Chicago, Day 1: Top Cow Panel makes its Mark

The big news from the Top Cow panel, held Friday at Wizard World Chicago, was of a new, as-yet untitled book by Mark Waid and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri.

The book, currently under the working title of "Hunter/Killer," is set to debut in December with a 25 cent preview issue. The regular series will start up in February 2005 with issue #1.

"Mark Waid and Mark Millar are on the short list of artists of I want to work with," Silvestri said. "I don't want to give too much away. It's a superhero book. It's about a world that exists today, but no one knows about it except for a select few. What is good and what's evil isn't very clear, there are a lot of gray areas, and some really fast action."

Some preview art by Silvestri, mostly rough sketches, were shown to the crowd of 150 fans.Jim McClaughlin then took his turn to drum up excitement. Scroll to the bottom of this article for preview images.

"There's a little bit of (Waid) that's dark and scary... this is something that has a lot of action and adventure, but with a real edge, and real scariness."

Also discussed at the panel was Mark Millar's "Wanted" series having been picked up by Universal Pictures. Millar hopes the movie will stay true to the comic series, and also said he will be used as a resource for the making of the film.

"I don't know what 'executive producer' means, but I think it means we get a lot of money," Millar joked. "Next year I won't be here, I'll be too famous."

"Hunter/Killer" and "Wanted" were just two of the stories for the Cow to hype. Also of note:DC Comics will have a hand in bringing "CyberForce" back to comics, via a crossover with the "JLA." Joe Kelly will write. A 25-page "CyberForce" book is ready for the long-delayed Image Comics 10-year anniversary book. Based on reaction to the "CyberForce" books, a new series may start up.

"Witchblade" has a new creative team of Ron Marz and newcomer artist Mike Choi. Choi had been drawing backgrounds for Top Cow previously. Choi found his way into Top Cow's team by purchasing the company's old fooseball table off eBay. He's been working steadily for the Cow since. No word on how his fooseball game is. For more on Marz's Top Cow plans, click here.

A new "Battle of the Planets" mini-series is due out next month. This series focuses on Princess, is slated for 6 issues, and has Alex Ross covers.

A 2-issue "Darkness/Superman" crossover will be out in December. Story by Marz, art by Tyler Kirkham, and jam covers by Silvestri and Kirkham will grace the book.

An as-yet untitled Darkness 1-shot by Ron Marz, with fully painted art by Keu Cha, will be in stores early or mid-2005.

All fans in attendance received a numbered, limited edition of 200, error "Witchblade" variant.

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