SAN DIEGO, DAY ONE: Giving the Devil his Due

Josh Blaylock will be wrapping up his current gig as the regular writer on "GI Joe" from Devil's Due after bring a certain snake-headed supervillain back to comics, he told assembled fans Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

"The Return of Serpentor," in issues 22-25, marks the end of Blaylock's regular run on the tile – he originally had only intended to do two years on the book – but he's going out with a bang.

The creative team wants it to feature "one of the biggest GI Joe battles of all time," Blaylock said at the Devil's Due panel. While said battle will not be the rumored Cobra civil war, "We want this story to be a big deal."

The other Joe ongoing – "GI Joe: Frontline" – goes weekly for much of the rest of this summer, with a four part story arc in August featuring GI Joe undercover agent Chuckles, followed by a two part story exploring the origins of Zanya.

Look for a Nightcreepers one shot story to follow, and a Beachhead story written by Paul Jenkins.

Joe fans looking for Sgt. Slaughter in the pages of the new comic book need to talk to Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, Blaylock said.

GI Joe fans looking for even bigger shots of nostalgia can pick up a new all-silent issue featuring Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow prior to that, in issue 21.

The author of the original all-silent "GI Joe" issue, Larry Hama, will also be working with the company, but on a new creator-owned book.

"What if you took the baddest, toughest villain in the entire galaxy," Blaylock said, explaining the premise of September's "Oxido," "And you're transferring him to this prison planet, and the ship is attacked."

The lead marshal transporting Oxido is dead, and the only hope of getting the ship through the deadly dangers that still lay ahead of it is to turn to the deadliest surviving member of the crew: Oxido himself. But what happens when the partially mind-wiped Oxido – who has been told that he was the deputies' leader – starts to remember who and what he really is?

After the current "Voltron" storyline wraps up, look for the series to get a brief respite before returning in 2004 with a story written by Dan Jolley telling of the Lion Voltron arriving on Earth.

If this sounds like a full plate for Devil's Due, that's the plan:

"It's got up to about eight titles a month now," Blaylock said, "Which is something we've been working up to for a long time."

EXCLUSIVE: Buffy, Angel Covers Welcome Third, Top Secret Buffyverse Title

More in Comics