Lots of cool tidbits coming out of the Baltimore con this past weekend. Rest assured, we will be following up on the news during the following weeks. Brace yourself for some rough and tumble ahead? we?ve got some doozies this week.

With This Ring?

Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver are working on a Sinestro Annual / Special due out sometime next year. After that, there are rumors that the two will work on a Batman arc as well.

This Has A ?Looking Forward To The Sinestro Corps? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Taking up the Mantle

It seems like Jodi Picoult?s run on Wonder Woman (starting with issue 6) will be shorter than expected. DC is casting a net for a new Wonder Woman writer, maybe as soon as issue 10.

Polish off those pitches people!

This Has A ?Bullets And Bracelets? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Boom Baby Boom

Boom studios has released some preview art for their upcoming December books. The images below are from Cthulu Tales and X-Isle #5.

This Has A ?Sweet Sweet Art? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

Never Forget

A few weeks ago we talked about STUCK, a new webcomic written by Vito Delstante.

Vito recently sent in some information about the direction of STUCK:


New York, NY (September 7, 2006): A cataclysmic event occurs that hits too close to home and changes the entire landscape for a group of people randomly drawn together. In the newest installment of the webcomic Stuck to be posted on Monday, September 11th, the series turns a corner as it explores the idea of terrorism striking at the lifeblood of New York City? its transportation system.

“We want to examine the psychology of terrorism and choosing this poignant date is our way of honoring the victims, families and survivors of 9/11,” said series co-creator and writer Vito Delsante. “This is really an opportunity for me to tell a story about survival, not death.”

Stuck is 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. Serialized on the internet as part of The Chemistry Set (www.chemsetcomics.com), the stories being told are personal for everyone involved ? from the readers to the creators themselves.

“The fact is unfortunately, without getting political here, terrorism has reached our shores or, I should say, the bubble has burst,” said Stuck co-creator and illustrator, Thomas Williams. “We’re more aware of it now than ever. The approach here with Stuck is more focused on the survival aspect. The people affected by the crazed antics of the few.” Delsante describes the series as “a celebration of the New York spirit.”

This Has A ?Best Webcomic Out There? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

The Return of the Daywalker

Rising star Marc Guggenheim dropped by to talk about his upcoming BLADE series for Marvel Comics:

ATR: Tell us about your upcoming BLADE series. What can readers expect in the first few issues?

MG: A whole mess of things: First, self-contained issues that are new-reader friendly. As of this interview, I’ve written the first three issues and have a very specific idea for issue 4. Each issue is gonna be a little bit different. I’m trying to pull a Planetary here by writing self-contained stories that have their own distinct identity from issue to issue, while laying the seeds of a larger mythology. And because I like to steal from the best, I’m also using the Lost model of interlineated stories set in the past to shed some light on Blade’s character. So essentially, you’re getting two stories in each 22 page issue. As for those stories, here’s a rundown:

Issue One firmly establishes Blade in the Marvel Universe. I don’t want to say much more than that, but the idea was to create a new-reader-friendly intro for Blade. Plus, there’s a surprising twist on the last page. Issue 2 involves a trip to Latveria and an encounter with Dr. Doom. And free of charge, I’m throwing in some vampire clowns. No, really. Issue 3 offers a change-of-pace. It’s a more “ground level” story that deals with how Blade interacts with the law. I mean, the NYPD doesn’t exactly believe in vampires, so how do they react to Blade’s claim that he killed one? Issue 4 comes out in December, so it’ll be our Christmas issue. I always wanted to do a Christmas story and have never had an opportunity to, either on TV or in comics, so this is my chance. Blade vs. Santa Claus, that’s all I’ll say.

Finally, we have the recently-announced Civil War tie-in for Issue 5. Blade is technically “super- human,” but not exactly a hero or a mutant. So does he really fall within the letter of the law as far as the Registration Act is concerned? You’ll have to check out Issue 5 to find out.

ATR: You’ve mentioned that you want to set BLADE firmly in the Marvel Universe…how do you plan on doing that? What Marvel mainstays will you be featuring in the first year?

