A Black Cat
Crossed DC's Path…
Over the weekend
Marvel Editor-in-Chief made a huge announcement. Not only has Marvel
signed J. Michael Straczynski to an exclusive contract to keep on writing
Spider-Man, but they've landed another big fish to work right alongside
JMS. And it means the delay, if not outright cancellation, of the revival
of a DC book that fans had been anticipating.
Kevin Smith signed
an exclusive two-year contract with Marvel. In addition to his upcoming
Black Cat mini-series, Smith will also write Spider-Man. (Though
not really specified, our guess would be Peter Parker: Spider-Man
while JMS continues on Amazing Spider-Man.)
There's more to
it than that, as the contract also means that future comic book visitations
to the View Askewniverse (promised by Smith) may now fall under the
Marvel MAX line. While it may not mean we'll see Jay meet Jessica Jones
any time soon, it does impact smaller publishers such as Oni Press that
had periodically gotten a boost from publishing Smith byproducts.
When asked why
he did it, Smith commented that it was simply a matter of Joe Quesada
asking. And the writer/director/sometime actor also felt that DC had
essentially had an exclusive on him for the last couple of years anyway.
But what about
the previously announced revival of The Brave and The Bold? Smith
says that after his contract with Marvel expires, he'll still do it
if DC is interested. Will fans still be interested?
Finest The Title, Or The Creative Team?
Jeph Loeb is shaking
up things in a big way. After Superman #183, he will no longer
be writing the flagship Superbook, and he's taking his entire team with
him. They will move lock, stock, and barrel to launch a new title, currently
called Superman & Batman. (Why not World's Finest?)
Noises have been
made about this title before; it just now has a timetable.
After writing the
adventure in which Batman stole back the kryptonite ring from Lex Luthor,
Loeb realized that he wanted to explore the relationship between DC's
biggest guns further. And even though the book will be "in continuity,"
it apparently won't be quite so tightly run by editorial fiat as the
regular Superman titles.
And that's not all
for Loeb. At WonderCon this past weekend another fan rumor came true
as DC announced that not only will Loeb be taking over Batman
with #608 this summer, but his partner will be Jim Lee.
of Image, former owner and head of Wildstorm Studios, has not drawn
a regular book in quite some time. But he claims that he has already
finished pencils for the first six issues of the run, to make sure that
Batman comes out on a regular monthly schedule.
Did everyone hear
that? A regular monthly schedule.
With this kind
of dedication from a giant in the industry, Batman may become
the book to beat in 2003.
DC also announced
the release of the long-awaited JLA/JSA cross-over, now sub-titled
Virtue and Vice. Carlos Pacheco will illustrate the story by
regular JSA writers David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns.
The maguffin bringing
the two teams together is the too long-forgotten Ultra-Marines, established
in Grant Morrison's JLA run as a group of superheroes, some with
an expiration date, that banded together to establish justice outside
of American boundaries. For some reason, they've decided they have to
launch a pre-emptive strike against the United States, and since the
JLA barely withstood them before, this time it's going to take two teams
of the world's greatest heroes.
No word on appearances
by Tom Turbo, Catman, or The Green Guardsman.
After a tremendously
successful couple of years at Image, Christian Gossett and the rest
of "Team Red Star" will be moving their flagship title, The Red Star
to their own imprint: Archangel Studios. The popular science fiction/fantasy
comic tells of conflicts between an alternate Soviet Republic and Afghanistan
in a world where sorcery holds as much power as science. Through a combination
of Gossett's pencils and ground-breaking computer coloring, The Red
Star has a unique look that quickly became a fan favorite.
announced humor title Buddha Master & Angst Man will still come
out through Oni Press, as originally solicited.
Coming From Image
If you bought the
first two Powers trade paperbacks, you may have noticed something
was missing. This August, Image aims to take care of that.
the third Powers collection, will reprint the missing issue #7
that infamously featured writer Warren Ellis as a character, and then
continue on to reprint issues #12-14. As if that weren't enough (and
okay, we're greedy fans, it isn't), the book will also contain the Powers
Coloring Book, the Powers Annual, and the short story "Who
Killed Madman?" that originally appeared in Oni Press Color Special
2001. As an even greater bonus, the first collaboration between
Bendis and Oeming, a non-Powers story called "Keys," will round out
Start saving those
The Man Without
Fear…Of Appearing In Spandex
Over the weekend
someone leaked a picture to Aint It Cool News and Dark Horizon of Ben
Affleck wearing the movie version of the Daredevil uniform. Only one
problem: that clearly wasn't Affleck, and the picture on the whole looked
suspiciously photoshopped. Harry Knowles didn't run the picture, though
it did make the rounds across a few gossip sites.
