Welcome to the most popular and longest running comics column on the internet. In its various forms, Lying In The Gutters has covered rumours and gossip in the comics industry for fourteen long glorious and quite scary years.

All stories are sourced from well-connected individuals. But I urge you to use your judgment and remember, context is everything.

The traffic light system is on hold for now. They usually represent how reliable each story is, but with the column on a little skeleton staffing of late, I'd just take everything with a big handful of salt and hope for the best. Normal service will be resumed soon.

Lying In The Gutters is for your entertainment. Neither Fair Nor Balanced. Please don't shoot the messenger.

And this month, it's a post-Iron Man special! Currently dealing with the reputation of the best superhero movie of all time, I prefer to think of it as Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Still impressed by how even when Tony Stark changes his life around and reforms, he is still 100% the flawed man he was before. More of that, please. anyway, onwards.

QUOTE OF LAST WEEK: "But here's my one, in case you're asked for a sound bite you'll get it: my superpower would be the ability to be able to go through an entire press day in four seconds." - Robert Downey Jr.

ITEM! When in town for the Iron Man premiere last week, Robert Downey Jr recorded an appearance for Jonathan Ross' chatshow on BBC1. During the show, he presented Jonathan with a very special print indeed by Joe Quesada.

Jonathan can't pronounce his Rs folks! Me neither!

Until they get pulled down, here's the clip in question as well as another concerning Jonathan's love of helmets and Gwyneth Paltrow being propositioned by Jonathan.

ITEM! That end-of-credit Samuel Jackson scene from "Iron Man" (the cutting out of which from previews/premiere screenings and inserted back into general release was a total Lying In The Gutter scoop that brought the column its biggest readership since the Alan Moore interview) has a nice addendum.

Apparently the scene was co-written by Avengers writer Brian Bendis. He writes

I totally wrote some of it!!!!

fuck! i've been holding that in for a year!!

last philly show, i get a mysterious late night call from marvel's kevin feige. he drops the scoop on me that sam jackson is coming in to do a cameo the next day but they have no dialogue.

kevin told me a couple of scenarios, something they were thinking of teasing and asked if i could do a solid and shoot some lines at him.

i sent about three pages of stuff. and they picked what worked for them and... ta daa!!

god damn!! that was so cool!

now, for the record, i'm$ not taking credit for the scene, i didn't think of the scene or get sam jackson to do that. but it was very cool to have a bit in the movie. it just was!!

and now i'm officially allowed to brag!

monday i'll tell you about the iron man brain trust that marval put together before they started shooting!

I'd heard some of this before, but was asked by a source to keep it confidential. I understood that Jackson freed up his schedule to record the scene at short notice, and no script had been written at that point. As a Marvel Studios film, this was a clever move to get some instant Nick Fury dialogue. I started poking around since this was clearly getting public, for Bendis to suddenly add

OK!! so, because the veil of secrecy has been lifted and because i can smell this coming up on every rumor blog there is... part 2 of the 'iron man movie secrets i have been holding in for over a year' posts!

before the iron man movie was set to film but way into active pre production, i, and others, got a super secret call asking if we'd read the iron man script as it existed and come to the set for what is now referred to as the iron man brain trust. we were hand picked by jon f. and kevin f. for our unique takes on the character.

i was there, mark millar, axel, joe, tom and a few others who may or may not want me airing thier biz. we were flown out and brought to the stages which were the howard hughes spruce goose warehouses. (which in itself was awesome)

we were brought through the sets and the armor as they were being built and met the entire staff. all of which was filmed for the dvd. i have no idea if it will make it in. i half hope it doesn't. i wasn't my usual glam self.

we then sat in a big room with the marvel guys and jon f. all day and went through everything. we talked about everything. every inch of it. we looked at the spx houses demo reels audtioning for the job. and yes the best reel got the gig, obviously.

truth told. the script was in pretty damn good shape at this stage. but that wasn't the point. the point to me is a good idea is a good idea and a bad one is a bad one, doesn't matter where it came from. there is a lesson here.

irregardless of my participation... the fact that this brain trust was even created showed such intense respect for the character and it's legacy. a half hour into the meeting i was so happy to be in the room i was going to burst. comic creators not being treated like the second class porn peddlars we used to treated like but actual writers. it was very cool.

i am thrilled this movie hit. from my eyes they did everything right and for once in hollywood that was rewarded.

