CCI Grab Bag

Mon, August 17th, 1998 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

  • DC

    Comics will continue their "skip week" events - special sets of special one-shot

    issues appearing in months with five weeks, where previously they sent no

    issues to comic shops. After "The Kingdom" this December, the next skip week

    in the spring of 1999, JLA editor Dan Raspler announced, will be a Justice

    Society of America set of specials, featuring the team's 1940s adventures

    and leading into the new James Robinson ongoing JSA series set in the present

    day. A third Tangent skip week event is being considered, dependent on how

    well the most recent Tangent series of specials last month seems to have been

    received. And while there are no plans for a third Amalgam skip week event

    until the financial dust settles at the beleaguered Marvel Comics (Amalgam

    merges DC and Marvel characters together), look for a Fantastic Four/Superman

    crossover next year.

  • In addition to the Overpower

    collectible card game and the new Marvel Superheroes roleplaying game, Marvel

    fans will soon be able to play Battlebooks, comic book-sized books filled

    with all the attacks and defenses of a single character, used head-to-head

    with another player. Characters on display at CCI included Spider-Man, the

    Hulk, the Thing, Elektra and Wolverine. The books will be available this fall.

  • DC writer Chuck Dixon announced

    the long-awaited "Birds of Prey" monthly series will begin this November,

    with a two-parter picking up where the last quarterly issue left off. Another

    quarterly issue had been written, but for reasons not entirely clear, the

    story has been shelved and turned into a two part "inventory" or fill-in issue,

    probably to be used around issue 13 and 14. The Ravens, the villainous future

    foes of the Birds of Prey, who got their own special during the "Girlfrenzy"

    skip week event in April, will appear around issue six in a two-parter and

    will receive another special next year.

  • DC unveiled the prototypes

    of their new direct market action figures, the Swamp Thing, the Golden Age

    Sandman and Wonder Woman, at their booth at the convention. Pictures are available

    at Raving Toy Maniac at http://www.toymania.com/sdcc98/dc.shtml.



  • DC editor Mike Carlin,

    along with fellow comic creators, including Barbara Kesel, and fans, sprinkled

    some of the ashes of the late Archie Goodwin in the Pacific Ocean Saturday

    at sunset, witnesses say. The distribution of the ashes was apparently in

    accordance with the wishes of Goodwin, who was a great fan of the convention.

    Goodwin's death is also part of the reason the long-rumored follow-up to James

    Robinson's "The Golden Age" series has taken so long, although "The Silver

    Age" sequel is in the works, according to Carlin.

  • Look for Dark Horse's "Land

    of Nod" mini-series to be collected in trade paperback form this February.



  • Sharp-eyed fans who saw

    that Justice Legion A, the Justice League's counterparts in the "DC One Million"

    miniseries, don't include a Green Lantern or a Martian Manhunter have picked

    up two key points. There are no Green Lanterns in that future timeline, which

    will be a critical story element, and J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter,

    while alive, has gone through some dramatic changes, according to Dan Raspler

    and advance copies of "Martian Manhunter" #1,000,000 available for perusing

    at the DC Comics booth. And some of the events of the story are the fault

    of the new Hourman introduced in "JLA" last year. The character will be returning

    to the 20th century afterwards and be the star of a new series written by

    Tom Peyer. The new Hourman, an advanced android based in part on the DNA and

    chemical discoveries of the original Hourman, will be given to former JLA

    sidekick Snapper Carr to study what it means to be human.

  • DC has not one, but two

    proposals by top-drawer creators for a "Secret Society of Super-Villains"

    limited series. Both of them would explore the relationships between the villainous

    community, but would probably not be an actual "dream team' of supervillains

    like the 1970s series of the same name, according to Dan Raspler.

  • Although Barry Allen, the

    second Flash, will apparently be appearing in the upcoming "Chained Lightning"

    time travel story arc in "The Flash," don't look for him to return to DC Comics

    full time. When told that fellow comic creator John Byrne had announced there

    was a "loophole" in the way the character died in the "Crisis on Infinite

    Earths" series, "Flash" writer Mark Waid replied: "Over my dead body! Better

    yet, over John's dead body. That said," he smiled, "Read 'Chained Lightning.'"

    And Waid will be following up his successful "JLA: Year One" 12-issue series

    with a six-issue "Barry and Hal: The Brave and the Bold" series, with the

    same penciller, Barry Kitson, next year. The series will include Hal "Green

    Lantern" Jordan's never-before-seen kid sidekick and will include Barry Allen

    dealing with feeling cast-aside when the legendary Green Lantern/Green Arrow

    friendship is featured in this flashback series. And a "JLA: Year Two" series

    is being discussed.

  • And based on the success

    of the 80 Page Giant books, DC will be producing more, starting "in a few

    months," according to Dan Raspler. Look for a JLA 80 Page Giant annually.



  • DC Comics' "Young Heroes

    in Love" is one of several series ending with its #1,000,000 issue (the others

    include "Chase," "The Creeper" and "Green Arrow"). Series creator Dan Raspler

    has an idea for a one-shot special, but "as Mike Carlin says, when a series

    gets canceled, you have to wait for the radioactivity to die down," he said

    at CCI.

  • The Atom will not be appearing

    in the DC One Million event, due to, ironically enough, space reasons. But

    Grant Morrison told fans what the Atom of the 853rd century would have been

    like: As he shrank, his mass remained the same, but would be shunted off into

    duplicates. A half-size Atom would be two three-foot tall superheroes. A subatomic

    Atom would be a man-sized cloud of tiny superheroes.

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