His patience paid
off (and all due props to Harry this week - he's landed a lot of cool
superhero news over the past two days, especially concerning The
Hulk and Hellboy). Someone from Fox leaked him a legitimate
photo. Though you can't really see much in the way of detail, this shot
of Affleck, in uniform and on a rooftop, still looks cool.
Affleck also got
quoted this week in Entertainment Weekly, expressing his joy
at playing Daredevil. He especially looks forward to how the movie will
illustrate DD's radar sense.
Let's just hope
that having a real fan in the role still leads to an accessible performance.
Looking Ahead To Spider-Man 2
At this week's
press junket for Spider-Man, Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire dodged
questions about the sequel. But apparently, nobody told Kirsten Dunst
not to talk about it, because she revealed that the film will follow
the Batman tradition and feature two villains.
According to Dunst,
Spider-Man will face off against Doctor Octopus and The Lizard. Neither
really comes as a surprise, as the seeds for Doctor Octopus' origin
have long been rumored to be in the film, as well as an appearance by
the one-armed Dr. Curtis Connors.
Could Dunst have
just been part of a cunning misinformation campaign on the part of Raimi?
Most journalists were too smitten after the 19-year-old actress purred
"Face it, Tiger, you've hit the jackpot" to question anything.
Gets A Go
that Artisan Entertainment has hired Jonathan Hensleigh to write and
make his directing debut on The Punisher. No word on his approach
to the material, or the film's start date, only that (as usual) Marvel
Entertainment CEO Avi Arad is very excited by the possibilities.
The Punisher is
one of fifteen Marvel properties currently held by Artisan Entertainment;
late last year the studio cast Ray Park (Darth Maul, The Toad) in Iron
Fist, but that film seems to have stalled.
This is also not
the first time Hensleigh (Die Hard 3, Armageddon) flirted
with a superhero. In 1998 Universal hired him to write and direct The
Incredible Hulk, a film which even had some test make-up done before
it went into turnaround. Now, of course, The Hulk is in production
with a script by David Hayter (among others) and direction by Ang Lee.
Hensleigh has the
right pulpy chops. I hope he gets to pull this one off.
For Deep Throat
Linda Boreman has
died at 52 as the result of injuries sustained in a car accident. If
the name doesn't ring a bell, you may know her better as Linda Lovelace,
the name she used when she rocketed to brief fame in the '70's as the
star of the X-rated masterpiece Deep Throat.
may hardly believe it, but Deep Throat was such a breakthrough
film that it even played at first-run, mainstream movie theaters. After
filming a few disappointing follow-ups, Lovelace disappeared from the
public eye, only to resurface in 1980 with an autobiography claiming
that she was forced into doing adult films at gunpoint. Over the last
couple of decades she had been an ardent crusader against pornography,
doing her best to live a quiet life in Colorado.
Don't forget that
this Sunday, April 28, The Simpsons will feature a guest-appearance
by Stan Lee, in an episode which features Homer hulking out.
No, Fox won't let
us preview the episode, but we'll still push it. That's the kind of
guys we are.
This Blade. The Witchblade.
At long last, the
second season of Witchblade has a broadcast date. On Father's
Day (I can't think of a better present), June 16, TNT will present the
two-hour season premiere at 7, 9, and 11. Coincidentally, one of the
guest stars in that episode is actually the father of series star Yancey
After the premiere,
Witchblade will move to its regular timeslot, Mondays at 9 p.m.
In The Twilight Zone
author Damon Knight passed away last week in Eugene, Oregon, at the
age of 79. A colleague of Isaac Asimov and Fredrick Pohl, Knight achieved
literary immortality by writing the short story "To Serve Man," the
basis for one of the most remembered episodes of The Twilight Zone.
In the story, an
alien race took over our society to keep us happy and content, all the
while guided by their book, To Serve Man. Humanity assumes the
book is religious in nature, only to discover too late that it is, in
the immortal final words of the episode, "A COOKBOOK!!"
were held for Knight, followed by a buffet…nope, there's no way to phrase
that joke without it being just too damned offensive. Even I have standards.
this and more in the Fanboy forums.