The Rage is packed with shocking goodness this week. But before I dish out the candy I want to mention one quick thing.

If you haven’t yet, buy The Outsiders #2 immediately. The title for this week’s Rage comes from that book. I read it three times now and quite frankly it’s one of my favorite single issues to come down the pipe in a while. Tom Raney’s artwork is incredible. Judd Winick comes up with some extremely imaginative action scenarios, he writes some great character interaction and perfect jokes, and his portrayal of Lex Luthor is by far the best it’s been since his appearance in an audio, read-along book I had when I was five.

Oh, and issue two also offers further proof that Jess Lemon is out of her Amanda Bynes mind.

Which reminds me… you’ll think Nick Barrucci at Dynamic Forces it out of his mind with this offer: Witchblade: The Demon #1 Collector’s Set marked down from $24.99 to just $10.00!

In the set, available this week only, you’ll get Witchblade: The Demon #1 DF Exclusive Comic (Cover A), Witchblade: The Demon #1 DF Exclusive Comic (Cover B), and Witchblade / Tomb Raider #1/2 DF Gold Foil Edition. To take advantage of Nick’s insanity click on one of the buttons or banners on this page.


New Sons of Krypton

I guess I’ll start out small today. Since the recent announcement that Grant Morrison signed an exclusive two-year contract with DC there has been a lot of speculation that he will takeover a Superman title.

Well, according to reliable sources, Morrison is an absolute lock on Superman. No real surprise there. But get this, multiple informants also say that Grant will be partnered with superstar artist Jim Lee, who will be pulled from his previously announced second run on Batman to do the book.

But wait, there’s more, my wide-eyed, bib-needy friends.

I’ve also been told by the Iceman (see his San Diego ComicCon report below) and others that writers Mark Waid (Fantastic Four, Empire) and Bill Willingham (Fables, Robin) will be picking up Adventures of Superman and Action Comics to complete the Big Blue shakeup.

AND if that wasn’t enough, I hear that artist Bryan Hitch is planning to move to Metropolis as well. Sources believe he will finish up Ultimates #12 and then make the leap to the “S” office.

Proof about these upcoming changes to the Superman books have already begun to leak on the internet. In an article released yesterday about Morrison’s DC contract at http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/3130.html, DC Editorial Vice President Dan DiDio told ICv2 that he wants to get his “dream teams” in place and keep them there.

      As

Batman

      and

Superman

      go, so goes DC. We’ve turned

Batman

      around, and now we’ve got to do it with

Superman

    . I’m convinced we can, and when we do, everything will fall into place.

For those who don’t remember or didn’t hear, Grant Morrison pitched a Superman 2000 revamp a few years ago with Mark Millar, Mark Waid and Tom Peyer, but their proposal was shot down. In fact there were rumors that the quartet was told that they’d never work on Superman as long as they lived. Morrison has been quoted as saying, “Superman should be a huge, positive role model, an almost Christ-like force.”

Whether this will still be Grant’s take on Kal-El once he assumes writing duties is unknown. Expect a big announcement about the Superman revamp in two weeks at Wizard World Chicago. Maybe Grant will talk then.

Update: A source, let us call him Franco, tells me he overheard some creators and an editor talking about the Superman books one morning at the San Diego Con. My head is now spinning with S rumors, so this is the last bit I’ll post without getting some definitive answers. Here are the teams Franco emailed me:

      Jim Lee and Brian Azzarello on

Action

    .

Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly on Superman.

Greg Rucka and Matthew Clark on Adventures.

Bill Willingham is doing a three-issue arc prior to the Lee/Azzarello team.

Brian Hitch is scheduled to do three issues in the middle of Quietly’s run.

Whatever the teams are I think DC definitely has a buzz on for Superman. Isn’t it fun?

This Has A “Red Kryptonite” Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Q Cornered

Apparently Grant Morrison’s new move to DC hasn’t gone as smoothly as he’d like. I’m told that Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada was so pissed at Grant Morrison for signing an exclusive contract with the distinguished competition that he cornered him at the San Diego ComicCon and bitched him out. The encounter supposedly left Morrison comatose.

