Monday, October 25, 2004

Identity Crisis Again

Yes, I know I said that I wouldn't mention Identity Crisis here, but I think I said it was only if there wasn't any good info. Well, there is. Or may be. Or not.

Apparently, there are two scenarios for the end of the series.

1) The villain is revealed, but the heroes never find out the truth. Meaning we know, but they don't.

2) The villain is not revealed and we're left in the lurch,

Of course, the second option will leave a lot of people pissed. A LOT. So, don't expect that to happen.

That doesn't meant that there isn't a third scenario, and that has the villain revealed, but its not the real villain.

TV/Movie comic tie-ins


The madness continues. Look for big (and small) publishers bringing out more books with TV and movie tie-ins over the next year or so. On the agenda are Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched, King Kong, Ultraviolet and an interesting one based on new hot show Desparate Housewives. Avatar anyone?

Dazzled by Mrs Federline

Could Marvel really be in talks with a hot young (ahem) musician about starring in a movie based on the never popular character Dazzler? Of course not.

But could they ask her to provide some assistance to get a new book based on the disco diva launched?

Of course they couldn't.

Could they?

Edit - changed title because someone much smarter than I emailed to say I had the name wrong. Apologies to any actual or potential spouses of male tennis players.

Millarworld: The Movie?

Word comes from on high that there will be a movie made surrounding the events of a popular Internet message board. Since the comics medium has given birth to many of these; many more than most industries, then it is only natural to believe the movie will be based on one of our own.

Interesting concept, but would you really pay upwards of $10 to sit and watch 2 hours of bickering fanboys; creator bating/lovin'; or jokes surround sodomy with Christmas meats?

Now, a comic or graphic novel about similar antics is an entirely different matter.

Isn't it?

Campaigning for Comics

For those of you who didn't know, there's an election next week. Seriously. If you can, get out and vote.

Anyway, some people have wondered why DC have not been doing much to reflect this potential time of change within their own titles, or more specifically in the pages of the Superman books. Well, don't they have a President there, who just happens to be the Big Red S' arch nemesis?

Many have put this off as being just a reflection on the comic book universe's slow timeline, cutely referred to as "DC Years" (seven world years = 1 DC year).

However, if truth be told they forgot. They went and exiled their Pres in some swamp somewhere, muttering some insane rantings, and forgot to get him back in time for his own re-election.

Oh well, Black Lightning in '08 anyone?


What, you missed me? Me too. Mwah!

So, I was on vacation last week and unfortunately nobody took up the reigns. Of course, I didn't ask anyone, so I guess its my own fault.

Anyway, lots of good rumors came my way, but there's no point in publishing them because they're all old news now having been run already at Newsarama, All The Rage and Sheep Felcher's Weekly.

Still, more than enough to whet your appetite this week, so on we go.

P.S. You may, or may not, have seen me being described as a moron at one of the more popular creator's messageboards. All I can say is, I have now arrived.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Apparat, apparently not.

There's a small rumor, gathering force that Warren Ellis' Apparat books from Avatar (due in November, with a sampler this month) don't exist; that the whole thing's a bit f**k you to the fanboys. Why would someone think this?

Well, from Ellis himself:

"Four imaginary first issues of four imaginary series from an imaginary line of comics on an imaginary launch week...what adventure comics might've looked like today if superhero comics hadn't have happened. If, in fact, the pulp tradition of Weird Thrillers had jumped straight into comics form without mutating into the superhero subgenre we know today."
I think this is highly unlikely given that orders will have been placed for these, and the talents of Carla Speed McNeil, Laurenn McCubbin, Jacen Burrows and Juan Jose Ryp are attached and would have to be part of the deception, alongside Avatar themselves.

Here's hoping that this is all just crap, and I'll just sit here festering until the Apparat preview drops into my letterbox.

Variant madness

With the Wolverine #20 variant already selling on Ebay for over $100 before it was even released, is variant madness and the return of the speculator just around the corner? Could be, if you look at the number of variants Marvel have released in the past few months, not to mention the tidy amount that DC have thrown to the hungry masses.

But is a new, more deadly variant, being prepared for launch?

After the debacle (read: media opportunity/PR stunt) that was Marvels 50/50 shipping of a b&w pencilled Ultimates Vol2 #1, rumor has it that the next big thing are complete variant books. Yes, one issue is in the pipeline of a big title, which will ship as 90% regular and 10% variant which contains a totally different storyline inside.

Yep, different characters and plots, written and drawn by different creators.

Ludicrous? We'll see.

DC out of Focus with Hard Time

Heh, I like that title.

Anyway, as you probably know, the DC Focus line hasn't been doing too well of late and yes cancellation looms. While the books are likely to be put down gently, it is very likely that Hard time by Steve Gerber and Brian Hurtt will be be revived under the DC bullet.

