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THE DYNAMIC DUO BREAKUP?!
In the aftermath of "Officer Down," Robin finds himself at the end of his rope and out of contact with Batman. As Tim's personal life begins to unravel, Batman enlists the aid of Spoiler to track his wayward sidekick down - with ramifications that will be felt for many months to come. This issue marks a significant and destructive turning point in the relationship of Batman and Robin.
BATMAN BEYOND LIVE-ACTION MOVIE
Paul Dini, producer of the Batman Beyond animated series, told The Continuum that he will be writing a live-action Batman Beyond movie with fellow producer Alan Burnett.
"There will be an official announcement from 'the powers that be' -- i.e., Warner Bros., our respective agents -- very soon, probably the end of next week," Dini told The Continuum.
Dini confirmed that Boaz Yakin - whose credits include Remember the Titans, A Price Above Rubies and Fresh - will be directing the movie. "Boaz is co-writing the script with us as well as directing," Dini said.
Dini and Burnett helped create the Batman Beyond concept, which features Terry McGuiness as a teenage Batman in the future, learning under the elderly Bruce Wayne.
Dini is also writing a film, Million Dollar Heroes, for Platinum Studios and New Line Cinema.
"Just one more time-consuming hassle to chip away at my day," Dini said of the Batman Beyond movie. "KIDDING!!! I'm thrilled."
The Batman Beyond animated series is in its third season on Kids' WB!, and a direct-to-video Batman Beyond movie written by Dini, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, will be released by Warner Home Video on Oct. 24.
MARK WAID EXITS DC, MARVEL
TAMPA, FL., August 22, 2000 - In a move designed to further position CrossGen as a long-term player in the comic book world, writer Mark Waid has accepted a full time position as Senior Writer with CrossGen Comics. With secure funding set for CrossGen for at least the next two and one half years, this hiring is just the first of other high-profile moves planned for the relatively near future. Waid will be relocating from New York to Tampa in November and will begin work for CrossGen full time in early January.
"This is probably the most exciting opportunity I've ever had in this business," said Waid. "Don't get me wrong -- I love writing comics -- but for a long time now, I've been itching to put to use all the other editorial and business skills I've acquired along my way. The challenge ahead of us all in the 21st century is to help this industry thrive once more, and I've been saying for years that I want my chance to contribute to that end in a capacity greater than simply that of a freelance writer. I'm grateful to Mark Alessi for giving me the chance to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Alessi and I share common goals, common ideologies, and frighteningly common musical tastes, and I'd be an idiot not to be in this guy's corner."
In his position as Senior Writer, Waid joins other Senior Writer Ron Marz and Head Writer Barbara Kesel as the CrossGen Comics writing staff. Waid's writing responsibilities will include taking over the writing duties of Sigil from Barbara Kesel, allowing her to concentrate her efforts on Meridian, The First and her other responsibilities as Head Writer. Waid will use his 16 years of comic writing and editing experience to formalize an associate writer program designed to help train new talent. Waid will also help launch CrossGen's yet to be announced sixth monthly title, tentatively scheduled for an early 2001 release. This launch will include his participation through November and December on the final planning of this new title, as well as working with Publisher Mark Alessi to hire a high-caliber, veteran art team to work with him on what is being dubbed the most innovative launch in comic book history, as this title will be released simultaneously in the U.S., Japan and other overseas countries.
"I'm happy to welcome Mark into the CrossGen writer's world. I worked closely with Mark back in our mutual DC Comics days, and am looking forward to working with him again," said Barbara Kesel. "I'm thrilled to be working with him as a fellow writer, and am excited about watching him develop our informal writer's training program into a real and viable formal program. Mark's been a top-level, award-winning writer long enough to have gotten that role down -- now he needs a challenge!"
Sigil's artistic team of brothers Ben and Ray Lai and Wil Quintana are excited to be working with a writer with a resume as extensive as Mark Waid's. Said the three, "We feel honored that we get the chance to work with a writer as dedicated to comics as Mark Waid. He's a great talent that will definitely fit in with the rest of the talent here at CrossGen and hopefully even help raise the bar."
His exclusive move to CrossGen means changes for Waid's existing projects. As was the case with Ron Marz, Waid will be expected to fulfill his already contracted work, meaning you will see his name on projects outside of CrossGen into 2001. All existing assignments will be written by the time he relocates to Tampa. As such, you can expect his Gatecrasher run to end by the time the title reaches the conclusion of its first year. His Gorilla Comics title Empire should continue through issue #6, the end of the first story arc. And his JLA run will continue through 2001, ending sometime late in that year.
Said Mark Alessi on his latest hire, "CrossGen is all about the commitment to making great comics and Mark Waid is all about the commitment to making great comics. CrossGen is all about high quality mainstream product and Mark Waid is all about high quality mainstream product. There's tremendous synergy, tremendous potential. We're all excited and looking forward to seeing what we can do together."
Mark Waid has been writing comic books since 1984. In 1987, he joined DC Comics as staff editor. Two years later he left DC to pursue a freelance career that spanned throughout the 90s and led to award-winning runs on The Flash and Captain America. In 1996, he co-created the award-winning Kingdom Come. Waid has worked for every major comics publisher and has authored a broader range of well-known comics characters --including Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Archie -- than any other writer in the history of the medium. He is also the only guy alive to have written X-Men, Avengers, and JLA.
CrossGeneration Comics is based just outside of Tampa, Florida. Since their initial launch on May 24, 2000, CrossGen Comics has set unprecedented sales records for a new start-up comics publisher by debuting their first five releases on the comic book industry distributor's Top 100 sales list. Since then they have grown into the comic industry's fifth largest publisher. Their unique and innovative approach to comic book publishing is sure to make them a company to watch out for well into the new millennium. The CrossGen Comics, Mystic, Sigil, Scion, and Meridian are available in comic book specialty stores everywhere, with a different one on sale each Wednesday.
KELLY EXCLUSIVE WITH DC
DC Comics announced on Wednesday that Joe Kelly, writer of Action Comics and Steampunk, has signed an exclusive one-year contract. "Working on Action has been so good that I still can't believe it," Kelly said. "After a year and half, everyone is still cool. All the stories we set up a year ago have all come out; the only changes have been to make things better."
Said Action Comics editor Eddie Berganza: "The best thing about Joe's writing is his different take on the DCU. A lot of the characters he's written in Action he's exploring for the first time. The particular aspect of the character he's writing that he chooses to latch onto makes his writing fresh and modern. Joe Kelly is the future!"
Kelly will also be taking over as writer of Superboy beginning with #83, teamed with artist Pascual Ferry, who will be giving Superboy a new costume.
"Pascual and I met at Marvel many years ago; we worked together on 2099: World of Tomorrow," Kelly said. "Pascual's fantastic. His ideas and designs for Superboy -- not that I'm giving anything away -- are amazing."
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.
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.
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.
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!"
Milestone Comics returns!!!
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."