Here now is some completely make-believe dialogue between Joe and Grant based on said rumor:

Quesada:

    How in the hell can you leave me and Bill for AOL Comics!! What the $%#@ is wrong with you, Morrison?

Morrison (trapped in dark corner): Joe, I just.. it’s Superman.. they want me to.. they told..

Quesada (through gritted teeth): I don’t give a good God damn who said what, or who told who or who did who, you write New X-Men for $%#@’s sake. New-Freakin’-X-Men!! You tell those bitches the contract is a no go and that you love Marvel!

Morrison: I..I can’t. I already signed the contract.. and..

Quesada: Oh, you’ve gone and done it now. You just screwed the greatest comic book company in the world, pal! We gave you the X-Men, we allowed you to write Marvel Boy and $%#@ with the Fantastic Four, hell we even gave you that Cyclops bobble-head doll. How do you repay our kindness? Our friendship? You go and take the first train to Smallville!?

Morrison (slipping into coma): I.. I..

Quesada: You know what this means, right? It means Bill will probably take over as writer on New X-Men. He’s already talking about modeling the book after the Brady Bunch, for %$&@ sake!!

I can’t believe you’re gonna punk out on me and put me in this position! Are you listening to me, Morrison? That Felicia chick is going to be right about everything!

Morrison (Passes out):

Quesada (Rifles through Grant’s pockets, looking for contract): Sunova.. okay, be cool Joe. The contract’s not here. Just go back to the Marvel booth, calm down.. damn it all, there is no Marvel booth!

This Has A “Grant Morrison Resuscitation Needed On Ground Level” Factor of Two Out of Ten


San Diego Frontline

For more stories from San Diego I now turn the Rage over to Iceman. While he was at the year’s biggest Con he gathered up some information, opinions and speculation on a variety of topics. Rather than transcribe and interpret his tales, I thought I’d just let him tell you. It’s all you, Ice..

No Show

Every year, the comic industry (that is, what’s left of it) descends upon the sunny berg of San Diego, California. And even though the overall comic readership continues to dwindle, attendance for this convention increases substantially every year. Estimates for the 2002 con were upwards of 60,000 people. Though, that was probably a conservative guess. This year, the early numbers are above 70,000.

What brought about this trend?

For starters, it’s no longer a show about comics. Nor has it been for years. These days, the con is all about the toys, games, trading cards, Anime…

And of course, movies.

The con has become Sho-Freakin’ West, an E3 for the general public and a 24/7 party for cosplayers. All of this has made San Diego the place to be. It’s also made it the ideal show to promote any remotely genre project to a large portion of the target audience.

It’s taken Hollywood years to realize this, but now that they have, they’ve come in force. Nearly every major studio was here pushing a movie or television series. Even two of the three major video game companies were represented. Microsoft being the odd company out.

The trading card and anime distributors? All here. Most of the comic companies too. Save one..

Where in all of this, is the industry leader? Where is Marvel Comics?

When asked about their absence at his panel, editor-in-chief , Joe Quesada had this to say:

    Essentially, we have to cut costs every once in a while. Marvel was bankrupt, and if you look at some of the costs … they were pretty ludicrous,” he said. “Unfortunately, San Diego fell by the wayside, along with some other conventions. Hopefully next year, we’ll be here, maybe not.

One word comes to mind: Bull$#it!

Marvel never missed a San Diego con during their worst years of bankruptcy. Why? Because it’s the cost of doing business. The convention circuit was and continues to be an important part of promoting their books to the fans. Their “cost cutting” hasn’t stopped Marvel from attending Wizard World last year or this year. Are Joe and the boys playing favorites? Possibly. Either way they need to get their heads out of the sand. They’re missing some tremendous opportunities here…

This Has A “Wake the F#$& Up” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Follow the Leader

Speaking of Wizard, it was hard to mistake the timing of their Wizard World Los Angeles announcement as anything other than an attempt to take some of the spotlight away from the San Diego Con. Greedy Shameless, excuse me, I mean Shamus, has been looking to expand West for some time now. Now that they have a foothold in LA, they will undoubtedly be able to get more “celebrity guests” thanks to their proximity to Hollywood. Whether this will draw in more guests than last January’s disastrous Creation Comic Con, remains to be seen. Two major obstacles are in their way: The first is the location. The Long Beach Convention Center isn’t large enough to handle a San Diego sized crowd. The second is history. The San Diego con has had years to establish itself as “The Mecca” of comic shows. All the others are a distant second. It’s unlikely that Wizard’s LA con will reach that level anytime soon.