What is also interesting is that the new TPB, which will be released this week, has no mention of Focus anywhere on it.


Thanks to Outsider Hoover for his investigative journalism.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Happens to the best of us. Apologies however, for not having lascivious rumors ready for you at the usual time. I could give you an excuse, but what's the point? You don't want excuses, you just want facts or rumors or filthy made up lies (what, Warren Ellis is doing LITG this week?).

So, without further ado, here is this week's round-up.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

More nostalgia?

Rumors abound that nostalgia titles are coming in thick and fast. After my revelation about the new, grittier A.L.F. series in last week's column, there is talk of Marvel reprinting the issues they once published in an Essential A.L.F. book. Add this to trades for The A-Team, Scarecrow and Mrs King and MacGuyver, coupled with DC alledgedly investigating a Welcome Back Kotter Archives and nostalgic TV tie-ins are all the rage.

Hopefully they'll all grace someone's bookshelf soon, and we won't be finding dog-eared copies just lying in the gutters.

Identity Disassembled

Up until now I've not mentioned much about either of the big two controversial books this year, Identity Crisis and Avengers Disassembled. There is a very good reason for this and thats because I have not had anything from inside sources within DC and Marvel respectively. While this normally doesn't make much of a difference to this site, in this case I have to respectfully decline posting conjecture.

However, I have to say that some of the theories are often intriguing, but mostly hilarious. If you don't mind the potential spoiler factor (and lets face it, until someone stands up from either company and says "Its a fair cop guv. You've got us bang to rights on this one", or the books that reveal all are published, there is no way to know for definite who are behind these atrocities as no one other than the writer, publisher and some cronies will know for definite who's behind it - remember Captain Atom/Hawk in Armageddon?) you should go seek them out.

Update: Some new info has been passed onto me about Avengers Disassembled. I have buried the post because it may spoil the denoument, but if you really want to know then click on this Link to the Spoiler.

Queer Eye for the Super Guy

Following on from the successful cross media writers having a bash at comics (Brad Meltzer, Joss Whedon, Allan Heinberg, Kevin Smith), Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Carson Kressley has apparently been tapped to write something for Marvel's Icon imprint.

No word on title or character yet, but if it comes off it'll definitely be interesting.

Light week

A light week this week on the rumor front. Seems as though either my sources are on vacation or they're just not talking to me. I don't blame them, as what is in it for them in this parasitical relationship? Nothing, really.

But if they want to get back in touch, they know where to find me.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Wright means might

Just a quickie to finish off.

Funny what you overhear on flights. Three esteemed comic book creators sitting on a plane to Chicago for the upcoming Con are having a casual chat.

Bigwriter1: Micah?
EiC: Good thinkin'!
BigScottishwriter: Surprise!

The next day, Bigwriter1 mentions Micah Wright in an unscripted debate with a senior VP during what turned out to be arguably the most controversial panel of the Con.

Make of that what you will.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Man 'o' Miracles

The comics Internet community has been buzzing all week because of the apparently innocuous mention of a new Miracleman series debuting in December, beside the solicitation of a Miracleman statue from Bowen Designs.

Frenzy is not the word for what happened next. From denials to non-denials; from speculation to gesticulation, the comics world was ablaze and at the end of it all, we had nothing. Miracleman will not be in New Avengers, but he may come back in a series of prestige one-shots which have been codenamed Man 'o' Miracles by the Marvel projects team.

Or perhaps thats something else that's all a hoax.

X-Men 3: Wolverine 1

It appears as though Fox have hired Joss Whedon to write the script for X-Men 3 (or X-cubed as the annotation will be). While he will be writing it, the directorial reigns will be taken up by Jonathan Mostow of Terminator 3 fame. Apparently Marvel want X-cubed out of the way to finish off the trilogy and then they'll jump in with the first in the Wolverine franchise. The movies will go on hiatus until a young auteur is identified to take over and do a trilogy based around both the Onslaught and Apocalypse storylines. Of course, when they get around to making Onslaught the Avengers and FF movies will be done so most of the Marvel stable will be onscreen.

As for the storyline for X-cubed, everyone is staying tight lipped, but one of the characters will be Jamie Maddrox using an unknown star who won't command lots of cash for being on screen so many times.

Alf alpha

Look out for another comic/TV-nostalgia tie when Image come out with their interpretation of "A.L.F.". Look for a more gritty, and less hilarious cat chasing take on the character when the book hits the shelves next year. With the cast of the show either dead, in jail or filed in the "where are the now, oh who cares?" category, coupled with the need to try and reach out to a more mature audience, the cuddly alien won't be so cuddly. Instead, he'll be revealing the real reason why he came to Earth: to save us from other marauding aliens who destroyed his home and desecrated his momma's grave.

