Welcome to this week?s installment of All the Rage. I?ve got some NFL Playoff games I want to watch today, so moving right along?

Open Space

There are a few rumors going around that DC is preparing a miniseries to spin directly out of the current Adam Strange revival. According to some reports, this new miniseries will greatly expand upon the interstellar intrigue in Adam Strange and revitalize several dormant DC sci-fi properties like Darkstars and L.E.G.I.O.N.

And should the spin-off miniseries prove successful, more space-based DC books may be in the offering.

This Has A ?Space Cabbie? Factor of Six Out of Ten


From Zero to Hero

In April, Robert Kirkman?s Invincible will be released as a special ?Zero? issue, designed to bring in new readers. Invincible # 0 will feature a 16-page story that retells Invincible?s origin, while still fitting between issues 22 and 23. To further entice potential readers, the issue will be priced at 50 cents.

This Has An ?Unbreakable? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Bring Out Your Dead

In an interview over at CHUD, Simon Pegg revealed that DC and Marvel have been in touch with him regarding a comic book sequel to his film, Shaun of the Dead.

According to Pegg, the sequel would be called From Dusk Til Shaun.

This Has A ?Who Died And Made You King of the Zombies?? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Playing Detective

Earlier this week, frequent ATR contributor, John Voulieris scored some interesting info from a source within DC. ?The Insider? had this to say about DC?s Crisis 2:

      They’re not sure if it will actually be called “

Crisis 2

      ” in its final form, although “Crisis” will definitely be in the title. This will be overseen by Geoff Johns, who is already setting the table for the event in

Teen Titans

      and

JSA

      . (Diligent readers will note the references to this “Crisis” in the Titans’ future hiding in the storyline currently in shops.) Expect both books to play major roles in

Crisis 2

    . The goal this time is not so much to streamline and simplify the DCU, but to establish a new status quo for DC characters which will feature a looser adherence to strict continuity, a more classic and distinct appearance for each major character, and hopefully attract more readers as a result. (Dan Didio has been touting this approach for several months. Expect Crisis 2 to heavily underscore it.)

?The Insider? also elaborated on DC?s All-Star line:

    The All-Star line is DC’s response to Marvel’s Ulti-verse. Although presented as a “back to the basics” approach, the execution will not really be a rewind so much as a “one step back, two steps forward”. As with the Ultimate line, the concept behind All-Stars is to get the hottest, fan-friendliest writers and artists to do their interpretations of classic DC characters in their classic status quo scenarios, free of the restraints of current continuity. Rather than having Morrison (for example) spend two years bringing Superman back to where he wants the character to be, he’s simply allowed to run with his own concept from Issue One. Expect the books to feel very familiar, yet very modern. Batman will have the yellow oval around his insignia; Robin will be Dick Grayson; Superman will feature all the classic trappings of his most popular era, such as the Fortress of Solitude, the Phantom Zone, the bottle city of Kandor, lots of Super-Family members and so on. If you haven’t read DC books in years, you’ll immediately feel comfortable with All-Star books. At the same time, these books will look and feel like 2005 publications.

Two additional titles are approved for the line so far. After Batman & Robin, then Superman, will come All-Star Wonder Woman (completing the All-Star series of DC’s “big three”), and (borrowing the title of one of their oldest publications) All-Star Comics, which will feature All-Star interpretations of other DC characters by various creators. An All-Star Green Lantern is unlikely because DC wants to establish the integrity of the Geoff Johns version first. An All-Star JLA series which would feature characters from both versions of the cartoon (the newer one as well as Super Friends) has been mooted, and is likely to happen later on.

They expect the books to sell well compared to the regular DC line, perhaps outsell some of the DCU versions the way several Ultimate books do at Marvel, and to perhaps bring back some old readers who have drifted away from the company as the characters became less and less familiar to them. But the underlying thrust of the All-Star concept is to create a line of trades for bookstores which will appeal to the vast mainstream audience who stopped buying comics long ago, aren’t interested in wading through decades of continuity to get to the meat of current stories, but might respond well to modern tales about the classic characters in familiar situations.

?The Insider? also indicates that the All-Star line is still stirring some debate within the editorial department:

    Dan Didio is having a big disagreement with Jim Lee over the trade dress for the All-Star line ~ Didio wants it to be “All-Star Whatever” so they can rack them together in special displays and attract new (or lapsed) readers ~ Lee wants them to be entitled “Batman & Robin: All-Stars” so they’d be racked next to the regular Bat books, and Superman books, and so on. Sounds uninteresting but I think it’s an important debate over how DC wants these to be perceived in the marketplace.

