8 min read

Finale Order Cutoff

FOC also stands for Fabulous Old Costumes.
Half of a splash page panel from X-Men Red #9, showing Vulcan's rebirth.
This is my happening and it freaks me out.

It's a new release week, so let's dive right in.


X-MEN RED #9, that's what!

The cover to X-MEN RED #9, showing Abigail Brand playing space chess with figures of the cast, and snapping the Storm figure in two.
A show with everything but Yul Brynner.

In which the Abigail Brand storyline rockets towards its conclusion, and we build to various confrontations on Arakko and off it. You can find a preview here, featuring the rocky resurrection of Vulcan - who's back after his unfortunate exit in #3, and more dangerous than ever.

But if you're planning on calling your favorite comic shop, don't wait until Wednesday...


...because TOMORROW - in fact, by the time this finally gets posted, TODAY - is the FINAL ORDER CUTOFF for WE ONLY FIND THEM WHEN THEY'RE DEAD #15 - the last episode of my BOOM! STUDIOS series about the corpses of gigantic interstellar gods. I'd describe it as Kirby Cosmic meets New Wave SF, with absolutely astonishing art by the wonderful Simone Di Meo.

The cover to WE ONLY FIND THEM WHEN THEY'RE DEAD #15, by Simone Di Meo, showing Thierry floating in a white void contemplating the title.
Questions will be answers, secrets will be shared.

I'll have more to say about this series when the end comes round on December 28th - but you can find a preview of the final issue here.

In the meantime, I guess it's a good idea to give at least a short version of that classic of the creator newsletter genre - the Pre-Order Your Comics speech. Final Order Cutoff is what it sounds like - the last chance a retailer has to amend their order of a particular comic before the release date. Retailers are obviously trying to match supply and demand here - ordering too many or too few of an issue is going to leave them out of pocket, and the margins being what they are it's probably better to err on the side of "too few". Which is why it's important to let your retailer know which comics you want and to have those comics pre-ordered with them. (And to make sure you pick that order up so they're not sitting on your unsold comics.)

That way, your retailer has a baseline number of issues that they know they'll sell, and can more accurately predict demand. That's good for creators, too - if retailers feel more confident ordering my books, various publishing companies are going to feel more confident employing me to write them. So if you like my stuff, it helps me out a lot if you pre-order it. Here endeth the spiel.


Kind of! It's late, it's been a rough week (household repair reasons - a leaking radiator pretty much annihilated Wednesday) and I guess I just don't have much to say this time. Although I did spend part of today doing Wasp costume research for a scene in the upcoming WASP #2, to be drawn by Kasia Nie. One of the things I sent was this cool variant cover for #1 by Russell Dauterman:

The variant cover for WASP #1, featuring every costume the Wasp has ever worn, or nearly.

...so what I could do at this point is run down my five favorite Wasp costumes, why not?

(A late-breaking EDIT, having already sent this out - you'd think with all this talk of WASP #1 and FOCs, I'd twig that the FOC for WASP #1 is ALSO Monday 5th December. I'm an idiot. Anyway, what I said above also applies to this.)

At number five...

A white costime with one arm, one leg, blue accents, and a "W" formed with shoulder straps,
Too many notes, Herr Mozart.

This thing.

The same costume, as seen in an issue of AVENGERS.
Symmetry is bunk.

I have no idea what it's doing, and yet I can't look away. What's with the one leg on the tights? What's going on there? The W formed from shoulder straps but at the same time being crossed out?  But at the same time - this announces itself. For the beat I was looking up reference for, I needed a lot of distinct costumes - this is not a suit that fades into the background. And Russell makes it look fantastic, so there's that.

At number four, I'm going to put the Secret Wars outfit.

A green jumpsuit with a stylised purple "W" acting as shoulder pads and neckline.
Again, Russell makes it look great, even at the back.

File this under "imprinted on me as a child." As anyone who's listened to a podcast with me on it knows, my first taste of Marvel Comics was the original SECRET WARS, in which everyone stood in a long line and said their own names, with gorgeous Mike Zeck art.

A panel of the costume from the SECRET WARS comic.
The original SECRET WARS came out in the 80s, as shown here.

