Craig Young Comic Reviews
N e w s r o o m
The Adventures of (Not very) Superboy
Karl Kesel, writer of Superboy, revealed his plans for the DC Comics title recently. "Coming out of Sins of Youth, things go horribly wrong for him. Basically, he loses all of his powers, but that doesn't stop him from wanting to be Superboy," Kesel said. "So he finds a way in the next couple of months to make up and compensate for his loss of powers.
"Of course, at his weakest moment, he gets sucked up into outer space and there's a big storyline in outer space that we're really excited about."
Kesel also said that due to his writing and inking Tom Grummett on Section Zero from Gorilla Comics, he is no longer inking Superboy. Keith Champagne is the permanent inker of the title.
Republished without permission from Comics Continuum
Phil Jimenez goes exclusive!
Following his first writing/drawing assignment, the 1996 TEMPEST miniseries, Phil felt this direction was the onw he was interested in pursuing, following later with the GIRLFRENZY: DONNA TROY special. According to Jimenez:
"I consider myself primarily an artist but what appeals to me about writing as well as drawing is I have such a real emotional attachment to several characters, and a group of stories that I want to tell about them. The joy of writing in addition to illustrating them is I have the opportunity to help the characters evolve to the next level, allow them to grow and change."
In addition to WONDER WOMAN, Phil also has been providing the covers to THE TITANS starting with issue #14, as well as having worked on several other TITANS-related projects, including JLA/TITANS: THE TECHNIS IMPERATIVE and TITANS/LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES -- UNIVERSE ABLAZE. The reason for that? Says Jimenez:
"They're the reasons I'm in comics; the Titans were the characters that brought me into comics, Troia especially. She was one of the first characters I really latched onto. The fact that she was also Wonder Woman's sidekick; you see the natural progression here. I moved to New York ten years ago to write and draw WONDER WOMAN, so this is a dream come true for me. Between doing things with the Titans and working on WONDER WOMAN, I get to write and draw my two favorite characters in comics!"
Working with cowriters on upcoming storylines for WONDER WOMAN has also been an experience, says Jimenez, referring to his first story-arc with J.M. DeMatteis:
"For the first WONDER WOMAN story-arc, we're planning a Batman family/Wonder
Woman family crossover dealing with an alliance between the Children of Ares and some classic Batman villains who plan to take over Gotham in the name of Ares. The fun part of this was playing the family members off of one another and see how they're similar and different. You get to play the smartest minds and the strongest characters in the DCU off of each other and see what happens."
According to WONDER WOMAN editor Maureen McTigue:
"Phil's excitement and passion are contagious. And with Adam Hughes staying on as cover artist, every month readers get two artists who are very passionate about Wonder Woman and get to see that in their work."
Phil Jimenez's work on WONDER WOMAN can be seen beginning with issue #164 as well as in the current miniseries TITANS/LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES -- UNIVERSE
ABLAZE, JLA/TITANS: THE TECHNIS IMPERATIVE TP, THE INVISIBLES: BLOODY HELL IN AMERICA TP, THE INVISIBLES: COUNTING TO NONE TP, as well as gracing the covers of THE TITANS every month.
From DC Online Newsletter
KIDS' WB! ANNOUNCES NEW ANIMATED SERIES 'STATIC
SHOCK' AND 'THE ZETA PROJECT' TO BE PART OF NEW 'FRATURDAY'
STATIC SHOCK! is an all-new, animated series about the adventures of the first teenage African-American superhero. Quick-witted Virgil Hawkins (voiced by Phil LaMarr, "Mad TV") finds himself imbued with electromagnetic superpowers after being exposed to a mutanic gas and takes on the guise of "Static," an urban hero of his own creation. Based on the DC/Milestone comic-book title, the series will confront real problems and issues faced by today's kids, such as peer pressure, gangs and growing up in an ethnically diverse urban neighborhood. Learning to control his powers, figuring out how to patrol the skies at night and still make it home in time to study for his chemistry class, Virgil's greatest discovery becomes the real "charge" he gets in helping people and making a positive difference in his community. STATIC SHOCK! is produced and animated by Warner Bros. Animation, under the creative supervision of executive producer Jean MacCurdy, supervising producer Alan Burnett and producer Scott Jeralds.
From DC Online Newsletter
DC COMICS GARNERS 54 EISNER AWARD NOMINATIONS
Some nominations of interest to DCU: NG fans --
Best Short Story
Best Title for a Younger Audience
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Best Cover Artist
From DC Online Newsletter
Chuck Dixon talks Nightwing , Robin
Writer Chuck Dixon recently provided an update on his Nightwing projects, which will include an anniversary issue and an 80-Page Giant.
