Welcome to our Super Bowl edition of ATR.

Just think, it was almost one year ago today that Marvel?s greatest superheroes were upstaged by? Underdog. Not their proudest moment, to say the least. However, this year?s ad lineup doesn?t seem to have many comic related spots. There?s a V For Vendetta trailer set to air? Although, I am surprised that the Superman Returns trailer may not make an appearance? Warner Brothers appears to have put most of their marketing muscle behind V, Poseidon. and 16 Blocks.

But that can be discussed later. Right now, we are five days away from the start of convention season, and this week has seen a sharp spike in rumor activity. As you?ll see momentarily?

New Horizon

Word going around the industry is that DC is planning to launch a new line of comics geared towards teenage girls. While the comics will be released in manga sized digests, I?m told it?s not related to CMX at all. Instead, western creators/cartoonists will produce the OGNs (or OELs if you prefer). Further creator details are a bit hard to come by at the moment, though Andi Watson is said to be writing at least one of the four launch titles. I?m sure these will end up in comic stores, but make no mistake, this is clearly meant to tap into the bookstore market. I hear that most of the titles are testing extremely well with their intended audience, and that DC wants to get behind this line with a major promotional push. The tentative release schedule has the books slated for the end of 2006 or early 2007.

This Has A ?Welcome To The Night Life? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Back To Paradise

After weeks of speculation, it seems that the writer of the new Wonder Woman series is? Allan Heinberg. Though Heinberg had been previously rumored to be on the relaunch, a more recent rumor had Heinberg pulling out of the book due to a heavy work load. What changed? The way I hear it, Terry Dodson really wanted to work with Heinberg, and DC editorial didn?t want to risk him leaving the project as well. So, DC supposedly approached Heinberg with a more flexible schedule and he agreed to come back onboard, though it may only be for a limited run of six to twelve issues. An official announcement may come as soon as Wonder Con, although DC could hold off until Wizard World Los Angeles, since Heinberg will be attending that show.

In other DC related rumors, I hear that Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert will be the creative team on Batman Confidential, while Adam Kubert will be the artist on Superman Confidential. If true, I?d expect these announcements to come at the New York Comic-Con later this month. Naturally, both of the Kubert brothers are slated to be special guests there.

This Has A ?League of Nations? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Donner, Party of One

This item wins the award for the wildest story I?ve heard this week: according to sources within the industry, Richard Donner is rumored to be writing a Superman project for DC. I have no idea if this one is true or not, though people are already talking about it? If it is true, then the timing couldn?t be better, given Warner Brothers? official announcement of Superman II: The Donner Cut, to be included on a massive 14 Disk Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition box set.

This Has An ?Arctic Patrol? Factor of Three Out of Ten

Stuff To Come

I hear that Peter David will be making a Marvel related announcement next week at Wonder Con. Originally, I thought it would be about a new project or a new series, but now it appears to be something much BIGGER?

This Has A ?Friendly Neighborhood? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

The Horseman

In this week?s Mondays With Marts, word broke that Peter Milligan?s next project for Marvel will be X-related, presumably spinning out of his last story arc on X-Men. There?s not a lot of information currently available about it, but I have heard that it is NOT an ongoing title. So, presumably it will be a miniseries of some sort?

This Has A ?Pale Horse? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Watch Your Back, Spidey

One of our long time ATR Associates sent me some information regarding Spider-Man?s ?Iron Spider? costume. Consider this your SPOILER WARNING in case this turns out to true. Inviso Text on:

Our informant relayed that Spider-Man has long history of his gadgets and alternate costumes being used against him. From what I?m told, the ?Iron Spidey? suit will not be an exception. According to our source, the question isn?t how long will the costume stick around, it?s who?s going to be wearing it?

I actually have a theory about that one? ?The Other? that was formed out of Peter?s dead skin (DON?T ASK) is still out there somewhere. Even if the ?Iron Spidey? suit was programmed only to respond to Peter Parker, his double may be a genetic match for him. Something to think about, eh?

