After Wizard World, I?m done with conventions for the year. And that?s a good thing.

Not that I didn?t have fun, but I?ve been jet-lagged all week and I picked up a cold that I can?t seem to kick. I?m still waiting for the antibiotics to start working, but this isn?t my idea of a good weekend.

So, let?s just jump right into the latest news and rumors.

Jump to the next item if you want to avoid possible spoiler info!
Dead is Dead?!?!

In a late breaking story, an ATR informant has e-mailed us a picture from an upcoming issue of Astonishing X-Men. It?s a small pic, and not as clear as we?d like, but look closely? click HERE.

The guy behind Kitty Pryde sure looks a lot like a certain Russian mutant who could turn into organic steel.

If that really is Colossus, then we can safely assume that the often quoted “dead is dead” policy no longer applies to the X-titles.

So, when?s Psylocke coming back then?

This Has A “The Dead Shall Rise Again” Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Looking For Kal-El

The Superman casting rumors were in full swing this week. After recent reports that Bryan Singer had offered Tom Welling (Smallville) the chance to portray Clark Kent/Superman on the silver screen, the role seemed to be his for the taking. However, this no longer seemed to be the case when Warner Brothers executives recently put out a Superman casting call seeking unknown actors for the leading role. The casting sheet calls for actors in their “late 20s, at least 6 foot, chiseled good looks, athletic, strong character, all-American, confident, yet awkward.”

Additionally, Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) and semi-established actors Conrad Coleby, Eddie Cibrian, and Christopher Douglas were also said to be in the running.

Then, later in the week, the Tom Welling rumors heated up again when he revealed that he had signed for a movie, but refused to say for which film. Furthermore, his Smallville co-star, Michael Rosenbaum was also drawn into the fray, fueling rumors that he may be involved with the film as well. This led to speculation that Welling only agreed to sign on if Rosenbaum was also onboard to play Lex Luthor.

Finally, a report on stated:

    Following his meeting with Bryan Singer, Tom Welling has apparently verbally agreed to be Superman in the new movie but it appears that not all of the studio execs are behind the idea. The Welling debate has been raging in forums all over the internet and also at the WB as to whether Tom can be the Man Of Steel on the big screen.

A compromise has been reached. The recent casting calls are not only a legal obligation of the studio but to appease those who are against the idea and want to see if Singer can find anyone better. Tom Welling will likely be screentest against other hopefuls who will be selected from the casting calls.

This Has A ?Last Son of Kyrpton? Factor of Six Out of Ten

Angel of Doom

Two weeks ago, reports in the Hollywood trades stated that Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck) was in negotiations to play Dr. Doom in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. However, the role may not be his just yet. A recent interview with David Boreanaz (Angel) by TV Guide hints that he may also be up for the part:

      He’s also in talks to co-star in a high-profile franchise flick that he insists is not


    . “It’s better,” he teases, adding, “‘Four’ would be the magic number ? that’s all I’m going to say.”

If Boreanaz is in fact referring to the FF film, then Dr. Doom is likely the role he?s trying to land. After all, who else could he play?

Wyatt Wingfoot?

This Has A ?Negative Zone? Factor of Five Out of Ten

Byrned Again

A recent discussion on John Byrne?s message board regarding Essential Avengers Vol. # 4 spiraled into a ?spirited exchange? between Byrne and fellow industry legend, Neal Adams. It started with an otherwise innocuous post by Byrne:

      As I have noted, many pencils of yore would today be considered breakdowns, and many inkers would be finishers. When I was working on


    , Tom Palmer told me how loose many of the pages Neal Adams turned in toward the end of their run were, and looking at the issues it is quite clear that there is more Palmer on those pages than there was at the start. Neal was turning in something close to breakdowns, but the term did not really exist yet, so he was paid for penciling, and Tom was paid for inking.

To which, Adams replied:

    Dear John Byrne

I think Tom Palmer may ‘privately’ have said to you that my pencils were closer to breakdowns than my earlier pages, but I don’t think Tom intended to imply that I gave him layouts in the sense that you, John, submit breakdowns. Or Kane or Big John did breakdowns.

I think Tom may have meant that “compared” to the first pages he’d received, which were extremely tight, “some” of the later pages were ‘looser.’

As well some loose areas do not make a loose page or series of pages.

Tom Palmer has never expressed the sense of inking layouts to me in that time except to describe the X-Men fill in issue by Don Heck as “little more than layouts.” Tom never indicated that he was ‘finishing’ my pages but he and I were collaborating as penciler and inker.

I just checked my final Avengers, issue 96, The Andromeda Swarm, and by golly it was one of the tightest pencils I’d done, making your notes all the more contradictory.

Just as a suggestion, John. Before you publicly quote a unique and particular person like Tom, give him a call and see if he wishes to depend on your memory of a private conversation with him. I don’t believe he intended to be semi-quoted as you did.

I think more of him than that and I will continue to do so. However, I think less of you by a notch.

