Blair is taking Memorial Day off this week so ALL THE RAGE is in my canuck hands. We don?t get Memorial Day here in Canada, instead we celebrate Victoria Day on May 22nd. Yes, you heard me right, the Queen of England?s birthday allows us to take one Monday off in May. Damn British redcoats still telling us what to do!

The Last Stand? For Now at Least

The third movie in the X-Men franchise was out last Friday, and reviews are a mixed bag. Some say it?s a fast paced thrill ride with lots of easter eggs for long-time fans to enjoy, while others say it?s a convoluted mess that will give viewers a bad headache faster than a psi-knife to the forehead.

My tip for enjoying the movie: don?t expect a magnum opus of storytelling that you can dissect for hours over a cappuccino in film school, rather just accept it as a cool popcorn flick and you?ll have fun.

One thing I?ve heard for sure is that (spoiler text on): Cyclops and two other main X-men die in the film.

Pretty gutsy if you ask me! I also hear that there is a small epilogue after the credits roll, so stay in your seats for the final surprise at the end.

This Has A ?Fall Of The Mutants? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

The Complete Bruce Timm

DC will release the complete second season of the Teen Titans (the season that saw the debut of Terra) on DVD this September along with the complete second season of the Batman.

Expect to see the complete first season of Justice League Unlimited, and the second season of Batman Beyond by Christmastime as well.

It?s always good to see the Bruce Timm animated universe collected (slowly) in its entirety for posterity.

This Has A ?Teen Titans GO!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

DC Nation

With their One Year Later line wide revamps considered a sales and critical success, DC will continue to push new titles and creative teams over the next few months in order to keep momentum and interest going strong across the board.

Expect a whole slew of new announcements and creative changes over the next few weeks, here is a preview of what is to come:

  • Damion Scott will be the penciller on Marv Wolfman?s new Raven mini series.
  • JSA will relaunch soon with Geoff Johns as the writer, Dale Eaglesham as the penciller and Alex Ross as the cover artist. Damage and a new Starman will be joining the team.
  • There will be a new Omega Men mini series coming out (spinning out of their recent appearances in Adam Strange and the Rann/Thanagar War).
  • Connor Hawke will also be getting his own mini series written by Chuck Dixon.
  • Dan Jurgens will be writing and drawing a JLA Classified arc.
  • Expect a new creative team and direction on Nightwing to be announced in the next few weeks.

This Has A ?There?s No Stopping Us Now? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

The Dynamic Duo

The next big Marvel exclusive artist that has just been signed is Ed McGuiness. His first Marvel project: penciling a series written by none other than his old Superman/Batman creative partner, Jeph Loeb.

This Has A ?Give These Two A Hulk Book Now!? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

The Comic Greek

Christos Gage is a fan favourite writer who has written for numerous TV series like LAW & ORDER and NUMBERS, and some critically acclaimed comics like DEADSHOT. Christos took some time out of his busy schedule to give us a preview of his upcoming work and answer some questions.

ATR: What can readers expect from your upcoming UNION JACK mini? What villains will be popping up? Baron Blood by any chance? Will it tie into the current Captain America storyline?

CHRISTOS GAGE: It’s action-packed, like a James Bond movie with superheroes, but character is crucial to the story. Baron Blood won’t be showing up, because one of the points of the series is to expand Union Jack’s mission beyond fighting vampires – we want to give him motivations that are unique to who he is and differentiate him from, say, Blade or even Captain Britain. The plot concerns a series of imminent terrorist strikes on London led by an army of super-villains, from well-known baddies like Boomerang and Shockwave to more obscure villains like Ecstasy and the Death-Throws. You’ll also see supporting characters who represent the international side of the Marvel Universe, such as Sabra and a new Arabian Knight.

And yes, the mini will tie in to the current Captain America story, ?21st Century Blitz?. Ed Brubaker is the one who originally suggested a UJ mini, and he’s been great about coordinating with us. The specific storylines won’t cross over, because we don’t want Cap readers to feel they’re being forced to buy our book or vice versa, but Union Jack #1 occurs very soon after the last chapter of ?21st Century Blitz? and seeds planted in the one pay off in the other. Of course, the ultimate Cap tie-in is that the penciler on Union Jack is the acclaimed British artist Mike Perkins, who alternates drawing Captain America arcs with Steve Epting!

ATR: It was recently announced that you and Doug Mahnke will be producing a new STORMWATCH comic for Wildstorm – what details can you divulge? How did you end up working with Doug?