This Has A ?Does Whatever An Iron Can? Factor of Five Out of Ten

Once Upon A Time In The West

I?ve got a few more pieces of art to share from Marvel?s upcoming Western event: First, a character design sheet of The Steam Rider, by Byron Penaranda.

Next, we have? Steam Horse? Yep? Steam Horse. Also by Penarnada, from the Steam Rider story coming in Amazing Fantasy # 20.

And finally, we have a Black Rider cover by industry legend, Marshall Rogers.

This Has A ?Ride Into The Sunset? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Marvelous Representation

Following up on last week?s story, thanks to our readers who sent me tips about the Marvel art Lee Bermejo provided for Panini. It turns out that he didn?t draw them as covers, but instead drew a five part poster of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Daredevil and Hulk, and Wolverine, with each section to be included with their respective reprint titles. One of our readers was also kind enough to pass along this pic.

Thanks again. And please send me the rest, if you can. As I mentioned before, Bermejo is one of my favorites?

This Has A ?Stroke of The Brush? Factor of Ten Out of Ten

A League of His Own

Speaking of artists I?m (hearting) on: Ed Benes, who will be providing the art for Brad Meltzer?s Justice League of America. I?m sure most of you saw this in Wizard, but it?s even better in black and white:

Looking at that, I?d kind of like to see Meltzer and Benes take a JLU approach to the book, with a massive roster of characters. Incidently, this pic was found on Comic Art Fans (http://www.comicartfans.com/ ) in the collection of ?TC Art Collector?. He also had an X-Men commission by Benes, that I particularly liked?

This Has A ?Legend In The Making? Factor of Ten Out of Ten

The Spider-Man Conundrum

Long time ATR readers may recall a report that we had back in August of 2004 about Activision?s plans for the Spider-Man video game franchise. At the time, word was that they had an Ultimate Spider-Man game planned for 2005, a Classic Spider-Man game for 2006 and the Spider-Man 3 game set for 2007. As I?m sure you know, the first part of that came to pass last year. So, like many of you, I?ve been waiting on word about the next Spider-Man game. However, there have been some reports that an Ultimate Spider-Man 2 video game is in the works. I?m not sure if that?s true, but if it is, it could be in place of the Classic Spider-Man game. We?re a couple months away from the E3, so it may be a while before we know more?

This Has A ?Spin The Web? Factor of Four Out of Ten

The Blog At World?s End

Joshua Hale Fialkov is teaming with his Elk?s Run colorist, Scott A. Keating on a new miniseries entitled World?s End. It?s still at a very early stage, but Fialkov has already started a blog to track it?s progress from concept to publication. Thus far, there?s not a lot of art to be seen, but some of the design sketches have been posted, and they are well worth a look?

This Has A ?What?s In A Skin Suit?? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

One Way Ticket, Yeah

Mark Ricketts and Micah Farritor have an original graphic novel coming out from Image in May, which is entitled Night Trippers. Apparently it takes place in England during 60s and revolves around a Satan worshiping pop group and a serial killer dressed like a ?Teddy Boy?, among other things. Some preview pages have been posted on their website:

But what?s really got my attention is their use of podcasts to promote the book. They already have some fictional interviews about the time and original 60?s inspired music by Ricketts and the band Epicycle. You can check out the podcast here.

This Has A ?Fangs For The Memories? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Rage Hits The Road

Next week?s ATR will be coming to you from Wonder Con in San Francisco. My computer access there may be limited, so there?s a good chance the column won?t be ready until Monday. Don?t freak out, alright?

While we?re on the subject, this seems like a good time to run down our ATR convention schedule for the year:

Wonder Con
February 10th-12th

Wizard World Los Angeles
March 17th-19th

E3 2006
May 10th-12th

Heroes Con
June 30th-July 2nd

San Diego Comic Con International
July 19th-July 23rd

Baring anything drastic and unexpected, I?ll be at all these conventions, providing coverage for ATR/SBC.

See you there.

Still Savage

One last item this week: My interview with Erik Larsen was posted on SBC a few days ago. Larsen had some interesting things to say about the future of the Savage Dragon and some long delayed Image projects. You can check it out here.

And we?re done. It?s Game Time, ladies and gents. Who?s got the Steelers by 10?


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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