Welcome back to another edition of ATR.

First off, I want to thank everyone who wrote in last week about my hard drive problems. The issue is still ongoing, but I appreciate your input.

Now then, down to business?

Our Worlds At War

By now, I?m sure most of you caught this little nugget over at World?s Finest:

      At the moment, I’m writing a direct-to-video animated adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s

New Frontier

    epic. It will be feature length, rated PG-13 and Bruce [Timm] will be Executive Producer. So far, it’s been nothing but fun… a chance for me to revisit my youth and the Starro era.

This information originally came from an interview with Stan Berkowitz. Within a day or so, the above quote was pulled. But the genie was already out of the bottle and it?s appeared on several news sites?

So, why bring it up now?

For starters, Warner Brothers is said to be ?on the warpath? over this, as this information wasn?t supposed to be announced for several months. The New Frontier animated feature is said to be in such an early stage that it hasn?t even been decided if they?ll be using the Timm style guides or basing the character designs on Cooke?s original art.

And there?s more?

While Timm is executive producing the New Frontier, he is also rumored to be working on TWO additional direct-to-DVD animated features. One is said to be a Justice League film, which may be the long rumored story that bridges the gap between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. The other is said to be another Superman animated feature. After the Brainiac Attacks travesty, Timm will supposedly be more actively involved with the next one. We can only hope?

Anyway, the word is that Warner Brothers is going to be cranking out several DC based direct-to-DVD animated films over the next couple of years, possibly as many as 3 or 4 a year. There?s talk of another one based on The Batman and if Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo performs well in the fall, then more Titans movies might also be in the works. Additionally, I?m told that the Justice League animated feature may be ready for release as soon as 2007.

One last thing, the first season of Justice League Unlimited and the second season of Batman Beyond are rumored to have a December 2006 release date?

This Has An ?I AM THE NIGHT!? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Kirby Your Enthusiasm

I?ve been on the lookout for some pages from the forthcoming Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters, preferably pages drawn by the King himself. However it looks like the bulk of the pages are being drawn by Mike Thibodeaux, with inks by Karl Kesel. Though other pages are said to incorporate graphics and visuals by Kirby. I haven?t seen those yet, personally, but here?s what I?ve come across so far?


This Has A ?Phantom Force? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Cancel The Invasion

Looks like we may have jumped the gun on the Mars Attack comic news.

Zach Thomas from Trepidation Comics has written in to say that the Mars Attacks pages were not intended for public viewing or authorized by Topps, and that they were intended ONLY as a preliminary proposal for Topps and that there are no plans to publish them at any time. He also iterates that Trepidation Comics is NOT in any way affiliated with Topps, or any of Topp’s affiliates and had never received licensing or approval for the project. Further, he adds that “Trepidation Comics is not a publishing house, and it never was, and never intends to be.”

We apologize for any confusion this may have been caused.

This Has A “Yodling Slim Whitman” Factor of One Out of Ten


Sight Unseen

Over at Newsarama, Joe Quesada has been dropping some seemingly transparent hints about the identity of the fake Daredevil. But there is a competing rumor out there, so consider this a potential SPOILER WARNING!!

Anyway, the whole Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye as the fake Daredevil doesn?t really make sense. Correct me if I?m wrong, but has Hawkeye ever been portrayed as being even remotely as skilled a fighter as Daredevil? A more likely suspect would be Danny Rand, aka the Iron Fist, who does have the necessary skills and the ties to Matt Murdock. If it is Iron Fist under the mask, then it would seem likely that Luke Cage also had a hand in this as well, probably to get Matt Murdock off the hook?

Seems pretty likely to me? I don?t know if this has shown up online elsewhere, but the first time I heard it was on my way to the Gargoyles convention?

This Has A ?Blind Leading The Blind? Factor of Five Out of Ten


Reawakening

Speaking of which? Over the last two years, I?ve been pushing and supporting the Gargoyles revival in comics and on DVD. What can I say? I?m a big fan of the original TV series. So, this weekend, I finally accepted a long-standing invitation to attend the tenth annual Gathering of the Gargoyles convention. While there, I caught up with series creator, Greg Weisman about his plans for the new comic from Slave Labor Graphics:

I don?t want to give away too much? there?s so much that was given away through the Ask Greg website over the years that I want to try to keep as many secrets as possible. The first issue is out now and the first two issues are going to be introductory, to refresh old fans about where we left off and to allow new fans an entry point in, so that if they?ve never seen Gargoyles before, they can still understand and enjoy this new comic. Starting with issue three, we?re really going to take off into a new arc and new direction for all the characters. Otherwise I don?t want to reveal too much? The first arc is all about family and the clan. The title of the arc is ?Clan Building?, and that refers to both the Eerie Building where the clan is living but also about building strength within the clan. Our plan is to define what ?clan? means to these Gargoyles in Manhattan. That?s what the first arc is really about. The first arc is probably going to be about? I don?t have a precise number? about ten or eleven issues. Maybe twelve. Basically, the first set of stories? that that ten to twelve-issue arc will be comprised of four stories. In television terms, I?d say four episodes. But I?m learning in comics that I?m not limited to twenty-two minute fixed time periods. For the original season three, I had thirteen episodes planned and I think of this as the first four of those thirteen. So this is to me, the beginning of the season three I wanted to make before I left the show. In a broad strokes sense, what we?re doing in the first few issues is introducing the Quarrymen, which are a new threat in Manhattan. Now that the Gargoyles? existence has been revealed to the world, the Quarrymen surfaces because? individual Quarrymen may have different motivations, but there?s a lot of fear in the city and the Quarrymen is an outlet for that fear. They?re an anti-Gargoyles organization and they?re going to surface and start making their presence known to the Gargoyles, at least. Demona makes her first reappearance in issue three. I won?t say exactly what?s going on there? Xanatos is still up to tricks and we?ll start to see that in issues four and five. Macbeth makes his first appearance in issue two. And he should be back around issues five and six. Don?t hold me to the exact issue numbers, but that?s the approximate. We?re going to get other villains coming in the issues that follow. We?re going to introduce new characters, both Human and Gargoyle. The book is bi-monthly. We?ve got the first issue out this month, so look for issue two in August and issue three (where we really start taking off in a new direction) in October and then every two months after that for as long as sales support us.