Green and purple are generally villainous colors, according to the accepted superhero color theory, but they do com;iment each other. This is basically a boiler suit with shoulderpads - which, now I type it out loud, makes it seem like it might not deserve the title of 4th Best Wasp Costume Ever - but it combines practicality with an 80s flair. You could see Jan saving a stockbroker in this ensemble, or evading a hurled DMC DeLorian.

At number three... riiiight at the back of Russell's cover...

A very, very, very tiny pic of the next costume.
Computer! ENHANCE!
A costume reminiscent of the Wasp's first one, but colored yellow and black, armored, with a pair of goggles.
That's better.

Of all Jan's "armored" costumes, I think this one's the best. Yellow and black are kind of the definitive Wasp colors for me - partly because wasps are yellow and black, partly because it sets off the primary red of Ant-Man very well - and I'm a sucker for a goggle helmet. Also - I feel like this kind of loops around "armor" and back to "costume", if that makes sense. It definitely fits in with the practical-type looks that were the style at the time, but it's also fabulously super-heroic - the flared shoulders, the flared glove cuffs, the point on the helmet.

Oh - and this costume brings back some fond memories of an early collaboration with Pepe Larraz.

The Wasp, in the same costume, as she appeared on the cover of Avengers Assemble #20.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #20, if you're interested.

 At number two...

A white jacket with wide lapels and a stylized black "W" on one breast, over what looks like a black bodysuit.

I haven't been able to find this in an actual Avengers comic. But look at it! Just look at it!

I have a thing for jackets on superheroes. I asked for a jacket to be somehow pulled over Nova's pointy shoulder pad things, against all fashion advice, and I was right dammit. My original concept for the NEW AVENGERS was that they'd all have jackets, and if we'd gone through with it that comic would still be running today. And this, very clearly, is not just a jacket, but a designer jacket. Look at the lapels! Look at the puffy sleeves! Check out that oh-so-stylish "W", like a fashion logo! Maybe it is Jan's fashion logo. I can't even see the bottom half of this but I just know it's as cool as the top. If I had to pick a time period... late 80s, early 90s, maybe? Before the pouch era. Anyway, it needs to come back.

And finally, number one in the costume charts...

A red bodysuit with yellow gloves and a yellow top, with a very round collar.
How could it be otherwise?

This one's all about the collar. And what's interesting is that I think it might be an amalgamation of two - the equal top performers. First off, here's what the Wasp was wearing in AVENGERS when I was a kid:

Very similar to the above - including the very round collar - but in yellow and black, not yellow and red.
It's better than it looks at this distance but I'm not taking any new screenshots.

Looks great, obviously. Note the very round, high at the back collar...

The round collar in close-up.
Yes, I got this from a YouTube video. I told you I wasn't taking new screenshots, I've spent enough time googling "wasp good costume" today.

...which, delightfully, matches the boots. Now check this out, from AVENGERS #45 - the early days.

Now that's what I call a classic Wasp costume! But where's the round collar? This one's kind of pointy. And while the gloves turn yellow later on, it's still lacking the cool flared shoulders.

ANYWAY. Unless I miss my guess, Russell's taken the great red-and-yellow colors of the classic suit and the awesome fit of the 80s-era yellow-and-black number, and created a Wasp costume from the two that might just be her best ever. You'd have to ask him if that was the intent, but if it was, it's a genius move and I'm going to add this to the list of costumes to bring back if it's ever in my power. (Another UPDATE post-email... I've unearthed a Wasp database that suggests that the cover costume did appear in an issue of AVENGERS back in the day, as one of many color variations on the black-and-yellow suit. So I wasn't far wrong - but miscredited the move - credit should go to John Buscema, Tom Palmer and colorist Christie Scheele.)


I'm still not posting on Twitter - aside from a link to this broadcast - or taking on new followers. And if you're there, you know why - the place is a garbage fire and the new management is nestled deep in a far-right echo chamber and wants the rest of the world to join him. Maybe then the Genius Brain Mind Of Our Time will finally feel complete - billions of dollars and the ability to say and do anything that entered his fool head with zero pushback or consequence somehow never managed to fill that hole, but I'm sure the love of @Tesladolf1488DOGE will do it.

Meanwhile, security and moderation concerns mean that Hive is a non-starter, which is a shame. And I'm one of the many, many, many people who blinked owlishly at Mastodon for ten seconds, mouthed the word "instance...?" and then backed slowly through a hedge. The quest goes on.

But we made it through another Sunday, so the place to find me is still right here. Until next time - love and strength.