Planet Buzz 02-20-02


Hey, That's Right…Where's the CrossGen Horror Title?

Fear no more. CrossGen Comics, which has successfully released titles in just about every genre finally takes a stab at horror. Under the guiding pen of writer Tony Bedard, new (to CrossGen) penciler Karl Moline (Joss Whedon's Fray) will tackle the ominously titled Route 666.

Get your kicks...
Set for release on June 19, the series will be inked by John Dell.

According to the CrossGen press release, Route 666 tells the story of Cassie, an escaped mental patient who targets seemingly random victims as she drifts across the country. She claims they are monsters, disguised as humans, covertly dwelling among us, and only she can detect them. She claims they steal souls to use for some unknown, unspeakable purpose. She must be a dangerous lunatic, right? But what if she's not?

Writer Bedard goes on in the release, "we've managed to combine all the things I love about those kinds of stories -- the psychological tension, the supernatural horrors, ghosts, the Devil...even classic movie monsters! Also, this all takes place in a very accessible contemporary setting, with a 1950s Cold War twist that I find fascinating, both visually and thematically."

The press release does not mention any connection to the larger CrossGen Universe, but when asked, CrossGen publicity master Ian Feller commented, "Every book we do fits in continuity…somehow…"

Marvel Comics Announcements For The Week…

At a press conference today (2/20/02), Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas announced that Kevin Smith's Black Cat series will solicit in June under the title Spider-Man: The Evil That Men Do. Joining Smith on the book will be artist Terry Dodson.

In addition, Marvel let slip that WWF Superstar Raven will be working with writer Brian Azzarello on Spider-Man's Tangled Web #14, to tell the story of Crusher Hogan, the wrestler from Spidey's origin story. (Sorry. I should have saved that for Chair Shots, but this will just test to see if Goodson reads the rest of the site.)

And for some strange reason, even with the Scarlet Spider making a comeback in upcoming issues of Spider-Girl, Marvel has decided not to cancel the book.

Meanwhile, In The World of Bendis…

On his own website last week, Brian Michael Bendis announced to fans that Ultimate Marvel Team-Up will end with issue #16. It's not for lack of popularity, but Bendis claims to be tapped out of ideas, with the hassle of matching the perfect artist to each "re-imagined" hero making the book the hardest one he has to write. In addition, working on the MTV Spider-Man animated series has taken up a lot more of his time.

Rather than find someone to replace Bendis on the book, Marvel agreed to bring it gracefully to a close. And since Marvel had also said that the Ultimate line would never consist of more than four books at a time, this paves the way for a rumored Grant Morrison-written Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Not that anybody's actually saying anything about that

You Can Beat A Dead Horse, You Just Can't Show It

Despite treating the ongoing series like a redheaded stepchild, DC announced plans to collect the first twelve issues of The Authority into one hardcover slip-cased volume. Entitled The Absolute Authority Volume One, the book will encompass all of Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary's fabled run.

Loaded with behind-the-scenes extras, the book will be available in August, coinciding with the action figures from DC Direct.

Nope. Not compensating for anything.
One of the Original Grim and Gritty To Return?

Comic Book Resources reports that John Ostrander and Tim Truman are considering reviving their classic series Grimjack. Set on the multi-dimensional world (and somewhat lawless) world of Cynosure, the series followed the adventures of a mercenary/bar owner making his own justice. Doomed to be reborn to a life of violence again and again, the character went through two incarnations before original publisher First Comics folded.

Neither writer nor artist specified a publisher, but said that negotiations are going on, as well as talks to reprint some of the stories from the original series. According to Ostrander, the run influenced many of the darker anti-heroes who rose to popularity in the '80's, particularly The Punisher.

If you find back issues, pick them up. You might find yourself agreeing with Ostrander.


Karen Page has GOT to dig me!
Foggy Doesn't Know How Money He Is…

Actor/director/writer Jon Favreau (Swingers) is in negotiations to take the role of Matt Murdock's law partner Foggy Nelson in the upcoming film Daredevil. In the same article in Variety, it appears that Fox has changed the release date yet again (the movie has yet to begin actually filming), to January 17th, 2003.

Is that confidence? January tends to be a dead period for movies of any quality, but since nothing has actually happened beyond casting, it could just be that Fox wants to start kicking box office butt early in the year.

Do The Canadians Even Have A Satellite To Take Over The World?

The upcoming production T3: The Rise of the Machines (the sequel to, of course, E.T.) will be shooting completely in Los Angeles, not splitting its time between the City of Angels and Vancouver (the City of, um, Polite People). Director Jonathan Mostow had balked at the dual locations, and after some budget revisions, he was told he could film entirely in the more expensive city. Even with a lowered budget, the film may cost as much as $180 million, $30 million alone of which will go to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Already some are speculating that this is a political move by Schwarzenegger, because "runaway production" has become a very big concern for California. When a film moves to Canada, the state loses big on tax revenue, and many in Hollywood have been grumbling. (And if you weren't aware, Arnie has long been rumored to be eyeing a bid for governorship of the Golden State.)

