Comics will continue their “skip week” events – special sets of special one-shot
issues appearing in months with five weeks, where previously they sent no
issues to comic shops. After “The Kingdom” this December, the next skip week
in the spring of 1999, JLA editor Dan Raspler announced, will be a Justice
Society of America set of specials, featuring the team’s 1940s adventures
and leading into the new James Robinson ongoing JSA series set in the present
day. A third Tangent skip week event is being considered, dependent on how
well the most recent Tangent series of specials last month seems to have been
received. And while there are no plans for a third Amalgam skip week event
until the financial dust settles at the beleaguered Marvel Comics (Amalgam
merges DC and Marvel characters together), look for a Fantastic Four/Superman
crossover next year.
- In addition to the Overpower
collectible card game and the new Marvel Superheroes roleplaying game, Marvel
fans will soon be able to play Battlebooks, comic book-sized books filled
with all the attacks and defenses of a single character, used head-to-head
with another player. Characters on display at CCI included Spider-Man, the
Hulk, the Thing, Elektra and Wolverine. The books will be available this fall.
- DC writer Chuck Dixon announced
the long-awaited “Birds of Prey” monthly series will begin this November,
with a two-parter picking up where the last quarterly issue left off. Another
quarterly issue had been written, but for reasons not entirely clear, the
story has been shelved and turned into a two part “inventory” or fill-in issue,
probably to be used around issue 13 and 14. The Ravens, the villainous future
foes of the Birds of Prey, who got their own special during the “Girlfrenzy”
skip week event in April, will appear around issue six in a two-parter and
will receive another special next year.
- DC unveiled the prototypes
of their new direct market action figures, the Swamp Thing, the Golden Age
Sandman and Wonder Woman, at their booth at the convention. Pictures are available
at Raving Toy Maniac at http://www.toymania.com/sdcc98/dc.shtml.
- DC editor Mike Carlin,
along with fellow comic creators, including Barbara Kesel, and fans, sprinkled
some of the ashes of the late Archie Goodwin in the Pacific Ocean Saturday
at sunset, witnesses say. The distribution of the ashes was apparently in
accordance with the wishes of Goodwin, who was a great fan of the convention.
Goodwin’s death is also part of the reason the long-rumored follow-up to James
Robinson’s “The Golden Age” series has taken so long, although “The Silver
Age” sequel is in the works, according to Carlin.
- Look for Dark Horse’s “Land
of Nod” mini-series to be collected in trade paperback form this February.
- Sharp-eyed fans who saw
that Justice Legion A, the Justice League’s counterparts in the “DC One Million”
miniseries, don’t include a Green Lantern or a Martian Manhunter have picked
up two key points. There are no Green Lanterns in that future timeline, which
will be a critical story element, and J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter,
while alive, has gone through some dramatic changes, according to Dan Raspler
and advance copies of “Martian Manhunter” #1,000,000 available for perusing
at the DC Comics booth. And some of the events of the story are the fault
of the new Hourman introduced in “JLA” last year. The character will be returning
to the 20th century afterwards and be the star of a new series written by
Tom Peyer. The new Hourman, an advanced android based in part on the DNA and
chemical discoveries of the original Hourman, will be given to former JLA
sidekick Snapper Carr to study what it means to be human.
- DC has not one, but two
proposals by top-drawer creators for a “Secret Society of Super-Villains”
limited series. Both of them would explore the relationships between the villainous
community, but would probably not be an actual “dream team’ of supervillains
like the 1970s series of the same name, according to Dan Raspler.
- Although Barry Allen, the
second Flash, will apparently be appearing in the upcoming “Chained Lightning”
time travel story arc in “The Flash,” don’t look for him to return to DC Comics
full time. When told that fellow comic creator John Byrne had announced there
was a “loophole” in the way the character died in the “Crisis on Infinite
Earths” series, “Flash” writer Mark Waid replied: “Over my dead body! Better
yet, over John’s dead body. That said,” he smiled, “Read ‘Chained Lightning.'”
And Waid will be following up his successful “JLA: Year One” 12-issue series
with a six-issue “Barry and Hal: The Brave and the Bold” series, with the
same penciller, Barry Kitson, next year. The series will include Hal “Green
Lantern” Jordan’s never-before-seen kid sidekick and will include Barry Allen
dealing with feeling cast-aside when the legendary Green Lantern/Green Arrow
friendship is featured in this flashback series. And a “JLA: Year Two” series
is being discussed.
- And based on the success
of the 80 Page Giant books, DC will be producing more, starting “in a few
months,” according to Dan Raspler. Look for a JLA 80 Page Giant annually.
- DC Comics’ “Young Heroes
in Love” is one of several series ending with its #1,000,000 issue (the others
include “Chase,” “The Creeper” and “Green Arrow”). Series creator Dan Raspler
has an idea for a one-shot special, but “as Mike Carlin says, when a series
gets canceled, you have to wait for the radioactivity to die down,” he said
- The Atom will not be appearing
in the DC One Million event, due to, ironically enough, space reasons. But
Grant Morrison told fans what the Atom of the 853rd century would have been
like: As he shrank, his mass remained the same, but would be shunted off into
duplicates. A half-size Atom would be two three-foot tall superheroes. A subatomic
Atom would be a man-sized cloud of tiny superheroes.