Hi, my name is Alan Donald and this is All The Rage, Silver Bullet Comics? weekly rumour, news, and opinion column. Every week we have a competition to win a fabulous prize from either a very generous comic book company or from our even more generous and fantastic column sponsors DYNAMIC FORCES. Make sure you visit their lovely site by clicking on the banners scattered about this page.

The competition is simple, most of my sources are anonymous so I give them codenames, identify where the codenames come from, e-mail competition@silverbulletcomicbooks.com with your SBC Message Board ID, and if you’re first out of the hat you’ll win Uncle Sam, Signed by Alex Ross and Steve Darnell. Last weeks source was The Long Walk by Richard (aka Stephen (what with all those mentions of Maine you really expected to fool anyone) King) Bachman. Just goes to show what I said the source could be anything really – films, TV, books, or comics. Last weeks winner was the delightfully named Grublord who won Tom Strong Book One Signed, Limited Edition Hardcover. On with the show…

Ultimate Sony

Sony might be taking over Marvel. Not exactly an up-to-the minute bit of gossip there but hold on there’s more. As readers of this and other similar columns know the Marvel take-over rumour has been on the cards for a while. Particularly there has been talk of Marvel streamlining its titles and cancelling the Max line in order to make the company palatable to investors. It seems that Sony want a little more. Doc, an insider at Sony has informed me that the company wants Marvel to Ultimize their entire universe and gradually phase out the original one.

It would appear that Sony doesn’t want to sit back and simply use Marvel as a resource to plunder for films but that they are determined to turn comic books into a mainstream form of entertainment. Doc has informed me that Sony would promote the new Ultimate Marvel line-up, an up-to-date and easily accessible line of comics with the same effort as they would one of their films.

Doc has said that Sony are aware that not all fans will be overly enamoured with their plan but he/she points to the recent Wizard article as being a good reflection of the rationale behind Sony’s decision.

    Wizard pretty much summed it up. DC did it in ’86, we are going to do it better… I am a huge comic book fan and I am personally going to push Marvel to wrap up the ‘old’ Universe with the type of stories that will have fans talking about them for years. I want to see JMS or Kevin Smith write a ‘What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow’ [Alan Moore’s classic Superman story that effectively summed up the rest of the Pre-Crisis Superman’s career] for the likes of Spidey or Daredevil.

Ok… great story, enormous scoop. Is it true? I’ve no idea. Our source certainly had a Sony email address but I imagine any desk jockey working for them would too. The story is incredible; it certainly has a great many things going for it to suggest it’s true. Now I’d morn the passing of the old Marvel Universe I agree with Doc that the closing stories could be fantastic.

It just sounds a little too much. This isn’t official word but there’s as much info as if it was. The info came to me very late in the day so I haven?t yet had a chance to ask Marvel for any comments they may have but rest assured I will. Frankly I dunno, it could be true, stranger things have happened or it just could be an imaginative Sony employee who read the article on Ultimizing the whole Marvel Universe in the last but one issue of Wizard.

This Has A ?Mark Millar Will Be Busy? Value Of Six Out Of Ten

More Disney

Man, I hate to keep on about this but I thought I?d point out that this week there?s yet another story in the press about the state of Disney?s finances, particularly after the losses made by their new film Treasure Planet (have you heard of it? Nope me either, didn?t even know there was one out).

Also heard from Ty about the Gemstone titles, in that the first two will be Walt Disney Comics And Stories and Uncle Scrooge. These will reprint previously unseen (in the US) European material, translated into English and essentially produced ?on the cheap?.

I?ll put that script proposal back in the drawer, then.

This Has A ?Sick As A Duck? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Short Cuts

Loads of stuff sent to me that you might want to look out for on the web:

  • There?s a whole bunch of rumours flying around about X2, the new X-Men film. It?s gonna have Beast, Gambit and Cannonball cameos, Stryker is the baddie and Nightcrawler the big star. There?ll be loads of Weapon X stuff and Magneto will combine forces with Xavier.
  • Along with the rumours for Spider-Man 2 (which has apparently started shooting without a script) there?s also rumours for the third instalment which Sony is apparently pushing for Venom and Carnage to be in.
  • In Smallville, Clark Kent will apparently leap over the Daily Planet building in a single bound in an episode by Jeph Loeb to be screened in the US early next year.

These Have A ?I?m Ready For My Close-Up? Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

That Nice John Byrne

Received from Bosco:

    While waiting in line at the Mid-Ohio Con this weekend, someone ahead of me asked writer Marv Wolfman if his being there was the reason that John Byrne did not appear for the first time in awhile.

Marv replied…”I hope so.”

Considering the history between them, I found it pretty funny!

I have absolutely nothing to say on the matter ? except check out a couple of issues of The Comics Journal for the full story?.

