Thanks to everyone who emailed me their condolences or sent me an IM just to say “sorry.” The death of my Great Grandmother was a blow, but the kind words I received from you guys really helped me to stay positive over the last 10 days or so. Hopefully that was the last bad news I’ll hear for a while and I can get back to having some fun in this column.
I’m told superstar artist Alex Ross (Mythology) unofficially confirmed the revival of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern and hinted that changes are in store for current GL Kyle Rayner. According to Primate, a self-professed Green Lantern dork and attendee at the recent Mythology signing at the University of Washington bookstore in Seattle, Ross got excited when asked if he would ever soften his dislike for Kyle. Primate tells me Ross replied, “I hate to tell you this, but I don’t have to!…WE WIN!”
While Ross didn’t flat-out state that Kyle was on the way out or that Hal was on the way in, Primate interpreted his jubilation to mean Hal is coming back. “[Ross] also said something along the lines of, ‘I’m sure DC won’t alienate all the Kyle fans by totally getting rid of the character.'”
This Has A “By Lantern’s Light” Factor of Six Out of Ten
Passing the Puck
Last week Comicon wonder Jen Contino interviewed artist Clayton Henry (Exiles) on his upcoming series Alpha Flight. On the discussion boards she casually mentioned that a female character (pictured at left) will be the new Puck in the monthly book, taking the place of the little dude comic fans are familiar with. “I’m pretty sure it’s Puck,” Contino wrote. “At least I think the file for art I received was labeled ‘Puck.’”
Jen’s comments soon sparked numerous discussions about the possible change. To find out if the rumor was indeed true, I managed to get a few of my Puck inquiries to Alpha Flight writer Scott Lobdell (thanks to SBC facilitator Jason Brice) . “Yes, the character who will eventually (after a year) take the name of Puck, is female,” confirmed Lobdell. “She is also very hot, and very CanadAsian, and very much like a certain jug eared little guy who originally went by that name! And, much like Eugene Judd himself, this young woman has sort of “hyper-gymnastic” abilities that make her at once fun and formidable!
When asked why he decide to make the change, Lobdell answered, “Why the change?! Didn’t you hear — Life is about change!
“If there wasn’t change, we never would have had Tony McGuire as SPIDER-MAN because Stan Lee’s publisher told him no one was interested in teen super heroes — that teens were only sidekicks! We wouldn’t have had the family dynamics of the FANTASTIC FOUR, because heroes are supposed to get along, not bicker like real people! We wouldn’t have had STORM and NIGHTCRAWLER and COLOSSUS if the X-MEN hadn’t changed into the ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT X-MEN! GENERATION X?! AGE OF APOCALYPSE?! ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN?! THE ULTIMATES?! (And lets not even get started on the modern day versions of GREEN LANTERN and the FLASH! And what about SMALLVILLE?!?) Dude, if we the audience didn’t crave change, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale would be sitting on a sidewalk somewhere sharing a flaming barrel instead of being one of them greatest comic book storytellling teams in the industry!)
“Change is good!
“Why change?! I ask thee — why NOT change?!”
Resisting the sudden urge to sing “Man In the Mirror”, I also asked Scott whether or not the old Puck would make his way into the new series. “Will the “Old Puck” make his way into the series?! Well for starters, don’t let Eugene hear you call him the Old Puck!” Lobdell wrote. “And for enders, he and Guardian, and Vindicator, and Snowbird, and Shaman and the other guy who’s name I always forget are ALL in the series (making a cameo in the very second issue! Woo hoo!). Verily, they HAVE to be in the series — otherwise I’ll have no one to spin off into UNCANNY ALPHA FLIGHT!”
Speaking of spin-offs, my initial Puck questions have spiraled into an Alpha Flight character Q&A series with Lobdell. Jason’s gonna be working on that. Look for them in the SBC news section soon.
This Has A “Pucker Up, Baby” Factor of Nine Out of Ten
Zero to Bat Speed
Superherohype.com received an out-of-the-blue rumor on the description of the new Batmobile for the upcoming Christopher Nolan (Insomnia) flick. Some dude calling himself Tomato says he got a look at the new Bat Wheels at Shepperton Studios in the UK. “2 F1 style tires at front, and four huge monster truck style, nobbly tires at rear. Batmobile not long, but wide, also has jet at rear. 2 seater side by side, it was mobile and driving. The one I saw had no shell.”
Superherohype says they’ve also received word that the Batman costume has short ears and the Batmobile is “indeed complete and ready for filming.”
This Has A “Fire Up the Engine, Chum” Factor of Five Out of Ten
I’m told Marvel will make an official announcement about the creative revamp to the X-Men titles about three weeks from now. Dubbed “RELOAD”, the changes are set to begin this May. Given that comic book distributor Diamond publishes three-month advance solicitations, the House of Ideas is waiting until the last possible moment to reveal what it has up its sleeve.
Things we know for sure about RELOAD:
- Chris Claremont and Alan Davis on Uncanny X-Men.
- Chris Claremont and Sean Chen on X-Men: The End, an 18-issue maxi-series in three arcs.
