All right, I decided to cut my vacation short by one week, truth be told I didn?t even go anywhere. I was just on the couch watching reruns. How much do you think this gig pays anyways?


Dead Means Dead

With lots of news coming out of SDCC, rest assured that we will be following up on rumors heard on the con floor over the next few weeks. One item of interest forwarded by a source close to Marvel comics confirmed that one of the new team books spinning out of Civil War next year will be headlined by Clint Barton, who may not be going by the name Hawkeye at that point.

This Has A ?Trick Arrow? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Go, Titans, Go!

Over on his board, Geoff Johns gave his fans a glimpse of what is forthcoming in Teen Titans:

    I’m super psyched for everyone to see what we’ve got coming up next: TITANS AROUND THE WORLD, the mystery of KID DEVIL, the power of ZATARA, the strangeness of MISS MARTIAN, the fears of RAVAGER, the troubles between ROBIN and WONDER GIRL, the lost friend, the new enemy, the new member, the old member, BATGIRL, KID DEVIL’s arch enemy, the TITANS EAST, the other TOWER, the loud girl with the crush on CYBORG, the missing “book” and plenty of insanity.

This Has A ?Bring Back Psimon? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Time To Get Serious

Everyone remembers CapvsBats right? He?s the guy who produced some of those hilarious parodies of recent mega-storylines. Well, his real name is Jim Shelley, and he has started producing some online comics here.

Jim explains how his webcomic differs from the others:

    The main thing that makes our comic different than other web comic/flash comics before it is that we are specifically targeting the .cbr downloader market – file format, layout and distribution are all geared specifically for that market.

We don’t intend to charge for our comic, instead we are hoping that a freely distributed .cbr comic will help spread CDisplay to as many computers as possible. I’m of the opinion that the masses have spoken and this is the format they prefer and that other *black box* formats will not be as popular. People like owning and controlling what they download – iTunes has proven that.

In the coming weeks, ATR will feature more in-depth coverage of Jim?s new webcomic and his ideas on comic distribution, and don?t worry he has more parodies on the way.

This Has A ?Big Two Take Note!? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


I Like The Violence But Where?s The Sex?

Beau Smith was kind enough to take the time to answer some of my questions during my inaugural column two weeks back, specifically he was promoting his new comic series Cobb: Off the Leash. Check it out here.

Beau recently posted a bone crunching preview page from issue 3. Check out the sweet art by Ed Barretto:

This Has A ?Swift Knee To The Face? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


The Hidden Years

Jeff Parker?s new X-Men: First Class series tells in continuity untold tales of the X-Men set in their early days. This series was originally supposed to be a Marvel Adventures book, but the powers decided to put it into official continuity. If the book lasts long enough Parker has plans to bring it up to the All-New All Different era of X-Men.

There are also plans for a Marvel Adventures X-Men comic that will feature a mix of classic and new X-Men team members.

This Has An ?Untold Tales? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


The Cover Thread

Over on Warren Ellis? ENGINE message board, a myriad of artists including Becky Cloonan, Shawn Richter, and Michael Woods among others, are showing off cover designs and sketches for their upcoming books.

Here are some designs by Jock for his new Vertigo FAKER due out in December.

This Has A ?Judge A Book By Its Cover? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


Back With A Vengeance

Charlie Huston is behind the recent successful relaunch of Moon Knight (along with David Finch on art chores) for Marvel Comics. This series has quickly become one of my favorite picks every month. The book is just hardcore. Charlie took some time out to answer a few questions about the series:

ATR: Give our readers a synopsis of the Moon Knight series so far. What themes are you exploring in this series? What differentiates Moon Knight from other similar heroes? What does he mean to you as a writer?

CH: OK, I?m gonna recap without major spoilers as best I can, but anyone waiting for the trade might want to look away. In issue #1 we found out that Mark Spector, the man beneath Moon Knight?s cowl, has been sidelined from the hero business for a couple years because of a major injury and? well, really that?s about all there was in issue #1. Kind of sucks when you think about it. Pages and pages of a guy sitting in a wheelchair picking his nose. What was I thinking? But hey, in issue #2 things really got cracking! There was a flashback where you saw how Spector got hurt and then his old friend Crawley showed up and told him he had an invitation to lunch and then there was this kind of creepy guy on the last page. Hmmm? Yeah, that one sucked too. But #3 rocked! Spector and his best friend Frenchie sat in a restaurant for pages and pages and talked and talked and in some other scenes a guy stood in front of a plasma screen and gave a speech! Wow! Anyway, that?s pretty much it. Spector is all fucked up and he?s trying to get back in the game but he?s carrying a bunch of baggage and he beats people up with spiked cestus gloves and crashes cars and he?s popping pills because of the pain in his ruined legs and he mutilated his nemesis Bushman and he stabbed a guy in the face and some of his oldest foes are plotting against him and Taskmaster crashes through the window and starts in on killing him. But that?s about it so far.

So I?m exploring themes about face stabbing and stuff and Moon Knight is different from other similar heroes because he?s crazier than Vincent Price in ?The Abominable Doctor Phibes? and they aren?t, and what he means to me as a writer is that I get to write about face stabbing.

ATR: Are you pleased with the phenomenal response the series has received so far? Why do you think readers have connected with this version of Moon Knight?

