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Monday, August 7, 2000
JUSTICE LEAGUE ON BATMAN BEYOND
Paul Dini, producer of Batman Beyond, provided some details about the upcoming two-part episode of the series featuring the Justice League.
"I just looked at the episode yesterday. It came in in animation," Dini said Friday at the Wizard World convention. "One change now: It's called the JLU. It's now 40 years in the future, and it's the Justice League Unlimited.
"There are some old familiar faces in there, but there are new characters you've never seen before, sort of second generation of classic characters. But the basic JLU lineup consists of Superman, the senior member; Barda, from Apokolips, who is sort of second in command; Aquagirl, who is the daughter of Aquaman and Mera; a character called Micron, who is sort of like the original version of the Atom, mixed with a little bit of Giant-Man; a character called Warhawk, who is sort of like Hawkman, but who is also the bad-ass of the group; and a new Green Lantern, who is an Asian child, who's about 8 and is sort of like the Dali Lama, he just sort of hovers and is mystical all the time.
"Superman goes to see Bruce and says, 'I think it's time for Terry to join the League.' We say that Bruce was an original member, although kind of a reserve member because he wasn't one for joining up. Superman needs Terry to come in because he's somebody he can trust and there may be a traitor in the league.
"It's really cool. All the characters look great. Superman's got elements of Kingdom Come Superman to him, a little gray in the temple, but he's still the same guy. His suit's a little more Kryptonian, oddly enough."
Since Wonder Woman could be around in the future as a viable member, why wasn't she used?
"There's kind of a licensing problem," Dini said. "If we wanted to do Wonder Woman as a series, we could do that. If it was a guest-shot, it was a little more problematic. I don't really understand it. It just turned out to be easier all the way around.
"With Barda being a full-time member of the League (in the comics), we figured Barda's from Apokolips and nearly immortal, too, so let's put her in there and it has a link to the contemporary book.
"We love Wonder Woman. Bruce (Timm, producer) did that great design of her, which is now a maquette at the Warner Bros. store. At some point, we'll do Wonder Woman. We just need to fight that battle when we get to it."
Dini said the door was left open for more JLU appearances. "If we do more Batman Beyond, we'll definitely do more JLU," he said.
Dini was asked about the possibility of JLA in animation.
"It's something we've talked doing about for a long time," Dini said. "I'm not really sure where it is. That's looking more and more like it's going to be Bruce's project, if, in fact, it's going to be a project.
"We're taking a little time off, to do some other things around the studio, so I'm not sure what's going on with that. I know they've talked about it, and it's been on again, off again. But there's no news on it right now."
Thirteen episodes of Batman Beyond will air during the third season on Kids' WB!
"We finished production on the show. It doesn't mean that there's not going to be any more," Dini said. "They just haven't given us a pick-up for a new season yet. We're coming off of 13 new episodes, which start, I think, at the end of August.
"If the ratings still stay up there, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't give us a pick-up of some sort. They're very encouraged by the way Return of the Joker (movie) is looking and I think they want to at least investigate doing another direct-to-video Batman maybe a year from now. So we're doing some plotting now, working up a few outlines, things like that."
The Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie will feature music by Kenny Wayne Shepard.
Look for more on Batman Beyond in Tuesday's Continuum report.
CLAREMONT REVEALS X-MEN/AVENGERS BATTLE
At the X-Men panel at the Wizard World convention last weekend, Chris Claremont revealed that events in the Maximum Security crossover will lead to a big story next year involving both the X-Men and the Avengers.
"The Galactic Council is being manipulated by mysterious forces beyond their control, which will actually have ramifications in the X-Men next year as we start the Kree-Shi'ar War II," Claremont said.
"X-Men on one side, Avengers on the other. And they're serious this time. So, if you ever wanted to know if it came to a knockdown, drag-out fight, who would win: X-Men or Avengers? Next summer you may find out.