"I'm currently writing Nightwing #50 which will be double-sized," Dixon said. "It's a big story with Dick Grayson in action both as a cop and as Nightwing. Several big subplots reach their conclusions in this story and a few more begin. Greg (Land) is doing the entire 38 pages so this one's a keeper.
"The following issue is a special one-shot story drawn by Kieron Dwyer. It answers most of your questions about the enigmatic and annoying Tad Ryerstad, the Man Who Would Be Nite-Wing. In light of the events coming up in 'Hunt For Oracle' it's an important story for the series. I wrote the story with Kieron in mind and it's a killer.
"I'm also in the middle of scripting Nightwing 80-Page Giant #1 which will be out in October. It introduces a new villainess named Hella and, as always, the story is tied into Nightwing continuity. It's a standalone story and can be enjoyed on its own merits but there's some heavy revelations to found about Bludhaven's past. We see how the powers that rule the 'haven now came into power.
"The art is split between Manuel Gutierrez and Mike Collins. These guys are close to one another stylistically and I'm splitting their chapters according to their strengths."
And about Robin...
DC Comics editor Matt Idelson recently revealed plans for Robin - both in the currently monthly and in an upcoming mini-series featuring the first version of the character.
"Robin is going to get a new roommate," Idelson said about the monthly title. "He's going to find more students at his school who aren't really what they appear to be, and he's going to find that Brentwood isn't really such a nice private school."
"He's got a history unlike any of the other boys at the school and it all ties in with events from the beginning of Tim's career as Robin," added writer Chuck Dixon of the new roommate. "This story will carry us from the end of this year into 2001."
In the more immediate future, Green Arrow guest-stars in Robin #79.
Idelson also commented about the upcoming, four-issue Robin: Year One mini-series by Dixon and Javier Pulido which features the early days of Dick Grayson as Robin.
"It features a lot of his first battles with a lot of villains, and you'll understand is relationship with Batman a little bit better," Idelson said. "It actually sets up a villain who will be showing up in Nightwing after the series is over."
Idelson praised the work of Pulido. "The art is really gorgeous," he said.
Republished without permission from Comics Continuum
DC Previews Upcoming Projects and News
-Swamp Thing's Vaughan is also the creative pointman behind this August's "5th Week" event, Green Lantern: Ring of Fire. The event teams up GL with a host of non-JLA DCU heroes and "defines Kyle Rayner as the one, true Green Lantern."
-The publisher reconfirmed that creator Phil Jimenez is slated to begin a year-long run as writer and penciler of Wonder Woman, tentatively starting with the August shipping issue. Jimenez will be joined by such writers as J.M. DeMatteis, Joe Kelly and Devin Grayson for story arcs throughout the year, and then following Jimenez's year-long arc, Detective Comics Greg Rucka will come onboard to write another year-long run.
-A upcoming JLA storyline finds the team going back in time to meet the Golden Age JSA, with T.O. Morrow playing the villain.
-Paul Dini's and Alex Ross's next tabloid-format special is Shazam: Power of Hope. The November special will see Shazam making wishes come true all over the world and DC added that the story will be true to the "whimsical nature" of the character.
-The publisher's description of this summer's upcoming big Superman storyline was a bit enigmatic. Going from the 'Man of Steel' to the 'Man of Steal', beginning this July, Superman is a criminal who escapes nightly from Arkham Asylum, Supergirl's a nun and Superboy is flipping burgers, not supervillains. How does this all happen and what does this all have to do with Bizarro becoming the world's greatest hero? We hope to have more details soon.
From Newsarama (reprinted without permission)
Geoff Johns gets FLASH-y!
From Newsarama (reprinted without permission)
Wonder Girl vs. Gabrielle? (We can always
"They love it," Smith said. "The book also has Wonder Girl, Gabrielle and Ares in it. Plus, I am coming up with two new characters that are proving to be too much fun - Bolos The Manly and his son Nicholas The Nasty. DC thinks that they might just steal the show."
Eduardo Barreto will be the artist. "I have been dying to work with him for years," Smith said. Smith added that he has designed "a very cool symbol" for the crossover that unites the symbols of Wonder Woman and Xena.
"The book promises to have lots of action, humor, fun, maybe a switch of costumes, and of course ... mud wrasslin'," Smith said.
Republished without permission from Comics Continuum
Batman Beyond's Final Horizon
Like all good things, Batman Beyond is coming to an end, but its hardly a surprise ending to the shows production team.