Kurt Busiek and George Perez have nothing to do with the book. But it would be a hoot with them though.

Expect a huge surge in demand for the old Marvel books.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Chosen: The Animated Series

Much was made of a post started by Mark Millar on his Millarworld boards last week. Basically it was a call to the mods to give them some juicy info. Of course he wasn't telling anyone else. Oh no. People from far and not so far came and begged for the merest tasty morsel of news, but he wasn't giving anything. Other swore at him and the word "weak" was used quite a bit, sometimes with "fucking" and "lame" around abouts too.

He then started a similar thread over on the Bendis boards, and revealed it was to do with Chosen.

While Mark couldn't reveal the story, I can. Yes, its another of Millarworld titles which will make it to the screen, but not as a movie... its Chosen, the Animated Series.

While a big budget movie might make some cash riding on the coat-tails of The Passion of The Christ, it is believed that it would just look like a rip-off of another franchise (and The Omen perhaps?). When has Hollywood ever done that.

So, HBO have picked up the rights to do it as a cartoon, for an initial 13 episodes. Of course this means that the 3 issue book will need to be expanded, so a team of scriptwriters are hurriedly beavering away to create more material. The format will alledgedly follow Jodie helping out a friend or neighbor each week. He will struggle not to use his new powers, instead using human compasionate means to assist. In the end though, he'll give in and whip up a miracle or two just before the morale of the story. No word on whether the big Chosen reveal will be repeated at the end of the series.

At the moment, Ashton Kucher has signed on to voice Jodie Christianson; Helena Bonham Carter will play his mom and Mick Jagger has expressed more than a passing interest to be the priest, Father Tom.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

20th Anniversary Crisis

With news that Geoff Johns and Phil Jiminez will be working on a crossover in 2005 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths, people have been feverishly trying to guess who it might be that is the character who wants their old version of Earth back again".

Rumor has it that the person, or rather persons, behind it all are a group based on some message board fans (chosen later this year) who break through the fourth wall and show copies of an Absolute Crisis of Infinite Earths (due out to co-incide with said anniversaire) to shocked and frankly disgusted superheroes. Of course, they don't take it seriously until J'Onn J'Onnz mind scans the Psycho Pirate, the only one to remember the Crisis.

Sound ludicrous? Just a tad, but at the end of it all things will be restored to the way they were 20 years ago, which means that any characters created post-Crisis will be gone.

Anyone else getting an ice-cream headache?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Analogous Analogies

We've had Marvel's version of the JLA (Squadron Supreme/Supreme Power) and Wildstorm's version of the Avengers (the Americans from The Authority, who of course have some analogous versions of the JLA in there too). Hell, most of Wanted's protagonists are analogies of other publishers' characters. But where will it all end?

Not good if what I hear is true.

It appears that the New Avengers will be pitting their wits against analogues of... well, themselves. It won't be cloned versions, nor robotics. Neither will they just be evil dopplegangers or inter-dimensional copies.

No, they will be amalgamated versions of each team member. So, prepare yourself for Sentry America, Spider-ine and Captain Cage. The question is, what matter transporter did they all get screwed up in?

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Flipside of Marvel Two-in-One

How do you sell two books but only print one? Simple, put two comics together in one package, and flip one over. Stick on 50% of the usual cover price, and split evenly between the titles. Increase the content to 30 pages (reducing each title to 15 pages) + ads. Rack them whichever way you want and stand well back.

Watch in awe as people flock to pick up their favorite book, only to find something else tacked on the end for just a fraction extra.

For retailers you can also rip the thing in half and staple on a blank sheet of paper, selling each one separately and making even more money.

For the publisher, they can always say its a route to allow possibly overlooked books to get an inroad into the marketplace.

But who could dream up this concept?

Look out for X-Men/Rocket Racer, Daredevil/Unus, Amazing Spider-Man/Lockjaw in the very near future.

Moore Idol

We've had Pop Idol, Porn Idol and even Comic Book Idol, but is there room for any more? Or should we say any moore?

Yes, the search is on for the successor to Alan Moore.

Since the big man is slinking into retirement once more, and nuking his ABC line (sans some of the titles), replacements are being sought. Problem is, the company behind this believe that someone with his unique vision and extraordinary talent is just sitting there at home, minding their own business until someone comes along and prods them into action. To say this is a little naive is perhaps a huge understatement.

Not to mention the fact that they will be inundated with submissions from (most likely) tens of thousands of people and someone is going to have to wade into them. The medical bills will be enormous.

However, could the publicity be worth it all?

Expect news of a universe wide contest very soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rumor gimmick

This is the best I can come up with, a graphical sliding scale of truthfulness, from the Lord of Lies, Mephisto to the goddess of truth herself, Wonder Woman.

As you can see, the validity of this post is Superman-like in its trueness.

Any other ideas?

