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Sunday, March 21, 2004


A new Majestic mini-series, set in the DC Universe, and a new Doom Patrol series by John Byrne were among several announcements made by DC Comics at its panel at Wizard World Los Angeles on Saturday.

Following is a rundown:


The new creative teams begin next month, with Brian Azarello and Jim Lee starting on Superman #204, Chuck Austen, Ivan Reis and Marc Campos starting on Action Comics #814 and Greg Rucka, Matthew Clark and Nelson starting on Adventures of Superman #814.

"We've seen the first couple of issues, and we're all excited," DC's Dan DiDio said. "Each book has its own distinct flavor. Superman is about Superman's place in the world, Action is a straight-forward super-hero book and Adventures is about Clark Kent and his place in the world."

DiDio said that DC has "a real good launching spot for Superman stories for the next couple of years."

In other Superman notes:

* Teen Titans will guest star in Action Comics.

* The six-issue Lex Luthor: Man of Steel mini-series by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo will start in August.

* The six-issue Vigilante mini-series by Micah Ian Wright and Carlos D'Anda will start in August.

* The six-issue The Question mini-series Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards will start in September.

* Jeph Loeb on "The Supergirl from Krypton" story that starts in Superman/Batman #8: "There's already a lot of speculatin as to who she is and what she's going to do and will she survive."

* Carlos Pacheco is confirmed as the artist for the next arc of Superman/Batman.


After appearing in the Superman titles in January, WildStorm's Majestic in August gets his own four-issue series, set in the DCU, by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with art by Karl Kerschl.

"We did a little stunt in January, and we were actually surprised at the response we got to Majestic," DiDio said. "We're taking Majestic, putting him in the DCU and seeing how the WildStorm sensibilities play in the DCU."


Following the sold-out The Flash #207, the Fastest Man Alive has to contend with too much attention from the public, when he just wants to do his job. Geoff Johns, who is bringing several guest stars on board in coming issues, including the JLA and the Teen Titans, said he is enjoying working with new artist Howard Porter.


The new creative team of writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and artists Ryan Sook and Mick Gray beginning with May's #28, starting with the story "Fate's Warning."

Palmiotti said his plans include "a Three's Company thing" with a love triangle and a "new villain terrorizing the country."

"I've seen Jimmy's first issue and I know what he's got planned for the first year," said former writer Johns, "and it's terrific stuff."


Palmiotti, who writes the book with Gray, thanked the audience for the first issue selling out.

He said that #5-6 will continue jumping the story from the 1930s to modern day and that Tomm Coker will draw #6-8, which will feature Batman in New York City.


The new series, by Dan Jolley and ChrisCross, launches in May and features 17-year-old Jason Rusch as Firestorm. The fact that Ronnie Raymond is not the character has create controversy.

"I will think to my dying day that this is a book that people who liked the old Firestorm will enjoy," DiDio said. "We're still keeping the true essence of what people liked about Firestorm.

"We will address the Ronnie Raymond issue and the questions will be addressed. He might even appear in the new Firestorm."


Eddie Campbell is teaming with co-writer Darren White for July's Batman: The Order of Beasts, a special that takes a young Batman to wartime London, where he infiltrate the mysterious Order of Beasts.

* Judd Winick described "As The Crow Flies," his five-issue arc on Batman with artists Dustin Nguyen and Richard Friend, as an "old-school Batman story."

"I promise that by the end of the story, there will be a major, major change to one our characters," Winick said.

* The second wave of Hush action figures will hit stores in October. The assortment will include Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, the Riddler, and Superman, all based on Jim Leešs versions of the characters.


Winick said Tom Raney will come back to draw the next arc, and that the Fearsome Five will return. "None of the characters is really safe," he said.


Asked about rumors concerning the character, DiDio said he couldn't comment but "someone on this panel could answer that question." It has been rumored that Johns will be writing the book beginning the fall.


Johns said that recently exclusive Jerry Ordway will be drawing a two-issue arc featuring Doctor Fate.


In the follow-up to "The Tenth Circle" saga in JLA, writer/penciller John Byrne teams up with inker Doug Hazlewood to reunite Robot Man, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man and Niles Caulder with a host of edgy new super-heroes. The book will likely have a June launch.


Tim Hunter returns in July in The Books of Magick: Life During Wartme. Written by British TV drama writer Si Spencer from a story by Spencer and Neil Gaiman, with art by Dean Ormston and covers by Frank Quitely, this new series is set in alternate universes where battles on Earth and Faerie overlap. The series is loaded with dystopian undercurrents and psychological horror and set against a background of contemporary world politics.


An Astro City Special is due in September, from Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and cover artist Alex Ross. After that, Astro City: The Dark Age is a 12-issue maxi-series set in the 1970s that tells a tragic tale of the Silver Agent.


In July, DC presents the first new ElfQuest material in years: The Searcher and the Sword, an original 96-page hardcover graphic novel by Wendy and Richard Pini. In the tale, the adopted human daughter of Cutter and Leetah embarks on a quest to unite elves and humans.

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