And Orson Scott Card is writing Ultimate Iron-Man

The Morrison/Superman thread reminded me that I just saw this the other day.

I didn’t see it discussed in any earlier threads. It’s apparently Card’s first comic work. What do you guys think?

Well, Iron Man does pretty much have magic underwear.

Based on my past experience with Card, I think the first issue will be a classic, then all subsequent issues will be utterly boring.

Where did this come from I wonder. Who would even think to offer him a comic writing job over anyone else?

Well that page on Marvel’s own website is the only place I’ve heard of the news, and of course it wasn’t very informative other than “Look at the big name on our new book!”, so I was also wondering about that. I wonder if Marvel sought him or vice versa.

Both Marvel and DC have been getting novelists to write comics (Greg Rucka, Richard K. Morgan, Michael Moorcock, Brad Meltzer, etc.), so I’m assuming Marvel approached Card first.

Would be interesting to see Card writing a conservative Ultimate Iron Man while Warren Ellis is writing a very liberal Iron Man in Universe 616.

That’s an interesting (and smart) contrast to the artist-driven mess that they had in the '90s when I was last familiar with comics. It was all about getting hot artists who could draw the characters in cool but ridiculous poses and not write to save their lives.

Yea, the industry is totally writer-centric nowadays. While you still get stuff like “OMG, Jim Lee on Batman and Superman!”, a lot of “big” announcements are now like “Warren Ellis writes Iron Man!” “We grabbed Mark Millar from Authority to write Ultimates for us!” “Mark Waid is on Legion!” “Grant Morrison is exclusive with DC!!!1111”

Don’t forget movie/television writers … Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, J. Michael Straczynski …

What is the point of the Ultimate universe? And why hasn’t the incredibly awful, stupid, and dull Ultimate FF killed the entire franchise yet? But it seems like Marvel hasn’t learned anything from the thud of UFF, judging by this explanation of the initial plot in UIM:

“The initial storyline will center on Tony Stark’s childhood and how his parents’ experiments with re-creating and rebuilding human skin/armor led to the death of his mother. This tragic event will provide the foundation for Scott Card to then delve into how Tony Stark will develop as a man and super hero.”

Wow! That’s certainly going to be thrilling!

The “thud” sells about 85-95k copies every month, which puts it consistently within the top 15 comics for any given month, and means it literally sells about twice as much as 616-continuity Fantastic Four.

Considering stuff with the word “ultimate” usually sells about 80-100k copies (close, but not quite up to Astonishing X-Men, which is Marvel’s bestseller at around 135k copies per month), that universe isn’t a thud to the bean counters.

Ultimate continuity miniseries are a bit trickier. Ultimate Nightmare sells about 75-80k copies, while Ultimate Elektra is around 40-45k. Though, OSC’s name probably will help keep it around 75k. Or drop it further, since the Intarweb reaction seems to be filled with “he’s a right-wing homophobe, I ain’t gonna buy this!”

As long as Ultimate Spider-man continues, I’m happy.

Marvel Knights Fantastic Four is my fav FF at the moment.

Universe 616? Wow, Thierry, you’re hardcore.

Check in again on the FF sales after JMS takes it over. Also, Ultimate FF sales have been declining by an average of over 3% a month, every month, since launch. Of course, the numbers are skewed by people picking up new #1 and #2 issues, but the decline is still dramatic compared to, say, the way that USM sold over its first couple of years. Issue #3 sold about 110,000 copies, down from 182,000 for issue #1, and the book dropped to 84,000 in issue #12 before rebounding for a new story arc with issue #13. Even though the numbers still put UFF up there on the sales charts, the book’s been bleeding readers since day one. I wouldn’t call it a big success.

As an aside, regular FF is usually around 50K, which is a fair bit more than half of what UFF sells. UFF hasn’t been at 100K for six months.

All the Ultimate books have shown steadily declining sales. Well, USM has stayed pretty steady at 90-95K, but even it’s at 90K now, down 8K from July’s issue. Amazing Spidey sells pretty much the exact same number of copies right now, even after the Sins Past debacle (it’s at 87K this month). The only thing that made the Ultimate books hits on launch was newness. Ultimate sales have been regularly eclipsed by new books and stunts in the regular MU, like all this Bendis Avengers Disassembled and New Avengers crap, the sheer excellence of Astonishing X-Men, UXM 450, etc.

That’s what bugs me the most about Ultimate books – it’s just a way for Marvel to get the momentary sales boost of relaunching books with new #1s without any bad PR of doing this with established MU books…yet again.

But back to Orson Scott Card…wow, the guy is something of a Christian conservative nutbar. He’s written a few interesting articles about gay marriage. In this one, he even claims that permitting gays to marry will destroy the US.

And I guess this means that Ultimate Iron Man isn’t gay after all, as some were speculating after his “Look at me! I’m hetero! I’m crazy about women!” appearances in Ultimates.

I assume Universe 616 means the regular Marvel Universe, but what is it?

Well, Brett, I think what we can basically say is that while UFF and the Ultimate line isn’t their best-seller, some 616 “events” eclipse Ultimate sales, and some Ultimate sales have been declining,we can both see that none of the titles are in cancellation numbers though (like, say, Black Panther, which I think was Marvel’s best book in the last five years, and I actually think you’d like it a lot as well, but that’s a totally different deal). Also, I think sales will probably spike up on UFF once Millar takes over (his talent for hyping the hell out of everything he does is a pretty hefty sales boost), a la JMS on FF.

Universe-616 came from Alan Moore’s run on Captain Britain, where he zips around alternate realities and learns that the normal Marvel continuity is numero 616, from Merlin of all people.

More specifically, he is a Mormon Christian conservative nutbar. His Homecoming novels are an allegory of the Book Of Mormon, or so I’ve been told.

I notice this comic today when I stopped in to grab some more Alan Moore trades. Is it any good? Orson Scott Card’s name on the cover grabbed my attention, but the chromium cover and the 3 dollar price tag reminded me why I stopped reading comics in the first place.