Statement regarding “Whiteface” accusations

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

In the wake of the revelation that new Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski admits to having created a fake (Japanese) identity in order to get around the restrictions on editors working as freelancers, some people have started playing “whatboutism” and accusing Priest of having done “the same thing” himself, including reviving rumors that he and Michael Golden had gotten fired for similar things while working as editors at Marvel.  Priest’s been really busy catching up on writing, but he gave me permission to post and share the following statements.

On the Golden rumor:

“There’s a story that you and Michael Golden got into trouble at some point for hiring each other as freelancers. Is there any kind of real story there?”

No.

I have no idea what this is about, first I am hearing of it. Please LMK where to find this so I can shut it down.

At the time I was on staff at Marvel, it was perfectly fine for editors to hire other editors. But I never worked for Michael Golden and, to the best of my recollection, never hired Michael for any projects I was editing.

There was no policy against staffers freelancing. In fact, the exact opposite was true. Jim Shooter would actually insist “full” editors, specifically, do some kind of freelance work– writing, art, coloring, etc. It was Shooter’s policy, one with which I strongly agree, that learning the discipline of meeting deadlines as creative talent is the best way to help editors understand the challenges and frustrations of our creative pool.

You really can’t manage freelance talent if you’ve never served on their side of the desk before, a chronic problem with today’s corporate environment. I would imagine as high as 90% of editors working in comics today have never themselves worked as freelancers, and as a result far too many editors simply don’t understand what that life is like and therefore cannot efficiently manage their talent pool.

Michael is, today, a close and valued friend. The only reason I never hired him as creative talent was everybody else was hiring him as creative talent. I would loved to have hired Michael and would work with him, today, on absolutely anything he wants to do.

On “Whiteface” accusations:

I really wish people would stop inventing nutty things about me. The worst rumor about me and “whiteface” was the silly (and enduring) rumor that I was using the pen name “Peter David” (presumably because the writing was too good to have come from some guy in Marvel’s sales department).

Other than that, oh, please. I was born with the name “James.” At Marvel, everybody (then and now) called me “Jim.”