-Neal Adams

Byrne?s response:


I’m delighted to read that your pencils were tight on your AVENGERS work. Since Tom and I were talking about X-MEN, however, I am not sure how that applies to his comments. (My reference to XHY, the acronym we use hereabouts for X-MEN: The Hidden Years is probably unfamiliar to you, so I can easily see why you would have missed the context.)

In any case, you seem to have missed my central point — which is not surprising if, as it would appear, the single post you reference above is the only comment of mine on this topic you have read. However, this is far from the only comment I have made. There have been many posts that have addressed the wide range of detail on pages that were considered “full pencils” in earlier days of this industry. Most often I have pointed to the works of Jack Kirby as a prime example. What he turned in on “Sky Masters”, for instance, and what he turned in during the early days of the “Marvel Age” would certainly be considered breakdowns by current standards. They were not at the time, and no pejorative is contained in this comparison. Nor is there a pejorative in my comments about your own work. (I wonder, were you directed to this isolated post by one of the many trolls who delight in the whole “let’s you and him fight” nonsense so prevalent on the internet?)

You do seem to be using the terms “layouts” and “breakdowns” as if they are interchangeable, however, and perhaps this is a source for your misreading of my words. “Layouts” as I have always been taught to use the term, refers to the most sparse of pencils — mere indications of placement of objects and characters. (A circle with “spaceship” written on it, for instance.) “Breakdowns”, on the other hand, I have always seen and heard used as a reference to much more detailed drawing, lacking line weight and anything but the loosest shading, but indicating gesture, expression, even drapery and background detail. (I have posted a page of my own breakdowns, at the end of this message, to give you a better idea of what we are talking about here.)

Now, I must take a moment to express my own confusion, and knowing the risk of fanning any unnecessary flames here, let me emphasize that I am asking this in all sincerity: You begin you post by indicating that some of the later pages were “looser” than the earlier ones, but you then go on to indicate your final AVENGERS issue was “the tightest pencils” you had done. I can’t reconcile those comments in my mind, so could you clarify?

Again, let me emphasize there was no value judgement nor pejorative intent in my comments or Tom’s. He and I were discussing the way various artists have approached various jobs, and I, in my post, was doing the same. In this context, it would seem your own post is actually in agreement with mine and with what Tom reported (tho, as I indicate above, I am not 100% clear on some of your comments).

Hope all is well with you, otherwise, and I take this moment to second Rick’s comments, above, and suggest you peruse this board more generally, to get a better grasp of the high esteem in which you are held by virtually everyone who posts here, including, obviously, myself.


After another round of back and forth messages, Adams replied:

    Yet you continue to offend and I continue to explain the work that needs no defense. I am not missing my point to your quasi-quoting another person from a private conversation. On a given day I may privately criticize another pro, perhaps I had a headache. Perhaps I felt I was speaking to a person who would not repeat or modify my words without consulting me.

I have seen breakdowns. I have never done breakdowns. I have inked breakdowns over Gil Kane. I don?t believe Tom Palmer ever felt I was handing in breakdowns. That he felt some pages were looser than others must be true because it was true.

But I can tell you Tom worked just as hard on my tight pages as my looser ones because I always leave problems to be solved and interpretations to be made. Ask them.

As to the posted pages. One of them was indeed from my original run on X-Men. End of the run? Isn’t that where you suggested Tom thinks I let down? Missed the point? As you interpret Tom?s words, he thinks I shorted the job and did what you allude to, in another day, as breakdowns. I don?t think he meant this, and that?s my opinion. Why do you continue to interpret Tom?s words? I don?t get it. My point is interpreting Tom?s private words is wrong. Implying that I ever did anything but full pencils is wrong. My style, in fact does not lend itself to breakdowns especially since I work heavily with lighting.

John, have I ever criticized you with the words of another?or with the words of my own, in a public forum? Ever?

I think not. Nor will I ever! You?re a hard working pro and you deserve and get my respect. Tom, well he gets my love.

Neal Adams

For his part, Byrne had this to say:

    Well, Neal, I don’t know who it was who directed you to my original post, but they are coming dangerously close to succeeding in their obvious goal of getting you and me to “fight”. I won’t play that game, though. I have far too much respect for your talent and your impact on the industry. If that does not come shining through in every post in which I mention your name, then there must be some intrinsic flaw in the English language.

This Has A ?Message Boards of Discord? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

The Forsaken One

The upcoming Image series, Forsaken has been generating a great deal of buzz lately, due largely to extremely positive advance reviews. Series creator/writer, Carmen Treffiletti recently took the time to expand upon the concept behind Forsaken:


    actually began as something different, and it just never sat well with me. I wanted to do something that I really loved…and sci-fi and crime drama are just that.

Forsaken revolves around the last city on Earth and its social and economical interdependence with an Alien planet called Krelari. Humanity?s follies finally came back to bite him, causing a nearly twenty-year span of cataclysmic events, ranging from nuclear war to the melting of the ice caps. Our resources were vastly depleting and the surviving population of earth that now resided in the massive shielded metropolis called Megalon, was quickly becoming over populated. So, in an attempt to harvest outer worlds to replenish our own, we discovered Krelari. The Krel were technologically advanced light-years beyond us, but they were dying rapidly. They are inherently born with virtually no immune system, so the slightest cold could spread and kill thousands. To make a long story short, we helped them and thus they helped us.