While fan response to the announced ending of the current run of Batman Beyond has mostly been akin to wailing and gnashing of teeth, co-producer Paul Dini pointed out in a WizardWorld interview that Batman Beyond was initially set for a specific, three-season run, much like the other animated WB series. "We were only going to go to 52 episodes to start with," Dini told WizardWorld. "We're taking a wait-and-see attitude right now."
In addition to the feature-length Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie which will be released direct to video in November, the series will return for a full season 13 episodes in September. The series is kept completely open-ended, Dini said. If the show performs well, there's always the possibility it'll come back. And if it performs well, WB would be silly not to order more episodes to freshen up the [weekly] rotation.
Fans will recall that Dini and company were brought back on for a new season of Batman: The Animated Series after the original series ended. At San Diego, Dini commented in regards to creating new episodes of Superman: The Animated Series after that series' conclusion with a wry, "I've learned to never say never," so we'll have to wait and see if Terry McGinnis wears his super-powered Batsuit past 2001.
Wonder Woman Creative Shuffle
New DC Action Figure --
New Warriors, Gen X writers takes on Titans
"I'm co-writing every month, starting with #17," Faerber said. The Titans #17 ships in May from DC Comics.Faerber also said that Mark Buckingham's last issue as artist will be The Titans #16. Adam DeKraker is drawing #17-19. Faerber also writes Marvel's New Warriors and will be handling two teams at the same time for a second time (he used to write Marvel's Generation X). But he said he'll have no problems with all of The Titans characters. "I've been reading Titans longer than any other comic. I know 'em like the back of my hand," Faerber said.
Also at DC, Faerber is writing Green Lantern #126-127 before Judd Winick takes over as writer. Faerber said Gus Vasquez is the writer on #126 and Ron Lim on #127 and that Killer Frost appears in #127. Bob Schreck, editor of the book, said that Darryl Banks and Andy Smith will be the regular artists of Green Lantern when Winick takes over.
Republished without permission from Comics Continuum
Abnett, Lanning: Love 'em and
The latest writers to discover the mixed blessing that comes with creating for this audience are Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who just presided over the ending of the "Legion of Super-Heroes" and "Legionnaires" titles and in March will begin the year-long story of the aftermath of the cataclysmic events that shattered the Legion's world in the limited series "Legion Lost."
"Reaction so far has, for the most part, been very positive," Andy Lanning told the Comic Wire on Wednesday. "Reading e-mails and snail mail letters has given us a fair view of what the reader's think of what we're trying to do. Most are for it, to the degree that we've been luring lapsed Legion readers back into the fold and bringing onboard first time readers who are saying they're gonna stick around to see what happens in 'Lost.'"
There's also been a lot of talk, much of it passionate, about series artist Olivier Coipel.
"Olivier's artwork has created quite a stir: He's the sort of unique and distinctive artist who is bound to generate a buzz of interest! We love what he's doing (natch') and believe he's going to become one of the rising stars of the new millennium; the work he's producing on the 'Legion Lost' series is even better than the great stuff he did on the 'Damned' story arc. His dynamic storytelling and atmospheric style will make the 'Legion Lost' series stand out amongst a lot of today's comic art that is often generic and lazy."
Legion fans have been down this road before, most famously when Keith Giffen started the just-ended "Legion of Super-Heroes" series by pushing the story ahead "Five Years Later," to a darker era without a Legion.
Abnett and Lanning have heard the rumblings that this arc looks like "Five Years Later" redux and that they're tearing down the more positive Legion that exists today.
"The idea that we're 'breaking the LSH down so that they can be built up again' isn't entirely on the mark," Lanning said. "Our goal is to concentrate on a focused core of Legionnaires in a very defined and finite story arc that will, hopefully, provide a continuity-free jumping on point for new readers, whilst continuing to develop characters the older readers will be familiar with but in a strange and interesting new environment, facing strange and interesting situations and threats. The fact that we're narrowing the cast for this series does not mean we're going to ignore existing continuity and established characters - these will be waiting for out team when, and if, they find their way back home at the end of the series. What we'll have hope to achieve by then is a steadily growing readership who'll be champing at the bit to see where the Legionnaires came from and the cast we've left behind."
And as for the "Legion of the Damned" and "Widening Rifts" stories that heralded the end of the LSH books being too dark:
"Can anyone define what a 'dark' tale is? Surely one man's dark story is another's tense, dramatic and exciting one?