This Has A “Frank Miller Golden Toilet Paper Roll Award” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Where’s My Riot?

That’s not to say that everything’s alright in SD. The 2003 con has been, by far, the least organized and most chaotic in years. Security guards where out in force, but were unable to do much with the huge crowds. It got worse on Saturday, as no less than two near riots took place. The first was outside the Halle Berry, Gothika panel. Apparently, some attendees decided to sidestep the hundreds of people in line and walk straight into the room. The fans that had been waiting for hours took exception to this, and a fight broke out. Security guards were nowhere to be seen during the scuffle, and it was close to a half-hour before order was restored. The second incident took place during Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider presentation. The crowd literally went apeshit when the lovely Ms. Jolie came onstage. Security was ultimately able to get the crowd back in line, but scores of fans were denied entree to the room. This underscores the con’s biggest challenge for next year. The majority of their most popular panels are booked for Ballroom 20, which holds only 4,000 people. In a convention of sixty thousand plus, that’s gonna leave a lot of unhappy fans!

This Has A “Walk Quickly and Carry A Large Night Stick” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Down to the Wire

DC announced several exclusive signings at the show, including Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale, which were reported on this site and others. What hasn’t been widely told, is how these deals were in the negotiation stages almost up to the last minute. As of Friday (July 19), Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale were still in talks and nothing was finalized. By the next day, a deal was in place.

Kind of makes you wonder if Marvel had a shot at them, doesn’t it?

This Has An “Aw Man, No Aunt May: Silver Book? ” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


AH-HA!

Wonder Woman # 197 will be Adam Hughes’ last issue as cover artist. However, Adam won’t be out of work for long. He’s currently slated to do the covers for Birds of Prey writer Gail Simone’s upcoming Rose & Thorn mini-series, and possibly some Street Fighter work for Udon.

This Has An “Amazonian Working Permit Expired” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


New Universe

DC’s long rumored “Sci-Fi line” may not be what we thought it was. A friendly editor at the DC booth hinted that the line would focus on the “Real World” (please no Judd Winick jokes) with “super-powers.”

So… it’s the Marvel Universe then?

This Has A “Katagelphobia: The Fear that Somewhere, Somehow, Jim Shooter is Laughing At You” Factor of Six Out of Ten


How Long Does It Take To Skin A Cat?

Even after a year between issues, Kevin Smith has yet to turn in a script for Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do # 4. In the interim, series artist, Terry Dodson is finishing up his work on the Epic mini-series, Trouble, while gearing up for a new “top secret” project for Marvel.

This Has A “Here’s Hoping It’s Not More Trouble” Factor of Six Out of Ten


Bat’s The Rage

The biggest buzz coming out of this convention is for the Batman movie. Not the Mystery of the Batwoman atrocity, but the eight-minute short Batman: Dead End by Sandy Collora. Seeing it on the big screen was a revelation. The film was… Simply Fantastic. Collora, his cast and his crew created this film (to the tune of thirty thousand dollars) in order to show off their skills to potential employers. Which if the response is any indication, has paid off in spades.

Fortunately for those unable to see it at the con, it’s become widely available on the internet, including this site: http://www.theforce.net/theater/shortfilms/batman_deadend/

For more about the director, go here: http://www.collorastudios.com/.

For an short interview with Collora go to: http://aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=15721.

This Has A “Forget Nolan, Hire Collora!” Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Dr. Love

And Finally…

The weirdest rumor to come out of the con, was that someone was getting artists to draw pinups of a “Gay Dr. Strange.” Needless to say, The Iceman didn’t quite believe it until he saw one for himself… Picture, if you must, a shirtless Doc. Strange casting a spell with one hand and grabbing his “magic rod” with the other.

