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Sunday, June 1, 2003


Bill Willingham, writer of Vertigo's Fables title, was announced as the new writer of Robin at the DC Universe panel at Wizard World East in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Willingham, who begins his run with Robin #121, told The Continuum he's already finished two scripts. He will be joined on the book by artist Rick Mays to give Robin "a different look and a different feel."

"We're going to see what happens when Tim Drake realizes he has the world's foxiest stepmom," Willingham said. "He's going through things like that and he'll act like a teenager."

Here's a rundown of new developments:


DC displayed the accompanying image in promotion of the 96-page book from Paul Dini and Alex Ross, due in November. Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, a coffee-table art book from Pantheon Books, will include a new eight-page Superman/Batman story.


The second arc by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee later this year will include Robin.

A Catwoman statue based on Lee's design will be released from DC Direct. "It compliments the Batman statue," Lee said.


A series of three hardcovers launches in September. The series will feature all of Adam's Batman work - both covers and stories - in chronological order. Volume Two will be released in 2004 and Volume 3 in 2005. Adams is providing new covers.


Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee are teaming up for a six-issue mini-series for next year. The story is described as "a stunning tale of Batman, Harvey Dent and Two-Face."


Writer Greg Rucka, joined by artists Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder, begins his run in August with a five-issue story arc, "Down to Earth." Said editor Ivan Cohen: "He's going to change the way people think about the character. Greg has a way of writing strong female characters."


"Our plan is to make Hawkman really, really messed up," said writer Geoff Johns. "It all begins in the current arc we're doing. Then Black Adam is going to come by and cause some trouble. And then we have a villain called the Headhunter coming up. He's kind of Hawkman's opposite. He's going to teach him a lesson about what he really is."

In January, there will be a crossover with JSA called "Black Reign."


"I promise you after #200 it's not going to be the same old book," Johns said. "I really love what we're doing, but we really want to add a new to the character, the mythos. Everyone is going to be surprised. We're really taking a risk with what we're doing. I really want to take that risk."

Albert Dose is the new artist with Flash #201, and the cover was shown at the panel. "I'm not going to tell you who that is on the cover," Johns said.


A six-issue mini-series by writer Joshua Dysart and artists Pop Mhan and Art Thibert begins in September. Jason Blood tries to get rid of the Demon once and for all, only to have Etrigan possess a young woman who's both a street racer and a runner for the Yakuza.

"We knew that The Demon was a character people liked; he had his own book for an extended period of time," said series editor Dan DiDio. "We wanted to bring him back, but we really wanted to bring him back with a difference.

"So we've found a way to split The Demon off of Jason Blood and attach him to a young girl, whom he develops a sort of sexual interest in. A little creepy, but exactly what we wanted from the book.

"Then you throw in fast cars and the Yakuza, and we've got a mix on this book I think you've never seen before."


The six-issue mini-series by Keith Giffen and Alex Horley will be for mature readers. "We've found a way for Lobo to get beaten up by giant testicles to open up the story and then we go downhill from there," DiDio said.


Darwyn Cooke is writing and drawing the six-issue (64 pages each) mini-series.

"It looks at the core Justice League characters in the period of time (of) the five to 10 years before they become members of the Justice League," Cooke said. "I don't know how you would classify the story because what I've done is I've gone back to the original time frame that the characters were introduced in, and the entire story takes place against the historic and political backdrop the characters were introduced in.

"So we're looking at the race for Space, America trying to beat the Communists. We're taking these kind of historical elements of what America was like at that time and try to get to the heart of what it was that made these five figures the ideal characters that have become these heroes."

The big focus in the series will be Hal Jordan.

"He's definitely the character that interests me the most," Cooke said. "And he's the character that probably reflects the modern American man. There's a wonderful transition time from the way people used to think - I call it the Eisenhower era - and then there's the Kennedy era. And I think Hal's the perfect vehicle to explain the transition America went through at that time."


"We're building up to a big confrontation with Black Adam, and it's not what you expect," Johns said.


Kyle Baker is writing and drawing a new monthly series. "Kyle showed me the pages, and it's got all that humor in it," said DC's Bob Wayne.


Wayne said that H-E-R-O has been a "surprise" hit for DC. Shown here is the cover to H-E-R-O #8, set for a September release.


A new graphic novel from writer/artist Howard Chaykin, due this fall. Police officer Delaney Pope and public defender Lincoln Reinhart are both secretly super-heroes -- and neither can stand the other.


A new series by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning artist Kalman Andrsofszky. DC's description: "The high-octane action of a cutting-edge video game explodes into the real world."


The first two issues of the 12-issue series by Mark Waid, Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan will be 40. Superman group editor Eddie Berganza said this is the first time he's overseen a "year one" story and that there should be several surprises early on.

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