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Monday, February 13, 2006


SAN FRANCISCO -- Grant Morrison and Jim Lee couldn't stay very long, but had plenty to say about their upcoming collaboration on Wildcats, a bi-monthly ongoing series that starts in August.

Both creators had other commitments, so they kicked off the WildStorm panel at WonderCon on Sunday before leaving after about 15 minutes.

With Wildcats, Morrison said he wanted to a "genuine adult superhero story," not necessarily with mature content but with mature ideas and motivations.

Morrison said he will continue some of the ideas from Joe Casey's run, with Halo Corporation the biggest in the world, making a fortune in home security with a Spartan robot in every home.

The Halo Corporation is run by an artificial intelligence, whom Morrison said "knows what's best for us." Putting the cover back into the team, Hadrian reestablishes the Wildcats to stand against the AI.

Both Morrison and Lee said the pacing of the book is very fast and will incorporate elements of all the past incarnations of the team.

Morrison said he's aiming for "an over-the-top flashiness" the of the Image Comics books of the 1990s. "I want to see beautiful people doing amazing things," he said.

Lee said the first cover is done and will be unveiled soon. "It's been a real treat to work on the characters again," he said.

Lee said he is taking a simple approach to the character, because the backgrounds will be so fantastical. The characters' gear will change, depending on the situations, but they will retain their idenifiable colors.

Lee said he will be able both Wildcats and All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder because both books are bi-monthly, shipping on alternating months.

Morrison said he couldn't spill too much about The Authority series, a bi-monthly drawn by Gene Ha that also starts in September.

"I have a take on The Authority that restores The Authority to a potency it's lost," Morrison said. "We've allowed a way for The Authority to do what The Authority does best."

Lee said that the previously announced Comet Ranger graphic novel with Alan Moore will not happening, citing both creators' busy schedules.

In other news from the panel:

* Wildstorm editor-in-chief Scott Dunbier said the two-part Ex Machina Special, with art by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story, is more action-packed than the regular series. The story is from Mayor Mitchell Hundredıs heroic past as the origin of Jack Pherson, the Great Machine's mysterious archenemy, is revealed .

* The upcoming WildStorm reboot begins in Captain Atom: Armageddon and his showdown with The Authority. Dunbier said that the rebooted characters will be in various stages of similarity to their original incarnatons.

* Gen13 relaunches in September, from Gail Simone and Talent Caldwell. Dunbier said that Simone handles teenage characters very well and brings "a great sense of humor" to the series.

* Dunbier said there will be announcement soon regarding another IPC Media-based project following Thunderbolt Jaxon.

* Planetary is building towards its conclusion in #27. In #25, Elijah Snow assembles elements from years of investigation to lay a trap for the two remaining members of the Four. Dunbier said that the Absolute editions have sold well and expects that treatment for Planetary.

* Skye Runner is an April launch from Allen Warner and Ale Garza, mixing fantasy and super-hero elements.

Garza said he's always wanted to draw a series like Justice League or the Avengers and Skye Runner allows him to incorporate those elements.

Warner said Skye Runner is set on the Western side of the same word as Ninja Boy, which is set on the Eastern side. Skye Runner takes place seven years after Ninja Boy.

* The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier hardcover is scheduled for the fall. Dunbier said it tells the history of the League, from its beginning and into the 1950s.

"The book is massive, about 185 pages," Dunbier said, noting that Alan Moore called it "the greatest book in the universe."

The book will have different types of paper and even a 3D section.

* Scott Lobdell and Dustin Nguyen are collaborating on a new ongoing series, Manifest Eternity, which is set to launch next year. The story: A 100-year, apocalyptic war between an Earth-like empire of technology and a star-spanning kingdom ruled by magic is at the center of Manifest Eternity. Told across three distant eras, Manifest Eternity weaves together storylines involving a rich cast of characters, in the tradition of Dune.

* Writer Kurt Busiek, artist Brent Anderson and cover artist Alex Ross all return for Astro City: The Dark Age Special this summer. The Special features the cityıs most famous defender, Samaritan as he faces off against his long-time nemesis, Infidel, in a manner no one could have expected.

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