Planet Buzz 05-09-02


The Father Of Sgt. Rock Dead At 87

Long-time DC writer and editor Robert Kanigher passed away Monday, May 6. The first to take over Wonder Woman after creator Charles Mouton let go of the feature, Kanigher left his imprint (and a continuity headache) by creating Wonder Girl.

But the versatile wordsmith will be far better remembered for his two major contributions to DC of the '60's: the sometimes surreal Metal Men, created with Ross Andru, and of course, Sgt. Rock. The latter Kanigher worked on with the legendary Joe Kubert; the two collaborated on The Viking Prince and Enemy Ace features as well.

As a side note, though he never wrote the story, Kanigher insisted that Frank Rock was killed in World War II, not Our Worlds At War. Those of us that find Rock's revival in Suicide Squad hard to swallow will stick with Kanigher's version.

Let's Get The Worst Out Of The Way…

This week over at Silver Bullet Comics, former DC Answer Man Bob Rozakis fielded the question as to just when exactly we would be seeing The Dark Knight Strikes Again #3. A reasonable question indeed, one on the lips of every fan who didn't think the second issue blew chunks harder than Superman on Ipecac. (I liked it, but I know there was a lot of negative reaction.)

Rozakis' answer does not bode well, and bear in mind that when originally announced, the Frank Miller project was supposed to ship every six weeks. "I do not believe that DC has set a new ship date yet," Rozakis writes, "but that is not surprising since my spies tell me it isn't yet completed."

So will Miller ever complete it, or has he secretly been paid by Bill Jemas to just leave us all hanging? Time will tell, but as you can see in the next piece, Jemas got troubles of his own...

Too Bad They Can't Really Hire Matt Murdock

Tired of waiting forever between issues of Origin? Brian Hibbs is not only tired of it, he considers it a threat to his livelihood. As owner of the San Francisco-based comic book store Comix Experience, Hibbs believes that Marvel's constant delay in shipping comics makes it difficult to predict stock and cash flow.

So Monday, Hibbs filed a class action suit against Marvel, on behalf of the roughly 3500 comic book store owners in the U.S. He claims that Marvel consistently violates its own Terms of Sale, which reads as follows:

"Orders for Marvel Products cannot be canceled or reduced, except in the following circumstances:

"(i) Delivered more than thirty (30) days after the solicited on-sale date specified at the time of purchase;

"(ii) Product contains significant editorial or manufacturing differences from the solicited content

(iii) Product containing distinct seasonal or holiday content is delivered more than one (1) week after the close of the season or holiday."

After tracking books that shipped either late or with different material than originally solicited over an eight month period, Hibbs compared the results with industry sales charts. He discovered that Marvel had produced almost $6.2 million worth of product that violated their own Terms. The lawsuit claims that despite the above Terms of Sale, Marvel has refused to honor returns.

"I would have given anything to have not filed this suit," Hibbs said, "but repeated queries to both Marvel and their distributor, Diamond Comics, brought no satisfaction in them living up to their Terms of Sale. What frustrates me is that Marvel set those terms themselves, and they're not living up to their most basic promises."

Joe Quesada has not commented publicly, for legal reasons, but you can bet this won't be the last we hear of it.


Eliza Dushku Speaks Exclusively To Fanboy Planet

New Fanboy correspondent Bob Drinkwater had the opportunity to lob a few questions at everybody's favorite alternate Slayer, Eliza Dushku. As she was busy doing a public appearance for The New Guy, he only got a little back. But let's let Bob tell it…

"Eliza was pretty cool. And by cool I mean totally f***ing hot. She was wearing a see thru shirt (no bra) that she kept pulling up as a nervous habit... and everytime she leaned forward to play with her boots, I had full view of... well, let's just say they're fake." (Let's just say we don't care.)

Me: What can you tell us about True Lies 2?

Eliza Dushku: I can tell you a whole lot of nothing. I've heard a lot of rumors, but I haven't seen anything with my own eyes.

Me: Would you expect to be asked back for the sequel?

Her: I wouldn't expect to be. I would be thrilled if I were asked back as long as Dana is joining the family business. I want in on the action.

Me: What about the rumors that you'll play Wonder Woman in the movie?

Her: Total rumor.

Me: Where did that rumor start?

Her: Probably some internet guy.

Well, far be it from us at Fanboy Planet to start such rumors up again, but you know, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Although by the time Warner Brothers made a decision, Dushku would be 40…

Please Don't Get In Line Yet…

On the heels of Spider-Man's breaking box office records all over the place (Best Single Day Opening Ever, Best Opening Weekend Ever, Best Monday Ever, Best Movie To Overcome Some Idiot's Use Of A Laser Pointer Ever - that last one bestowed by me after a visit to the AMC Mercado 20 on Tuesday), Sony has already set the date for Spider-Man 2.


May 7, 2004.

That's right. Only two years away. And still we have no solid DC projects on the horizon.