Millar has his own take

Just got word this is no longer a secret so prepare for some Braggy McBraggy. But as Bendy has written on his board this morning, we can finally talk about one of the coolest things to happen in our careers. Completely out of the blue, when the script was still in the early stages, we got a call from Jon Faverau to fly out to the beginnings of what would be the Iron Man set and do a little script consultancy work...

The brian-trust was all people involved in Iron Man to some extent at the time and hand-picked by Fav. This was me (because ULTIMATE Tony was a big influence on the film), BB, Joe Q, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonso and Ultimates editor Ralph Macchio. We signed an official secrets thing after reading the script (which I swear I somehow managed not to ever tell anyone about) and got to work on this little baby over a couple of days. It was genuinely thrilling and we not only got a look around the caves which we were being built out there in the California desert, but also got to see some of the early ILM test stuff (a lot of which never made it to the finished movie).

That said, the most exciting part of the trip was rolling up our sleeves and getting into the plot. As Bendy said, Faverau didn't get us out there to just high-five the guy. He wanted us to be brutal and honest and I have to say I almost crossed the line when I talked 'em out of The Mandarin, who was in the original draft, and there was a terrible silence in the room for about ten seconds until Fav agreed and we all got talking about beefing up the Obadiah Stane/ Iron Monger thing (originally planned for the sequel). The whole crew were gracious, very respectful of Marvel East's input and-- best part-- paid us for our troubles. I've known for about sixteen months how great this movie was going to be and it was so thrilling to see the whole thing come to life up there at the London Premiere last week.

Special note: I saw the Bendy-written Ultimate Nick Fury scene at the end of the movie yesterday. We had to wait a full ten minutes for the credits to roll and my family and I were literally the last people in the cinema. But it was so bloody great and even in that short scene BB managed to drop a few little things that gave me chills... even just hearing Nick use the word "part of a whole new universe". It was top notch and the whole movie is a textbook example of how a comic-book movie should be done. This plus Hulk plus Thor plus Cap plus the upcoming Avengers movie makes me feel very, very confident about the whole superhero boom lasting at least another five years. Good times!

PS Funny Robert Downey Jr story I haven't been able to tell anyone since the trip: The guys were staying in LA an extra day, but I was heading back to Scotland after the meeting. This meant they were all in one people-carrier and I was in another (still to arrive) which was taking me to the airport. So I was standing around for about 45 minutes and talking to Kevin Feige's right hand man for a minute in this little office in the middle of nowhere when we heard someone yell "Where is the American pig Jon Faverau? Tell him I have come for him!" and we looked around to see a man with sunglasses, a scarf and what I'm presuming now was a fake AK-47 striding through the corridor on his own. There was only a couple of people around and we both ducked into an office as this guy went past. The right hand man shouted over to a secretary, asking who this was, but she had no idea. Two minutes later when my car came I saw the gun-man unmasked and it was Downey Jr standing laughing with Faverau and pointing the gun into his head as my car drove away. Yes, my life is absolutely fucking mental some days...

As the egos begin to swell (deservedly, natch) I thought I'd remind you of what could have been...lest we forget...

ITEM!! This is a poster from the Iron Man Movie Bag, by Adi Granov, available at all good UK newsagents now. And some bad ones too, no doubt.

ITEM!! Sayed Badreya, who plays one of the bad guys in "Iron Man," has confirmed he'll be in Iron Man 2 and 3. Which, I guess means that yes folks, there will be an Iron Man 2. And 3. And a Mandarin-type figure.

ITEM! "Wanted" Premiere on June 12th. Let's see if I can blag my way into that one too.

ITEM! Americans? Still getting by on your Region 1 DVD players? Haven't chosen to buy a multiplayer or hack your existing model to play DVDs from other countries, despite that meaning you could see Simon Pegg movies like "Shaun Of The Dead" and "Run Fatboy Run" before they were released on the screen in the US, let alone "Spaced"? Not to mention the likes of "Absolutely", "Black Books", "The Thick Of It," "Brass Eye" and "Gavin & Stacey?"

Well maybe this will change your mind. On Region Two Only. Marvel's Cartoons. All Of Them. Here's what's been announced so far.






Get those preorders in now - prices usually increase up to release date, so fill your boots! And more when I have them!

ITEM! Did you catch the side shot of post-accident Harvey Dent in the "Dark Knight" trailer?

Care to see the other side?

NOTE: This image has been removed at the request of Warner Bros. Films.

Seems to fit together quite nicely... Thank you to an anonymous LA source (who wishes to stay that way) with the concept artwork there.

