The last time I visited Marvel, I mentioned Hawkman when answering someone’s question about what I’d done before, and the guy said “Hawkman… We publish that, right?”
– Steve Lieber

  • Ian Churchill, nice speed lines on Jean Grey’s arse! Top work fella!
  • The internet campaign for an Ultimate X-Men Gay Colossus starts here!
  • There’s a rumour that’s been going round, involving a night out in a dungeon-themed bar and Brian Bendis. If you haven’t heard it, good. If you have, then know this – it wasn’t Brian Bendis.

Humannoyed

Apparently, Fabrice Giger, head honcho of Les Humanoides has been kicking up a small stink based on last week’s column. Or so I’ve heard, no one from the company has contacted me directly. However I hear he has fingered both Jean-Marc Lofficier and Sylvain Despretz as the source of the leak.

I’d like to state that this is false. I’ve only spoken with Lofficier before over the Marvel vs Joseph Ladronn story which he was quite happy to be open about. And, sorry to say, I’d never heard of Sylvain Despretz before, though I hear he is connected to the “A-list director” I mentioned previously…

But, apparently, someone has told Fabrice that these were my sources. They were not.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


X-Position

Lieutenant Kali, long-standing rumour source with a dodgy reputation and best but a tendency to pull surprise ones out of the bag, writes to tell me that Marvel has had a crackdown on leaks as of late. All outgoing and incoming e-mails are now screened and only those directly involved with each comic are allowed to know what’s going on. Thank goodness for personal home e-mail accounts, that’s all I can say.

The Good Lieutenant tells me that Marvel’s bigwigs were a little… let’s say stressed, when they knew next to nothing on what was happening in the X-Books come May. So Quesada brought them the list of the characters featured in the two teams as well as those that were being killed, and a summary of both writer’s first 4 issues. I hear the suits weren’t exactly pleased with Morrison’s plans, but have agreed to let him go on as Quesada has assured them it will boost sales. Which, let’s face it, seems pretty likely if *that* X-Men cover is anything to go by.

They are, apparently, more pleased with Casey’s take on the X-Men, which I’m told follows Banshee and Wolverine training up a team of the less powered mutants, in a setting similar to that of the movie. I’m told they were also happy that Casey didn’t just put all the teen X-Men in the team, and instead used those with less control of their powers, the reason why Gambit and Iceman are in Casey’s team, while M is in Morrison’s team.

So. the full rumoured lineups are:

Joe Casey’s Uncanny X-Men – Banshee, Meltdown, Jubilee, Chamber, Cannonball, Iceman, Gambit, Wolverine

Grant Morrison’s New X-Men – Phoenix, Cyclops, M, Havok, Nightcawler, Wolverine, New Male Character.

Wolverine’s in both? Apparently…

Mystique will be heavily involved in Casey’s title alongside a new character, while Morrison will be introducing a new female character and also bringing Professor Xavier into the spotlight.

As for those that will die, in his plot outline Morrison just revealed there would be a “Culling of many mutants”, but as the first issue script is the only one which has yet been seen by anyone, so far only Cecilia Reyes and Husk have been killed, ‘though from what’s been going ’round the Marvel offices it’s reported that by the end of the arc around a dozen X-Men will be dead. The only ones assured of safe passage are those that were in the first X-Men movie, as even Quesada agreed that it would be bad for new readers to not find the most commercially known characters in the comics, so as a result Rogue, Storm, Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey and Professor X have been made off limits from Morrisons culling.

Other rumours indicate that a nuclear bomb being dropped on Genosha would be a very quick way to get rid of a lot of mutants in a very short timeframe.

Neither Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Matt Powers, Grant Morrison or Joe Casey responded to e-mail enquiries. Bill Jemas was probably eating trifle, the others have no excuse.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out Of 10


AO Hell

After a parting of ways at John Byrne’s AOL ward (apparently involving an individual who deceived a lot of people on the board who AOL seemed unwilling to deal with, Byrne found solace at the Unofficial John Byrne Fan Site – where he’s now accessible for the millions of non-AOL users.