Sony Feels The Powers

Not content to rule the box office with Spider-Man, Sony has also moved forward with a project from Image Comics. Daily Variety reported last week that Frank Oz has become interested in directing Powers, based on, of course, the single greatest comic book being published today.

Okay, Bendis probably stopped reading after that.

Anyway, Sony and Oz are "in talks," which doesn't mean a done deal. But the quirky director and voice of Yoda does have the right sensibility for such a project, and right now, comic book adaptations are not exactly low-prestige.

Originally the film adaptation was allegedly based on the "Who Killed Retro Girl?" storyline, but Variety described something a little different. The industry paper referenced it as involving a team of superheroes getting killed off one by one, with Walker and Pilgrim investigating. It could be a misinterpretation; mainstream press has gotten such stuff wrong before. But then, so has the internet.

Series creator Brian Michael Bendis has long been attached as a producer on the project, but is content to let someone else write it. If you want to know why, read Fortune & Glory, Bendis' adaptation of his own real-life Hollywood experiences. No, we mean it. Read it.

Too bad Bendis hasn't written anything for DC.

…And HE Only Had A Four-Issue Mini-series

Quentin Tarantino announced this week that he and producing partner Lawrence Bender are stepping in to fast-track a long (ahem) dead Marvel adaptation: Mort The Dead Teenager. Originally languishing at Dreamworks, it looks like Tarantino's A Band Apart productions will place this at Miramax.

Mort The Dead Teenager is one of those titles that pretty much says it all. Based on a four-issue mini-series by Larry Hama, published in the 1980's, the title character gets killed at the outset, but just won't stay dead. With plenty of teen zombie action, creator Hama claims that he always intended it to be a film project.

Warner Brothers, please. Right now you could even get away with doing Ambush Bug. Think about it. That's all I ask.

Okay, By Proxy They Have One Going

Sure, teen heartthrob Shane West lost a TV series with the cancellation of Once And Again, but if you were crying for him, stop it right now. (If you were crying for him, we may have to kick you off the site anyway.) Variety reports this week that he has landed the role of Tom Sawyer in the upcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, based on Alan Moore's Wildstorm (and by extension DC) book of the same name.

Tom Sawyer, you cry? He wasn't in the comic book! True. But in James Robinson's screenplay, Sawyer is an American Secret Service agent aiding the British government, a liberty taken that satisfies both the spirit of Moore's work (Mark Twain certainly implied that Tom Sawyer would follow a career in law enforcement) and the needs of Hollywood Studiothink ("Where's the role for a hot young actor?").


The Turtles Are Back…

This week, 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Studios announced that they will be bringing back those heroes on the half-shell. The Fox Network has tentatively agreed to add Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to their Saturday morning line-up starting in the fall of 2003, with a planned 26 episodes.

"In reintroducing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I am pleased to say that 4Kids will be going back to the Turtles' comic book roots," said Peter Laird, co-creator of the Turtles. "We anticipate that the new Ninja Turtles series will contain the same irreverent contemporary humor and compelling action sequences that the Turtles are famous for, updated for the 21st century."

We believe that Vanilla Ice is available for cameo appearances and performing the Turtle Rap.

That's A Lot Of Money Per Bleep

Andrew Preston needs to find a replacement. MTV has gone ahead and signed The Osbournes for two more seasons, at a rumored $20 million. Though the insanely highly-rated show The Osbournes dropped in viewers last week, MTV still considers it one heck of a cashcow.

The Osbournes themselves will be doing their annual Ozzfest tour, starting in Europe on May 20 and ending in Moscow on June 16. In the U.S., Ozzfest will run from July 6 to September 8.

And despite repeated pleas from our readers, Goodson and I will not be doing our annual FanboyFest. Actually, we will, but not so's you'd notice.

First He Chooses Evil, Then He Does Stand-up

After taking a string of dark roles in movies to once again reminds us just how good an actor he can be, Robin Williams is returning to stand-up comedy. HBO will broadcast the special Robin Williams: Live On Broadway at 9 p.m. on July 14. As the title suggests, Williams will be live at the Broadway Theater in New York City, one of the stops in a national tour this summer.

In his heyday, Williams was one heck of a great stand-up, so I'm pretty jazzed. If he goes back to being a mime, though, we may have a problem.

Ferrel Leaves SNL

Feeling the urge to try to make it as a leading man in movies, Will Ferrel announced that this season is his last at Saturday Night Live. After seven years, it may be time to move on, though Ferrel has not yet actually proven he can carry a picture. (A Night At The Roxbury is not proof either way.)

The former Groundling has three films lined up after he leaves the long-running NBC show. Of those, the one that sounds most promising is Elf, about a human raised in Santa's workshop, dismayed to discover upon manhood that he isn't an elf at all. After working with Chris Kattan, Ferrel certainly has the experience.

Derek McCaw


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