This Has An ?Infinite All-Stars? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Justice For All

Ever since the debut of Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, fans around the world have been able to follow the animated version of the DC universe through five different television series. The latest series, Justice League is now in it?s third season, having been rechristened as Justice League Unlimited. With the third season finale scheduled to air later this month and the fourth season to start later in the year, there has been some speculation that the series might be winding to a close. Recently, writer/producer Dwayne McDuffie took the time to answer some questions about the future of JLU:

Blair Marnell: How has your role on Justice League changed in the latest season?

Dwayne McDuffie: I came on the show as a freelancer in the first season. In the second season I was a story editor and this year, I?m a producer/story editor. I help Bruce Timm, James Tucker and Matt Wayne to develop stories and choose the talent to write them. I also do rewrites, if necessary.

BM: I notice you?ve had a conspiracy arc in the background for most of this season. Will this story continue through the season finale and into the next season?

DM: It will continue into next season. And it will come to a conclusion at the end of next season.

BM: So it?ll be playing in the background throughout season four?

DM: Absolutely. And it will come more and more into the forefront as we continue. Although, several things you?ve seen already had a lot to do with the conspiracy that you probably don?t realize yet.

BM: Why hasn?t the Flash had a prominent role this season? Was Michael Rosenbaum not available?

DM: Michael Rosenbaum is available and still playing the Flash. Look for Flash to figure prominently in an episode called “The Ties That Bind,” coming up very soon. Actually, Michael’s also playing several other characters in the upcoming season. So he?s still doing stuff with us, which is great, because he’s unbelievably talented.

BM: What?s coming up in the two part season finale, ?The Once and Future Thing??

DM: I?m really excited about this. ?The Once and Future Thing? is a really, really fun story that?s going to surprise a lot of people. A couple of major revelations for our characters and several guest shots that we couldn?t have done any other way. It really is an apocalyptic season finale. (And that?s not a Jack Kirby pun.) I can tell you that the bad guy is Chronos and the League will be going to the old west and meeting a lot of the DC Comics western heroes, including Jonah Hex and (my favorite) Bat Lash, among others. They will also be going into the future of the DC animated universe. Batman from Batman Beyond will appear, as will Static (from the Static Shock animated series, which I co-created). Static’s a pretty old guy at the time the episode occurs. And speaking of old guys, we’ll also see… oops, almost gave too much away.

It might be my favorite show of season three. If you like Batman Beyond, if you like Static, if you like the original Justice League show or DC western heroes, then you don?t want to miss this.

BM: What can fans expect from the next season of JLU?

DM: We?ve got Captain Marvel coming. I?m looking forward to that show. More Amanda Waller and she?s bringing some of her ?friends.? Long time DCU readers probably know what that means.

BM: I?d say it means the Suicide Squad.

DM: You?re welcome to guess. [laughs] And there?s definitely more Luthor. Mr. Miracle Black Canary and Vixen will be on multiple times. Green Arrow and The Question will be back. He (The Question) worked out so well that he?ll be playing a big part.

BM: Everyone loves The Question. He?s the Fox Mulder of the superhero set.

DM: I think Fox is a little more sane than our version of The Question. [laughs]

BM: What about Plastic Man? He?s been mentioned on the show.

DM: No Plastic Man. I don?t know what the issue is, I just heard we?re not doing
him.

BM: Is Galatea coming back? And was she meant to be the Powergirl of the animated DCU?

DM: Galatea worked out really well. We?d love to get her back in if we can. She?s kind of a nod to Powergirl. Powergirl has a whole bunch of different origins, which is way too complicated for our universe. There is no Powergirl in our universe.

BM: Will the Batman/Wonder Woman romance subplot continue into the next season?

DM: We will touch on that a few more times. I think people are interested in seeing where it goes.

BM: Is there any chance the Legion of Superheroes will show up?

DM: We want to do the Legion someday. We?ve had discussions about that. Fingers crossed.

BM: What comic creators do you have lined up for the next season of JLU?

