Welcome back to another edition of ATR. Is it me, or is this month just flying by?

Eye of The Storm

Kurt Busiek appeared in the news a few times this week, with word of his departure from Conan and his arrival on Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis. When asked online why he left Conan, Busiek replied:

    There’s no dark secret to it — nobody’s mad at anyone, there are no hidden creative differences or anything. Just some of the business stuff about opportunities and schedules and personal concerns that readers don’t and don’t need to care about. But it’s the way life goes sometimes.

I’ll have a decent amount of Conan stuff still coming out — at least ten issues’ worth of stuff next year (and four of them the extra-length THOTH stuff) — and anyone who’s liked my CONAN should really check out my AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS, coming in March.

And what are the ?opportunities? Busiek mentioned? It is heavily rumored that Busiek has signed an exclusive deal with DC. How that will affect some of his other comic projects isn?t entirely clear yet, though I hear that Marvels: Eye of the Camera is still going to happen at some point?

This Has A ?Serving The Public Need? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Early Edition

I?ve heard a couple Marvel tidbits this week. First up, Brian Bendis? last issue of The Pulse is said to lead into New Avengers Annual #1, written by Bendis of course, with a ?superstar artist? attached, but I?m not sure who they have in mind? Second, New Thunderbolts will drop the ?New? and return to the original numbering when it hits issue 100. And finally, Ed Brubaker and Eric Wight are rumored to be working on Captain America 65th Aniversary Special. For those of you unfamiliar with Wight, he provided the ?Seth Cohen? artwork on The OC?

This Has A ?World Outside Your Window? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


365 Days From Now

We?re about 24 hours away from the March DC solicits, which should shed some more light on the ?One Year Later? era. In the interim, I?ve heard a few rumors, which may or may not be true. But erring on the side of caution, consider this a

****SPOILER WARNING****
Inviso-text on.

First, I?ve heard that Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow will being the mayor of Star City, when his title picks up OYL. The second rumor had Birds of Prey pegged to disappear OYL, but I now hear that?s not the case at all. And finally, there was a wild rumor about Jason Todd becoming Robin again, while Tim Drake would be the new Nightwing. I don?t really buy that one, as it just doesn?t make any sense. But it?s definitely out there?

Guess we?ll know more tomorrow?

This Has A ?Sliding Doors? Factor of Five Out of Ten


Across The Universe

The word is out about Warren Ellis? latest book, Newuniversal, which is going to feature his ?brand new take? on Marvel?s New Universe. In retrospect, the news isn?t that surprising, considering the attention that the New Universe has been getting from Marvel lately, first with the appearance in Exiles and then with a fifth week event coming in March. Earlier this week, Marvel confirmed the New Universe one-shots from the event, but didn?t elaborate on the creative teams attached. Fortunately, I have that info for you now: Fred Van Lente and Arnold Pander are teaming on Nightmask, Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido do the honors on Star Brand, Tony Bedard and Russ Braun take their shot at Psi-Force, C. B. Cebulski and M.D. Bright are on DP7 and Peter David returns to Justice, with artist Carmine Di Giandomenico in tow. Some of the other New Universe characters will be appearing elsewhere: Merc will show up in a backup in Amazing Fantasy # 18 by Tony Lee and Leonard Kirk, followed by a Codename Spitfire (in the Mark I armor, I hear) backup in AF#19 by Justin Grey and Marshall Rogers, and Kickers Inc by Jeff Parker and Juan Santacruz. will backup New Avengers in February. From what I?ve heard, all the books are self-contained and don?t interconnect. They all take place before the events depicted in The Pitt and will most likely be the last time we see the ?classic? New Universe for a long time?

This Has A ?World Outside Your Window? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


On A Pale Horse

X-Men editor Mike Marts dropped a few hints regarding the identity of Apocalypse?s new horsemen in his weekly column over at UncannyXMen.net. Of particular note, he said that three of the four horseman would come from this set of characters:

Having seen this, I?ve got some theories of my own over who will make the line up. Pure speculation, but if I?m right it could be a SPOILER. So, inviso-text on?

Basically, what it all comes down to is a process of elimination. Does anyone really think that Erg is going to make the line up? He hasn?t appeared in almost 20 years and would only elicit a collective ?huh?!? from the audience.

From there I think we can safely eliminate Beast and Sebastian Shaw, since I fully expect they?ll both play major roles in the second year of Astonishing X-Men. Next, I?d eliminate Dark Beast, Avalanche and Ozymandias, since their inclusion would lack dramatic tension. It?s just not shocking when villains turn out to be villains. Plus, Ozymandias and Dark Beast have already been toadies of Apocalypse in the past. I just can?t see them making the jump to Horseman status.

