Welcome back to another edition of ATR.

Yes? I know the column normally comes out on Sunday. But we had to run with it early this week before any of the other comic sites pick up on our stories. And believe me, we?ve got some hot scoops which are bound to show up elsewhere.

Just remember, you saw them here first.

Number 2.0 In The Hood, G

Things haven?t been good for Disney lately. Profits are down, the Weinstein brothers are out and Pixar is soon to follow. To top it off, Disney?s in-house animation studio is in major disarray. Faced with a crisis of epic proportions, Disney will do what Disney does best: strip-mine its own legacy. A team of high level Disney Imagineers has been tasked to rework classic Disney properties for the 21st century. By tapping into current social trends and reaching out to the Hip-Hop generation; their first project is finally ready to be seen:

Now, I know what you?re thinking. Gotta be a joke, right? Well, you might be surprised to hear that Gangsta-Tron is testing through the roof. And no one can really explain his appeal. There?s just something about this digital white guy that speaks to people.

Disney is reportedly very excited about the initial response to Gangsta-Tron. There?s already talk about Gangsta-Tron X-box and Playstation 2 video games. And a live action feature film version has been given a green light. Oscar winner, Akiva Goldsman is currently writing the script and Eminem has signed on to play the title role.

Halle Berry has also been approached to appear as the female lead.

This Has A ?DJ MCP, Represent, Yo!? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

House of Wisteria

IDW has very quietly picked up the comic rights for the hit ABC series, Desperate Housewives. The move was made as part of a larger initiative to get IDW Comics into grocery stores across the country, which according to company insiders, ?will effectively double our number of comic distribution outlets.? Unlike other comic titles, Desperate Housewives will actually be marketed towards? well… desperate housewives, waiting in the check out line with their unruly children. So, naturally, the expected placement next to Star and The National Enquirer has to be seen as a major coup for IDW.

As you can see from the accompanying picture, there will be photo covers. However, Greg Horn is rumored to be the official Desperate Housewives cover artist?

This Has An ?Inquiring Minds Want To Know? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

The Gods My Destination

Following last week?s appearance in ATR, The Godyssey has been in increasingly high demand. With copies on ebay selling for record prices and limited CGE editions already in the works, Rob Liefeld?s unfinished epic is enjoying a groundswell of popularity not seen since DVD sales resurrected Family Guy. All of this has led to eager anticipation for more Christ Vs Olympian action in the previously unreleased second issue of The Godyssey. And you thought Youngblood: Bloodsport # 2 was late? It?s been nine years between issues of The Godyssey. But now, thanks to ATR, the rest of the story may finally be told.

In related news, the sun came up this morning. And I?ll be taking credit for that one too.

This Has A ?He Hast Bested Hercules!? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Clobberin? Time

To the surprise of several Hollywood insiders, Twentieth Century Fox has permanently shelved the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. The first signs of trouble came back in November, following the release of The Incredibles. Almost immediately, rewrites were made to tone down the similarities between the two films and over $20 million was spent to shoot new scenes and improve the special effects. Eyebrows were also raised a few months later, when Fox pushed back the release date from its original Fourth of July slot. Needless to say, this move leaves Marvel in dire straits. A lot was riding on this film but the studio simply lost faith in it.

In its place, Fox will release the Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie from 1994. Long a cult classic, the film was made for so little money that it is guaranteed to make a profit.

But fans of the Jessica Alba Fantastic Four movie needn?t worry. Copies of the new FF film have been smuggled out of the studio and will hit the bootleg DVD circuit at this summer?s San Diego Comic Con. In fact, industry legend, John Byrne has already supplied the cover:

This Has A ?Yancy Streetwalker? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Coming Full Circle

In a move destined to send shockwaves throughout the industry, Bill Jemas? 360pm is set to launch their own line of comic books, which will make them the 17th new comic publisher to start up this year. Rather than focusing on creator owned properties, licensed characters will be the top priority of this new venture and always with an eye towards the eventual film and television adaptations. Not to mention the merchandising opportunities?

The first two titles have been chosen, with a heavy promotional push expected to begin later this summer. Never one to shy away from controversy, Jemas has already signed writers for both books: Jim Shooter and Mark Alessi.

Shooter will be making his return to Nintendo based comics by writing a revamped and updated version of Captain N: The Game Master.

