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Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Mark Millar said that he and Bryan Hitch are viewing The Ultimates as a 24-issue run and are already planning their next colloboration.

Millar made the comments early Wednesday afternoon at Marvel Comics telephone press conference.

"Bryan Hitch and I spent about two hours on the phone today, just talking about the project that we're planning to do for Marvel after The Ultimates," Millar said. "We see The Ultimates as a 24-issue run for us, which will be great for whomever comes on after. But we were just planning what comes next because things really happen fast in comics. You've got to plant your flag before someone else does on something."

Asked for details of the new project, Millar said, "We've suggested it to Bill (Jemas) and Joe (Quesada) and we'll just see what they say. I just sent an e-mail about an hour ago, and I don't think they've read it yet. We're keeping it very quiet. We're keeping it under wraps because The Ultimates does have quite long way to go. The plan is 24 issues, which at Bryan's drawing speed, could be five years, you know?"

Millar also talked about the focus of the press conference, Ultimate War, the upcoming mini-series that pits The Ultimates against the Ultimate X-Men. Millar wanted the crossover to be meaningful, likening the meeting to movie franchises.

"The first issue has a real cataclysmic thing happen that almost makes it impossible for the teams not have some kind of conflict," Millar said.

In other notes from the press conference:

* Writer Bruce Jones and artist Manuel Garcia are teaming on the Daredevil Movie Adaptation, due in January. The film arrives in theaters on Feb. 14.

* Also in January in advance of the Daredevil movie will be: Daredevil Legends: Daredevil Yellow, available in softcover for the first time; a collection of the Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra mini-series; a Daredevil Movie Graphic Novel; and new printings of the Born Again and Parts of a Hole trades.

* Marvel has declared December as Ultimate Sweeps Month. In addition to the first two issues of Ultimate War, Bill Roseman said the month will include Ultimate X-Men #26, a prologue to the next arc, and Ultimate Spider-Man #32-33 with Ultimate Venom.


Writer Michael Chabon told The Continuum that he's making progress on the screenplay for the Spider-Man sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man.

"It's going pretty good," Chabon said on Tuesday night. He was appearing at Borders in Ann Arbor, Mich., as part of his tour for Summerland.

After reading a segment from the book, Chabon fielded questions from the overflow audience, and the first was how Spider-Man was coming along.

"It's a bit tricky when you're on a book tour and you're also trying to write a screenplay, but I'm really enjoying it," Chabon said. "I still can't quite believe that I get to do this. It's such a treat."

While saying it's not a ground-floor rewrite for The Amazing Spider-Man, Chabon told The Continuum that he has not read previous drafts by David Koepp, who wrote Spider-Man, and by Smallville executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. "I don't know what was in them," he said.

Chabon is writing for a familiar actor. Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire appeared in Wonder Boys, which was based on a Chabon book.

"I think he's wonderful," Chabon said of Magiure. "He was in Wonder Boys, y'know, and he was great. I've talked to him a couple of times and he seems like a very nice person."

As has been the case throughout the book tour, Chabon did not reveal any story elements for the Spider-sequel.

Also on Tuesday night, Chabon talked about adapting his own novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, into a screenplay, poking fun at himself.

"It was hard. It was very hard. It was not all that much fun most of the time," he said. "As a screenwriter, I was often quite irritated with the author of the book.

"It took eight drafts of the screenplay before the producer Scott Rudin finally said, 'OK, you did it.' But I have to say it really did get better with each draft and I could see that each time. Although I began each draft cursing and saying I was going to quit and I didn't care about this stupid movie and so on, usually, by the time I was done with that draft, I would say that he was right and it was better. And I think the last draft was pretty good.

"And it's its own thing. It's not just sort of a classic comics in transcription of the book. It's actually a screenplay for a movie that might have come into existence in its own."

The film is set up at Paramount Pictures, and an Entertainment Weekly report recently linked Jude Law to the lead role.

Chabon noted that he has done his first comics writing, for the JSA: All-Stars mini-series next year from DC Comics.

"I agreed to do it because they gave me a chance to write one of my favorite costumed super-hero characters, Mr. Terrific," Chabon told his Ann Arbor audience. "If you don't know about Mr. Terrific, and I'm not making this up, he has no powers. He has no powers. But he is really good at stuff. On his chest instead of the usual symbol, he has the words, 'Fair Play.' It's kind of a Wes Anderson kind of a character.

"So I asked if he was taken - because this is sort of a book where there are different writers for different characters -- and when they said he was still available, I said I'd do it.

"What I wrote about was Mr. Terrific's younger brother, who was not so terrific, and what it's like to have Mr. Terrific as a brother."