So now we?re down to six candidates. Mystique works best as a ?gray? character and doesn?t really have the necessary power levels. For Gambit to turn, that would require an actual character arc, which is something he hasn?t had in a while. And while Havoc has the power, he?s not currently vulnerable to Apocalypse?s brand of manipulation.

Which leaves us with:

Dani Moonstar: Currently powerless and embittered by the way Emma Frost sent her packing. She?s my pick to be the new ?Death?, as she was once a Norse Valkyrie.

Polaris: History of mental problems? Check. Currently powerless? Check. She?s a lock, in my opinion.

Sunfire: Not seen since the last issue of Rogue, where he lost his legs in an attack by Lady Deathstrike. He was seemingly mortally wounded when he disappeared, and Apocalypse?s MO has always been to take broken mutants and remake them in his image. Plus his strongest visual look came in the classic Age of Apocalypse storyline. This would be the perfect time to bring that back in the regular Marvel Universe.

And yes, I know that two of the three mutants above lost their powers post-House of M, but if Apocalypse is positioning himself as the ?savior? of the mutant race, it stands to reason that he has a way to restore powers that were lost.

Marts only said that three of the Horsemen would come from this group, and implied that there might be two X-men in the lineup. Since he held back on releasing the identity of the fourth horseman, it?s safe to assume they have a surprise pick in store. But, if they really want to twist the knife into the collective heart of the X-men, then I?d say the natural pick would be Charles Xavier himself. And he has been missing for a while now?

Of course, I could be wrong. Feel free to continue speculating?

This Has A ?Riders On The Storm? Factor of Five Out of Ten


Imperiled Justice

TVShowsonDVD broke the following good news this week, Justice League and Batman Beyond are both coming to DVD next year as box sets. The bad news is that they will be in fullscreen, not wide. For Batman Beyond, this isn?t an issue, but the majority of Justice League episodes were animated in widescreen. Almost immediately, fans of the series started asking about a letter campaign to sway Warner Brothers Home Video, which led Bruce Timm to reply:

    Yes, please, by all means, send those cards and letters… and do it NOW.

We’ll be starting special features stuff for season two in the next few weeks, which means a decision on fullscreen or widescreen will need to be made very soon… I’ve been doing my best to persuade the WHV folks to release the season two set (and all subsequent JLU sets) in widescreen, but it’s an uphill battle (full-frame format is the standard default mode for “family entertainment” dvd’s)… A deluge of (POLITE but emphatic) letters expressing fan support for widescreen dvd sets just might tip the scales?

I debated pushing this issue while we were prepping the season one set, but decided against it? I’d PREFER to have season one released in 1:85, but since those shows were actually made in full-frame format, no visual information is actually being lost (and I argued with myself that the most “complete” version should be on dvd for posterity)… from season two and onward it’s a different story….

So please, please, PLEASE, if you want season two in 1:85, let WHV know.

For details on where to send your letters, go here:
http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/jldvd.php

This Has A ?World?s Finest To The Rescue? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Pop Rock

Over on his message board, Dan Jolley (Bloodhound) has dropped some info regarding his next major project:

      I’ve just signed a contract to write a series of original young adult sci-fi/adventure novels for TOKYOPOP’s new POP FICTION line of books. Yes,

novels

      — all words, no pictures. This will be the first pure prose I’ve done since co-writing the YA

Angel

    novel with Scott Ciencin. It’s feeling really, really good.

The series is tentatively titled “ALEX, UNLIMITED,” but that may end up changing. More details will be made available ASAP.

This Has A ?Future Tense? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


The Gods Are Back In Town

Small Gods is coming back in March, from Image. Whether it?s a mini or a one-shot isn?t clear, but we do have the cover?

This Has A ?Dead Man?s Hand? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


From The Mean Streets of Toronto

I keep forgetting to mention this, but the Global Frequency pilot has been spotted on the DVD black market. Over at his blog, GF producer (and new Blue Beetle co-writer) John Rogers had this to say:

    Yes, thank God we’re not wasting our time selling those. It’s not like we’d want to get involved in capitalism or anything. Wouldn’t want to bend to market forces or supply-and-demand…

Given the tone of his comments, I?d hazard a guess that things aren?t going well on the quest to get the GF pilot an official release. Those of you already planning to write a letter to Warners Home Video about the Justice League DVDs might want to mention this too?

This Has A ?Miranda Is Not Pleased? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Rise of The Askani’son

I hear that Lan Medina (Fables) might be doing some issues of Cable & Deadpool next year, but it?s not clear if he?ll be the permanent artist or just filling in?

This Has A ?Merc With A Mouth? Factor of Six Out of Ten


More Than Half A Life

Sean Phillips (Marvel Zombies) is putting out an artbook called Half Life, which collects over 100 of his ?life drawings? from the past twenty years. Here?s a quick glimpse of what?s in store:




This Has A ?Still Life? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


And that?s a wrap. See you next week.

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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