WildStorm @ Wizard World Philadelphia

DC Comics Vice President of Sales and ubiquitous comic con panelist Bob Wayne met today with a gathering of fans for an informal rap session about WildStorm's upcoming projects. After such an intense, dueling con weekend there was little left to announce and the panel was called early, but a good time was had as the friendly Wayne joked with fans as he gave a rundown of what to expect from the imprint over the next few months.

First, Wayne re-iterated the biggest news in the WildStorm Universe, "Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer" an eight issue mini-series featuring Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and Kyle Rayner traveling the newly created Multiverse in search of the hero formerly known as the Atom. The first issue features the WildStorm Universe, now a part of the DC Multiverse, where the team of DC heroes will meet for the first time perennial WildStorm favorites the Authority and Gen13.

One fan asked about the possibility of a "Sliders"-like monthly for the new team. "Oh, you mean like where the team is trying to get back to their world and visit the 52 new worlds of the multi-verse and then maybe go back to those worlds later and they're different? Nah. We've never thought about that." Wayne said.

The next announcement was the "Ex Machina: Masquerade" special due in August, which Wayne confessed was originally intended as a Halloween special. "So just grab it and hold onto it until November," Wayne joked. The special is of, course, written by Brian K. Vaughn and features art by Tony Harris.

The new writer for "Midnighter" was announced as Keith Giffen, though Chris Sprouse and Karl Story will remain on the title providing artwork. Giffen's first story is to depict the Midnighter as beginning to have doubts about his role as the world's greatest killing machine.

New titles announced were "The Highway Men" and "The Programme," both written by Peter Milligan. The former was described as the story of two retired couriers with the skill to deliver anything to anywhere in the world who return to the job for one last package. "The Programme" was described by Wayne as, "a long forgotten Cold War weapon awakens."

Titles under the CMX line within WildStorm were also announced, including the manga favorite "Gon" and webcomics sensation "Megatokyo." CMX is also debuting two new horror titles: "Presents" - the story of a girl who travels the country bestowing gifts on those she deems worthy, and "Variante" - a series about a girl who awakes one day to find a deformed arm grafted to her body which forces her to do things beyond her control.

Other titles on WildStorm's slate include "Supernatural: Origins," a four issue mini-series by the TV show's executive producer Peter Johnson, and "New Line Cinema's House of Horror," the first issue of which features Freddy Krueger as well as Leatherface from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," with stories by Chris Gage and Peter Milligan. Bob Wayne commented on the TV and movie tie-ins, joking "if you want to break into comics there's no better way then to make a movie, write a best-selling novel, or make a hit TV show."

The last CMX title mentioned was "Samurai Commando: Mission 1549," which Wayne called "a fun science fiction story" involving a team of operatives sent into the past to prevent another team from altering the present.

One fan inquired if Gail Simone's "Welcome to Tranquility" was canceled, based on a rumor he heard. Wayne commented that to his knowledge it was not.

UPDATE:After the panel, CBR News followed-up with Gail Simone and confirmed "Welcome to Tranquility" is "definately not canceled."

Wayne also responded to the rumor that DC may continue Veronica Mars as a comic: "If that does happen, it would be pretty cool."

In "Wildcats" news, Wayne said Grant Morrison was on the book for "as long as he wants to do it; he's up there in that pantheon of guys." Likewise, he confirmed both "Wildcats" and "The Authority" are still coming out as planned, but with obvious delays.

When asked, Wayne was unsure if Jim Lee had started "Wildcats" #2, but mentioned that Lee has "definitely finished 'All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder' #7. Wayne could not comment as to whether Jim Lee would stay on "All-Star Batman" after issue #12.

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