So, I’m moving to a new apartment and I started packing.. ah hell, you don’t care. Besides, you don’t need an intro. when the title of the column is Fire and Death.

Oh, but I gotta ask, have you been to the new Dynamic Forces website? The DF crew have totally rejigged the design and it looks awful spiffy. If you jet over there now by clicking on one of the banners or buttons on this page not only will you be dazzled by the new design, you’ll be able to take advantage of this awesome daily Special: Batman And His Friends. In it you get Batman: Sword of Azrael signed by Joe Quesada, Batgirl: Year One #1 signed by Scott Beatty, Batman: Harley Quinn signed by Alex Ross, Paul Dini and Aaron Sowd, Batman/Hellboy/Starman signed by Mike Mignola, Batman #500 signed by Joe Quesada and Kevin Nowlan, Birds of Prey signed and remarked by Jimmy Palmiotti, Catwoman #50 signed by Jim Balent, The Dark Knight Strikes Again #1 signed by Frank Miller, and Nightwing #25 signed by Karl Story. There are only ten of these sets available, so be in quick!


Devourer of Worlds

On his website, Top 10 artist Gene Ha mentions that Alan Moore plans to obliterate the entire ABC universe. Yep, you heard me.

He writes:

    I thought he might have meant something metaphorical when I first heard of this plan. And so he did. But he also plans to destroy the world. He noted that most comic universes aren’t really destroyed; they just run out of financing. Alan wants to be the first writer to purposefully destroy a line’s whole world.

How Alan plans to do this is a mystery. But it sure as hell sounds fun.

Galactus: Only Galactus Can DESTROY worlds, little man!
 

Moore: Sod off, you purple whore.
This Has A “Galactus Is A Wanker” Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten


Born and Reborn

A reliable source tells me that the current Punisher series will be cancelled late this year, to clear the way for a new MAX book to come out around the same time the movie starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta is released.

Over the past year Ultimates writer Mark Millar has been talking about doing a Punisher arc sometime down the road. Could be that his story will launch the Punisher MAX series.

It should also be mentioned that the new Born MAX mini by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson seems like a logical set-up for a mature readers relaunch. Born will give us the true origin of the Punisher in Vietnam, most likely with large quantities of blood and intestines, and perhaps yet another freak with a face like a frickin’ meatshop. What are the chances?

Well, normally the Magic Eightball would say “Outlook Good”. But during last month’s Newsarama interview, Garth says that there won’t be any “grotesque characters with their faces all fucked up” in Born. Just a good old fashioned, brutal war story. Now why you got to go and mess with the formula, Ennis?

This Has A “Arseface, We Miss You” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Just Do It

Supposedly Brian Wood (Fight for Tomorrow, Global Frequency covers) is in negotiations to do a web comic for Nike. I emailed him, but he hasn’t responded. Maybe seeing his name in ATR will wake him up? Or piss him off. I don’t care – just write back.

This Has A “It’s Gotta Be The Shoes” Factor Of Four Out Of Ten


Fired

This week it was reported that the previously announced Firestorm ongoing series has been shelved. Mike Carey (Lucifer) was supposed to be the writer and had even done interviews on the gig. But it seems that DC big wigs have decided to put the book on hold. Carey told the Pulse that should Firestorm get the go ahead sometime down the road, DC has made it clear that he won’t be on the project and that a whole new creative team would be chosen. This is all factual. Now, the rumor part is that DC may have shelved Firestorm as a direct response to the recent Power Company cancellation. Firestorm was added to the PW team to try and boost sales on the dying title. But obviously that didn’t work. DC could have axed the ongoing Firestorm book because they felt the character’s popularity wasn’t strong enough to carry a series.

On the DC Message Boards, Carey offered a response to being taken off Firestorm:

      Sorry it came out this way. What happened was that Jen Contino emailed me about an interview we were trying to arrange, and I’d just heard that I was off the book so I told her the interview was sort of moot. I intended to come on the board here and explain the situation to everyone — which is basically that a decision has been taken to jettison the series concept that we had up to this point and take the entire thing back to review from the ground up. This means that there could still be a

Firestorm

    book, but it looks as though if that happens it will be a different creative team and a different take on the character. I’m sorry — sorrier than I can say — because this was a book I really wanted to do, but there had been problems and delays that were nobody’s fault, and I guess somewhere along the way the line just snapped and we ran out of time. There are no hard feelings, and I don’t feel as though I’ve been badly treated: both Peter (Tomasi) and Steve (Wacker) have been great to work with, as was Dan. I just wish we could have made it happen. And I hope somebody else can, because Firestorm is too good a character to waste.

The other rumor about this situation is that DC may have pulled the plug to purge the book from the influence of former editor Dan Raspler who got the ball rolling on the Firestorm series.

I have to say I’m not surprised to see the Firestorm series go away. But taking Carey off a second-string superhero book is whacked. After a great run on the critically acclaimed Lucifer, and some kick-ass writing on Hellblazer, DC should at least allow him to write a few issues. I mean, we’re talking about a character that still wears puffy sleeves. Maybe it’s just me, but I think an award-winning writer will do okay on the book.

