Kurt Busiek let loose with a barrage of news over the weekend at the Canadian National Comic Book Expo in Toronto, including a new direction for Marvel's DEFENDERS and a DC event in January.
On the Defenders front, Busiek said that artist Erik Larsen's last issue will be #12, which will be followed by a fill-in issue by Fabian Nicieza and Bagley.
Then, the book gets a new title, OVERLORDS: DEFENDERS AGAINST THE EARTH - although the ongoing numbering will continue with Marvel's two-tier system.
Jo Duffy joins Busiek as new co-writer, and Matt Haley becomes the new artist. The new thrust of the book has the core Defenders - Silver Surfer, Hulk, Doctor Strange and Sub-Mariner - unable to break the mystical curse that brings them to crises around the Earth. So they decide to rule the Earth.
"That way, they can keep it running in an orderly and peaceful manner, keep disruptions to a minimum, and attend to their duties as Defenders without destroying their lives as individuals," Busiek says. "That's the theory, at least.
"But naturally, people object - not just the billions being ruled, but armies, governments, and superheroes, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers and more. But let's face it, these are the Defenders. They include the Sorcerer Supreme of this plane of reality, a wielder of the Power Cosmic, the monarch of Atlantis who commands the monsters of the seas and the single mightiest creature ever to walk the face of the Earth. They may very well be able to take on any and all opposition, and lay them out flat."
Busiek says the OVERLORDS arc will run six issues.
In addition, Busiek is writing seven one-shots that are based on and will precede his new ongoing series THE POWER COMPANY. The one-shots will be released in January, a month before the ongoing series premieres and a month after a 16-page Power Company preview in JLA #61.
The one-shots will feature Power Company members at various points in DCU continuity and will include numerous DCU guest-stars.
The one-shots include: JOSIAH POWER, with art by Keith Giffen and Al Milgrom; WITCHFIRE, with art by Matt Haley and Karl Kesel; SKYROCKET, with art by Joe Staton and Christian Alamy; MANHUNTER, with art by Dan Jurgens and Bob Layton; STRIKER Z, with art by Ramon Bach and Raul Fernandez; BORK, with art by Kieron Dwyer; and SAPPHIRE, with art by Mark Bagley and Mark Farmer.
The ongoing series will be drawn by Tom Grummett.