Well, it’s definitely a different take on the character…

This Has A “Don’t Tell Jemas, He’d Probably Write the Story!” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


And that is all from the left coast. Until next year. Same Bat Time, Same Bat-Channel.

Way Outta Here…

The Iceman


Thanks, Ice. Now back to me.

This Has A “Didn’t Maverick Kick Your Ass All Over the Danger Zone in Like 1986?” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


On the Bill
Ah, more Marvel rumors. Supposedly, the week before the Comic-Con, Ike Perlemutter (one of the owners of Marvel) went into Bill Jemas’s office and demanded he stop interfering with editorial and let them do their jobs.

My source says that negative press on Mark Waid getting fired from Fantastic Four and on Jemas’ schemes may be reaching investors or Hollywood folks and making them think twice about working with the company. Thus, the unhappy owner part.

This Has A “Oh No, Mr. Bill!“ Factor of Four Out of Ten


Stepping Up To The Mic

In an email conversation with Stormwatch: Team Achilles writer Micah Wright revealed that there will be a announcement at Wizard World Chicago about a BIG book he’s working on. I’m gonna take a wild guess and say it’s probably a title for DC.

In the meantime, I urge you people to check out Stormwatch. It’s an excellent book and no one is reading the damn thing. A trade paperback collecting the first six issues of the series is out now.

This Has A “Watch and See” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Mark My Words

Early this week popular writer Mark Millar (The Ultimates) shot down a new rumor that he is taking over the writing chores on New X-Men. Millar recently revealed that he is doing four new creator-owned books for various companies. In his message he also stated that he has a huge Marvel announcement coming up. This new information, coupled with the news that current NXM writer Grant Morrison will be leaving after issue #154 to begin his two-year contract with DC, has prompted fans to email Mark about the possible X-venture. But Millar says the speculation is wrong.

Here’s Mark’s statement from his Millarworld thread, NOT writing New X-Men, Mutants are shite! post:

      Hey! Just to stomp the rumour as it starts, but

New X-Men

    definitely ISN’T my big Marvel announcement. I’m honestly bored SHITLESS by all things mutant at the moment and the two new Marvel books I’ve got planned for the next twelve months are huge, but different. Oddly, I just heard who the new person is and I literally gasped. How did they pull this off??? Find out at Chicago, I think, when they’ll be making an announcement.

Millar also mentions that his recently announced creator-owned projects — Wanted, The Unfunnies ??? and ??? — are “mostly finished.” He adds that he’s already begun work his two new Marvel ongoings. The first of which will be out in December and the second due in late Spring 04).

I happen to know what both of these books are, although I promised to keep the news quiet. However, one of the big mystery titles has already been revealed by some overzealous marketers, so I’m able to share at least one secret with you. Amazon.com has posted a preview page for Ultimate Hulk by Millar and Ultimate X-Men artist David Finch. No images yet, unfortunately. This is one of the books I was told about before seeing the Amazon listing, although i did not know Finch was attached. You’ll just have to wait until the Wizard World announcement to find out what the second title is. But believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

Update: Dave Finch emailed me. He says he is definitely not doing Ultimate Hulk. So the identity of the artist is still a mystery.

This Has An “Ultimate Error” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Cutting Room Floor

The Comics Continuum talked with Marvel head Avi Arad recently and he updated the current status for a bunch of Marvel film projects.

Blade 3:

    We have a great script, Wesley (Snipes) is back and we are doing our thing.

Hulk 2: We are just waiting for a script. We are going to make another Hulk, absolutely.

Fantastic Four: We have a release date and we are all working hard to get there.

Elektra and Iron Man: We are very advanced into Iron Man and Elektra. These two are something.

Deathlok: Then we’ll have news in a couple of weeks on Deathlok. It’s a great script, and this movie is going to get made. And we just got a phenomenal director.

This Has A “Hire Sandy Collora.. Again” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Loverboy

Yesterday I listened to a broadcast of San Diego ComicCon coverage on www.fanboyradio.com and Oni Editor Jamie S. Rich mentioned that Love Fights and Namor writer Andi Watson will be doing a new book for Marvel called 15 Love.

