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Friday, April 27, 2001


Marvel's Avi Arad told The Continuum that he hopes that the X-Men sequel can reach theaters in November 2002.

"I think it's perfect timing," said Arad on Thursday in New York City, where he is executive producing Spider-Man. "In 2002, you start the year with Spider-Man in May and you have X-Men in November. In between, there will be other movies.

"I feel pretty comfortable that all these (Marvel films) are spaced properly. And they are all different."

Arad said that David Hayter has turned in a treatment for X-Men 2. "And we are all working toward a script," he said.

The biggest speculation around the sequel has been which new characters will be featured. All Arad could confirm is that there will be characters introduced.

"The main reason I'm not going to give you the names is because it's still a debate," he said. "Characters have to bring in a story, and we are aligning these things. Definitely, there will be new characters.

"There's a story we want to tell and some characters will fit so well into the story."

Bryan Singer is back aboard to direct the sequel.

Arad also responded to Wednesday's stories in the industry trades about Peyton Reed becoming director of Fox's Fantastic Four. Reed directed Bring It On, the hit cheerleader movie that starred Spider-Man's Kirsten Dunst.

"He has just the right sensibilities," Arad said of Reed. "He has a great sense of comedy, and we are very excited about him."

Although X-Men and Fantastic Four are both team concepts, Arad said they are very different movies.

"The Fantastic Four is a dysfunctional family, a comedy. It's about famous heroes. They appear on talk shows. They are celebrities," he said. "X-Men is about the dark secrets."

Despite litigation between Fox and Marvel over the Mutant X television series, Arad said it's business as usual between Marvel and the studio.

"The controversy with Fox doesn't change our relationship with them. They're doing what they think they're supposed to do," Arad said, noting he couldn't get into any legal details.

Look for more from Arad on Monday.


Artist Brent Anderson is teaming with writer Joe Kelly on Green Lantern: The Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan, a hardcover book that follows the life and times of the former Green Lantern and current Spectre.

"It takes the point of view of the Pie-Face character, Tom Kalmaku, and what his relationship was to Hal Jordan and how the changes in Hal Jordan's character affected him," Anderson told The Continuum. "It's the kind of story that's right up my alley and I love it.

"It deals with the human side of what it is that makes comics interesting to me. The reason I got into Marvel comics when I was a kid was because I liked to be caught up with the personal problems. The fact that Peter Parker was a high school student and then a college student, and he had to be Spider-Man, but he always had to take care of his Aunt May and he had to take care of his grades and make sure that he did his homework. I really liked that kind of stuff.

"Being more of an adult now, Joe Kelly's approach to exploring the personality of Tom Kalmaku just intrigued me. I said, 'Yeah, I got to do this book.'"

The book will be 112 pages and will feature a cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. Anderson said he's at page 21, with early pages showing homages to Gil Kane and Neal Adams.

"I'm on a page quota which should have it finished by November or December, so odds are it will come out early next year," Anderson said. "I have a script for the first 50 pages."

In addition to the Green Lantern project, Anderson has jumped aboard as artist of Top Cow's Rising Stars.

"I'm doing what has been coined to me as chapter three, the last chapter, which is issues 17-24," Anderson said. "On #15-16, I'm kind of as my own fill-in artist. Stuart Immonen penciled #14, and then they needed somebody to do the artwork and they said, 'Well, would you be willing to jump aboard two issues early?' And I said, 'Let me take a look at my schedule on Green Lantern.' And yeah, I could just barely hang onto the six-week schedule."

How does he manage to do both books?

"Jumping back and forth, week by week essentially," he said. "What I'm trying to do is six or seven pages a week on each book, and over a six-week period, get 15 pages of Green Lantern finished, and half of the 22 pages of Rising Stars."

Anderson said not to expect the next issue of Kurt Busiek's Astro City for a while.

"I have a script in the can, but DC won't schedule it until three scripts are in," Anderson said. "And I just talked to Kurt last week and he's working on the next script. He's trying, despite his health problems, to get three issues in the can so then we can start talking about scheduling and getting it put out. But I have no idea when it's going to come out. We made so many promises over the past years, so we don't make any promises we can't keep."

And, on top of everything else, Anderson also drew Iron Men: A Universe X Special.

"I've never worked so hard in my life," Anderson said. "Twenty-five years in the business, and this is the hardest I've ever worked."


Following an unauthorized copy of Mark Millar's Vampirella #1 script going on the Internet last week, Harris Comics, in an effort to "ensure that Millar's fans can see the actual script," is offering a preview of Millar's script and Mike Mayhew's art for the first 10 pages at www.vampirella.com.

Harris Comics editor-in-chief David Bogart said, "Mark and everyone here at Harris were outraged when the script hit the net. Millar, Mayhew and everyone at Harris worked incredibly hard to make this launch a success and we felt as if all our efforts were sabotaged. However, after we calmed down and assessed the situation, we decided that instead of hurting us, the release of the script could turn into a positive thing. We know we've got a potential blockbuster on our hands and now everyone can see it for themselves."

"We're going to turn this situation into something really cool for Millar and Vampirella fans," Harris Comics associate publisher Yoshi Aino added. "The preview is free and there's nothing to buy. We're confident that when the fans see the pencils and read the script-they're going to want the whole thing."


The Crusades #3 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from DC Comics. The issue is written by Steven T. Seagle, with art by Kelley Jones, Jason Moore and Mark Buckingham and a painted cover by Kent Williams.

Here's how DC describes the issue:

"As the mysterious Knight's brutal rampage continues in contemporary San Francisco, everyone plays detective. Venus bribes a homeless man for his account of the violence and, unfortunately, gains a new boyfriend in the process. Television might kill the ever-obnoxious radio star as Anton Marx meets his match in a beautiful but ruthless reporter. And the Pope makes Father Trinidad an offer he can't refuse -- unless the Father wants to see God immediately."

The Crusades #3 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.50.



  • DC Comics' new Doom Patrol series will start in November, written by John Arcudi with art by Tan Eng Huat. The series will involve Cliff Steele and four newcomers.

  • Sam Kieth has a new mini-issue series, Four Women, coming from Homage Comics. Here's how DC describes the concept: "In this powerful tale, four women find themselves in a life-threatening, traumatic situation -- only to come through it stronger than any one of them could have imagined."

  • Tom Raney told The Continuum he will be drawing Ultimate X-Men, although he said he didn't know how long of a run it will be. His first issue will be Ultimate X-Men #9.

  • Last Saturday's episode of X-Men: Evolution on Kids' WB! ranked as the No. 2 program for the morning in Boys 2-11 (5.5/20) and Boys 6-11 (7.1/27), and won among the broadcast competition to rank No. 2 for the morning among Kids 2-11 (3.7/14) and Kids 6-11 (4.5/19). X-Men: Evolution trailed Pokemon: The Johto Journeys.

    Static Shock won against broadcast competition in its time slot in Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11, Boys 2-11, Boys 6-11 and Girls 6-11.

  • X-Men star Halle Berry and her husband Eric Benet have filed a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the tabloid Star and its publisher American Media, Inc. The Star recently published an article, which claimed that the couple's marriage is "on the rocks". Benet and Berry deny that there is any truth to the article, which they describe as "offensive and baseless".

  • Moore Creations' Kabuki Mask, the first in a series based on David Mack's Kabuki comic, has sold out. The second mask in the series will feature Scarab and is scheduled to ship in June. The third mask in the series will feature Tigerlily.

  • Coming Monday: Spider-Man movie news - and much more!!!
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