ITEM! Dynamite's "Project Superpowers" series is currently being received as a 2010 big summer movie.

Hopefully it'll have the title on the poster.

ITEM! Do you want to talk with Dave Sim?

If you do, you have to return a signed form stating that you do not believe him to be a misogynist.

Which it appears may see your name added to a list of people who do not believe Dave to be a misogynist.

Now, I find it perfectly understandable that Dave Sim might not particularly want to talk to someone else who believes him to be a misogynist. If someone went around calling me a misogynist, a racist, an anti-semite or homophobic, I might want to cross them off my Christmas list too.

But the best way to prove that you're not a misogynist, is probably to talk to people. And not to restrict correspondence you enter into solely with people who agree with you. That way leads to madness.

Although if you do use phrases such as these, comparing women to leeches, omnivorous parasites, then I could see your dilemma.

Now of course many of these quotes are out of context. Some are used as a deliberately exaggerated and ludicrous opinions to counter equivalent statements such as "All men are rapists". And some are used as character voices that are not necessarily shared by Dave Sim.

So do I believe Dave Sim is a misogynist? I've no idea, I've never actually talked to him about it. Some of his statements on the matter have seemed ludicrously offensive, yet his dissection of strands of feminism with Astoria, Jaka and Cirin seemed insightful not inciteful.

Could Dave start a "I have no idea if Dave Sim is a misogynist or not but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt" list?

ITEM! DC Vs Marvel computer game? Some fans keep dreaming...

The Glycon blog has updated its Outbreaks Of Violets listing based on last week's LITG. But it also gives an opportunity to share more of its riches.

The text of "The Moon And Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels," the first recorded (if not released) spoken word CD by Alan Moore, now long out of print (I have my copies, natch) as well as "Angel Passage"

And goodness me, if it isn't the scanned in Alan Moore work from "BJ And The Bear"...

ITEM! I hear Keith Giffen and Matt Clark are on a new Doom Patrol. Third time lucky in reigniting this book? That's a damnfine team to bet on...

ITEM! Expect to hear about Joe Bennett on "Red Tornado" soon. And Pete Tomasi on "Black Adam." Or "Black Lightning." The source isn't quite sure on that last one...

ITEM! At NYCC, Steve McNiven found himself doodling on a vinyl table covering, of an old man face. Which he then turned into Wolverine.

Twenty minutes after Steve left, the table covering was ripped out. Not before someone got a shot...

ITEM! Coming to the end of my Daily Show website stint, here's the penultimate and ultimate ones. Now, how can I turn this into becoming the next John Oliver?

ITEM! What's this intriguing property for sale...?

Check that address. Is this Wizard's offices for sale for four million?

ITEM! "The Batman Strikes!", DC's Batbook for young readers, will be canceled as of issue #50, later this year. The cartoon it was tied to, "The Batman," ended this year. Look for a replacement title tying into "Batman: Brave And The Bold," but no more tween titles.

ITEM! Martha Thomases Writes Comics!

ITEM! I understand that Len Strazewski, despite signing a contract for his original "Speed Racer" comics guaranteeing him payments for future printings, has not been informed nor will paid for recent IDW reprints of the series.

THIS IS NOT IDW'S FAULT OR DECISION. They licensed the rights from Speed Racer Enterprises, who did not respond to enquiries, and the original material was handled by Tony Caputo. There could have been other steps along the journey too.

But a pupil of Len's had to bring a copy of the work into the class Len teaches, before he knew about. I've been asking questions...

ITEM! Why were the last three exchanges below deleted from the Newsarama interview with Paul Cornell shortly after being published?

The Talkback certainly seemed to think it was worth discussing.

ITEM! Doc Connor Lives!

ITEM! When DC lawyers were impotent... Bat Pussy!



Discuss this column at the Lying In The Gutters Forum and add your request to what you want from future columns.

My social networking is pretty much all Facebook these days, but I'm around at Bebo, MySpace, ComicSpace and Twitter, too.

You can see my Guido Fawkes cartoon most Mondays here. Here's the latest.

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And my Wii number is 0512 2690 8446 2879. Anyone for a game of Mario Kart?

Contact me on richjohnston@gmail.com or on AOL Instant Messenger as TwistRich.

You can also write to me at 8 Robin Hood Lane, Kingston Vale, London SW15 3PU ENGLAND

Or call me/text me on 0780 1350982 from the UK or 01144780 1350982 from the US.

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