This Has A ?Not Even SBC Columnists Are Immune? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


It’s been a long time coming but we could soon see the cheesiest character in comics on the big screen, but Captain Marvel (SHAZAM) has been optioned by the Time/Warner/AOL/DC studio, New Line Cinema.

Will this be the film to kill the recent run of fantastic comic book movies? Perhaps, but equally this is a character with hidden depths and possibilities as readers of the classic Kingdom Come found out.

Only time will tell, but I’m guessing we’ll either see a children?s film or a complete character revamp that’ll take us all by surprise.

This Has A ?Hidden In A Cave? Value Of Six Out Of Ten

More Wizard

No, not the hokey old guy that gave Billy Batson his power but the comic book magazine.

Further to our report last time, it would appear that the optimism expressed by some was ill founded. I deliberately avoided saying that the wizardworld.com website would definitely shut as many of those involved were expressing a very firm view that it wouldn’t (and because despite everything going on they had managed to keep the site quite up to date). Unfortunately things have changed. Wizardworld.com is no longer on the web and apparently many (if not all) 800-America employees have been laid off.

Wizard’s replacement site (wizarduniverse.com) is still under construction and is a poor replacement for the moment but hopefully they’ll get it together soon.

There is no news, as yet, of what will happen to the all the site users collection details nor any orders they placed through the site.

This Has An ?Online Woes? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Another “Rage”

Hell, I’m not so paranoid or big-headed that I think everyone is talking about me but… I open up a website, I see a headline containing the phrase “All the Rage” and “Comic Book” together and I assume, well you know what I’d assume.

Well, I was wrong. Instead I’d stumbled across details of the latest gay comic book. Rage Gay Crusader is based on a comic book created within the TV series Queer as Folk. The premise is certainly interesting and worth a look if you are interested (or just curious…).

This Has A ?Guy On Guy Action? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten

Some Pimping

Wanna see top creators ‘pimping’ their own work?

Just check out:


For example:


Okay, I’m here to pimp, so please buy my new bitch, Gotham Central, which is also the co-bitch of Rucka and Lark. We’ve been working on this book for over a year, and it’s finally out this week. This is the cop comic I’ve been wanting to write for a long, long time, with just enough Batman thrown in to get DC to publish it. Check it out, please, or I’ll have to get it some new hotpants.

The point of all this? Wouldn?t you rather hear creators talking about why you should buy their books than marketing departments?

This Has An ?Inventive Solicitation? Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

Captain Marvels Wins U-DECIDE

Comic shop employee, Jimmy, reports:

      Keen-eyed observers might have already guessed this from visiting Marvel’s new and improved website. With Marvel’s listing of available Trade Paperback additions, along with their new trade dress/numbering scheme,

Captain Marvel Vol. 1

      is listed including artwork of the “New” Captain Marvel in Kree uniform, along with a different ISBN # from the initial CM trade.



Ultimate Adventures

    are not featured with trades.

Furthermore, the regular ISBN updates contain this new CM trade number, but no mention of a Marville or Ultimate Adventures trade?

Congrats to Peter David? of course this could just mean that the other trades will come along a month or so later, given the shipping delays to both of those other titles, and the early Captain Marvel trade just reflects that it has actually shipped monthly?

This Has A ?It Pays To Stay On Time? Value Of Six Out Of Ten

Kevin Smith To Catch-Up On His Writing Commitments?

Bad news for fans waiting for Kevin Smith to finish off his mini-series Spider-Man/Black Cat, to continue Daredevil: The Target and to start work on Amazing Spider-Man. Faith found this snippet for us:

      Cult filmmaker Kevin Smith has been enlisted to pen the next installment of the

Scary Movie

      franchise – according to American entertainment bible Variety. Smith, who has just finished shooting Jersey Girl with Hollywood supercouple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, will be working with three other screenwriters including Brian Lynch, Pat Proft and Craig Mazin.


      helmer David Zucker will direct the film, although the Wayans brothers who were involved with both other outings are not on board. Smith says, “It is an honor to be involved with David, one of the creators of


      , which is arguably the funniest movie of all time. Our aim is to make this third in the franchise as funny as that other hysterical third-in-the-franchise flick,

The Godfather Part III


Of course, once this is finished, any prizes for guessing yet another movie will come along?

This Has A ?Waiting In Line Is Never Fun? Value Of Five Out Of Ten

Marvel?s New Ultimate Covers = The Reader?s Nightmare, The Collector?s Dream?

Yet more evidence (perhaps) that Marvel likes the collectors market ? the flimsy, shiny, crappy (damn, said I wouldn?t editorialise) covers on Ultimate Spider-Man #32 and Ultimate War #1, both out this week. Bye, bye, nice, hard wearing, card stock covers, hello cheap and cheerful laminate jobby. But why?

Apart from them being miles cheaper, a cool post from pogoman on http://www.joequesada.com reveals a possible reason:

      In my opinion, the old covers arrived ALWAYS damaged. White corners ALL the time and heavy SPINE WEAR. Now, if you are spending decent money on the Ultimate books, might as well make it a nice copy. When


    came out I did not find one copy that didn’t have the white corners. I checked out about 6 different stores in the NJ-NYC area.