Losers writer Andy Diggle seems to agree. On the Newsarama boards he writes:

    Mike has already had to re-plot the entire series once, after Dan Raspler got the boot. Now this. Crazy. Can’t help feeling this isn’t the best way to keep a fan-favourite, award-winning, DC-exclusive writer happy. Hopefully DC will try to make it up to him.

This Has A “We Didn’t Start The Fire” Factor Of Six Out Of Ten


Out Of The Batter’s Box

Speaking of Raspler, I hear that DC may have canned him for refusing to allow artist Ryan Sook to draw Detective Comics at the start of writer Ed Brubaker’s run. Apparently the artist was already attached to the Arkham Asylum: Living Hell mini-series (first issue comes out Wednesday) and Raspler didn’t want to free him up. Now Raspler is gone and Sook has since been announced as the new ongoing Detective artist.

This Has A “Bat Blow-Off” Factor Of One Out of Ten


Unfinished Business

Remember the incomplete Image series 1963 by former Swamp Thing alums Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and Rick Vietch? For those that don’t, it was a series designed to evoke the Silver Age of superheroes with a line of new characters and stories, according to Bissette at http://www.comicon.com/bissette/1963.htm. “Each title would be self-standing, but appear to be a single issue of six different ongoing series, with letters pages, pin-ups, and cover and panel reproductions referring to previous issues and adventures that never existed,” writes Bissette. “Even the comic book ads of the era would be lovingly recreated and parodied, absolutely true to the era we were evoking.”

The series was supposed to end with a giant annual, but the book was never completed.

Well, Steve Bissette has been discussing his return to that universe with a new N-Man related fanzine project at Fanboy.Info.

Steve says that he is working through his “faux-history of the faux-’63 comics universe” and is “concocting some faux-histories of faux-publishers.” However, he is drawing on the real history of publishers, editors and cartoonists. He mentions “DC’s closet-pedophile editors; Kanigher’s browbeating of artists, to the point of tears” and “the original DOC SOLAR artist sandbagged into his apartment with a machine gun at ready.”

He also talks about the status of the 1963 character rights and mentions his relationship with Alan Moore:

    For the record, the December 1999 split of the ‘1963’ properties led to my owning The Fury, L.A.S.E.R., N-Man, The Hypernaut, and all the characters and concepts unique to those stories in their respective solo ‘1963’ stories (e.g., The War Beast, The Voidoid, etc.). Alan and Rick own all the rest — though jointly, as they didn’t define any relevant division between themselves in the documents we all signed — including the ‘1963’ moniker and trademark and the anthology comics titles (I only own THE FURY comic title).

I am NOT permitted to ever reprint the Fury, N-Man, or Hypernaut stories themselves that Alan scripted; I presume I could reprint the art alone, sans any text. Such, I fear, was Alan’s determination to never again be associated with me or mine, though that’s a supposition; he was, however, adamant about NO reprints of that material in anything I might chose to do down the road, and made a point of emphasizing that. Alas.

Well, what’s done is done, and this is the first time I’ve really had the wherewithal, will, or desire to move forward on what are now my properties. Significantly, that flow of creative energy immediately followed the completion of my essay, “Mr. Moore and Me,” for ALAN MOORE: PORTRAIT OF AN EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMAN, shipping next month from Top Shelf.

I’m currently working up a number of various items for this planned weirdo zine, including a surprise contribution or two from some writers you’ll be surprised to hear of — but it’s too soon to ballyhoo all that.

Thanks to Takashi Miike for the tip.

This Has A “Ballyhoo Was Probably A Word Used In 1963” Factor Of Six Out Of Ten


Back To Cla$$

According to the Com.X message boards at TheIntake.Net, the last three issues of Cla$$war will finally see the light of day. Com.X founder Eddie Deighton says:

      Our man in the trenches, Len O’Grady, is busy colouring pages from #4 and #5 as I type. I want to make sure that there’s plenty of eye candy for you to see. I think it’s safe to say that it’s been worth the wait.

Cla$$war series #1

    will be complete by Christmas and the trade will be ready for January.

I know I really liked this series, so I‘m happy to hear it will be finished soon. Too bad it’s been so long I can’t remember a damn thing that happened in the book, except that some punk gets his jaw punched off.

This Has A “Clas$$ Action” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Lack of Authority

Well, well, well. Look who showed up late to the party this week. Matt and Dan have come back to us with a drunken review of the new Authority. Personally I haven’t read the book. In all honesty, I’m still annoyed by what happened with the last series.

But never mind me. My mama taught me to share, so I give you the return of Matt and Dan:

      I’ve got a rumor for you. I heard there’s some people who actually plan on picking up the new

Authority #2

    ! So if you haven’t picked up #1…don’t. Here’s a book that broke all pre-conceived notions of the super hero genre, and DC castrated its writers at the height of its success. Now it’s been resurrected as a “mature” title that desperately wishes it was as cool as its predecessor. Let’s see… A poorly re-hashed plot line with watered down characters. The doctor can alter the laws of physics and re-arrange molecular structure, but resorts to summoning glowing purple eels to extract his imagination-free revenge?

