Welcome back to another edition of ATR. And with that out of the way, let?s get started.

Destiny Turns On The Radio

Word is traveling quickly about Alan Davis? departure from Uncanny X-Men and possibly from Marvel altogether. For reasons that aren?t entirely clear, Davis recently quit the book and early indications are that he may soon sign an exclusive with DC. This has surprised some observers, as Davis was thought to be under a three-year exclusive deal with Marvel, which he signed in October 2003. But keep in mind, those announcements sometimes overstate the lengths of the exclusives. Using Tom Raney as an example, DC announced that he was under a two year exclusive back in September 2003, and yet he signed a two year exclusive with Marvel in December 2004.

How?

From what I understand, Raney?s ?two year deal? was actually a one-year deal with a renewable second year (like an option year), which is why he was able to leave DC at the end of the first year. In Davis? case, his deal might have been a two-year exclusive with an optional third year. In which case, don?t expect him to sign elsewhere until October. However, it?s not uncommon for a creator of Davis? status to have opt out clauses at certain points in the contract, which may be in effect. If so, then he may leave sooner than expected?

As for Davis? replacement on Uncanny X-Men, I mentioned Raney for a reason, as he is one of the artists heavily rumored to be lined up for the job.

This Has An ?Escape Clause? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


The Signing Detectives

Speaking of DC, it looks like their recent signing of George Perez was just the opening salvo for their latest round of exclusives, with more announcements expected in the weeks to come as we venture into convention season.

In other news, which may or may not be related, one of our sources at DC tells us that there are BIG plans in store for Mark Waid. I?m not sure if he?ll be signing an exclusive, but it sounds like DC editorial is very eager to get him back into the fold?

This Has A ?Player To Be Named Later? Factor of Five Out of Ten


Tornado Claw

Some late rumors out the Toronto Con indicated that David Mack would be writing some mainstream Marvel universe projects. One of the rumors even had him pegged as the next regular writer of Wolverine.

However, it doesn?t look like the ol’ Canucklehead is in Mack?s immediate future. Sorry, Wolverine fans.

This Has A ?Berserker Barrage? Factor of Three Out of Ten


Finding Serenity

There was a rumor going around this week that Adam Hughes would be providing the art on a Serenity OGN with Joss Whedon. However, that turned out to be a slight misunderstanding of the original announcement. It turns out that Hughes is only doing the cover for the Serenity trade paperback, which will collect the first miniseries from Dark Horse.

In other news, Hughes recently made a short Tomb Raider film called The Cursed Chest, which uses action figures in place of actors. And judging by the teaser trailer, it looks pretty damn cool. Monthly webisodes are promised for this summer and the teaser can be found online here.

This Has A ?Two by Two, Hands of Blue? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


They?ll Fight For Freedom

Here?s a first look at some of the finished pages from G.I. Joe: America’s Elite #0 by Joe Casey, Stefano Caseilli, and Sunder Raj which is coming out this June from Devil?s Due Publishing. The relaunch spills out of G.I. Joe #43, which is the last issue of the previous series?.

****SPOILER WARNING!!!****
One of these pages reveals one of the MAJOR Joe casualties from the final issue. So don?t read them if you don?t want to know?



This Has A ?Real American Hero? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


The Penultimates

Over at Millarworld, Mark Millar confirmed last week?s story about the Ultimate Annuals with a few comments about what to expect:

    Yep, these are going to be good.

I actually LIKE annuals. When I was a kid growing up in the eighties, I saw annuals as very high profile and high prestige. This is where you maybe had Alan Moore and David Gibbons do Superman together in an extra-sized, movie-style format that was twice the size of a normal comic. This is where the big boys would get a crack at these characters, writers and artists who were normally too busy or too slow to handle the monthly books. They just felt special.

They were diminished a lot in the 90s with cheap crossovers and those terrible THEME annuals (“this year’s summer annuals will all explore the concept of guilt and redemption”), but the two Brians and all I all had a chat about these before we agreed to do them. First of all, we all agreed that the only thing linking them together should be that they’re all fucking great and secondly, we took the first couple of FF annuals as our template in the sense that the annual (more pages, more money) should be a little more special than a regular issue of the monthly. Something BIG has to happen here, just as big things happened in the past; whether it was the wedding of Reed and Sue or the big conclusion to Alan Moore’s Anton Arcane storyline.

