The much-hyped relaunch of Spider-Man this fall is meant to bring the character back to his roots, after a rather shaky few years in the 1990s. But the revamp means more than just trimming off stray subplots, streamlining the cast and canceling a few titles.

Following in the footsteps of other recent Marvel Comics relaunches, including "Fantastic Four," "The Avengers," "Captain America" and "Iron Man," the two surviving Spider-Man books, "Amazing Spider-Man" and "Peter Parker, Spider-Man," will be starting at issue one when the series begin again this fall.

The series will be joined by a third, "Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man," which will feature stories from throughout Spider-Man's career, much like "Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight" and "Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty" do for their respective title characters. There will also be a 13-issue maxi-series, "Spider-Man: Chapter One," retelling Spider-Man's origin from a 1990s perspective.

At the Wizard World comic convention in Chicago, Marvel Comics' Chris Claremont said the decision to restart the two of titles, including "Amazing Spider-Man," one of Marvel's longest-running books, was purely a financial decision:

"If we get a few extra sales from people who want to start a comic at number one, that's what we're gonna do."


For a comic that's only had two and a half issues since it debuted this spring, Image Comics' "Danger Girl" title already has merchandising that few titles can match. Now, add another one: A video game.

Orlando, Florida-based n-Space, the makers of the forthcoming "Duke Nukem: Time to Kill" Sony Playstation game, announced they will be producing the game for a late 1999 release.

"We are thrilled to be entering this unique venture with J. Scott Campbell," Erick Dyke, president of n-Space, Inc., said in a statement released this weekend. "When you start combining our video game technology and experience with Danger Girl's fantastic characters and stories, you are well on your way to a hit project. Throw in our unique relationship with J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell, which has them participating as team members on the project, and you virtually guarantee that we will provide a gaming experience to rival all other action adventures."

"Andy and I are both quite excited about this agreement," J. Scott Campbell, one of the creators of 'Danger Girl,' said in the same statement. "We wanted to place the property with a company where we felt a high quality game, that would be faithful to the comic, would actually be created. When we entered this agreement with n-Space, we knew that we were going to get a team that would create the definitive Danger Girl experience. No other opportunity offered us such an active role in the project - we are truly full team members."

New Line Cinema recently purchased the option to produce a film adaptation of "Danger Girl" comic. "Danger Girl" #3 is expected to reach stores August 5.


Although the recent rumors of West End Games' demise were greatly exaggerated, one of the companies most-anticipated products didn't survive: The DC Universe roleplaying game is officially dead.

"West End Games and DC Comics have jointly decided to suspend the DC Universe RPG project," was DC Comics' brief statement on the matter last week. "We regret any disappointment this may cause the many fans of the DC line."

West End was widely reported to be closing its doors in recent weeks, due to problems with the company's financing, leading the company to a probable reorganization under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy laws. The company also produces licensed roleplaying games based on the "Hercules" and "Xena" television shows and on the "Star Wars" movies.


Although the recent rumors of West Mike "Madman" Allred's "Red Rocket 7" miniseries featured the adventures of an alien clone who rose to prominence as an Earth-bound rock star. Now, Allred is hoping the acclaimed series may pave the way for his own musical ambitions.

On August 26, Dark Horse Comics will release a limited-edition hardback collection of the series, signed by both Mike and his wife Laura Allred, and CD single featuring songs by Allred's band the Gear.

For fans not wanting to pay the $69.95 price tag, a full-length CD, "Son of Red Rocket 7," will be released September 16.

Allred, who also released his film "Astroesque" in conjunction with the miniseries last year, said the CD was always intended to be part of the Red Rocket 7 experience.

"Allowing me to give the comics medium a bit of a spin, the Red Rocket project is easily my most satisfying work to date … It's a genuine thrill finally seeing it in its ultimate form."

"Son of Red Rocket 7," which will feature all-new art by Allred in its CD booklet, will be a concept album tracing the story of the series.

"I've always been a fan of concept albums like Ziggy Stardust and Quadrophenia," Allred said. "Maybe coming out of the gate with a concept album as a debut should indicate the Gear's potential as a musical entity. Or maybe our band is just flat-out nuts."


Fans of Kelley Jones' horror comic "The Hammer" have a lot to look forward to over the next few months.

Although Jones' career stretches back several decades, to his beginnings as an inker and then penciller on Marvel Comics' "Micronauts," Jones is best-known today for his work on DC Comics' "Sandman" and "Batman."

In an interview at the new online 'zine Hydrochloric Asshead (http://www.megsinet.net/~migo13/ha.htm), Jones said in addition to a November trade paperback of the original mini-series from Dark Horse Comics, there will be a one shot in August, called "Uncle Alex," and a new three-issue miniseries this fall, called "The Outsider."


We got shagged-over, baby.

Prior to the Wizard World comic convention in Chicago this month, Comic Wire reported that Hi-Jinx Comix would be announcing they had secured the rights to an "Austin Powers" comic at the convention.

It turns out our anonymous tipster may have jumped the gun a bit.

"Recently rumors have circulated about the possibility of Hi-Jinx doing an 'Austin Powers' comic," Hi-Jinx's Brian Miller wrote recently. "We are currently in talks with Mike Meyers' people and have reached no official licensing agreement yet. Preview artwork was shown at Wizard World and fan response was fantastic. We will have an official press release later this week or next."

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