- X-Treme X-Men will be cancelled with April’s #46. It will be replaced by a new Excalibur title written by Claremont.
- Salvador Larocca will be drawing some damn X-book.
Things rumored about RELOAD in Rage:
- Joss Whedon and John Cassaday on New X-Men
- Weapon X will undergo format changes.
- Rob Liefeld will be overseeing a line of X-Force related books. There will be a classic X-Force ongoing series with possible minis featuring characters from the early 90s team.
- X-Men Director Bryan Singer may write some X-Men comics.
- A new Starjammers series will be written by science-fiction author Kevin J. Andersen. The new series was revealed on the dustcover to his new Saga Of Seven Suns: Veiled Alliances trade paperback. There’s a definite possibility that this new ongoing will be part of RELOAD, given the Starjammers ties to the X-Men.
This Has A “Three Weeks Too Many” Factor of Ten Out of Ten
Ghost of the Past
Lately there’s been a lot of noise about the possibility of a second Hulk series written by Peter David.
David wrote Hulk for 12 years before he was kicked off the book in 1998. Marvel wanted new blood on the title. While the decision was certainly understandable from a publisher’s perspective, it caused quite a backlash from longtime fans who felt the termination was uncalled for. It didn’t help that Peter’s final issues featured some of the finest writing of his career, or that he expressed disappointment in the decision. And when Hulk was re-launched and it failed to live up to.. well, anyone’s expectations, Hulk fans blasted Marvel again for letting Peter go.
It wasn’t until Bruce Jones took over The Incredible Hulk that interest in the book rose again. But even the great commercial success of Hulk in the last two years has failed to ghostbust the spirit of Peter David from fanboy minds. More and more critics and fans are complaining about Jones’ never-ending plotlines and lack of smashing. Readers are getting restless and Peter David’s name is being whispered once again.
According to various sources like Molly Molly Mole, Marvel Comics has begun to recognize the signs. After Marvel made the spectacular and much publicized mistake of firing writer Mark Waid from Fantastic Four to pursue weird ideas courtesy of controversial former publisher Bill Jemas, the company got a wake-up call. The universal disapproval of the decision prompted the company to return Waid to FF writing duties and may have been the backbreaker for Jemas, who was shuffled away from editorial into a new marketing position. But the disaster also made the House of Ideas realize that they could satisfy a broader range of reader tastes by putting out different versions of the same title. Fantastic Four now has three versions of the team – 4 for Marvel Knights, Ultimate Fantastic Four and the classic Mark Waid and Mike Weiringo Fantastic Four.
Marvel doesn’t plan to stop there. The publishing house has already announced the debut of a new, classic Captain America & The Falcon series in March. The book, written by Priest (Black Panther) with art by Bart Sears (The Path), will adhere to events in the regular Marvel universe, allowing the Marvel Knights version to run without continuity restrictions.
Earlier this week it was also announced that Hulk, Wolverine and X-Statix will be moving to the Marvel Knights imprint in April, where they join Daredevil, Captain America, 4 and the new Mark Millar penned Spider-Man series. The move makes sense given that all these books are aimed at more mature audiences and offer off-beat portrayals of classic characters. But like the Fantastic Four and Captain America changes, the reorganization also opens up opportunities for Marvel to create more classic versions of titles to satisfy fans looking for more superheroics and less talking heads.
Peter’s new Hulk book isn’t the only rumored return to form. Multiple sources confirm that Rob Liefeld will be overseeing a handful of X-Force projects, featuring the classic characters he created in the early 90s. Since X-Force (now X-Statix) was revamped a few years ago by writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred, fans of the old-school version have clamored for the original team.
I’m told this counter-balancing of “Nu-Marvel” books will be revealed in stages. My sources say the company is in the process of coordinating promotions, but has also been hinting at things to come without people realizing it. I hear Hulk editor Axel Alonzo’s recent comments on Newsarama about Peter David were not made at random, nor were David’s blog retorts (see last week’s Rage). Just like U-Decide, I hear this is all set up to get some buzz happening again before the publishing house plugs the Hulk void in the regular Marvel Universe.
A stretch? Maybe. To find out I asked Peter David whether or not he is writing a new Hulk book. He told me the rumor is interesting. “It’s flattering, because it says to me that people believe I still have exciting stories to tell about Bruce Banner and his alter ego. If I did take on such an endeavor, it would certainly be a challenge to live up to those expectations: To come up with something that would both satisfy the long-time fans of my work while simultaneously breaking new ground. The familiar and the unfamiliar, all at the same time.
Now if it weren’t true and I said it weren’t true, that would put an end to all the lively rumor mongering, and what fun is that (since I’ve seen my name attached by fans to everything from Wolverine to a new Spider-Man 2099 book). But if it were true, then I’m making an announcement in someplace other than, say, my website at www.peterdavid.net, and what fun is THAT?”
This Has A “Lone and Level Sands” Factor of Five Out of Ten
PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share email me at email@example.com or IM me via AOL Instant Messenger. My screen name is Automatic San. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s greatly appreciated.