ENNIS, WESTON GO BEHIND ENEMY LINES
PREVIEW: 'ENEMY ACE: WAR IN HEAVEN'
Enemy Ace Preview
"Well, for openers it's got a great, typically hard-boiled script by Garth Ennis!" artist Chris Weston told the Comic Wire on Wednesday. "It's a two-issue miniseries that was initially going to be drawn -- in its entirety -- by a French artist called Christian Alamy but he soon encountered 'personal difficulties.' To take the pressure off him, Pete Tomasi, the editor, gave book two to the talented comics veteran, Russ Heath ... allowing Christian to concentrate on book one! Ever the professional, Russ finished his assignment on time and with his customary panache. But Christian ... well, time passed and yet no more pages were turned in. At this point I was brought in to 'trouble-shoot' on the book: I seamlessly completed all the pencils and eventually inked the whole book. Phew!"
Fans shouldn't worry about any additional penciling problems delaying the book, Weston said.
"Oh, I'm finished! Matt Hollingsworth is currently applying his magical, digital coloring and the book is scheduled to ship next March! Despite the initial, artistic upheaval it looks great!"
DC Comics' Enemy Ace dates back to the days when war comics were extremely popular. Although those days are decades gone, Weston thinks "War in Heaven" has what it takes to attract fans.
"Two words: Garth Ennis! For starters, he's playing with one of D.C.'s most compelling characters, Rittmeister Hans Von Hammer and he's approached the material from a very modern, realistic viewpoint. 'War in Heaven' recounts the adventures of the Enemy Ace during the second World War, coaxed from retirement to conquer the killer skies above the eastern front, to the introduction of the pioneering jet-aircraft that came too late to save Germany! Garth is using fictional characters to inform the readers about incredible but true events from the last World War ... and it's got tons of gore!"
And once "War in Heaven" wraps up, Weston will be winging his way across the English Channel for another tale of magnificent men and their flying machines, but on an even grander scale than the air war over Europe.
"I've just commenced penciling and inking 'Ministry of Space' written by Warren Ellis for Image Comics. What's it about? Imagine an alternate uiniverse where the British had captured the Nazi Rocket Scientists instead of the Americans. Imagine the Union Jack planted in the Moon's dust instead of the Stars and Stripes. That's the 'Ministry of Space.'"
MARVEL ANNOUNCES X-CUTS
Marvel Comics may have canceled their scheduled Wednesday press conference, but via the magic of the Internet, they still announced their long-expected cuts in the X-Men family of titles Wednesday afternoon.
"This Spring, the X-Mansion is in for one heck of a cleaning," the Your Man @ Marvel announcement read at the Marvel site. "For years, readers and retailers have complained there are just too many X-Men spin-off titles. We hear ya, friends! That's why [editor in chief] Joe Quesada, [X-Men editor] Mark Powers, [Marvel president] Bill Jemas and [editor] Mike Marts have set out to streamline the X-Men by making sure each title has a clear identity and distinct purpose.
"Therefore, the following titles will end with these issues:
- "Bishop" #16 (on sale now)
- "Gambit" #25 (on sale in December)
- "Generation X" #75 (on sale in March)
- "X-Man" #75 (on sale in March)
- "Mutant X" #32 (on sale in April)
- "X-Men: The Hidden Years" #22 (on sale in July)
"But fear not, X-fanatics: While the titles are disappearing, the characters that star in them are not. So don't think you're not going to see Jubilee or X-Man or Gambit again."
And while Marvel is trimming six ongoing titles, this May, when the X-books formally relaunch with their new direction, two new monthlies will be added. One, by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca will star its own team of X-Men in modern day adventures. The other, by Judd Winnick and Mike McKone will star perennial "Age of Apocalypse" favorite Blink and a dimension-hopping team of her own.
Five of the core X-Men -- Cyclops, Angel, Rogue, Nightcrawler and Storm -- will also be featured in solo limited series next fall.
Marvel rescheduled this week's press conference to next Wednesday, November 29.
GENE COLAN DONS THE MANTLE OF THE BAT
Comic fans craving the classic clean art of Gene Colan should plan on picking up an issue of DC Comics' "Batman: Gotham Knights" next spring.
Colan will be drawing one of the title's eight page black and white back up tales.
"The story title is 'Stormy Nether' by Tom Peyer," Colan told the Comic Wire on Sunday. "My art is due in a month. So I'd expect it in the shops [in February or March]. I'll be reading the script next week, so I can't tell you what it's about yet."
Colan's got other work lined up for 2001.
"I'm doing a 65 page book based on the old Argosy Press pulp-fiction character The Spider. It is set in present day. Don't know when it will be published. But that's what I'm currently working on.
"And then there's a project from Dark Horse that I will be doing in January/February ... All I can say at this time is that it is based on a very popular TV series. I can't say more because I have not as yet signed the contract."
THE STRONG ARM OF THE LAW
But that's only half of the story: The Image Comics ongoing also features another story between its covers, Joe Casey's and Charlie Adlard's "Codeflesh."
"Codeflesh" is the story of a bailbondman for supervillains, and as Casey told the Comic Wire last week, it's a mix of superhero comic conventions and an attempt to tell a more adult comic book story.
"There is a bit of the 'bounty hunter gives chase'-vibe to the series, but that's just the window dressing for deeper themes of friendship, loyalty, and trust that run through 'Codeflesh,'" Casey said.
"Double Image" #1 is scheduled to be in stores in February.
THE COMIC BRIEF IN BRIEF
While you're kicking back, dozy from turkey, yams and pie, be sure to check out CBR's Comic Brief since the last edition of the Comic Wire, including the following stories and press releases:
- SpyBoy rocks on despite internet rumor mill
- Joe Mad's Battle Chasers moves to Image
- Willem Dafoe to be Green Goblin in Spider-Man
AND FINALLY ...
Comic Book Resources would like to heartily congratulate proud parents Joe Quesada and wife Nanci Dakesian on the birth of their daughter, Carlie Maria Quesada, born Monday evening.
Mother and child are reportedly both doing fine.