This year's Comic-Con International in San Diego was my first dance at Nerd Prom. Even still, it's impossible to miss how the event is just one big hype machine for a bunch of TV, game and film companies with a little bit of comics/geek/nerd seasoning sprinkled on for authenticity. But, there were some things that got my nerd soul excited.
1. The Return of Neil Gaiman and The Sandman to Comics `Neil Gaiman's been busy writing award-winning prose for a while now and most of us could only dream that he'd come back to comics for a visit. But at a panel for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, it was announced that Gaiman will be working master artist J.H. Williams on a new series that will serve as a prequel to his groundbreaking Sandman fantasy series. With Williams on art, this will surely be a gorgeous looking work.
2. Mark Waid Winning an Eisner for Daredevil
Up until last week, Mark Waid might have been one of the best comics writers currently working to have never won the industry's highest award. That all changed when he and his compatriots was awarded the Best Continuing Series and Best Single Issue. Hopefully, some of the attention Waid gets for this win will draw more people to the excellent work showing up on his Thrillbent webcomics portal.
3. The Announcement of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Now, I know that most superhero movies are supposed be examples of Hollywood strip-mining comics for massive profit. I've gotten angry about the wrongheadedness of terrible adaptations, too. But last year's Captain America had heart and it's exciting to see that the storyline where Steve Rogers' heart gets ripped out — written by the great Ed Brubaker — will be the next Cap movie. If the reports about Anthony Mackie playing the Falcon are true, that'll be just icing on the cake for me.
4. The Insane Explosion of Talent at Image Comics I used to laugh at Image Comics' output, with the way that the various founding series placed a premium on visuals over coherent writing. I can't laugh anymore. Some of the best comics anywhere are coming out under that Image banner and the publisher has become the number one place for creator-owned work to thrive. I'm especially looking forawrd to screenwriter Gary Whitta and artist Darick Roberston's riff on Charles Dickens' Oliver. With other new books from great talent like Matt Fraction, James Robinson and Howard Chaykin on the way, it'll likely be that way for a long time.
5. Hands-on with Injustice: Gods Among Us I didn't get a chance to play with Injustice until Comic-Con but really enjoyed my time with the game last week. I thought NetherRealm's updated Mortal Kombat was a meaty smorgasbord of martial arts brawling action. With all the characters, environments and feuds that already exist in the DC Universe, Injustice: Gods Among Us should be a fun, twisted look at superhumans we've known for a while.