Welcome back to another edition of ATR, here on Super Bowl Sunday. Like most of America, I?m getting ready to watch the last real football game until next summer. (And no? the Pro Bowl doesn?t count)

But for comic fans, I think the day?s biggest curiosity will be the Marvel Superheroes Visa card advertisement, which should air some time during the first two quarters. However, I?m not exactly looking forward to seeing it. I mean, I look at it?

And the first thing that comes to mind is this?

The infamous Hawkman Baby Ruth ad.

Yeah? and that?s not good. I think the best we can hope for is that the Marvel ad isn?t a complete embarrassment for superheroes.

But we?ll see for ourselves soon enough?

It?s In the Game

EA Games is in the early development cycle for a new Superman video game to coincide with the release of Bryan Singer?s Superman Returns in Summer 2006. Since EA picked up the Superman license in 2003, there hasn?t been much movement with the video game franchise. However, it?s now heavily rumored that EA is planning to use Superman in other titles as well, based on the comic and possibly the TV series, Smallville. EA also has the license for the Batman Begins video game, which we will probably see at the E3 in a few months.

This is really good news for gamers. EA?s movie based games like James Bond and Lord of the Rings have been excellent. Well? most of them, anyway. Golden Eye: Rogue Agent was an aberration.

This Has A ?Challenge Everything? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Dream Weaver

In a recent newsgroup post, J. Michael Straczynski gave an update on his current projects, including his two creator owned books at Marvel. According to Straczynski, Dream Police (with art by Mike Deodato) will be coming out in June and The Book of Lost Souls will follow in September.

Straczynski also had this to say, regarding the artist for The Book of Lost Souls: ?I can’t reveal her name yet, because that has to come through Marvel, but she’s a very well known and popular artist.?

Popular speculation has centered on Colleen Doran, which lines up with what I?ve heard as well. Multiple sources have confirmed that Doran is working on a new book for Marvel. It?s just not clear if this is the one.

This Has A ?Voice In The Wilderness? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Watching the Trades

Last week, a story on ICv2 revealed Dark Horse?s plans to publish a series of Nexus hardcover books. It also mentioned that Dark Horse would also put out a new Nexus one-shot by Mike Baron and Steve Rude. However, I?ve heard that?s not happening just yet. Apparently, the response to the Nexus hardcovers will determine whether or not the new one-shot is published. The same goes for the upcoming The Moth trade paperback. If it doesn?t sell to expectations, then a new Moth series may not be forthcoming.

As for the Nexus hardcover editions, they will be released in the same format as Dark Horse?s Magnus Robot Fighter and Dr. Solar reprints. Current plans call for eleven or twelve volumes collecting Nexus #1 through #80, with each volume containing seven to eight issues. The first volume is expected in November 2005.

This Has A ?Sundra Peale? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Jordan, Unlimited

In ?The Once and Future Thing, Part 2?, the Justice League Unlimited third season finale which aired last weekend, there was a surprise appearance by Hal Jordan, in his first animated DCU appearance. The role was uncredited, in part to keep the surprise intact. But I?ve been told that Jordan was played by Adam Baldwin, who also portrayed Jonah Hex in the first part of ?The Once and Future Thing.?

The fourth season started on Cartoon Network last night, and from what I?ve heard, JLU is building towards a HUGE four-part season finale, which will tie up the series? multiple storylines.

This Has A ?Conspiracy Theory? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Jock Talk

ATR Associate, John Voulieris checked in this week with an interview featuring one of his favorite artists. Take it away, John:

John Voulieris: Jock is a DC exclusive artist who has been impressing readers with his art on The Losers from Vertigo (it was recently revealed that The Losers is safe from cancellation until its planned conclusion which is over a year away). This is great news for its many fans ? including myself who counts it as one of the best books out there these days.

Jock recently took some time and answered a few of our questions:

JV: I?ve noticed on your website your list of clients include the BBC, MTV, some snowboard companies, – what did you do for these various companies? And how did you end up in comics?

JOCK: Pretty much most of my other work has come through my comic stuff, doing comic related images for other clients. For example, a picture of Judge Dread for British airways, or design work for a 2000AD animation for MTV.

As much as I love drawing comics, it’s great working outside the industry too – I feel it’s got to improve the comics work you do.

JV: The covers for The Losers from Vertigo are amazing and really stand out on the racks – how long does it take you to design and finalize a cover?

JOCK: Thanks! I love working on the covers, for me they’re a real chance to push the boundaries of what’s out there. It’s very difficult to do something new in comics, as it’s all been done, but I like the challenge of bringing a new spin to it.