It was as painful as watching Cartoon Network’s Justice League when Green Lantern squanders his limitless powers by shooting a laser beam and making a bubble. There’s no witty dialog. We’re treated to art that belongs in a Wildstorm annual back-up story. In previous issues, the relationship between Apollo and Midnighter was a source of controversy, but was always handled tastefully. Now we have Midnighter’s inability to attend to his adopted daughter due to his engorged member? And how can there possibly be another extra-dimensional super-team!? The Authority and Planetary are already in the same universe and the Carrier has cataloged over 700 alternate dimensions! Let It Go!

What’s so special about earth anyway when there are so many other alternatives!? This pathetic version is like watching the TNT remake of The Shining with the out-of-work “Wings” guy filling in for Jack Nicholson! Well, we could speculate on the direction of the book, but we don’t care since the subscription has already been cancelled. Being controversial for the sake of controversy, without solid substance is distasteful and utterly under-whelming. Out of principal, and to purge my brain, I’m going to re-read the Ellis and Millar runs. And on the up side, we don’t need to purchase TP this month.

This Has A “Frank Quitely Should Be Forced to Sign Contracts” Value of Three Out of Ten


End of the Slay Ride

The last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is airing this Tuesday and I am very sad. It feels like the end of something big. Yeah, there have been lots of rumors about possible spinoffs, but nothing has been confirmed. So it looks like creator Joss Whedon and company will be taking a break from Slayer stories for a while to concentrate on Angel (the best show on TV), which was just renewed by the WB. This means that the only place to get a Buffy fix is through the Dark Horse comic book series. I just finished interviewing Buffy writer Fabian Nicieza about his new projects and one of the things he talked about was his work on the series. Over the last year, comic book Buffy is following the continuity of TV Buffy much more closely, so it will be interesting to see how the series is affected by the events of the final episode.

Here’s the Q&A:

MN: How did you get involved with Dark Horse’s Buffy series?

FN: My friend, Scott Lobdell, was writing the monthly title but his Hollywood shenanigans resulted in some scheduling trouble, so he asked me to help him out.

MN: What is it about the concept that made you want to write the comics?

FN: I’ve enjoyed the show since it aired its first episode. I like the humor and show’s ability to tell coming of age stories through the use of monster-analogies.

MN: Given the top notch writing on the Buffy TV show, is it intimidating at all to write the comic book?

FN: Not really, because I felt I could pick up their distinctive voices pretty well for the printed page.

MN: Do you feel any pressure to accurately portray the characters?

FN: Not pressure, so much that it’s the expectation of the job. If I’m not portraying the character properly, if you don’t hear the actors’ voices in the dialogue, then I’m not doing my job well.

MN: You’ll soon be writing Buffy on your own, instead of co-writing with Scott Lobdell. How will the series change now that you’re solo?

FN: Well, I’m already in to Part 4 of my first arc, so the question is actually past-tense for me. The arc I’m writing solo, “A Stake Through The Heart,” has a horror angle that is far less overt and physical and far more emotional and haunting.

MN: What do you have planned for upcoming issues of Buffy?

FN: We’ll wait and see what the publishing program for the comics will be like once the show runs its course. I don’t know yet.

MN: What are your feelings on the Buffy TV show as it comes down the final stretch?

FN: I think it had a good run. Seven years is a long time for a TV show to maintain a high level, and although in my opinion, the show has been a little less consistent the last couple of seasons, I still feel that Buffy running on 60% of its strength is still better than most TV shows at 100.

MN: The Buffy comics seem to be following the continuity of the show more than they have in the past. Will this continue once the TV program is over?

FN: Well, the last year has been set Pre-Season One, so if anything, we were treading on very fertile NEW ground by going backwards in time. Again, what the future holds, I don’t know.

MN: How closely is Joss Whedon involved with the Buffy comic? Do you discuss the book with him at all? Will he have more involvement when the TV show is off the air?

FN: The editor Scott Allie talks to Fox and Mutant Enemy on a regular basis. How involved different writers or producers are, I don’t know. Outside of Debbie Olshan from FOX being cool enough to send me the DVD sets when I beg for them, I’ve had no direct contact with anyone other than my editor.

MN: I’ve heard Joss say that comics give him an opportunity to feature bigger, badder monsters and other special effects that would be impossible on television. Do you plan to dial up the danger factor and the special effects?

FN: I hope to. We’ll see.

This Has A “I May Be Dead, But I‘m Still Pretty” Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


Look for the rest of my interview with Fabian in the SBC features section. Should be up in a couple days. He talks about his new Dark Horse book, The Blackburne Covenant, and a new Hot Wheels comic. Yeah, I said Hot Wheels. To find out how he plans to make a comic story based on toy cars, you’re gonna have to read the interview.

See you next week,
Markisan

PS If anyone has any rumors to share please send them to me immediately. Just click on my name at the top of the page and you’re halfway there. If you don’t want your name revealed then just give me an alias or let me know that you don’t want to be mentioned in any way. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s appreciated.


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