CCI Grab Bag

  • DC 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 at CCI.

  • 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.

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