Here we are again! Two days late and a dollar short - yesterday was spent in recovery after a seasonal blow-out among friends in which I consumed my Xmas present from my brother, globules of apple-flavored "gin liqueur" that looked not unlike what Nic Cage had to defuse in The Rock, and had a similar effect. So that was me out of commission for a little bit.
But in comics, the presses never stop, and another Wednesday is upon us - so with that in mind...
WHAT'S OUT TOMORROW?
X-MEN RED #10, that's what!
You'll find a three-page preview here. When I said we were going to change the landscape of Arakko with this fight, I meant it - hope you liked the Autumn Palace while it was around.
We're tying off threads and closing arcs in this one, finishing the Abigail Brand storyline I started back in Empyre: Avengers Aftermath and continued into this book once it became clear that, actually, she's still the same person who had Colossus tortured for years because something something the hard choices. From here, we go into Sins Of Sinister, which is kinda sorta the Metal Gear Solid 4 to this book's Metal Gear Solid V, except I'm at least 80% sure we've got the budget to end X-MEN RED properly.
(Not that Metal Gear Solid V didn't have a satisfying ending of sorts, but that's a whole essay and when I have time to write it I'll either have reached new peaks of efficiency or I'll be unemployed. ANYWAY.)
This is a good time to mention that X-MEN RED has been high on many end-of-year lists this year - it seems what me and art maven Stefano Caselli did really struck a strong chord with critics and readers, hence us being able to continue on past Sins into a new story which we'll be dropping all manner of cryptic hints about in the next few months. Thanks for everyone who thought of us and spread the good word - it's highly appreciated!
By coincidence, another book that did well on the Lists Of The Year was ANT-MAN - and guess what's getting a trade tomorrow?
This was probably the most fun I had writing all year, especially the two issues where I got to try someone else's voice on for size, which is something I always enjoy doing. Tom Reilly and Jordie Bellaire took that ball and ran with it, delivering pitch-perfect comics from the 60s, the recent past, the present and even the far future without breaking their stride. Dare I say it's the ideal late Xmas gift for the Ant-Man fan in your life?
THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS
A quick rundown of favorites of 2022, or as near as I can manage. Time becomes nebulous for me around the end of a year - I have trouble remembering back to the early months, and at the same time remember things closer to the present than they actually appeared. For example, The Lighthouse - that was last year, right? No, 2019. Did I even see it this year? I must have done. If I did, it might be my film of the year - that or Prey, which inspired us to finally watch Predator. I've not watched that many films this year, or none that made as big an impression as those two. There was the usual Marvel movies and TV shows - I'm always at least entertained by those, and they're good at being what they are and doing what they do. I think probably Multiverse Of Madness was my top superhero flick, as that made a couple of moves in the back half that tickled me considerably.
Favorite game - this was the year I finally played Inscryption, so it's that, no question. If you haven't played it, do so. Words can't do it justice, and once you finish the main campaign, there's an lot extra to keep you going. In terms of games that came out this year, it's probably The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe, which was like a charming visit with an old friend. What else? Frog Fractions 3 was another old friend stopping by - in fact, both games share a similar vibe, each of them doing a new routine based on the old gag we remember, but each of them also consumed with melancholy, an acknowledgment of the passing of time.
What else? I finally 100%ed The Witness, now to take a big drink of coffee and see what the developer's up to lately. Also - Hitman, always Hitman, I never get tired of it, I never stop playing for long, I watch speedruns for tips, I practised for the new update coming out by doing all the levels with the clothes on my back and the items found in the area, if you haven't play it then what have you been doing? It's been more than five years. All of it is now out, all of it is available, even the infamous Elusive Targets are no longer very elusive. (Most of them. I don't think we're going to get Sean Bean back, I think his face might be copyright or something.) It's the best game of modern times. Play it.
And you know what? That's going to have to be it from me. Getting back to the newsletter grindstone is harder than I thought - but I got one out, so this is still where to find me. Love and strength to all in the New Year. Playing us out, the banger of the summer - "Party Time" by the Northern Boys.