And even though Alessi is better known for his business acumen, Jemas has given him the chance to demonstrate his creative talents on?

The New Adventures of The Kool-Aid Man

Wait? Can it be?!

Looks like the Sigilverse is making a comeback!

This Has An ?Oh Yeaahh!!!? Factor of Ten Out of Ten

More Than Covers The Eye

Ever since the demise of Dreamwave, everyone has just assumed that the Transformers license would automatically go to Devil?s Due Publishing. However, I?ve heard that?s not the case. Marvel and Dark Horse both made presentations to Hasbro.

DC was also extremely interested in adding Transformers to their CMX lineup. But they insisted on making a few changes?

This Has A ?Robot Crotch Shot? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Ah? yes?

Poor DC?

Still smarting from the Tenjo Tenge controversy, DC has come up with a different strategy to reach out to the manga crowd. The new plan is to combine their underused characters with pre-established anime franchises. And one of our loyal ATR Associates has supplied us with a quick synopsis of their first reworked CMX title:

    Welcome to the world of Tomorrow! 500 years after mastering space, Earth has finally joined the Galactic Alliance and is ready to chart a brave new future for humanity across the stars.

But all is not well.

A new threat has emerged: Big Fire, a ruthless, terrorist organization determined to conquer the universe. Without warning, Big Fire has unleashed an army of unstoppable Robeasts, which endangers not only the Earth, but every other world in the Alliance as well.

All that stands in the way of Interstellar Armageddon is the L.E.G.I.O.N.. Led by Viril Dox and his loyal team of specially trained agents, each with their own super powers.

Against nearly impossible odds, the L.E.G.I.O.N. has but one hope: to release the most powerful robot in the universe?

The Main Man. The Last Czarnian.

He is? Giant Lobo.

You know, it?s scary? But I can almost hear a theme song for this. Just needs some lyrics.

What rhymes with ?Go, Go, Lobo!??

This Has A ?Kusama Daisaku? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

In an upcoming interview with Wizard magazine, Frank Miller reveals that All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder will be even more iconic than originally thought. Apparently, the title will be based on the most memorable Batman and Robin team of them all: Adam West and Burt Ward. And while the book won?t use their exact likenesses, it will remain true to the spirit of the 60s Batman TV series.

Miller also mentions that several scenes in the comic were inspired by memorable moments from the show, like Batman?s boxing match with The Riddler, the dance off with King Tut?

And who can forget the classic surfing contest between Batman and The Joker?

This Has A ?Not This Time, Old Chum? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

People? People?

As if there was any doubt?

And I couldn?t have pulled this off without the amazing talents of several phenomenal artists:

Gangsta-Tron was penciled and colored by James Mase (Writer/Artist for UrbanShogun.com).

The Invisible Woman/Dr. Doom pinup was drawn by Peter Smith (Artist of ATP?s Government Bodies) and colored by industry veteran, Tom Smith. Incidentally, Tom is available for color commissions here: http://www.theartistschoice.com/tsmith.htm.

Captain N: The Game Master art and design by Wesley Gunn: http://www.wesleygunn.com. Wesley went above and beyond the call of duty here. Not only did he draw over 20 characters, he drew each of them separately and then composted them together on a computer. This pinup was colored by Kanila Tripp, whose work can be found online at http://www.xcelsiorart.com.

The Kool-Aid Man was drawn by Khary Randolph: http://www.kharupt.com. And finished off with another fantastic color job by Kanila Tripp.

Giant Lobo, art, design and colors all by Hal Saville of http://www.superinhuman.com.

Batman & Robin, art by Rivaldo Gama and colors by Warwick Urquhart, both of whom work out of Lynx Studio: http://www.lynx-studio.com. Their upcoming books include Lethal from Alias Enterprises (starting in April) and Myriad from Approbation Comics (starting in May).

So, to the assembled artists, I would like to extend a HUGE Thank You. Each and everyone of you did a hell of job. I?m very impressed and humbled by your talent.

I?d like to extend a special acknowledgement to Stephan Nilson, from Across the Pond Studios, who was instrumental in lining up most of the artists you see before you. And I?d also like to shout out to Bart A. Thompson from Approbation Comics, who really came through on short notice.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed, because I can?t say it enough.

And that?s all from Rage Central. See you next week.


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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