"If you look at the LOD story arc and the 'Widening Rifts' aftermath - these aren't 'dark' stories at all, all we were attempting was to show the true core heroism and optimism of the Legion by pitting them against a seemingly hopeless situation. We've stated many times, both before and since the story came out, that some of the truly epic Legion tales in the past have had 'dark' elements to them (The Great Darkness Saga, Earthwar, The Death of Lightning Lad, etc.) where the darkness only serves to illuminate the bright positive heart of the heroes involved in them. Having your heroes taken to their limits and overcome unbeatable odds always makes for a truly dramatic story on a grand scale.
"Our aim with LOD was to do just that and by doing so generate some excitement about the Legion titles once more. Judging from the buzz about the books at the present time, we're pleased to have stirred up some interest!"
When the story picks up again next month, a small core group of Legionnaires will be trapped in the remains of the Legion Outpost which, thanks to a spatial rift, is now a galaxy (or more) away from home. And that sounds, to a lot of fans, like the premise of "Star Trek: Voyager."
"The 'Voyager' comparison was always going to be leveled at us - after all, we're a sci-fi title that's stranding its characters light years from home. But that's where the comparison must end, and even that's an unfair one. Even 'Voyager' can be compared in concept to 'Lost in Space,' which in turn goes back to 'Gilligan's Island,' which can be linked to 'Swiss Family Robinson' and they all stem back from 'Robinson Crusoe.' The idea of shipwreck and being stranded far from home is a staple of adventure fiction, it's what you do with it and how you tell your tale that should make the difference. Without giving away story specifics which we hope will make comparisons with 'Voyager' moot, in 'Legion Lost' our heroes are lost spiritually as well as geographically. The actions they take and foes they encounter will have them questioning what the Legion and its constitution stand for and how they should best uphold these beliefs in a situation that appears bleak and overwhelming."
Having said that, though, "at the core of the series is hope. Hope in each other, in what you believe and in the surety that this will help you overcome the odds, not matter how stacked they are against you."
One of the staples of the Legion over the years is that is it is exactly what its name says: A legion of super-heroes, enough for every fan to have their favorites. For the time being, though, look for a smaller roster.
"We'll be introducing a new member or two, with some of the ongoing team re-evaluating their position as Legionnaires due to the extremity of their situation and the tensions this creates. Early on the team will encounter a truly horrific alien race called the Progeny, who have a terrifying galactic agenda. They will also be joined by an alien guide called Shikari, who will travel with them for a time and lend her powers to their plight. The initial role call will feature nine Legionnaires: Saturn Girl, Livewire, Ultra Boy, Apparition, Brainiac, Chameleon, Monstress, Umbra and Kid Quantum but the membership is most definitely subject to change throughout the series! Beyond this, basically more of what we've started: grand scale sci-fi adventure tempered by inter-character relationships and conflicts with a healthy dose of explosive action, spectacular settings and really nasty new foes and threats.
"Stick with us and enjoy the ride!"
Reprinted without permission from The Comics Wire
Mark Waid leaves Flash
And now, writer Mark Waid's leaving "The Flash."
"Issue #159, on sale in three weeks, will end my eight-year run on the book that has been easily the most creatively fulfilling project I've ever been associated with," Waid announced Wednesday morning.
While the move had been rumored for weeks, it goes against statements Waid had made in the past.
"'But you said they'd have to pry this book out of your cold, dead fingers!'" Waid paraphrased himself.
"When I said that, I meant it with all my heart - and let me make it crystal clear that no one, NO ONE, loves Wally more and carries a greater devotion to him than do I - but I was foolish to try to predict the rest of my life when I was 29. It's certainly not a matter of workload; unfortunately, it's more complicated than that, and I hope those who care will understand that this was the hardest professional decision I ever had to make - actually, probably the hardest decision ever, period. I also hope that those who care will (eventually) believe me when I say that I'm leaving for Wally's own good.
"Let me explain: at least from my perspective, the book's always been at its best when it's been its most personal - when I was using Wally to work out difficulties and quandaries in my own life. How to deal with impatience; how to learn to know, truly know, the one you love; how to set personal goals and how to deal with personal grief - astute readers have, over the past eight years, frequently realized that Wally's been the lens through which I've examined my own past and my own future. Lately, however, I haven't felt that same deep personal connection to Wally, and after nearly a year of reflection, I've finally come to the inevitable conclusion that it's because whatever issues and challenges I'm facing today, eight years later, Wally's not the appropriate character through which to explore them. I wish I could explain this better - frankly, I wish I could say it at all without sounding borderline delusional - but I'd be doing Wally a disservice at this point to try and force him down my own personal path rather than let him explore his own roads; he and I are no longer moving in the same direction. That said, here's hoping (with, to be honest, some certainty) that our paths will cross again someday.
