SAN DIEGO, DAY 1: WildStorm previews mature line

DC/WildStorm showed off their new mature comics for superhero readers Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The flagship of the line is the relaunched "The Authority," by the creative team of Brian Azzarello, Steve Dillon and Glen Fabry.

Ed Brubaker's "Point Blank" miniseries will spin out of "Wildcats," featuring Grifter investigating an attack on sometime Gen13 leader Lynch. The five issue series, with art by Colin Wilson leads into a new ongoing series, "Sleeper," by Brubaker and former "Wildcats" artist Sean Phillips. The series focuses on a deep cover (or "sleeper") agent placed by Lynch behind enemy lines that no one knows is on the side of the angels, and examines the question of whether or not a good person can do bad things for the right reasons.

"Wildcats" gets a new start, as "Wildcats Version 3.0." Writer Joe Casey is joined by Dustin Nguyen and Richard Friend. The cast will be tweaked, with recent guest players Agent Wax and Agent Orange joining the team. The focus won't be on battling alien invaders - the initial premise of the first volume of WildStorm's flagship - but on how the Halo Corporation - owned and operated by team leader Spartan - tries to take over the world.

Casey's also writing the new ongoing - and final mature line launch title - "Automatic Kafka," with art by Ashley Wood. The series focuses on the reemergence of a former superhero team leader in the 1980s from his "lost decade" of debauchery in the 1990s.

WildStorm editor Scott Dunbier said the company hopes to launch the imprint, christened "Eye of the Storm," next April.

In other WildStorm news, Dunbier announced that Sam Kieth miniseries "Zero Girl" would be collected in trade paperback form this fall, and that a sequel would be coming in 2002. The sequel takes place three years after the original series. (Asked if he'd ever return to "The Maxx," Kieth said he would, if "I come up with something that doesn't suck.")

A policewoman's murder investigation butts up against urban legend in "Matador," a miniseries from the Homage imprint next year by Devin Grayson and Brian Stelfreeze.

After announcing that "Danger Girl" would be collected into a single hardcover volume that would reprint all of the series' variant covers, along with sketchbook sections, Dunbier was asked where the previously announced "Danger Girl" projects - a sketchbook and the two issue "Danger Girl: Kamikaze" miniseries - were.

"J. Campbell is the most painstakingly precise creator," Dunbier said, saying that the sketchbook would be out in about two months and "Kamikaze" would ship on time for the resolicited street date of September 12 - nine months and a day after it was originally slated to be released.

Dunbier also commented on the status of "Batman/Planetary" briefly: "Warren [Ellis] will write that after he writes the next few issues" of Planetary.

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