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Thursday, March 27, 2003


The Spider-Man sequel has a new release date and the Batman franchise reportedly has a new writer.

Columbia/Sony announced late Wednesday that the Spider-Man sequel is moving from May 7, 2004 to July 2, 2004. The move, which could ease a tight production schedule, puts Spider-Man in direct competition with Will Smith's I, Robot.

"The July 4 holiday weekend is traditionally one of the most anticipated weekends of the box-office year, and it's going to be a great date to launch Spider-Man 2," said Sony marketing and distribution boss Jeff Blake.

After reports that he might pull out of the sequel due to back problems, Tobey Maguire is returning in the title role. Production is expected to begin on April 12.

Meanwhile, Daily Variety reported on Thursday that David Goyer has been tapped to write a Batman script for Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan. Goyer has been the most prolific comics-to-film writer, having written all three of the Blade films for New Line Cinema, including the upcoming third installment.

Ironically, Batman will be the first film project based on a DC Comics character for Goyer, who has written such DC Comics titles as JSA. His take on the Batman franchise will be unreleated to Batman: Year One or Batman vs. Superman development, according to Variety.

Attempts to reach Goyer for comment on early Thursday were unsuccessful.


For covers and four-page previews of Marvel Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include X-Men 2 Movie Adaptation, Sentinel #1, Wolverine X-Isle #1, Elektra #21, Daredevil #45, The Call #1 and Hulk/Wolverine: Six Hours #4.


For covers and four-page previews of DC Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Action Comics #802, Hawkman #14, Batman: Nevermore #1, Justice League Adventures #18, 100 Bullets #43, Detective Comics #781, 21 Down #8 and Robotech #5.


Dynamic Forces is presenting the exclusive alternate cover to Magdalena/Vampirella #1, featuring art by Art Adams.

The cover marks Adams' first involvement with a Top Cow character.

"Art Adams and I have had a great relationship over the last 10 years, and it gets stronger all the time," said Nick Barrucci, president of Dynamic Forces. "We are very fortunate and happy to have him do one of the things that Arthur does best. One is drawing monkeys, the other is drawing beautiful women, and the beautiful women are definitely up our fans' alley. Monkey's are too - but there aren't any in this crossover."

The alternate cover version will cost $6.99.


View Askew, Big Blast Toys and Graphitti Designs have launched the first in an ongoing series of Clerks InAction Figures.

"Bucking conventional wisdom and market trends," the figures have zero posability and zero articulation.

"I wanted to make a line of toys that mirror my sex life," said Clerks creator/film maker Kevin Smith, "Zero action."

Series 1 features Jay, Silent Bob, Randal and Dante from Smith's Clerks. Jon Matthews has sculpted, based on designs by Clerks cartoon animator Stephen Silver. All figures measure roughly 5 inches.

Series 2 is scheduled for a fall release, will feature characters from Mallrats , including Brodie, Willam, Jay, Silent Bob, Steve-Dave and Fanboy. With two releases scheduled per year, future series will feature a wide array of characters from all of the Kevin Smith/View Askew movies; Dogma, Chasing Amy and Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back.


With the final issue of One Plus One reaching comics shops on Wednesday, writer Neal Shaffer and Daniel Krall are preparing to follow up their debuts with new Oni Press projects.

In November, Shaffer will release the original graphic novel Last Exit Before Toll, his collaboration with penciller Christopher J. Mitten and digital inker Dawn Pietrusko.

Krall's Follow Me Closely, another original graphic novel, will be released in the first quarter of 2004, and then the team will reunite for the second One Plus One.

"For me, Shaffer and Krall really changed the game in comics in 2002," said Oni Press editor-in-chief Jamie S. Rich. "One Plus One was a stunning first effort. Their style of storytelling is subtle and complex, and I finished every page with a hunger to know what would happen on the next one. The fact that they want to branch out and work individually is a concept I have zero problem with-since it means twice as many quality comics."

In Last Exit Before Toll, Shaffer steps outside of genre to relate the story of a modern man who has reached a dead end. Charles Pierce has a good job and a loving family, but no passion for life. When his auto breaks down in a small town in Virginia, things take a turn. While Charles is literally trapped there, he no longer feels mentally trapped, and he begins to wonder if he should ever go home again.

"With Last Exit, I wanted to do something that wasn't about the typical machinations of plot," Shaffer said. "I wanted a story that was moved by the character, by his emotions and the physical spot he finds himself in. Something more like real life, even if it does have an imposed arc on it. It's not like we can ever escape the past, and that seems to put some kind of three-act structure on our day-to-day existence."

"Christopher Mitten is new to comics," Rich said. "I met him at Wizard World in Chicago last summer, and his pencils really clicked with me. His work, on one hand, is a bit rough in nature, giving it the feel of grime and the real world. On the other hand, he also had a certain quality that was very delicate, almost ephemeral. It's part of why we decided to have Dawn work straight from the pencils. She did such a great job on tones in One Plus One, I thought she would be a good match with Christopher."

Krall is taking a different approach for Follow Me Closely. The graphic novel stars a bored rich kid who goes to Europe in search of new experiences. He gets involved in a variety of criminal plots, and ends up having to pretend to be a famous thief and assassin. "Daniel is going for something a little more fantastic," Rich said. "His characters will still be very real with a very real journey to go on, but they'll be in a wild, retro world of cocktails and spies."

"One Plus One was a blast to draw," Krall said, "but I did get a little tired of drawing a dirty city and seedy bars. Follow Me Closely gives me a chance to indulge my fashion fetishes and create a neo-mod world, something like in the film CQ. Or maybe Barbarella."

Krall will be able to indulge similar ginchy tastes in a short story he is contributing to an upcoming Madman special. "Mike Allred is the god of style," he said. "I plan to worship with my pen."

Eventually, this will lead the creators back to David Coulson and One Plus One.

"I see that series the same way I see the old TV show Route 66," Rich said. "As people will read when they get to the finale, all the plot threads get tied up, but David remains a bit of a mystery. Each series of One Plus One will reveal a little more, but it's not really about him so much as it is about the people he meets and how his presence inspires the way their tales play out."

"I'm itching to get back to David," Shaffer said. "Daniel and I will always make room for new installments of One Plus One. It's like our first romance with comics, and first loves never die."


  • The Mutant X Season One, Disc One DVD from ADV Films has been scheduled for a June 24 release.

  • Coming Friday: X-Men sequel news -- and much more!!!

    Marvel Studios: 12-Inch Collector's Action Figure Series 1 - Wolverine Marvel Studios: 12-Inch Collector's Action Figure Series 1 - Wolverine

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