MG: Spider-Man, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Dr. Doom make appearances in the first two issues. My approach is not so much to write towards the Marvel mainstays but, rather, not write away from them. In the past, it seems like other Blade series have worked to keep Blade isolated in his own little corner of the MU. I’m trying to break him out of it with some interesting stories. If those stories would logically bring him into contact with other Marvel characters, I’m not shying away from it. It’s a bit of a balancing act, to be honest. However, the beauty of doing self-contained stories is that I can calibrate that from issue to issue. I can say, “Hey, we haven’t seen a Marvel mainstay in a while, let’s have Blade fight the Invisible Woman.” Or somesuch. Plus, as I said, Blade’s involvement in the MU vis a vis Civil War gets revealed in Issue 5.

ATR: Will Dracula or any other notable Blade villains return?

MG: Dracula makes an appearance in the opening pages of Blade #1. Marvel released a preview of those pages and — SPOILERS FOLLOW — from my review of the message boards (which I really, really have to stop reading) tells me some people were bothered by how quickly Dracula gets disposed of. However, my thinking was this: We’ve seen Blade kick Dracula’s ass more times than I can count. What’s the point of re-treading that old ground. Disposing of Dracula so quickly was my way of sending the message that this ain’t your daddy’s Blade series. We’re going to travel some new ground here and not dwell in the past, showing you a fight you can read twenty different versions of in the back issues. We’re gonna show you new, cool stuff.

Plus, when Blade goes up against someone he has more difficulty taking down, you’ll — hopefully — have that Dracula battle in the back of your head and go, “Wow, by comparison, this dude is scary. Who’s tougher than DRACULA?”

ATR: Will you feature any other supporting cast members from the old TOMB OF DRACULA series? Van Helsing? Deacon Frost? Nightstalkers?

MG: Eventually. My attitude is that the comic book Blade is in need of some rehabilitation. I have to put all my efforts into making him cool to fans who only know him from the movies and TV series. To that end, I don’t want him sharing the spotlight with a supporting cast just yet. However, once this period of rehabilitation is successfully over, yeah, the sky’s the limit.

ATR: How long are you and Howard Chaykin onboard for? Is this an open ended assignment or a fixed run (like your Wolverine arc)?

MG: My run is open-ended. I don’t know about Howard’s, but I really hope he’s on the book for as long as I am. Y’know, Marvel hasn’t said anything to me about that. Thanks for giving me something new to worry about?

ATR: Will there be any similarities with the TV series (characters, situations, and so on)?

MG: I think so. I’ve only seen the pilot, to be honest. The rest of the episodes are stacked up on my TiVo. From what I’ve discerned, however, there are some pretty eerie similarities. I say “eerie” because there was absolutely no coordination with the TV series and it seems that the TV series is headed in some of the same directions that I am. It’s like a strange, psychic phenomenon — which, perhaps, is appropriate for this particular book.

ATR: Any teases for our ATR readers? Any other projects you want to promote? What else are you working on?

MG: Hmmm? let’s see: Comic book wise, the only projects I can talk about at the moment are a Punisher one-shot currently being drawn — exquisitely so — by Lenil Yu; a Batman story for D.C. being illustrated by Jerry Bingham, who is also doing spectacular work; and a creator-owned series by Oni Press called Resurrection, which is about the aftermath of an alien invasion.

Outside of comics, I recently completed work on the script for the videogame Call of Duty 3, which comes out in November. Finally, on the TV front (which some people refer to as my “day job”), I’m in pre-production on a pilot I co-wrote with my former Jack & Bobby boss, Greg Berlanti. It’s called Eli Stone and it’s a project that’s very near and dear to my heart.

Thanks for taking the time Marc ? I am looking forward to the new Blade series.

This Has A ?Bring Back The Whistler (Again)? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

That?s it for this week. Big thanks to Marc Guggenheim for dropping in. Thank you to everyone who?s been sending rumors ? it?s greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work, and I?ll do my best to feature YOUR rage.

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