After a slight delay due to previous panelist Steranko's battle with the forces of Hydra, the Wildstorm panel got underway at the 2006 New York City Comic Con, detailing the future of both Wildstorm as well as the CMX mange imprint.
The panel included Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne, artist and Wildstorm founder Jim Lee, artist Ale Garza, and writers Brian K. Vaughn, Brian Azzarello, and John Layman. They were joined, somewhat later, by artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Carlos Danda.
The first thing on display was the "Ex Machina" specials, two single issue stories by Brian K. Vaughn and Chris Sprouse consisting entirely of flashbacks from Mayor Mitchell Hundred's mostly unspectacular superhero career. The first, "Life and Death," will deal with Hundred often mentioned but until now never seen arch nemesis Jack McPherson.
The original run of Wildstorm titles will be relaunching later in 2006, starting with Grant Morrison and Jim Lee's run on the new "Wildcats" series, starting in August. The series will be bimonthly and ongoing and, according to Morrison, be like Image on crack.
"I've done the cover,' joked Lee, " and I've thought about the first issue. A lot."
"The Authority" ongoing will also be written by Morrison, this time working with artist Gene Ha. The new series will find the Wildcats and The Authority on opposite sides and for the Authority a lot of fights.
"They fight. And fight. And fight." Said Lee.
"Gen 13" will launch under the guidance of writer Gail Simone and artist Talent Caldwell, in a series that will see the return of the original five in stories told with Simone's unique blend of action and humor.
Brian Azzarello joins artist Carlos D'Anda for a new "Deathblow" series that will see the return of the original Deathblow Michael Cray who, they noted, is neither an angel nor a woman.
"I remember as a kid," joked Azzarello, "that Deathblow was my favorite character. I'd stay up under the covers with a flashlight to read it, so it's a big thrill to write him."
All of the new Wildstorm core series' will have their creative teams attached for at least, but not limited to, twelve issue. A point that hammered home repeated during the Q&A session.
Other projects include filmmaker John Ridley's new limited series "American Way," which chronicles an alternate history of the US. The series has already debuted, and they hope to work more with Ridley in the future.
Dave Gibbons, noted "Watchmen" artist, will be writing "Thunderbolt Jaxon," with art by "Watchmen" colorist John Higgins. The series continues the Icp universe that debuted for Wildstorm in Albion.
"Planetary" will see its twenty fifth issue in March when Warren Ellis and John Casaday tell the tale of Elijah Snow weaving together bits of his past to lay a trap for the two remaining members of the Four.
For CMX, the big announcement was the move of Fred Gallagher's acclaimed web comic "Megatokyo" to the imprint. The story of two American otaku trapped in Japan will start printing collection with DC starting with volume four.
The line will also debut several other new titles, such as the "Recipe for Gertrude," which will give a modern spin on classic fairy tales. Also coming is "Oyayubihime Infinity," a story about a group of friends in ancient times that find themselves reincarnated as modern teenagers.
Back at Wildstorm, the company will team up with Dynamite to publish "Red Sonja/Claw" the Unconquered" by writer John Layman and artist Andy Smith, in what promises to be a bloody tale of barbarian intrigue.
"Most crossovers have the heroes meet, fight, and then team up," said Layman, "This one has meet and fight, and fight, and fight. With severed heads and entrails on every other page."
Ale Garza and Alan Warner will revisit the "Ninja Boy" universe with "Skye Runner"; a story takes place in the western lands of the Ninja Boy universe seven years after the original series.
"Manifest Eternity," by Scott Lobdell and Dustin Nguyen will start this summer. The series centers on the war between a star faring high tech empire and a race of magic universe, a story that will take place across three time periods in a style reminiscent of classics such as Dune.
"Astro City" returns with the Samaritan Special, which finds the city's biggest hero fighting his oldest foe in a way no expects. The special is written by Kurt Busiek with art by Brent Anderson, and will feature the Infidel, a villain originally created more than a decade ago in the pages of Wizard magazine.
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