With these new covers it was easy to find books in really nice condition, in fact I found such nice copies of Ultimate War and Daredevil-Elektra that I can consider sending them to CGC. And that says for a lot.

Yes, I’m posting this out from the collector end so condition is always important. I would love to have 2 copies of each, but these ultimate books don’t come cheap. There was some unique-touch to the cardstock cover but these new glossy covers are now of my preference.

The reason that this gains added credence is Marvel?s assertions that top retailers like their no re-order, no over-print policy, because it helps maintain the collectability of their monthlies.

Another view espoused on the Brian Michael Bendis Message Board read that Marvel are covering their greatest ever comic books in toilet paper. So what’s the score? For a possible answer to that I hand you over to BENDIS himself (on the Brian Michael Bendis Message Board):



      12/5/02 10:52 PM


    ultimate covers explained [Post#: 86836 ]

talked to bill j briefly today and i voiced some of your concerns over the cover stock.

the decision was made to find a stock that printed the ultimate style of covers better, the emulsion on this stock tightens the colors of the computer airbrush style and makes them pop.

so there you have it.


I wasn?t satisfied with this answer, so I put the question about why the covers were changed to Joe Quesada, and he replied: ?[we?re] trying to keep the price point of the books at $2.25.?

Um, so pick your favourite reply of the two and go with that ? u decide!

This Has A ?And Jemas Thinks It?s Crazy To Call ?Em Pamphlets? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

Ultimate Secret Wars?

Another cool story on http://www.joequesada.com, from IanZL:

      This story begins as most rumors do but… I was at my comic book store today and the clerk there was telling me about the end of the Venom saga in

Ultimate Spider-Man

    where Spidey heads to Central Park with Venom following behind him. When they get there they see a spaceship of some sort, something happens where they end up getting sucked into this void and end up in something called the Secret War. A Secret War written by some guy named Morrison, in which the FF would play a prominent role and Dr. Doom would be a MAJOR player. As a result Ultimate FF would spin off of this book written by that same Morrison fellow.

Oh yeah, you are thinking to yourself, “Bull shoot, Ian, I can make crap up too” but see my friend said he saw the penciled pages (on the net). Pages that heavily resembled Bagley’s art. Heavily in the sense that for someone to draw this they would have to be very skilled at mimicking others and well, mimicking Bagley in particular. And we all know Bagley likes to work in advance so its not that far off… Wonder if it?s true.

Well, as you know, we like to substantiate rumours here, so we asked Joe Q and Grant M about this ? JQ was kind enough to respond on another matter in the same email but declined to deny or confirm this one, Grant hasn?t yet replied?

Looking forward to it?

This Has An ?Ultimate Symbiote Alien? Value Of Five Out Of Ten

Ex – Com.X ?

Well, maybe.

You?re almost certainly not aware of it, but the ?official? Com.X message boards are available at:


and if you head over there and register, you?ll see a whole flurry of activity right up until the break-in at Com.X HQ, and then? virtually nothing. Couple this with a press release I heard rumours of and finally had a copy passed onto me by an editor at SBC, reveals that a couple of design companies have merged and formed a new company ? at the HQ of Com.X.

With no activity on the message boards, I thought I?d email the webmaster at their website? bounced back, illegal user. I asked someone else to e-mail individuals on alternate addresses ? no response.

Does this mean Com.X has gone belly up?

Please drop us a line, guys, and tell us what you?re up to!

This Has A ?Missing You? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten

Sky Between Branches Is Back!

Having said all that, one person from Com.X (sort of) has been posting on the message boards. Josh Middleton, one of the finest artists in comics today, talks about his beautiful Sky Between Branches series on the above website.

Bad news is that you?re unlikely to see a copy of issue one anytime before 2004. Josh is working on it in his spare time between other, paying, projects, and it may finally see light as a completed graphic novel, rather than in 40 page installments.

The implication, of course, is that it won?t be published through Com.X when it does finally see the light of day, but Josh was good enough to post a couple of new pictures from #1, you can enjoy them at:


A new page and a panel? check it out? even if the real issue #1 is several years off.

This Has An ?Anticipation? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten

Messageboard Madness

Last week, I invited readers to comment on last week?s article and the column in general.

Check out this week?s Soapbox for the responses and my replies. If you agree or disagree with anything then feel free to leave a message yourself.

If YOU are the holder of any rumour/gossip on the comic book industry then why the HELL haven?t you e-mailed it to me yet? You can have as much or as little publicity as possible and you never know what little spec of a rumour may well turn out to be just the tip of an exclusive iceberg.

I?m off to get very drunk with a comic book store owner (provided I can persuade a certain Senior Editor to be the designated driver).


Alan Donald

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