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Stan Lee Presents the Essential Avengers: Avengers #1-24

Saturday, May 31, 2003


Look for an extra report on Sunday this week as The Continuum covers Wizard World East in Philadelphia.


The four-issue JLA/Avengers mini-series by Kurt Busiek and George Perez will launch in September, editor Tom Brevoort told The Continuum.

Each issue of the mini-series will be 48 pages, squarebound and with wraparound covers. The project was first announced at MegaCon in Orlando, Fla., on March 2, 2001.

"I've not worked on something this long or on something this anticipated," Brevoort told The Continuum. "It's definitely like climbing up a mountain, and we're almost done climbing that mountain. When the book comes out, people will see why they waited for so long."

During Friday's Wizard World East in Philadelphia, Marvel displayed the cover to the first issue.

"There will be one issue a month," Brevoort said. "George is on the fourth issue and it's going to be all done and ready to go."

In other Avengers news:

* Brevoort said that he has selected a writer to replace Geoff Johns, who has signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics.

"Yes, I know who it is and, no, I will not tell you yet. Geoff Johns haS seven to nine issues still and I want people to pay attention to that.

"But a writer has been selected and has already turned in two scripts."

* Scott Kolins, who collaborated with Johns on The Flash, is re-teaming with him on an Avengers story.


Jim Lee said that the art for his second arc on Batman with writer Jeph Loeb should be "fairly similar" to his top-selling first arc.

Lee and Loeb are taking a break after their 12-issue "Hush" arc is completed, but will return for another six issues following a six-issue arc by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.

"If anything, I feel more comfortable drawing the character," Lee said Friday at Wizard World East in Philadelphia. "It took me about seven or eight issues. The issue that came out this just week is probably the first issue I felt pretty comfortable drawing the character. And that's because I tend not to do a lot of sketchbook type stuff. I tend to warm up directly on the page, sort of experiment directly on the page, for better or worse.

"So hopefully, the last six-issue arc I do with Jeph on Batman, I'll finally figure it out and it will be the definitive Batman for me."

Lee said there are no current plans to use Sin Tzu, a villain he created for the Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu video game from Ubi Soft Entertainment.

"There's no tie-in to anything Jeph and I are doing, although that would be cool," Lee said. "There is a novelization of the video game, so there will be a book featuring the character."

Lee said he has three years worth of work lined up, and including a collaboration with Alan Moore on Comet Ranger, a 96-page graphic novel that Lee said could be Moore's last work for the America's Best Comics imprint.

"It's kind of Alan Moore's version of Starship Trooper, the book, not the movie," Lee said. "It's a coming-of-age story sent in the far future off the moons of Jupiter -- or something like that."

Lee said he has three pages of script from Moore.

"I'm not done reading it. I got it last year," he joked. "It's going to very dense, a lot of really out-there concepts."

Lee sat down with Moore overseas last week and discussed Moore's reported "retirement" from comics.

"He's still very committed to Comet Ranger and to continue working on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," Lee said. "He will be semi-retiring, but still plans on doing those projects, and I'm looking forward to working with him on it."


During a Hulk/Spider-Man panel at Wizard World East on Friday, Marvel Comics editor Axel Alonso hinted at the possibility of new ongoing title for both characters next year.

"We have some top-secret plans underway for Hulk books," Alonso said. "It's important that they're not covering the same ground as Incredible Hulk. So there will be a lot of Hulk and probably a new Hulk series in 2004."

Alonso was equally cryptic about a new Spider-Man title to follow the Spectacular Spider-Man by Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos.

"I've received a beat sheet from a writer for a new Spider-Man book that's sure to raise eyebrows and be in the top five," Alonso said. "We're talking to an artist right now for a new book in 2004."

In other news from the panel:

* Mike Deodato Jr.'s second Incredible Hulk arc will run from #60-65. Alonso said he hopes to include Deodato's thumbnail sketches into the next Hulk hardcover.

* Incredible Hulk writer Bruce Jones said that he will be revealing who Mr. Blue is. "It might be someone you've seen before," he said. "I'm hoping it will be a pleasant surprise, like, 'Oh yeah, that makes sense.'"

* Alonso said Incredible Hulk might be the No. 1 sales book for June.

* Alonso said that Spectacular Spider-Man will be for the "old-school" fans: "You know, a thwip, thwip type of book where he beats the hell out of bad guys that deserve it."

* Jones said the first arc for the new Kingpin series, which he writes, will be six issues.

* Hulk Grey, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, will launch in October.


Justin Ziran, product manager for Upper Deck Entertainment, told The Continuum that The Hulk trading cards will be reaching stores as early as next week.

Upper Deck made The Hulk the focal point of its display at Wizard World East, with a giant-sized inflatable Hulk, a hanging banner and a video monitor with the film's trailer.

The company also gave away a promo card of Jennifer Connelly (Betty Ross) that was exclusive to the convention.

In other Hulk movie news:

* The Pennsylvania Lottery will begin a $2 Hulk instant ticket campaign on Tuesday.

The Hulk ticket features imagery from the movie and a top prize of $12,000. The Hulk campaign offers more than $4.2 million in cash prizes, and the overall odds of winning a prize are 1-in-3.57.

Colorado, Iowa, and Mexico will also offer versions of the game.

* Billboards for the movie have sprouted; two of which can be spotted between the Philadelphia airport and downtown.

* Look for more Hulk movie news very soon here in The Continuum.


Rick Leonardi said that he's leaving Nightwing to become the new artist of Batgirl.

Leonardi's last issue of Nightwing will be #84.

"Batgirl guested in an issue of Nightwing, and they liked the appearance well enough and they were shopping for a Batgirl artist," Leonardi said Friday at Wizard World East in Philadelphia.

"What they were looking for on Batgirl and this might say something for the direction of the series, was somebody who could draw emotions and depth. They were well-stocked with people who could do fight scenes, but they were looking to do character."

Dylan Horrocks will continue as writer of Batgirl. There's no word yet on who will be the new artist of Nightwing.

Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels DVD


  • Columbia Pictures has released two more new images from the Hellboy movie, Hellboy and Abe Sapien. Click on the thumbnails for larger and fuller looks.

  • Marvel confirmed that Josh Middleton will be the artist of NYX, with "a pretty big writer" attached. The series starts in the fall.

  • Thundercats: Hammerhand's Revenge, a five-issue mini-series by Fiona Avery and Carlos D'Anda, launches in October from WildStorm/DC.

  • El Cazador, the pirate series by Chuck Dixon, Steve Epting and Frank D'Armata, begins in September from CrossGen Entertainment.

  • Coming Sunday: More news from Wizard World in Philadelphia!!!

    Incredible Hulk Original Tv Premiere (DVD) Incredible Hulk Original Tv Premiere (DVD)

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