WonderCon: Wildstorm/CMX Panel

Sunday afternoon at WonderCon in San Francisco saw a very subdued Wildstorm/CMX panel hosted by Bob Wayne, who was joined by "Ex Machina" creators Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris and Wildstorm Editor Ben Abernathy. Wayne provided a brief presentation and opened up the panel to a question and answer session after.

Wayne's presentation was identical to the information presented at last week's New York City Comic-Con. Focusing mainly on upcoming monthly titles, the only new information gleaned in this afternoon's panel was word of upcoming trades for New Line properties "Friday the 13th," "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Following the presentation, an abbreviated question and answer session was held.

Asked about a follow-up project from the team of "The American Way," Abernathy said he'd love to work with the team again, but that both writer John Ridley and artist Georges Jeanty have other pending commitments.

Bob Wayne moderated the Wildstorm/CMX panel at this year's New York Comic Con, with Hank Kanalz, writers Gail Simone, Christos Gage, Mark Bernadin and Brian Azzarello, Asako Suzuki, director of manga at CMX. Brian K. Vaughan and artist Whilce Portacio joined the panel already in progress.

The first title featured in the slideshow presentation was "Grifter and Midnighter" by Chuck Dixon and Ryan Benjamin.

The upcoming "Worldstorm" #2 will have two stories, the first with words by Christos Gage and art by Ryan Sook, and features an all-new, female Backlash teaming up with Savant to break into Stormwatch Prime HQ. The second boasts the creative team of Keith Giffen and Phil Jimenez.

Wayne then mentioned the upcoming issue of "Midnighter" written by Brian K. Vaughan and penciled by Darrick Robertson. "Ennis tricked me into doing it," Vaughan admitted. "I'm really proud of it, I didn't think I would be." Vaughan went on to explain that he drops the middle initial from his name on stories that he's not proud of.

"Authority" #2 by Grant Morrison and Gene Ha is coming out in a matter of weeks, and panelists assured the crowd that the title team would in fact make an appearance in the second installment. Wayne promised that the second issue of "Wildcats" is on the way as well. "Go to Jim Lee's MySpace and ask him for details, he loves getting those posts," Wayne said. Speaking of Jim Lee, Kanalz announced that his original run on "Wildcats" is being collected in an absolute edition.

Mark Bernadin introduced his new project, "Highwaymen," about a pair of former couriers brought out of retirement to transport a dangerous biological weapon. "Highwaymen" is co-written by Adam Freeman, with pencils by Lee Garbett. "It's like if Billy Connolly and Red Fox went on a road trip and both had turrets," Bernadin said.

After flipping the slide to "Stormwatch PHD," Wayne mentioned that writer Christos Gage was heralded by Wizard Magazine as the "Writer to Watch for 2007," a fact which Gage vowed he'd never let anyone forget. Issue #5 explains why many of the thought-dead members of the team are still among the living, and #6 is the first of a two-parter which goes into the history of John Duran. And starting with issue #8, Andy Smith is taking over the penciling duties on the book.

Of "Deathblow," Azzarello said, "his civilian life is still up in the air. He doesn't know muc about his family or the talking dog that lives next door. And the kids have guns." Azzarello said that Deathblow doesn't play well with the superhero types, so don't expect to see this book crossing over with the other Wildstorm titles anytime soon. But do keep your eyes open for the first appearance of a new character called Osamasaurus.

Simone announced that "Gen 13" would see appearances by "Welcome to Tranquility's" Liberty Snots and a new team called the Authoriteens. As far as "Welcome to Tranquility" goes, all Simone had to say was this: "A certain number of zombies will be happening."

Portacio touted an upcoming issue of "Wetworks" in which the original team battle a united front of mutated vampires.

Wayne also announced a book called "Alan Moore's Wild Words," which compiles the best of the legendary writer's work in the Wildstorm universe.

Moving on to CMX, Kanalz said that the next installment of "Megatoyko" is collecting chapters 7 and 8 of the online web comic and will be released in April.

Suzuki announced a new "Gon" series to be release by CMX this July. "This time, unlike Paradox Press, we're releasing it in original Japanese format."

There will also be a new book coming out this April called "Canon," about the only survivor of a vampire attack seeking vengeance against guilty vampire.

"Apothecarius Argentum" will feature a Basilisk tasked to kill the Royal Family.

"Samurai Commando: Mission 1549" tells a tale of the modern Japanese military traveling back in time to feudal Japan in an attempt to conquer the country and change its history.

"I Hate You More Than Anyone" tells the story of a teen who has difficulty expressing her feelings who goes on to get a haircut from the man who she hates the most.

"King of Cards" is about a girl who rises to the top of the collectible card game circuit with the help of one of the characters on the cards.

In addition to his one-issue "Midnighter" script, Vaughan has a few ideas for upcoming "Ex Machina" one-shots. Tony Harris asked who the artists were going to be, and Abernathy and Vaughan both stated that people had been selected, but it was too soon to announce. An impromptu huddle was held onstage so Harris could be pulled into the loop, and resulted in him sitting back down grinning with both thumbs up. "Oh yeah, that artist is good!" he said.

An audience member asked about the cancellation of "The Boys," to which Wayne replied that the book hasn't been cancelled, just moved from one publisher to another. Wayne acknowledged that information about "The Boys" future was out there, but that an official DC announcement would be made in a week or two. Harris contributed that he thought that "The Boys" was "a dynamite book." Wayne also mentioned that Darick Robertson has an upcoming project for Wildstorm, but it was too soon to announce it yet.

Fans of "Gen13" & "Welcome to Tranquility" will see trade paperbacks of both books' first arcs coming this summer.

Wayne thanked everyone for coming to the panel and wished the audience good luck in their discount shopping on Sunday afternoon.

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