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Saturday, November 2, 2003

LAS VEGAS COMIC CONVENTION: DC COMICS PANEL

Writer Judd Winick and artist Dustin Nguyen are the next creative team for Batman, it was announced Saturday during the DC Comics panel at the Las Vegas Comics Convention.

The pair will follow the current run by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso beginning a six-issue run called "As The Crow Flies" with April's Batman #625. Richard Friend is inking.

"Dustin has worked on Wildcats for the past couple of years for WildStorm, and he's been waiting his entire life to do Batman," Winick said. "Frankly, I have, too. Everybody always has a Batman story to tell and this is the one that has been rolling around in my head for a while.

"We are going to touch upon stuff that happened in 'Hush' as well as stuff that's happened in Brian's run. We're touching upon continuity in the book as much as we can, but it is a story that will stand on its own."

Winick didn't reveal details about the arc, other than Scarecrow is the villain.

"It's a crime story," Winick said. "At the beginning, middle and end, Batman is about a crime story and you've also brought in this smattering of bizarre super villains. So you'll have that."

In other news from the DC panel:

* Michael Turner and Joe Kelly will write the March Superman titles, with Talent Caldwell providing the art and Turner the covers. Each issue will feature back-up stories by the new creative teams that take over in April.

* The Question, by Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards, and Vigilante, by Michah Ian Wright and Carlos DıAnda, will both premiere in July.

* After the first story arc ends in Superman/Batman #6, Dreamwave Productions' Pat Lee will draw a one-issue story and then Turner will draw a six-issue arc, followed up by an arc drawn by newly exclusive Carlos Pacheco.

* Brian Azzarello, on the progress of his Superman run with Jim Lee: "The scripts are in. They're not anything anybody expected, and we're fighting about that.

"Will (Dennis), who is co-editing the book, said I've mastered the art of writing the script that everybody is going to hate."

* Eric Shanower and Ty Templeton are contributing back-up stories to Wonder Woman #200, a 64-pager.

* DC Direct is producing a line called First Appearance Action Figures that will include Batman, Flash, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman.

* Eye of the Storm: Coup D'Etat is a February event from WildStorm Productions that has The Authority trying to take over the world. Ed Brubaker is writing the first issue, with art and cover by Jim Lee. Subsequent issues will be by Wright and DıAnda; Joe Casey and Ale Garza; and Robbie Morrison and Whilce Portacio.

The event will lead into a new Wetworks series by Mike Carey and Portacio.

* Jill Thompson said she will be doing another manga book for Vertigo.

"I just got a call from Shelley Bond, and we're going to be doing another manga for next year of The Deadboy Detectives," Thompson said. "That's what Neil (Gaiman) wants, that's what Neil really likes, so that's what we're doing. It'll be a mystery that takes place in Chicago, because I live there and I can take all the reference that I need.

"Death will appear in it. It involves them solving the mystery of a missing girl at a school for diplomats' children and other wealthy kids dressed in schoolgirl outfits. So itıs got all the things that we like in a manga.²

Thompson said the book is not yet titled.

* Vimanarama, Grant Morrison's three-issue mini-series with Philip Bond, will be one of three Vertigo mini-series Morrison has planned for 2004.

* Howard Chaykin's graphic novel, Mighty Love, will be released in February.

* The Lighter Brigade is a four-issue mini-series by Peter Tomasi and Peter Snejbjerg, described as a "supernatural action horror story during World War II."

* Winick on upcoming plans for Outsiders: "Weıre going to finish up the Brother Blood storyline and the next issue is the return of (artist) Tom Raney. He had to take a couple of issues off because of illness."

Winick said another longer story arc will start. "We'e going to see a lot of faces from the past," he said.

* Hard Time, by Steve Gerber and Brian Hurtt, will kick off the DC Focus imprint in February. The book will be 56 pages, priced at $2.50, and will feature previews of the other DC Focus titles: Touch, Kenetic and Fraction.

* The Monolith's first issue will be double-sized.

* Bob Wayne, DC's vice president, sales and marketing, said that a Metal Men revival will probably happen in 2005. "We are looking at it and work is progressing," Wayne said.

* Kurt Busiek said that response to Arrowsmith ­ his Cliffhanger series with Pacheco -- has been good enough to merit a trade paperback and future volumes.

"After Carlos does his Superman/Batman arc, then he'll come back for a second Arrowsmith arc," Busiek said. "Then he'll go back to the DCU and then return for more Arrowsmith. I'd like to have a steady run of Arrowsmith graphic novels for the long term."

* The Formerly Known as the Justice League mini-series will be collected into a trade paperback.

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