Let?s leap straight into the news and rumors this week? Put on your crash helmets: NOW!

Back from the Future

Recently a character named D. Blake has appeared in the Civil War issues of the Fantastic Four. My sources tell me that this is a red herring and it is not who we think it is supposed to be? For those who aren?t up on their Marvel history I am referring to Thor ? who used to go by the name of Donald Blake, and has also popped up at the end of Civil War #3.

In actuality, D. Blake is an anagram of another famous Marvel character, who has returned from the future and will play a part in Civil War.

Break out the scrabble pieces and start guessing people.

This Has A ?Spider-Man 2009, Maybe?? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Marv Wolfman dropped ATR a line and gave us some hints about his upcoming Nightwing run:

    It’s a mystery that introduces two new villains. The first issue will be a straighter heroic story setting things up but the second, which is more noir and mysterious, will completely twist what you’ve seen. I don’t want anyone to be able to guess where the story is going. It also introduces some new supporting characters.

This Has A ?No More Green Shortpants? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

The Spirit Lives On

Darwyn Cooke has been releasing some preview pages of his upcoming SPIRIT series and the look amazing:

This Has A ?Old Meets New? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Brian Wood let his fans how a bit more about his upcoming Vertigo series NORTHLANDERS:

      Ah, not really a Viking epic… I mean, it’s more than that. The title


    is a broad one. Sort of sounds like a soap opera, right, like Eastenders?

Anyway, Vikings will be one of many groups of people the series will include, keeping in the general time in history and geographic location. In time I want to do a story about the Black Death, about nomadic monks on Ireland’s west coast, about the Greenland Vikings, and even as far back as the ancient peoples that build Stonehenge, maybe. But, for now, NORTHLANDERS is about a Norse settlement on Scotland’s Orkney Islands, a member of the Varangian guard living in Constantinople, and a half-wild Saxon girl, all circa 880AD.

This isn’t true historical fiction, at least not in the way most fiction like this I’ve read is. The entire cast of characters are my own invention, although the locations and dates and most of the details should be pretty accurate.

NORTHLANDERS is not a barbarian title, a fantasy book, not pure hack-and-slash, and it’s not going to be full of half-naked men wearing horns talking to their gods. Mythology will really take a back seat in this book in favor of real people and day-to-day life. I have yet to see a comic treat Vikings the way I want to, which is good.

Read more about it on Brian?s live journal here.

This Has A ?What Do You Mean They Didn?t Wear Horned Helmets?? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

The Hunted

Peter Milligan is working on a new Namor series for the Marvel Knights line. It will be a dark psychological tale where Namor is in the background, an almost legendary figure being hunted down by the book?s protagonist in a tale heavily influenced by Moby Dick.

This Has A ?Little Ankle Wings Make Me Laugh? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

The Printed Word Is Not Dead

Over on the ENGINE, Warren Ellis has confirmed that his long talked about novel will be entitled CROOKED LITTLE VEIN and will be out next summer.

Click the link for some excerpts of the book posted by M. Ellis himself.

This Has An ?I Dare Anyone To Ask Him If He Plans To Adapt This As A Comic Book? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Digital Revolution

Last week we spotlighted Chris Arrant?s contribution to the webcomic collection (updated every week) chemsetcomics.com. Another webcomic on the same site is STUCK written by Vito Delsante.

Vito describes STUCK as follows:

    A story of tragedy and the human condition, set on one car of New York City’s N Train. Each chapter focuses on an individual passenger and his or her respective “Last Night.” Told in a similar fashion to TV’s Lost, Stuck is a story that has resonance and relevance in today’s post 9/11 world. The story begins with bartender, Eric Pitzer, and his search for a new job. When the train gets stuck on the Manhattan Bridge, Eric’s only concern is that he’ll miss his interview appointment.

That will be the least of his worries.

This Has An ?I?m Reading More And More Webcomics These Days? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are?

Numerous gay rights groups have been discussing the sudden presence of gay characters at Marvel and DC.

But as seen here, they do not all seem to be happy with current developments at the big two when it comes to gay characters.

The Gay League and a few other organizations are expected to issue statements shortly. Should be interesting to see what they say.

This Has An ?Anyone Notice How DC Has All The Lesbians?? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Man of Action

One of my favourite action writers in the comic book biz, Chuck Dixon, stopped by ATR and answered a few questions about his upcoming Connor Hawke series:

ATR: Tell our readers about your upcoming Connor Hawke mini series. What is the set-up? How long is the mini series?

CD: It?s a six issue limited series (we?re not supposed to say ?mini? any more) that features Connor in the kind of globe-spanning adventure that is his ?thing.? He?s invited to a contest of the world?s greatest archers that turns out to be far more than that.

ATR: How does it feel to be returning to Connor – a character you helped make popular? Do you have many more GA/Connor stories to tell?

CD: When I?ve spent this much time writing a character I tend to miss them. Getting back to Connor and his world and ringing some changes was a lot of fun. I could certainly get used to it and would enjoy guiding Connor to more adventures.

ATR: Will we see Ollie? Eddie Fyers? Any old villains?

CD: Ollie briefly. Eddie is very much a part of the story. And, with a limited series, I always try to come up with a new bad guy and set of conflicts.

ATR: What were your original plans for Ollie’s return back in the day before Kevin Smith relaunched the title? How would you have brought him back?

CD: Ollie was going to come back as a mysterious stranger who guided Connor?s career from the shadows. This story would end in the Himalayas where Connor must make the World?s Greatest Bow Shot. This gag appeared, without Ollie, in an 80-page giant story. After Connor had proven himself, they would continue as a contentious father and son team.

ATR: What other projects can your fans look forward to in the coming year? What else are you working on?

CD: I?m currently working on Wildstorm?s new Nightmare on Elm Street comics. And I have a few more projects that I can?t mention yet.

This Has ?The Second Manliest Man In Comics?? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

That?s all for this week. Thanks for dropping by, and sending in all the news and tidbits. I?ll be back next week for more of the same, only even better!

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