Chabon's story will appear in the second issue and will be drawn by Michael Lark.


The WB has released eight images from "Nocturne," next Tuesday's episode of Smallville.

Here's how the network describes the episode:

"Clark (Tom Welling) is concerned when he discovers someone has been leaving love notes for Lana (Kristin Kreuk) at her parents' grave and warns her to stay away from the mysterious poet. Fed up with Clark's over-protectiveness, Lana (Kristin Kreuk) follows the dark and handsome stranger to his home and discovers his parents keep him locked in chains. Unable to leave him like that, Clark and Lana break into the house to save the boy, but soon realize why he was locked up in the first place."

Rick Wallace directed the episode, which was written by Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images from the episode.


Future Comics editor-in-chief Bob Layton announced on Tuesday that California-based Energy Entertainment has entered into a feature film deal for their android adventurer, Freemind.

"We're extremely excited to have Energy on board," Layton said. "This project seems to be on the fast track for development. I don't find this deal all that surprising, considering that we, David Michelinie, Dick Giordano and I, created every one of our Future Comics characters to translate easily into other media."

Daniel Alter, who is spearheading the comics management division for Energy said, "The concept behind Freemind just hits you on the head as an idea for a great film. And it's hard not to geek-out when I'm speaking to Bob and David on the phone about the title and what the 'take' on the film will be. I've been a fan of these guys from Iron Man to Valiant Comics and titles like X-O Manowar.

"Future Comics is going to leave an indelible mark on the film industry and we're extremely happy to be involved with them"


Oni Press has announced a Feb. 19 release date for Cheat, a 64-page one-shot from writer/artist Christine Norrie.

First announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Cheat is the story of Janey and Marc, a married couple in modern-day NYC. When Marc is forced to go on another in a long line of business trips, a lonely Janey ends up spending time with Davis-whose wife is, coincidentally, also out of town. One thing leads to another, and they end up spending the night together. What follows are Janey's attempts to resume her normal life, as she struggles with the decision to tell her husband what she has done and considers the long-term ramifications adultery can have on a relationship.

"What I wanted to do was take the graphic novel format and crack open relationships in the 21st century," Norrie said. "Temptation has become an accepted element of marriage these days, and you have shows on TV like Sex & The City that, while entertaining, don't really show you the downside of what happens when someone follows the wrong impulse."

"Fans of Hopeless Savages and Queen & Country have seen what a talented artist Christine Norrie is," Oni Press editor-in-chief Jamie S. Rich said. "She has one of those art styles that you just fall in love with. To tell her own stories is the next logical step in her evolution. She has tried her hand at some short pieces, most notably starring her Kung Fu Space Girls, but Cheat is her first major work. I can say, reading the early stages of the script, it was clear to me that her writing would be just as charming as her drawing."

Norrie said the challenge in Cheat was to make the characters as real as possible.

"I didn't want, as an author, to judge them. I needed to let them do what they do, judge each other, and judge themselves," Norrie said. "I want you to see the many sides of the story, and to have some sort of sympathy. Particularly with Janey. She is the one who makes the most mistakes."

Joining Norrie for the project is graphic designer Kelley Seda, creator of the comic book Rare Creature. Seda has also lent her design hand to other Oni Projects, including Shot Callerz, Magic Pickle and Hopeless Savages.

"I am working closely with Christine to create a package that will stand apart from other graphic novels in appearance the way Cheat stands apart in content," Seda said. "For me, Cheat is the sort of book people that aren't traditionally comics fans might find attractive, and we wanted to create something that said that, while still making it appealing to the comic book audience. I think the best word I can use is 'pretty.'"

Cheat will be 64 pages of black-and-white story and art and will cost $5.95. Look for a four-page preview in Three Days in Europe #1, on sale from Oni Press on Nov. 20.


Moonstone Books has released its solicitation information for February.

Following is a rundown, with information provided by the company:


Written by Joe Gentile, art by Trevor Von Eeden, tones by Ken Wolak, cover by Dennis Calero.

Moonstone continues its new line of crime books. Moonstone shines it's dark glow on the old time radio drama "the Mysterious Traveler", and offers up a new "phase" on a creepy classic. On a midnight train to nowhere, a man needs to hear your story. He's a mysterious traveler and where you're headed is the mystery he's destined to solve. On this ride, sit with a man who burned with an intense desire for a beautiful woman, and was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill that need. Like putting out a fire with gasoline, it just makes things worse. Listen to his mad tale, as he rides the rails to his final destination. One way nowhere.

48 pages, black and white, $5.50.


Written by Martin Powell, art by Seppo Makinen, cover by Tim Seelig.