"Some readers may be disappointed, some Usenetters will no doubt be celebrating, but across the board, I hope they understand that I'm making this decision out of respect for a character who was around before I was born and who will probably outlive me. I owe him at least that much.
"Over the last eight years, I've done some good work and some less-than-inspired work on this book, but I have always, always given it 100 percent. I'm lucky to have been joined by many folks who did the same: Greg LaRocque, Mike Wieringo, Carlos Pacheco, Oscar Jiminez, Paul Ryan, Paul Pelletier, Tom McCraw and others - and first and foremost, my editor and collaborator Brian Augustyn, who's backed me through thick and thin. Wally and I are both grateful to them all."
Augustyn, won't be sticking around much longer, either.
"Yes, I am leaving Flash as well," he told the Comic Wire on Wednesday. "Issues #160 & #162 are my last - #160 is a solo, and Waid helped plot #162. I began editing Flash in 1988, with issue #27, and all these years of working on one of my all time favorite characters has been wonderful. Going freelance in 1996, I was lucky enough to join Mark Waid as co-writer (with, I think, #118).
"It should go without saying that working with Mark Waid (whose career I, of course, created :-D) has been a large part of the pleasure of working on Flash. But I express deep gratitude to all the other creators we've worked with on the title over the years; Bill Messner-Loebs, Greg LaRocque, Jose Marzan, Mike Weiringo, Oscar Jimenez, Carlos Pacheco. Paul Ryan, Paul Pellitier, Pop Mahn, Tom McCraw, Gaspar Saladino, and many, many other great talents. Thanks too, to Joey Cavalieri and Paul Kupperberg, the editors I worked with as a freelancer on Flash.
"I'll miss the book, of course, and may even return on a one-shot or two.
"I continue to write Cliffhanger's 'Crimson' every month (with creator/artist Humberto Ramos), and am in the development stages on many other projects, both inside mainstream comics and out. It's too early to release details of these projects, though I'm sure I'll be blabbing about them soon enough. I can say that, among others, I'm doing a lot of writing for the terrific folks at Platinum Studios, the multi-media creative producers behind the movie, 'Men in Black,' and a lot of other hot stuff, including comics.
"Thanks to everyone who has supported me and Flash over the years. None of what we do is possible without the fans!"
reprinted without permission from The Comics Wire
Milestone Comics returns!!!
from Comics Continuum
Kyle Raynor, Ring Genius?
"Ive liked Green Lantern since I was a kid," said Winick. "Hes my wild card. If you ask anybody who their heroes are, Batman and Superman are among everybodys at some point, and then whos your wild card, Green Arrow, or Wonder Woman maybe; Green Lantern is mine."
Winicks run starts with Green Lantern #128, due out in July. The scripts for the first two issues are done, and Winick said that as soon as he finishes inking the second Barry Ween mini-series in about a week and a half, hell write the next two.
While he remained tight-lipped about specific plans, Winick did have some hints about the direction hell be taking the book, including the fact that Kyle will be getting a new day job. Winick will also be drawing the long-standing Jade/Donna Troy/Kyle love triangle to a close, which is something Marz was gearing up for as well.
Winick also indicated that John Stewart, the former Green Lantern who was recently put into a wheelchair and has served as supporting cast for Kyle, will be playing a much greater role in the book. While John wont be getting any new powers, Winick sees him as a good level-headed character who used to be a Green Lantern and has a good perspective.
"Also, to be quite blunt, there arent enough black people in comics," Winick said. "Comics shouldnt be like Friends, where they live in New York City and there are no people of color around. But honestly, much more important than that, John is a great character who has been fleshed out for a really long time and Ive decided to take him further in that direction."
YJ gets a new teammate?!
Arrowette: The Name Game
"Spread the word: I made a mistake in the 80 Page Giant story and call her Cissie. I think we'll probably keep it that way. Let's say Susan's her middle name. I always wanted to be as great a writer as Stan Lee, who once wrote a story calling the Hulk's human persona Bob Banner. Of course it was Bruce, and all the readers caught the mistake, so from then on the Hulk was Robert Bruce Banner. Now that I've screwed up a character's name, I feel one step closer to my goal!"
Just How Old Is Mary Marvel?
"I stand by the info that Mary, when powered up, is an adult! Since her real comic book age is, like 14, I guess she could technically qualify for the team, though as usual, nobody warned me she was appearing, nor consulted me on the book. Hey, everyone's got their own take on these characters, but when I use a character I'm not familiar with, I read a few back issues of the current title! This is not meant as a jab at Dezago, who I think is a really great writer."