– After teasing that he’d been collaborating with famous artist Dave Gibbons (WATCHMEN) for some time, Mark Millar makes good on his boast by announcing his latest release from his humble MILLARWORLD series of titles, called SECRET SERVICE (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/millar-gibbons-secret-service-111019.html). The series will kick off in February and was co-created by Matthew Vaughan, who happened to direct the film adaptation of Millar’s KICK-ASS. There’s no “i” in “team”, but there is one in “nepotism”. While Mark Millar had been publishing creator owned titled under Marvel’s Icon imprint (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=34999), his contract is apparently up and he can thus publish with IMAGE COMICS. Millar is holding an auction to name some characters in the series, with all proceeds going to a charity in his native Scotland. Little is known about the series, other than it is a spy thriller with a lead character named Dave Lizewski. In additional Millar news, his WAR HEROES comic from Image alongside artist Tony Harris will be adapted into a film by UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, with Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly attached to write (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/war-heroes-mark-millar-michael-de-luca-251960). The series is about the U.S. military bestowing super-powers to soldiers to fight terrorists, with some of them going rogue and another becoming a super-hero. It was written before the conclusion of the 2008 presidential election, as it cynically envisioned John McCain winning and America going further into war in the Middle East. Whoops.
– After killing off Optimus Prime – something that only seems to happen in most Transformers films – IDW is launching two new TRANSFORMERS series off the back of that event (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/transformers-series-relaunch-idw-111020.html). It seems IDW is getting into the whole “event/relaunch/repeat” game.
– ASPEN COMICS is set to release their first superhero title, and are using the social network to promote it (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/aspen-idolized-fan-choice-111024.html). IDOLIZED debuts next year by writer David B. Schwartz (Image Comics’ MELTDOWN), artist Micah Gunnell (SHRUGGED) and colorist David Curiel. Aspen is posting character sketches on a Facebook account (http://www.facebook.com/IdolizedComic), with fans deciding on the final design of each one – a way to get around tough decisions as well as spread word across the Internet. IDOLIZED is described as “TRUE GRIT meets AMERICAN IDOL, with capes”, it focuses on a super powered heroine with a dark past who seeks revenge and redemption on a reality TV show for young super heroes. To a degree, “reality show superheroes” isn’t new; the FANTASTIC FOUR were the grandfather franchise for it, with YOUNGBLOOD awkwardly failing with that premise, with better runs on it via Wildstorm’s THE INTIMATES, Marvel’s X-STATIX and NEW WARRIORS, and Image’s WILDGUARD jumping on. The two characters initially on the voting block are Erika Jonasson/The Present, who can freeze time, and Temir Rehal/Regenerate, who can heal himself and others – which includes a near perfect physical body. Given how difficult it is for non DC or Marvel superhero titles to catch on, any promotion is good promotion.
– In a bit of “old news that wasn’t reported in this column”, Pete Travis, the director to 2000 A.D.‘s newest film adaptation of Judge Dredd, titled “DREDD”, has departed the project during the post-production phase. Alex Garland, who wrote and produced “DREDD”, will now get final say over any footage edits as well as any potential re-shoots. Karl Urban stars as Dredd, alongside Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey, and principle photography recently wrapped. Both Travis and Garland issued a statement denying that Travis was fired or that Garland would seek a co-director credit on the film, and that it will still be released next year – the same year that “GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE”, “THE AVENGERS”, “TINTIN”, and “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” debut (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/10/director-drama-heats-up-on-dredd.html).
– After years of production, Warner Brothers is moving closer to a Western film adaptation of the classic manga AKIRA by Katsuhiro Otomo, which was made as an animated film in Japan in 1988 and helped begin the anime consumption market in North America (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118044771). “UNKNOWN” ‘s director Jaume Collet-Serra is set to direct it, and Garrett Hedlund of “TRON: LEGACY” is set to star as Tetsuo. AKIRA is a sci-fi “cyberpunk” drama, but is naturally set in “New Manhattan” instead of “Neo Tokyo”. Thus far, Western made film adaptation of Japanese properties have not proven successful: “ASTRO BOY”, “SPEED RACER”, and “DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION” all tanked at the box office. Fourth time’s the charm, right?
Last Week’s NYCC ’11 News Round-Up – http://knotmove.com/comic-books-in-new-york/new-york-comic-con-2011-report-the-best-of-the-rest-of-the-news
Last Week’s coverage of the MTV & Stan Lee’s THE SEEKERS panel & NYCC ’11 summary – http://knotmove.com/comic-books-in-new-york/new-york-comic-con-2011-report-mtv-s-stan-lee-s-the-seekers-and-more