Here’s a few of his answers to questions asked:

“As to my doing something POWERPUFF related now that I am at DC — I pitched a wee notion just last week — No questions or specutaltions, please! My lips are sealed! – and await now the response of TPTB.”

“BEFORE XHY [X-Men Hidden Years – Rich] WAS CANCELLED, I HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT TWO PROJECTS UNDER THE UMBRELLA TITLE “THE END”. MARVEL WANTED ME TO DO THE “LAST ISSUE” OF THE X-MEN (WITH CHRIS) AND OF FANTASTIC FOUR. RALPH MACCHIO WAS TO BE EDITOR OF THE WHOLE THING — AND I HAD TALKED TO RALPH ABOUT TURNING “THE LAST GALACTUS STORY” INTO THE “LAST” FF STORY. HE AGREED, AND I WORKED UP A WHOLE NEW SCENARIO, THIS TIME INVOLVING THE FF AND DOCTOR DOOM. RALPH WAS BLOWN AWAY. HE LOVED IT.”

“WON’T HAPPEN NOW, THO.”

Regarding the Just Imagine Stan Lee Legion project, Byre reports “STAN HAS NOT TURNED IN ANYTHING AT ALL YET.”

And on the X-Men Hidden Years project, he writes, “WHY, WHY, WHY WOULD MARVEL CANCEL A PROFITABLE BOOK, SAYING “THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY X-MEN TITLES”, ONLY TO ADD >MORE< X-MEN TITLES? THE ANSWER SEEMS SADLY OBVIOUS: THE “ULTIMATE” LINE IS GOING TO BECOME THE >ONLY< VERSION OF THE CHARACTERS’ ORIGINS. SPIDER-MAN AND THE X-MEN WILL EXIST ONLY AS “PRESENTED” BY BILL JEMAS. AND, OF COURSE, A BOOK LIKE “HIDDEN YEARS” CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO EXIST, SINCE IT CONTRADICTS WHAT IS SOON TO BE THE “REAL” HISTORY.”

“I WISH THIS WAS JUST PARANOIA ON MY PART, BUT I’VE HAD THIS NAGGING FEELING ALL ALONG, AND QUESADA ANNOUNCING THAT THE NEXT YEAR WILL SEE SOME “BLURRING” BETWEEN THE “DIFFERENT” VERSIONS ONLY SERVES TO ADD EVIDENCE TO MY CONCLUSION.”

“I JUST WISH THEY’D HAD THE STONES TO COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE, INSTEAD OF THIS “STEALTH MAN OF STEEL” APPROACH.”

“(STILL, I SUPPOSE I WILL FIND A SMALL, PYRRHIC VICTORY, AS I LISTEN TO THE SOUNDS OF HEADS EXPLODING ALL OVER AMERICA — THE HEADS OF THOSE WHO CONDEMNED “CHAPTER ONE”, WHILE PRAISING “ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN”!)”

Cheer up, John. I’m sure Bill will give you some trifle if you ask nicely. I hear there’s sherry in it. And banana!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


You Are Not Worthy

Well, you knew I was going to mention it eventually. Usenet’s rec.arts.comics community have voted me Best Journalist 2000 in the Squiddies Awards. That’s not just best comics journalist, oh no. That’s Best Journalist, period. CNN, Wall Street Times, The Guardian, The Observer, Panorama, 60 Minutes, Newsnight – they can all swivel. I kick their arse – and it’s official!

This Has A Ego Value Of 10 Out Of 10


Yes, I went to the Mark Millar signing in Barking yesterday. Yes, I spent most of the day drinking. Indeed, there is a comic to go with it. That’s right, Hassidic Jew himself Warren Ellis was on hand for fun and frolics. And no, none of the above column is based on what I heard. But some of next week’s column might be. If you’re very lucky…

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