This tome reprints the team of Martin Powell and Seppo Makinen's "Scarlet in Gaslight" and "A Case of Blind Fear." First, in "Scarlet in Gaslight," the Great Detective comes face to face with the master vampire Count Dracula. A beautiful young woman is afflicted with a strange anemia, losing her blood for no apparent reason. Called in to investigate, Holmes and Watson meet the eccentric Dr. Van Helsing, a noted scientist with an obsession for the occult. Together the three men uncover the most insidious plot ever master-minded by Holmes' nemesis, the infamous Professor Moriarty. Only Holmes himself has the ability to stop Moriary's diabolical vampire invasion, but the cost may be his very sanity, his life, and ultimately, his mortal soul. In the second mystery, "A Case of Blind Fear", strange occurrences are plaguing 1895 London. A fruit vender sees an apple suspended in mid-air like a balloon, a clerk encounters a ghostly apparition, only its skeleton and internal organs visible, and a large quality of obscure drugs has been stolen from several London chemists. Then there began the murders. Murders that no one seemed to commit. Was it a plague of hallucinations or was London truly haunted by a monstrous unseen evil? The Great Detective is called into the case by Scotland Yard itself to uncover the horror and mystery of the Invisible Man.

216 pages, black and white, $18.95.


Written by Ben Raab, art by Lou Manna, colored by Matt Webb, cover by Joel Naprstek.

The Phantom follows the trail of jewel-thieving pirates into a most dangerous adventure. An old foe comes forth to put every skill The Phantom has to the test. Trapped on a Madman's island, the chance of his survival looks as slim as Satan's smile. He must fight sharks with his hands and feet- he must gain the trust of a beautiful woman- and he must prevail through all of this to an explosion conclusion.

48 pages, $6.95.


Transformers: Armada #3 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Dreamwave Productions. The issue is written by Chris Sarracini, pencilled by James Raiz, inked by Rob Armstrong, with backgrounds by Edwin Garcia and colors by Alan Wang.

Here's how Dreamwave describes the issue:

"Having escaped Megatron's evil empire, the Mini-Cons have crash-landed here on Earth. Just wait until you see what happens when the Autobots and Decepticons realize they're still alive! Can the Mini-Cons make a life for themselves here or will Earth become the new battleground for the Cybertronian war?"

Transformers: Armada #3 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.95.



Thor #55 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Dan Jurgens, with art and cover by Tom Raney.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"Once he was just a warrior, enjoying his adventures on both Asgard and Earth. But now that Thor's the ruler of the legendary home of the Norse gods, he has to deal with the concerns of his allies - like Balder the Brave and the Warriors Three -- and with the threats of his enemies -- like the Absorbing Man, the Enchantress and Loki."

Thor #55 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



Transformers: Generation 1 #6 will arrive in stores on Oct. 23 from Dreamwave Productions. The issue is written by Chris Sarracini, penciled by Pat Lee, inked by Rob Armstrong, with backgrounds by Edwin Garcia and colors by Dreamwave Colors.

Here's how Dreamwave describes the issue:

"Can Optimus Prime and the Autobots stop Megatron's evil plan in time? And what will they have to sacrifice to do it? The action-packed final showdown, and the world of Transformers will never be the same."

Transformers: Generation 1 #6 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.95.



  • Shades of Blue joins Digital Webbing Press with a February trade paperback collection of the series, originally published by Amp Comics. A new series begins in April.

    Created by writers James S. Harris and Rachel Nacion, Shades of Blue tells the story of Heidi Page, Harrington High School's newest student. Trying to fit in at a new school is hard enough - but when Heidi wakes up one morning with blue hair and electrical powers, she realizes she's really in for a tough time. Although she misses her hometown of Chicago, Heidi tries to make the best of her new life, whether battling super-villains or cramming for a tough geometry exam.

    Heidi is supported by her new friends - K.T. O'Hara, the beautiful and popular Harrington High sensation, and Marcus Aurelius Duncan, a "comic book nerd" who provides behind-the-scenes support for Heidi's heroic exploits.

    Current artist Cal Slayton provides the artwork for the collection, along with original illustrator Greg Grucel.

    Shades of Blue: The Collected addition will include additional new material among its 112 pages. It will cost $11.95.

  • The U.S. edition of Shonen Jump from Viz will launch its first issue with a Yu-Gi-Oh! card as a reward for early subscribers. Konami and Upper Deck, worldwide and U.S. producers of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card series respectively, have agreed to provide a specially produced card that will be available in copies of U.S. Shonen Jump #1.

  • Coming Thursday: DC news - and much more!!!

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