DM: We?ve got Jim Steranko doing the Mr. Miracle episode. We?ve got Gail Simone and her episode is about Huntress and Black Canary. Mark Dematteis is back for several episodes. He?s just done a great job on the show. We’ve got an episode from Darwyn Cooke. Our intention is, should we continue, that there will be many more familiar names from the comics contributing to the show.

BM: Any plans for Batgirl or the Batman villains to appear?

DM: No. They are not available to us. They belong to the new The Batman show. We?d love to use them again but then again, we?ve already told a lot of stories with them and we?ve got a big cast of new characters. But Batman is still in JLU and will appear frequently.

BM: Are there any plans for an animated Crisis?

DM: No. We don?t have sixty years of multiple continuities. There?s really no reason to do a Crisis to clean up a problem we don?t have. We?d have to introduce a bunch of parallel universes. We?ve already got two or three but they don?t have any weight behind them. They all appeared only once. I will say that season four has a HUGE finish. It may be the biggest thing we?ve ever tried.

BM: Has JLU been renewed beyond next season?

DM: The network will make any official announcement about renewals. But ratings are great, so there?s good reason for optimism.

BM: How is your creator owned graphic novel, The Road to Hell coming along?

DM: I am waiting for the final pages from Rick Parker, even as we speak. I can?t wait. This is a project that is fifteen years old. It’s a romantic comedy set in Hell. We did two chapters of it a British magazine called Toxic back in 1988 and 1989 and the magazine promptly folded. (I don?t want to make a cause and effect argument here.) But it?s taken us this long to find a way to do it and I got tired of waiting so I?m just going to publish it myself.

BM: Do you have any plans for the Milestone characters?

DM: I always have plans. But DC is not really interested in publishing them at this time and they?ve got the license, which makes it tough. I keep talking to them and I hope I can talk them into it someday. Maybe if enough people read this and start writing letters to DC that they?d like to see the Milestone characters again, they’ll get off their duff, as it were. We?d all love to do it again. And there are other media plans for them, but it?s too early to talk about.

BM: Do you have any other projects in the works?

DM: Justice League is pretty much taking up the bulk of my time. There are a couple of other TV things. I did scripts for an animated show in England called Friends and Heroes that I understand will come out here eventually. But probably not for a while. Given the opportunity, I’d love to do more comics but I haven’t been able to land an assignment in several years. If Road to Hell does okay, I’ll probably just publish something else of my own. Oh, before I go, I forgot to brag about Starcrossed (the Justice League three parter I co-scripted with John Ridley and Rich Fogel from a story by Rich Fogel) being nominated for the prestigious Writers Guild Award. This is an amazing achievement for an action show, but then, Justice League is an amazing show.

This Has An ?Unlimited Possibilities? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


A Bonny Young Lad

Here?s an early preview of Eric Powell?s upcoming four issue miniseries, Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, which is coming out in March from Dark Horse. Powell is writing the series, with Kyle Hotz onboard for art and colors by Robin Powell.

Additionally, Powell is providing the covers as well.




This Has A ?Messin? With Da Kid? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Hailing from Parts Unknown

SBC?s own Beau Smith is bringing back his creator owned title, Parts Unknown, later this year from Blue Line/Afterburn Comics. The previously published Parts Unknown miniseries will be collected in two trade paperbacks, with the second one containing a new 16 page story that wraps up the previously unfinished mini from Image.

Also, a new miniseries, Parts Unknown: The Enemy Within, is in the works as well.

This Has An ?Earth Girls Are Easy? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


X-Force Reloaded

Rumor has it that Marvel has given the greenlight to a second X-Force miniseries? only this time it will be done without the participation of Rob Liefeld.

Interesting?

This Has A ?Domino Effect? Factor of Six Out of Ten


12 Hours

Now that the official announcement has been made, I?d like to remind everyone that there?s a party going on at the Isotope on January 22. Roughly two weeks from now?

James Sime is hosting the event as a ?Welcome to San Francisco? for Image Comics, which recently relocated there. Special guests include Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson, B. Clay Moore, Robert Kirkman, Rick Remender, Kieron Dwer, Paul Harmon and Greg Thompson. I believe the event starts at around 3:00pm and runs until 3:00am. There?ll be music, comics and plenty of alcohol.

So? I?ll see you all there.


And we?re done… Special thanks to John, Paul and everyone else who contributed.

Later,
Blair

PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share, please email me at blairm@silverbulletcomicbooks.com. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It?s greatly appreciated.


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