Disney Gives Us What We Deserve?

Hot on the heels of a successful opening weekend for Peter Pan: Return To Neverland, Disney has turned to its television animation division and okayed theatrical releases for The Jungle Book II and Piglet's Big Movie. Originally intended for direct-to-video release, the two films should reach theaters in early 2003.

The Disney Studios have found their television animation to be far more profitable than theatrical animation. Less fluid and less expensive (never mind less impressive), these television to theatrical products have done better than Disney's last two intended for theatrical release, The Emperor's New Groove and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. True, Toy Story 2 was originally intended to be direct-to-video, but Pixar wasn't skimping on quality in the first place, which is why Disney released it theatrically.

At least Cinderella II and The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (yeah, that one demands a sequel…) will still go straight to VHS and DVD. (And if you want a good laugh, watch the Hunchback II trailer included on Disney's recent DVD release of Atlantis. Jennifer Love Hewitt describes her character as "…never having seen anyone like Quasimodo before." Which is odd, of course, since the streets of Paris are just loaded with hunchbacks with deformed faces.)

Bond, James Booooooowwwwwccchhhhhhh!

Filming of the twentieth official James Bond film has come to a halt as 47 year old star Pierce Brosnan has suffered a knee injury. Just call it The Man With The Broken Patella and everything will be fine.

This Time They Mean It!

Variety has confirmed what Premiere Magazine let slip a month ago: McG has signed to direct Superman 5. An even newer name has been added to the mix, in that the article goes on to say that the director of Charlie's Angels will be working off of a script being written by J.J. Abrams, creator of ABC's ALIAS.

This one just might work out, since both men are capable of creating breezy fun action/adventure, something previously announced director Tim Burton is not known for.


David Duchovny DOES Love Me

The Fox Network has made it official: David Duchovny will return to The X-Files for the final two-hour episode, as well as direct one leading up to it. Once again, we have been made promises that things will wrap up satisfactorily, with the ending being written by Chris Carter and directed by Kim Manners. It will broadcast May 19, against the finale of Survivor: Marquesas.

I know. It's a tough choice.

In Memoriam For The God Of War

37 year old New Zealand actor Kevin Smith (not to be confused with the New Jersey writer/director/"actor" Kevin Smith) died this weekend after a several story fall in China. The actor was on the verge of breaking through with American audiences, scheduled next month to play a lead role in Bruce Willis' next film.

Ah, but why do you know him? Smith played Ares, The God of War, sometime lover of Xena: Warrior Princess. In addition, he portrayed the same role for both Hercules and Young Hercules, being the only actor to appear in all three shows.

Just When I Finally Got A Damned Player…

A group of technology manufacturers headed by Sony and Matsushita have agreed on a standard for an emerging technology called Blue Laser DVD. Much more information can be packed onto a disc using this new blue laser instead of the current red one, which will allow for DVDs to deliver a true HDTV quality picture.

While the new players will become available next year, the manufacturers still haven't determined if blue laser DVD will actually support red laser DVD.

Which means that this time next year, you'll find me squatting in a corner of the Fanboy Planet office alternately grunting and weeping while clutching a DVD in one hand and an 8-Track Tape in the other, my technotestes shrunken to the size of lentils.

Warworld Is Coming…

Hey, hey kids! (And Michael Goodson…)

This Sunday will see a brand-new episode of Justice League, titled Warworld. And we all know what that means…Mongul is coming to kick Kryptonian butt. Hopefully, there will be no sign of the ridiculously named Mongal (daughter of Mongul) nor the rumored Mongull (avian pet of Mongul).

Because we love you,
click on the pic for
an even better one.

A Thief In Oz?

Truly, truly hot actress Melissa George has been cast in the lead of the WB's proposed series Lost In Oz. She will play either a high school senior or a grad student (reports vary) who, on the eve of choosing her future, will be swept away to the merry old land of Oz. Except it's not so merry since the days Dorothy visited. In fact, it's downright creepy. (Actually, if you've seen the original illustrations, it always was.)

Anyway, George will be familiar to the three of you who watched the John Stamos series Thieves last fall, as well as having a brief cameo in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. She's listed as having been in Sugar and Spice, but I can't find anyone who will admit to having seen it.

According to Aint It Cool, this project still has David Hayter attached as the writer, so it's time for all you Solid Snake fans to start e-mailing me again.

Derek McCaw


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