But, despite Megalon?s capability to protect mankind from the various outside woes, it could not protect them from the ones happening internally. A corrupted Bi-World Security Council and a United Government loosing grip has caused a pending race war, a plague of ambiguous terrorist attacks, and a deranged radical calling himself the Separatist.

The worlds are in desperate need of a fresh and honorable faction that can begin to pave the path to peace and civil organization, and this faction will be the driving force of Forsaken.

In the end, it’s about not taking the world for granted.

Our main characters include Special Agent Apollo Delk, a cynical, bordering alcoholic who heads the Megalon Police Department?s Special Terrorist Unit, or the STU. His wife and son were killed in a horrific terrorist attack and since then, he?s dedicated his life to stopping it. Agent Delk is a master of his craft, he?s cunning, insightful, determined, and fearless. He?s a sort of take no shit kind of guy with a contemptuous fa?ade, but is self- destructive and very much at war with himself.

Then there?s Sephtar our Krelari operative who brings a vast intellect and an admirable sense of humanity. He?s very much the necessary voice of reason.

Agent Zoe Devlin whose role in the story is somewhat of a question mark. She brings a deeply classified background, a cryptic and closed front, but most of all an iron will. She sets the standard for getting the job done tactfully and efficiently.

Next, there?s Dogstar Barnes, former black-OP marine and military instructor. Barnes brings strength, honor and integrity. He?ll never leave a man behind.

Last, but not least Winnipeg Pines, just call him Pines. Pines is a seventeen-year old technical prodigy who finds better use for his talents in high-profile hacking and building robots for virtually every need.

Forsaken will be an ongoing monthly series, written by Carmen Treffiletti with pencils and colors by Kristian Donaldson and Nick Zagami on inks. The first issue hits this Wednesday.

This Has A ?World of Tomorrow? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Paradise Bound

Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise) is the subject of two-hour documentary that will be released direct-to-DVD this fall. Terry Moore: Paradise Found will reportedly feature ?an in depth interview with Terry, a tour of his studio, a narrated peek into Terry’s notebook and a look at Terry at work. The video includes several surprises for SiP fans, including an examination of Terry’s previous careers as a video editor and a musician. As a special bonus, Terry performs some songs featured in SiP.?

Terry Moore: Paradise Found is available for pre-order here. Additionally, former ATR columnist Alan Donald will have an interview with Terry Moore debuting on SBC this Monday. Watch out for it.

This Has A ?Stranger in Your Eyes? Factor of Eight Out of Ten

Monolith Reinforcements

There?s word going around that fans of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray?s The Monolith are spearheading a drive to get the series collected as a trade paperback.

If someone would kindly forward the link of any related online petitions, I?d like to add my name to the list.

This Has A ?Hands of Stone? Factor of Nine Out of Ten

Fingers On The Pulse

Two minor Brian Bendis related rumors were swirling around this week. The first is that Jessica Jones will lose her baby in an upcoming issue of The Pulse, which might be related to the events unfolding in Secret War.

The second rumor concerns The New Avengers. With the addition of The Sentry to the team, speculation has centered on The Void as a possible recurring threat in the new series.

This Has A ?Voices in The Dark? Factor of Five Out of Ten

Back To Gotham

Ever since Batman: Dead End was released, there seems to be a growing trend among super-hero fan-films to gravitate towards team-ups or throw-downs. Usually, it?s the DC characters that are used, though there was a Wolverine Vs The Punisher short film making the rounds at Wizard World last weekend.

Unfortunately, the production values usually leave a lot to be desired. Not everyone can be the next Sandy Collera. Though of the current crop, one of the better films is Grayson, by John Fiorella and Gabriel Sabloff from Untamed Cinema. While Grayson seems to be heavily influenced by Batman: DE, it isn?t quite as polished as the earlier film.

However, it is worth watching? and can be found online here.

This Has A ?Boy Wonder Returns? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Wizard Roundup

Two more items of note from this year?s Wizard World Chicago. First up, the next city to be added to Wizard?s convention tour looks to be Boston, possibly as soon as next year.

Second, one of the participants from last weekend?s poker tournament wrote in with a few additional details: while a percentage of the money collected is donated to the CBLDF, the fund itself has nothing to do with the game. Additionally, this year?s $1,000 donation to the CBLDF was the tournament?s largest to date.

And there?s also a poker tournament run by the same guys down at the San Diego Convention every year.

This Has A ?Magic Circle? Factor of Seven Out of Ten

Art Attack

I?ve got a couple pieces of comic art to show off this week. From the top: the cover to Small Gods #6, a splash from Noble Causes, and a page from Return of Shadowhawk.


And that?s all for this week. See you in seven.


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

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