CG: I’ve been a fan of Doug’s for quite some time. Aside from his obvious talent, his versatility in drawing everything from horror (Frankenstein) to humor (The Mask) to superheroes (Batman, JLA) always amazed me. (That was even before I realized he was a fellow Greek when he posted some very kind compliments about my Deadshot miniseries on the DC message boards under his user ID ?greekpalooka?!) Collaborating with such a multifaceted artist gives a writer the freedom to do literally anything – action, intrigue, quiet character moments, horror, SF – and know that it’ll all come out great. So when Wildstorm gave me the wonderful opportunity to write Stormwatch, Doug was at the top of my artist wish list and it didn’t hurt that editor Ben Abernathy and the other WS guys are huge fans of his as well. Ben and I were both thrilled when he said yes, and having seen some preview art, I can say that our excitement was justified. Doug is doing amazing work on this book – inking himself, at least to start out with – so if people don’t like it I have no one to blame but myself!

As for details, I can’t reveal much yet. I’ll just say that there’s something for fans of every era of Stormwatch to like – and stuff that could drive them all crazy, too! All I ask is that readers give me one issue to hook them. My writing approach has been the opposite of decompression; this is NOT one of those slow build first issues where nothing happens and the main characters don’t even show up until the end. By the end of #1, you will have met the main characters, seen how the team comes together, and witnessed more beautifully-drawn mayhem than should be legal. I promise you’ll know if you want to pick up #2 and I’m betting my career that you will.

ATR: Will the new STORMWATCH series be based on the old Warren Ellis series (superhumans) or the Micah Wright series (human commandos) or will it feature brand new characters? Will it still be a UN sanctioned team?

CG: You’ll see some old favorites return, like Jackson King; there will be several brand new characters, and, like I said, there should be something for fans of every prior incarnation of Stormwatch to enjoy. I will mention, just so nobody feels misled, that we will not be using the Team Achilles characters or picking up those plot threads. I know that book had many dedicated fans, but when you’re doing a line-wide relaunch that will hopefully attract lots of new and long-absent readers, it doesn’t seem wise to pick up where a series that got cancelled due to low sales left off. I’m not saying those characters will never be seen again, but it won’t be for a while, until the new direction is well established in its own right. Thematically, however, there will be elements that I hope fans of that series can relate to.

Regarding the UN sanction, although the Wildstorm Universe differs from ours in many ways, I am bringing some of what we’re seeing in the real world to the series. Stormwatch is now a U.S. backed entity, one that cooperates with other nations but has just one boss, reflecting our tenser relationship with the international community. But we’re living in a world where our government is running a record deficit to the point where it can’t pay for body armor for our troops in Iraq, and you’ll see Stormwatch in a similar situation. Due to the vast amount of energy used in teleportation, they have to get authorization before ‘porting into a hot zone; they can’t just zap around the world in the blink of an eye to deal with a bank robbery. They also don’t have unlimited supplies of deus-ex-machina technology like nanotech or billion-dollar battle cruisers to exploit; they have to be smart and judicious about how they address crises. This state of affairs is crucial to the formation and mission statement of the new team.

ATR: Any other comic projects coming up? Any new TV scripts coming up?

CG: My wife and screenwriting partner Ruth and I have been focusing more on the movie side of things lately (although our episode of Numbers is being rerun on June 2nd if anyone wants to catch it). We have plenty of irons in the fire, but you never know if something’s going to happen until it happens, and until it does it’s better just not to say anything. In comics, I have a brand new project planned for 2007 release that, you guessed it, I can’t discuss yet; but it’s a first for my comics career and I’m very excited about it!

Thanks for taking the time Christos, I will definitely be checking out UNION JACK and STORMWATCH this fall.

This Has A ?Eisai Palikari Re Christos? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Tales to Astonish

Jeff Parker (writer of the upcoming AGENTS OF ATLAS mini series coming from Marvel comics) needs some help and posted the following on his blog:

      Do YOU have an impressive Golden Age collection that includes old Timely/Atlas issues of


      (featuring Marvel Boy) or


      (featuring Marvel Boy)? What I’m getting at is that we- and by “we”, I mean cover artist Tomm Coker- need 600 dpi scans of any good cover images from the original appearances of Marvel Boy to incorporate into an issue of


    . If the comics are beat up, that doesn’t necessarily rule them out. If you think you or someone you know can help, click the Channel Parker link in the bottom of my sidebar and let me know soon. We’ll get Spider-Man to visit your house or something!

This Has A ?Lets Give The Man A Hand People? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

A big thanks to everyone who sent me in stuff and to Christos Gage for agreeing to be interviewed on such short notice.

Blair is featuring this Wednesday on Fanboy Radio, so be sure to tune in for a mid-week dose of Rage. Catch you next time, JV!

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