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WonderCon 2005: News of the Whedon

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Fans attending WonderCon got what they'd hoped for today, as Joss Whedon brought a few cast members from the upcoming film Serenity for a panel. We'll write a fuller report on that later, due to time constraints now.

One thing that can't wait, however, is that before starting talk about his television and film career, Whedon called up another very important collaborator: artist John Cassaday.

After mugging toward each other in mock intimidation, they announced what comics fans in particular had hoped would happen. They've signed on for 13 more issues of Astonishing X-Men.

Issue #8 was just released last week, so we have four more before the two take what Whedon calls "...a brief respite." Neither man would make that time period exactly clear, but promised that they would produce another twelve issues of the regular title before wrapping it all up with their very own Giant-Sized X-Men #1, this one of course being Giant-Sized Astonishing X-Men.

Does this mean that someone else will step in and provide a filler arc, or does the title live or die by the participation of Whedon and Cassaday? Expect some sort of press release from Marvel on Tuesday.

In addition, and this also had the room buzzing, Dark Horse Comics will produce a three-issue mini-series to serve as a bridge between the television series Firefly and its big-screen adventure, Serenity. Working from a story co-developed by Whedon, Bret Matthews will pen the comic.

Each issue will have three variant covers done by some of the biggest names in comics, so that each individual cast member will have a cover spotlight. Whedon played coy about all but one: the first cover will be a John Cassaday portrayal of Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Of the others, Whedon would only gloat at having abused his clout in the industry. "No one said no," he chortled.

Then he brought his cast members up...but that's a story for later.

Derek McCaw

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