CH: I am only marginally pleased by this phenomenal response as I was promised a gargantuan response. And I can only assume people are reading the book because there are a lot of sick fucks out there. But give me time and I will alienate them and they will cease to read.

ATR: Lets talk about the villains: I really enjoyed how you described the intense hate between Bushmaster and Moon Knight that basically stemmed from their familiarity with each other. Do you consider Bushmaster Moon Knight’s main antagonist? What other villains will he be facing as the series progresses?

CH: Bushman! Bushman! Bushmaster is a quadriplegic with a giant bionic snake tail and robot arms and he fought Captain America and was part of something call the Serpent Society. Bushman is a mercenary with steel teeth and a skull tattoo on his face. Totally different guy.

As for other villains, the cat?s out of the bag on Taskmaster. Beyond that I?m gonna keep a lid on it for as long as I can. But a dude with a bionic snake tail does sound pretty cool.

ATR: Frenchy had a revelation regarding his lifestyle in issue 3.. Is this something that was alluded to in the original series or something you revealed for the first time? Will we learn more about Frenchy as the series progresses (like how he lost his legs)?

CH: SPOILER ALERT! AVERT YOUR EYES! I?m ABOUT TO DISCUSS A CHARACTER RELELATION THAT MAY FUCK UP YOUR READING PLEASURE IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY READ MOON KNIGHT #3! SKIP DOWN TO THE NEXT PART WHERE I YAMMER ABOUT THE NEXT STORY ARC IN A REALLY GENERAL WAY! FLEE! FLEE!

OK, so, yes, Frenchie?s ?lifestyle? revelation. He comes out of the closet to Mark Spector. First, no, I don?t think this was ever really alluded to anywhere in the past. If anything, Frenchie was often portrayed as something of a ladies man. Which I think works kind of perfectly with him being in the closet for years. But that?s me. The reason I went in this direction goes back to when I was first pitching Moon Knight to Axel Alonso and Joe Quesada. Marvel?s Director of Development, Publishing, Ruwan Jayatilleke, had brought me in and suggested MK as a book that might fit me. I was a fan of the character from the Moench run and started rereading those books. As I thought about these characters and the kind of stories I?d like to tell with them, one of the things I wondered about was why the fuck Frenchie stuck around? He doesn?t believe in Khonshu (the Egyptian God of vengeance that Spector ?serves?); he is a mercenary, but it doesn?t appear that he?s getting paid; and that left friendship. But there?s no real indication that the two of them have one of those do or die friendships. In the first appearances in ?Werewolf By Night?, Frenchie is just kind of around to fly the helicopter. But let that be, I went with friendship. Frenchie loves Mark Spector, and that?s why he sticks around. And then I thought, ?Oh, shit, what if he doesn?t love him, what if he loves him?? And I though that worked. It fit in a weird way. It also fit this idea I had that during these years he?d been fighting crime, Spector had been totally out to lunch about the people around him and what they thought of it all and who they actually were. The idea being that someone would have to be pretty self-obsessed to put himself forward as a crime fighting avatar for the god of vengeance, and that wouldn?t leave a lot of room for realizing what?s going on with the people he cares about.

There will be more Frenchie (the legs thing ties into the fact that he was paralyzed in ?Mark Spector Moon Knight? and then showed up years later walking around just fine and I want to get to it later, but for now he?s got prosthetics and I?ll tell the story when I get a chance), and more Marlene, and more Crawley, and Gena and the kids, and Detective Flint, and more of all these great characters that Moench surrounded Spector with.

ATR: Your onboard until issue 12 right? What can readers expect during the second arc? Any ties to the Marvel Universe? Civil War? Werewolf By Night?

CH: I?ll be around through #12. After that it will depend on my schedule. There will be some syncing with the general Marvel U on the horizon. By the end if the first arc readers will have a pretty clear idea about who I think Moon Knight is and what kind of shit he?ll be up to. But I really wanted a crack at putting him into play with a couple of the mainstream Marvel heroes that he used to hang with from time to time. I think he?s always at his best on the fringe, but I, rather selfishly, wanted to define how other heroes respond to him before other writers got their hands on him. Seeing as Civil War is going on, and will still be running when MK?s second arc starts, it was inevitable that I?d need to acknowledge it if I wanted to have my little crossovers. So, yes, some ties to the MU, and a smidgen of Civil War in the background of the next arc.

ATR: Any other projects you’d like to plug that are coming up (novels, film, comics)?

CH: I drew the short straw and ended up writing the Ultimates Annual #2. This means I get to follow Millar and lead into Loeb on that book. Which means I pretty much get to look like a clown sandwiched between those two guys. Thanks, Marvel, love you too.

Novels are the main game for me. In September I?ll have ?A Dangerous Man? coming out. That?s the end of a trilogy of crime thrillers preceded by ?Caught Stealing? and ?Six Bad Things?. But you can read it on its own. In December, Del Rey will release ?No Dominion?, the second book in an ongoing vampire/noir series featuring Joe Pitt. The first is called ?Already Dead?. And two untitled projects lined up for 2007. I blather about all this nonsense on my website, http://www.pulpnoir.com.

This Has A ? I Meant To Say Bushman, Dammit!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Keep sending in those news items and rumors from San Diego guys. It?s much appreciated!

Editor?s Note: The column by David Scorr that was originally scheduled to appear as this week?s All The Rage, will now appear on Wednesday in our Silver Soapbox slot.


About The Author