So many comic covers seem to opt for the ‘safe’ option… just another beautifully rendered shot of a hero looking cool or involved in some dynamic pose. which is great, but each time I design a Losers cover I’m thinking of something that’d appeal to the non comic reader as well – something that if you showed it to someone on the street they’d think ‘yea, cool, that looks interesting’. That was one of our goals when we started the series, was to appeal to a wider audience.

How long to finish a cover? ? that is the magic question. Could be anything from a morning to a week! If the idea is working and all going smoothly it can all come out very quickly, if it’s not it can be a real nightmare to reach where you’re trying to go.

A good example happened recently – I was working on a Losers cover, it was quite an abstract image, but my editors and I where happy with it. It wasn’t an obvious image – but still, it was finished and ready to go.

Karen Berger (DC editor) took a look at it and just felt it needed a little something else, it wasn’t quite working for her and thought it needed another element to bring it together. I stared at it for a couple of days whilst working on other stuff and just couldn’t find a way to make it work, and on the spur of the moment came up with a twist on the Losers classic group shot. I worked on the sketch at full resolution – threw it together literally in a couple of hours and fired it over to DC as an alternative. That was basically it – done! A brand new idea, finished in a couple of hours – and I’m very happy with it. But that rarely happens!

JV: I’ve noticed you?ve done a few Batman and Catwoman covers recently – any plans to do some interior work in the Bat office? Any DC characters you want to tackle?

JOCK: Yes, I’ve done a handful of Batmancovers over the last year or so. I was signed on to do a run of Catwoman covers, but only completed two before getting the chance to take over as Batman cover artist from Matt Wagner, so I’ll be starting that in the next month or so. You heard it here first!

Batman’s a character you can handle in a lot of different ways, so I can’t wait to get a crack at the main title.

JV: Andy Diggle has stated that he has a few more Lenny Zero tales to tell – will you be onboard for those?

JOCK: We’d love to do more Lenny Zero – in fact, before starting The Losers we had the next story totally planned out, character sketches drawn and the first 5 pages of script written. We’d both love to go back to that. It’s a cracking story.

Andy has said he really doesn’t want anyone else to draw it, which is very kind of him as there’s some wonderful people that he could get to do it. Andy and I work very well together and Lenny Zero was our first baby, so it’d be nice to re-visit it again!

JV: Any other future comic or non-comic related projects you want to plug? I?ve noticed you have a link to some T-shirt designs for Yard on your website ? what?s your involvement?

JOCK: I’m looking forward to what I’ll be working on after The Losers wraps up… more on that nearer the time.

The Yard is a clothing label started by three good friends of mine, I haven’t done any designs yet, but you should all go and buy something from their website now – http://www.yardclothing.com -plug over. Thanks!

This Has A ?Spec Ops? Factor of Ten Out of Ten

Needless Savagery

Over at the Savage Dragon Forum a user pretending to be Erik Larsen sparked an uproar when he claimed that the series was being canceled. Several Image insiders and the real Larsen have already shot down this rumor.

So relax, Dragon fans. The book is definitely NOT canceled.

This Has A ?Fin Fanatics? Factor of One Out of Ten

Breaking the Seal

According to a post by Terry Dodson on his Yahoo group, Kevin Smith has turned in the script for the fifth issue of Spider-man/Black Cat. Smith?s next script (for the sixth and final issue) will trigger the apocalypse.

Speaking of the perpetually late Mr. Smith, former ATR scribe Markisan Naso had a few things to say about him on The Great Curve. Check it out here.

This Has A ?Write, Fatass Write!!? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Hammer Time

Mike Oeming has announced via his e-mail newsletter that the next Hammer of the Gods trade paperback will be coming out in June. Hammer Hits China will be released in standard trade format and in a collector?s edition, which will include a statue of Modi. The pic seen below is an early painted prototype of the statue.

This Has A ?Hammer?s On A Roll? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

The Fists Keep On Flyin?

Even though Beau Smith has left IDW, I believe he still has another Wynonna Earp miniseries lined up with them. And he?s already picked up another writing gig. I hear that he and Mitch Byrd have signed on to produce a superhero title for Across the Pond Studios.

This Has A ?Beau Knows? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Enema of the State

CapvsBats is back with another new parody. His target this week: the latest issue of Wolverine.

This Has A ?Donkey Kong? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Mercury Rising

Steve Lieber and the rest of Mercury Studios have posted another round of ebay auctions to help out Bill Messner-Loebs. Some of the original artwork available can be seen below.

And the auctions can be found here.

You know, it?s nice to see the comic creators and fans rallying around Messner-Loebs in his time of need. But I?m kind of shocked no one has suggested a Bill Messner-Loebs tribute book. Last year?s Dave Cockrum tribute seems to have helped Cockrum a great deal, and Messner-Loebs could surely use the additional support.

Are there any takers out there?

And we?re done. Special thanks to John and Cap for contributing.


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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