Weisman also provided an update on the status of Gargoyles on DVD:

      Disney, at this time, has no current plans to release season two, volume two on DVD. We?ve got

the first season DVD set

      (that?s 13 episodes) and we?ve got

season two, volume one

      which are the first twenty six episodes from season two. But there are twenty six more episodes that we would very much like to see released on DVD. Fundamentally, we just didn?t get the sales on the last set, the season two, volume one, for Disney to want to release season two, volume two. So fixing that problem is pretty straight forward. We need to sell more copies. What that means for your readers, if they haven?t bought the DVDs yet (and I?m crossing my fingers that they will), but fundamentally more than that, it?s really about spreading the word. Not enough people know that the DVD is available. So, what I would ask all of your readers to do (and I?m only half kidding when I say this) is to take responsibility to tell a thousand people that the DVDs are out there. Not that everyone of those people is gonna buy them? but find a fandom that might overlap with

Gargoyles

        online. We?ve got Wendy Pini (

http://www.elfquest.com/

      ), who does

Elfquest

      here at this convention. The

Elfquest

      fandom and the

Gargoyles

    fandom have a natural overlap but it never occurred to us to reach out to them. So let?s find other fandoms to reach out to. Let?s find other ways to let people know about the DVD set. It?s not like I expect everyone to go out and buy ten copies, but the more people who know, the more we?ll sell. And if we sell enough, Disney will happily release the last set, because, look? they?re about making the money. And if they think they can make money off of it, they?ll do it. But until we sell enough copies of the existing set, we?re just not going to see that third set.

Weisman also had the following message for Gargoyles fans:

      I?m here, right now at the Gathering 2006, in Valencia, California, having just a great time. If you?re any kind of

Gargoyles

      fan, I realize that you?ll be reading this too late to attend 2006, but I would urge you to go to

the website

      and check out next year?s convention and think about going to that. Because the way we got the comic and got the DVDs was by showing Disney that the fans really cared about the property and want more

Gargoyles

      . And the best way we found to get Disney?s attention is with these conventions. They really make Disney take notice. What we?re looking for is the next convention, which is gonna be in the summer of 2007 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? we want to see big attendance at that convention. We?re a roving convention, and that means that it?s a little harder for us to build attendance because we?re not in the same place every year. What that means is, if you?re reading this on the internet and you?re in the vicinity of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? go buy a membership for that convention in 2007, because A: you?ll have a great time (I can all but guarantee that), and B: you?ll really be supporting

Gargoyles

    and that?s the best way to do it?

This Has A ?Time Dancer? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


The Dini Detective

One more semi-90s golden age of animation related item this week. Paul Dini, the new writer of Detective Comics posted the following message this week:

      Just sent in the script for

DETECTIVE #824

    on Thursday. It was a tough script as I wove so many plot threads through it and had to wrap everything up in 22 story pages. In many ways it’s been my most satisfying story so far simply because it was so difficult (initially) to plot out. It’s also got the most guest-stars of any of my ‘Tec tales to date, including Penguin, Riddler, Lois Lane and Zatanna. Kinda weird to think that such a diverse assortment of characters could co-exist in the same story, but I think they each brought something special to the tale, especially Penguin, with whom I had a lot of fun this time out. Add to all that a couple of brand-new villains, a new supporting character or two and of course, plenty of Bruce Wayne/Batman action and I think it makes for a fun little read. You can judge for yourself when it hits the stores and stands in early October.

Dini also notes that the penciler for the issue will likely be Don Kramer.

This Has A ?Gray Ghost? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


The Disease Is The Cure

I?ve got a couple of pages from Joe Casey?s Black Plague one-shot coming out from Boom! The interior artwork is by Julia Bax, who I?m told is a relative newcomer. But I like what I see so far…


 
This Has A ?S.L.A.S.H. Fiction? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Bride of Art Attack

And now for your viewing enjoyment, some assorted artwork gleaned from across the web, First up, the ?real? cover to Sea of Red #12 by Paul Harmon.

Next we have the cover to X-Men: First Class #2 by Marko Djurdjevic.

And finally, some sketches and early pages from Tim Seeley?s Hack/Slash: Slice Hard by his Loaded Bible collaborator, Nate Bellegarde:


 
This Has An ?Art 2 Art? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


The Parting of The Ways

There are a couple of things you need to know about next week?s column. First, it will be coming to you from Heroes Con. Since my flight back isn?t until Sunday night, the next column will go up on Monday, July 3rd. It?s going to be my 100th ATR, which looks to be one of our biggest columns this year.

It will also be my last.

So, if you?ve got any really good news or rumors to share, now would be the time to send them my way. As always, I can be reached at [email protected]. Then, in about seven days we?ll step unto the breach one more time before regeneration?

Later,
Blair


About The Author