The Hunt for Mole September

It seems as though DC wanted to set a trap for their mole. So they came up with a sensational story (ish) and fed it out to select people. Said story made it to a well known comic book creator, who announced in a thread at his message boards that a hot piece of news would be appearing in Newsarama. It didn't and the thread disappeared.

However, what we really want to know is did DC find their mole? If so, will they be gassed or just set to work digging more tunnels?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Childish, moi?

Speaking of Marvel (and to be honest, I believe we will be speaking of them frequently; because of their high profile within the comics community of course), their esteemed
EiC is apparently all over the DC offices. No, he hasn't defected, or tried a daring raid on the competition.

No, a photoshopped version of the cover of NYX #1 is aparently on quite a number of walls. And what is photoshopped? Well lets just say that a certain EiC's head replaces that of the character on the original cover, but with pacifier still in place.

As this poorly photoshopped picture shows, this is how it might look.

Avengers She Wrote

By now, everyone who has been following the disassembling and reassembling of the Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis knows the line-up. However, there is one more spot left in the team, described as a mystery character.

Whilst speculation abounds as to the identity of this character, I can reveal that it is actually a guest spot, with a rotating cast filling the hole when required depending on the arc.

However, those joining the ranks of Earths Greatest Heroes are not staples of the Marvel stable. Whilst the team has might and right, wisecracking and snikt, they are missing the deductive mind of a master detective, something which DC has aplenty (Batman and Ralph Dibny being the most recognisable) but which is thin on the ground around the House of Ideas. However, Marvel don't want to introduce a character just to fill the criteria, because... well, basically because they know that Fanboys will be up in arms due to these new characters not being Avengers material and there being plenty of other established Marvel properties ripe for a place in the line-up.

So Marvel have gone for fictional TV detectives.

Not only are they established characters, but they are also a potential draw for fans outside the comic medium.

The first arc has Jessica Fletcher; the second Ironside and the third (rounding out year one and making for a fine HC collection) Magnum PI and Jim Rockford. No word on Hercule Poirot, however a time-travelling story may allow Cap et al to hook up with Miss Marple at some point, to tackle the might of Kang. It is also believed that Mark Millar is working on Ultimate Taggart, bringing the rugged Scottish detective in to assist The Ultimates.

Friday, September 10, 2004

CrossGen lives... well, at least the name does

The latest buzz is that various people connected with the comic book biz (and outside of the sphere) are bidding to buy up CrossGen for around $500,000. However, I hear that there are discussions to actually sell the name to a new franchise for a fraction of that price.

Paul Cross, of Bakersfield CA, is in discussions to name his new business after the failed comics publisher. And that business is?

Well, the term is gender reassignment, but you and I know it by its older name of sex change. Yes, the name will live on as CrossGen(der) Inc.

Kind of warming ain't it?

DC: Robotized

Ever since the success of Marvel's Ultimate line there have been whispers, nudges and winks that DC would follow suit, creating a spin-off from their regular universe and re-imagining characters for the 21st Century. Many believed that by abandoning Hypertime (and specifically Grant Morrison's proposed Hypercrisis) they had missed the boat. Others believe that the closest DC would get was their Just Imagine, Stan Lee Creating... series (and sighed with relief when they weren't made ongoings).

Recently, more hints about an Ultimised DCU have been doing the rounds. However, it would appear that these are a little wide of the mark.

DC are, in fact, creating what is being dubbed as the Robotized Universe; taking their flagship characters and... well, making them robots.

It seems that DC are eyeing the market for toy/robot/comics tie-ins, and after the stir over the use of the Superman/Batman robot in the pages of the titular book, plus issue #7 of that series drawn by Pat Lee, DC are ready to hand over the keys to the big box o' iconic heroes and let Mr Lee go crazy.

Expect transforming Bat-family members and plenty of lubrication being passed around the Birds of Prey.


Welcome to the first edition of The Comics Outsider, the latest word in comic book rumours. As usual with these things, these are just rumours; they may come true, or they may be bull, only time will tell. As such take everything you read here with a pinch of the proverbial.

Still looking for a gimmick to graphically represent the validity of the rumours, so any suggestions you might have would be much appreciated. Also, if you have any rumours, please drop me a line at I'll get lonely otherwise.

In the meantime, lets get started with our first titillating piece of gossip.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Avengers Disassembled - SPOILERS

A message from a very reliable source (a Captain of industry if you will) sent me this message:

I think the rumors that Scarlet Witch is the cause of Disassembled are correct. I just remembered walking around the Chicago con and saw [artist] David Finch and this chick dressed as the Scarlet Witch wanted a picture with him. When she walked away, someone made a crack to Finch that she wasn't gonna be thrilled when he and Bendis killed her off. He was like..."well...I'm not saying she dies, but...she's not gonna be happy."

Take that as you will.