It’s not my place to give away the details of the other two annuals, but my own will feature a brand new super-team in The Ultimates, made up entirely of new characters and having been put together by Nick Fury for a reason you probably shouldn’t hear about until you’ve read issue six later this month. The UFF annual is pretty unusual for me in that we’re dipping into old Marvel characters (as opposed to just creating new ones and new situations) and doing the Ultimate Inhumans. It’s a new take on the characters and I think you’ll dig it, especially when you see the glorious artwork of Mister Jae Lee on these characters again. I was an absolute pain in the arse with Marvel regarding the artists on my two books, knocking back seven different proposed artists until I got the ones I wanted. Like I said, these have to be big and special and the artists had to be A-list if readers are being charged extra cash for the story.

As previously mentioned, the Ultimate Annuals are scheduled for this August.

This Has A ?Blue Area of The Moon? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Singing & Slashing

Earlier this week, DDP officially announced the stage production of Hack/Slash: Stagefright, based on Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli’s comic franchise. The New Millennium Theatre Company will perform the play in Chicago later this year. Official cast photos haven?t been released yet, but we do have some early pictures of the actors portraying Cassie Hack and Vlad:

It?ll be interesting to see how this turns out. The NMTC actually has a history of offbeat parody productions, including Scooby-Doo Mystery Theatre, MIYAGI! A Karate Kid Musical and Evil Dead! The Musical. In fact, their online store offers the Evil Dead! soundtrack for sale, along with its sequel: Boomstick!

Sounds like fun?

This Has A ?Comic Book Carnage? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Headin? For Hollywood

This week, I?ve received word of two comic book properties that are currently in discussions for possible movie deals. The first is Territory 51, the Cowboys vs. Aliens book from Lawdog Comics. And the other potential movie is Greg Thompson?s Hero Camp, which comes out through Image.

This Has An ?Enokchuk!? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


The Missing Alias

Much has been made of the late shipping Alias books, with both fans and retailers expressing concerns about NINE of the launch titles now being scheduled to come out on the same day. There?s even a particularly tense exchange on FBR between Alias Executive Director, Mike S. Miller and retailer, Brian Hibbs, among others.

And while the late books could be a big setback for Alias, they have a potentially BIGGER on the horizon. From what I?ve heard from retailers, orders for the Alias launch titles were on the low side, which has to be a disappointment considering the promotional push, including color advertisements in Previews. Alias is already going to have their hands full dealing with their previous setbacks. Low orders won?t be as easy to overcome, especially if followed by low sales?

This Has A ?Slow Boat From Somewhere? Factor of Six Out of Ten


Cover 2 Cover

Here?s a quick look at some upcoming covers, for your viewing enjoyment: first up the front and back covers of Sea of Red #3, by far, my favorite new book this year.

Next up, we have an upcoming PVP cover by the Luna Brothers (Ultra, Girls). The cover indicates that it?s for issue #15 in July, but it?s actually the cover for #19 and will come out in August.

And finally, an Adam Hughes cover for Red Sonja #2. I believe this is a Retailer Reward Premium edition.

This Has An ?Eye Candy? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Social Avenger

Alonzo Washington is known among indie creators for Omega Man and other African-American superheroes of his own creation. However, Washington is also well known as a community activist and his efforts to help police solve the brutal murder of a previously unidentified four-year old girl (nicknamed ?Precious Doe? by the media) have recently born fruit. In a story picked up in the Associated Press, Washington is credited for helping a tipster contact police with the identity of the victim and provide evidence that led to the arrest of the girl?s mother and her step-father.

On his website, Washington made the following statement:

    I was finally able to give Precious Doe a name: Precious Erica Michelle Maria Green. I thank God in the name of Jesus that you used me as a vessel to solve this case. Please God give me the power to solve these other cases.

Washington is also actively involved in the search for several missing children nationwide. For more information, please visit this link.


And we?re just about done. In case you were wondering what happened to the second update last week, I haven?t gotten my responses back yet. So, we?ll run that interview whenever it?s ready.

Until next time? be cool.

Later,
Blair

PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It?s greatly appreciated.


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