I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. Watson has a trademark on titles with the word love…

This Has A “Heart Shaped Box” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Tick, Tock

According to Mystery Agent, a San Diego ComicCon source who talked to the producers of the beloved cartoon, The Tick, the show was originally going to be moved into an on-air slot right after The Simpsons. The move would have also marked the beginning of a whole new direction for the whacky comedy. The Tick was going to be put in jail with a guy whose brain was on the loose, and once Tick got free, the toon would have taken place in the Midwest with a whole bunch of new characters.

Unfortunately the Tick was cancelled before the changes took effect. Mystery Agent says that the reason for this was partly due to the network, Fox, and partly due to the show’s writers and Tick creator Ben Edlund who felt that three years was enough.

This Has A “Spoooooooon!” Factor of Six Out of Ten


Webspinner

Captain Marvel and Fallen Angel writer Peter David announced that he will be writing the novelization for Spider-Man 2 on his website, http://www.peterdavid.net./

      Although the contracts haven’t been signed yet, I have a deal with Del Rey paperbacks to write the novelization of

Spider-Man II

      . The movie will be out in May, I believe, which puts the paperback release at sometime in April. The novelization for the first

Spider-Man

    film is probably one of the best selling books I’ve ever written, with somewhere around a quarter of a million copies sold.

This Has A “Builds A Web Any Size” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Flash Cards

Flash writer Geoff Johns has started talking about what’s coming up after the two-hundreth issue at his website, www.geoffjohns.com. He writes:

    Guys,

I know a lot of you are in the dark about what’s coming up. We’re all going to miss Scott. We’re all going to miss Wally…or are we? Heh. Anyway. Thought I’d shed a LITTLE more light on what’s in store for everyone’s favorite super-speedster…

201 thru 206: IGNITION

IGNITION is different. Different than any Flash arc since #1. But sometimes different is good. Our goal is to make Flash not only the most interesting character in costume, but also out. It’s darker, it’s more grounded, but Keystone City, Captain Cold (IN A MAJOR WAY), Mr. Element, Morillo, Chyre, a vital DCU guest star, police intrigue, new supporting cast…it’s going to be a very cool mystery story reintroducing the Flash.

Give it a shot for a few issues. I know Alberto’s style is different than Scott’s, but I promise you, when all is said and done, you won’t be disappointed with the story. We have several twists and turns coming up. One of them being — Keystone City is getting a new Rogue Profiler.

SPOILER…

Her name is Ashley Zolomon.

Following IGNITION we’ll see Tony Harris try his hand at the Mirror Master in #207. Then next…

See the JLA, Jay Garrick and Bart take on the “new” Flash in a 4 part arc with HOWARD PORTER!!

It’s not going to be good — it’s going to be great.

BLITZ was just the beginning.

I’m going to be uncharacteristically talkative about Flash on this thread. So any questions — fire away and I’ll do my best to answer them.

So far Geoff has answered a variety of questions. He says that Alberto Dose is the regular Flash artist despite the announcement that Tony Harris and Howard Porter are drawing specific issues. Johns also says double-shipping may be possible in the future and offered to buy back Flash issues from one poster who was skeptical about the change in direction.

When asked if the reformed rogues would play a part in upcoming stories, Geoff said “later next year.”

While Johns says he’s not at liberty to divulge how far ahead he’s planned, he did confirm that he’s plotted the next several story arcs. He also says that “the events in 200 will effect Flash in other titles. Most of the dealing with that will happen in our second arc…more on this AFTER 200 hits…”

This Has A “Quick Creator Service” Value of Nine Out of Ten


Uncowled

And last but not least, I was sent the following link from an anonymous source just as I was about to post ATR. It contains a serious SPOILER for Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s Batman storyline. I’m talking huge. So, I urge you not to look if you don’t want to know who Hush is.

I warned you..

http://www.angelfire.com/scifi2/paganthedark/Batmanspoiler.jpg


Update: Another Batman page has popped up, revealing a different character as the Hush villain. It is less complete than the first. So, you have to wonder if DC is trying to throw people off here.

http://www.swpalace.net/tep.jpg

This Has A “Unexpected Batarang to the Head” Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Out,
Markisan

PS If anyone has any rumors or stories to share email me at markisan@silverbulletcomicbooks.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.


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