"How many Avengers are in the X-Men? How many X-Men characters are in the Avengers? It's loyalty time. Mutants, stand up and be counted!"
Before that, Senator Robert Kelly will be a key part of a story line this fall, Claremont said.
"Robert Kelly is conducting a presidential campaign, which is a lot more interesting than the real thing," Claremont said. "Because, actually, our guy has good dialogue. Robert Kelly is running for president yet again. Robert Kelly has a shot at winning. Robert Kelly is about to encounter the ultimate incarnation of the phrase, since there's a Beatles-fest next door, 'Blue Meanie.'"
Claremont is referring to Mystique, who has already made one assassination attempt.
"She missed the first time. She won't miss the second," Claremont said. "It's going to be a very lively November for the X-Men and for Robert Kelly, it will mark a turning point in his life."
Claremont also noted that Storm "departs X-Men for a brief and exciting sojourn guest-starring in the Black Panther."
ENNIS' MARVEL KNIGHTS FUTURE
Garth Ennis has more Marvel Knights work lined up, including possibly more Punisher and a Hulk mini-series.
Both Ennis and Marvel Knights editor Joe Quesada indicated Ennis would continued to be involved with Punisher after the 12-issue maxi-series is completed.
"I certainly want to keep writing Punisher," Ennis said. "I would be surprised if I didn't. The one-shot with Painkiller Jane and the Punisher was a laugh. I might not do Punisher on a permanent basis, but I fully expect a steady stream of Punisher stuff from me."
Ennis said to watch out for a new Punisher villain, The Russian, in Pushiner #9. "I put a lot of thought into him," he said.
Ennis is teaming with artist John McCrea on Hulk Smash!, a two-issue series which will have painted covers by Kevin Nowlan.
"John is the artist on Hitman and he was really the inspiration for it," Ennis said. "John, unlike myself, really loves super-hero comic books and has been longing to draw these characters all of his life."
Ennis said it really isn't a super-hero story.
"It's the Hulk back at the start when he was a rampaging beast," Ennis said. "It's a modern re-telling of all the crazy stuff when they were starting the Hulk, when he was a rampaging beast smashing everything in his way.
"So, it's two issues of total carnage."
With Ennis' runs on Preacher and Hitman ending, he said he's changing his focus a bit.
"I did two monthlies for five or six years," he said. "I don't want to do monthlies again. I'd rather do mini-series or one-shots."
Look for more Marvel Knights news on Tuesday.
CROSSGEN ARTISTS NAMED
CrossGenerations Comics has announced a few guest-artists for upcoming issues of its titles.
Steve McNiven, an assistant penciller, has been promoted to full-time penciller and will be drawing Mystic #7 and Sigil #6. Both issues will be inked by Batt and colored by J.D. Smith.
Rick Leonardi is drawing Scion #7, which will be inked by Karl Kesel and colored by Paul Mounts.
Mike Wieringo is drawing Meridian #8, which will be inked by Tellos collaborator Rob Stull and colored by Paul Mounts.
CrossGen also announced that the First #1 will be released in November and the first of George Perez's quarterly contributions to CrossGen Chronicles will feature Scion and is scheduled for February.
MEDINA TALKS SPAWN
Angel Medina told The Continuum that he is working on his third issue as artist of Spawn and will likely remain on the Image Comics title for a while.
"It could be anywhere from six months to three years," Medina said. "I've finished two issues and am halfway done with another. From my point of view, I'll be on Spawn for at least a year."
Medina said he's currently working on Spawn #103 and has received the script for Spawn #104.
"One of the main things is to put the book back on schedule," Medina said. "By the time my stories are coming out, I'll have five in the bag already."
Medina said he is also working on an online comic, Plaz*Tek.
"Warren has a story idea on how to do the crossover," Cassaday said. "It's not just them bumping into Batman. It will have a real plot to it."
Cassaday also said that plans are for the series to end around #24.
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