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Wizard World 2000: Dark Horse Signs Tony Daniel

Plus: Loeb, Sale on Daredevil Yellow; X-Men and Marvel Knights Teasers; Short Takes

By Matthew F. Saunders     August 06, 2000

Dark Horse Comics announced that former Image artist Tony Daniel (The Tenth, Adrenalynn and F5) will be launching a new series named Silke with the company in January 2001. The title will launch as a four-issue mini-series, although it may expand to more issues. If the project is well-received by fans, an ongoing series will follow after that. Creator Daniel will serve as both writer and penciler.

Silke follows the adventures of a female CIA agent named Sandra Silke, who undergoes genetic experimentation with the CIA along with five other agents. The tests, which are intended to find a combatant against germ and chemical warfare, mutates their genetic structures. When the subjects gain the ability to 'morph,' as well as increased strength and agility, the directors decide to kill the program and the test subjects because they feel Sandra and her colleagues are not the best candidates to possess these new powers. Sandra escapes, however, and the program's directors frame her for the murder of her companions, making her a fugitive who must set things right, all while avoiding a powerful pursuer with special knowledge in gene altering that could prove deadly to her.

'Dark Horse is looking forward to what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Tony Daniel,' said Dark Horse publicist Shawna Ervin-Gore. 'His art and story ideas are top notch, and we think his fans will love Silke. Ervin-Gore said Dark Horse is also talking about doing additional, unnamed projects with Daniel done the road.

Loeb, Sale on Daredevil Yellow

Although the story already broke exclusively in the latest issue of Wizard: The Comics Magazine, Marvel officially announced at the Marvel Knights panel that writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale will be doing a six-issue Daredevil mini-series for Marvel Knights entitled Daredevil Yellow. The mini-series is slated for a spring release and will follow the duo's current project for DC Comics, Batman: Dark Victory.

'It will be dealing with the period between when [Daredevil's alter ego] Matt Murdoch first put on the yellow costume, and will end when Matt decided to change into his red costume,' said Loeb. 'But it's not just about the costume. The idea at the very beginning was to try to figure out why he made this change. I started looking at the costume and there was something there. It symbolized a time in his life that we don't know any more.

'Early on, he was really an action-adventure kind of guy, much closer to Spider-Man then Batman. After he avenged the death of his father, he got over it, unlike Batman. During that time, he was more like Indiana Jones, having a good time and bumping into Marvel characters. This will show the light, adventuresome, early days of a hero, when he didn't know any better.'

X-Men News and Teasers

* Uncanny X-Men and X-Men writer Chris Claremont let it slip in an X-Men panel that the upcoming Maximum Security crossover will have lasting ramifications in the X-titles. What kind? Nothing less than a Kree-Shi'ar War 2, which will pit the X-Men and Avengers against each other when the teams take opposite sides in the war. He also teased that the Galactic Counsel that decides to dump all their criminals on Earth in the Maximum Security storyline are being manipulated by 'mysterious forces.'

* If you've seen the cover to Uncanny X-Men #387, savvy fans will notice that Professor X is standing, an unusual circumstance for a man normally confined to a wheelchair. Neither Claremont nor editor Mark Powers would elaborate, but Claremont smiled devilishly when he pointed the fact out, which could mean Xavier's regained the ability to walk. It won't be the first time, as he regained it once before after being cloned waaay back in issue #167, only to lose it again a few years later in a battle with the Shadow King.

* DC Comics' Lex Luthor isn't the only comic book character running for president this year. Senator Robert Kelly is running again in the X-books. And fans who remember the classic 'Days of Future Past' storyline from Uncanny X-Men #141-#142 are in for a treat. 'Mystique is gunning for him again,' teases Claremont cryptically. 'She won't miss again.'

* Claremont also said he has plans for the missing Lockheed, as well as her owner Kitty Pryde, a.k.a. Shadowcat. Regarding Kitty, he hinted, 'Her powers have expanded to the point where she's not just walking through walls, but between dimensions.'

* Cable writer Robert Weinberg said he'll be exploring more of Cable's past in upcoming issues, which he believes has more question marks than one might expect for a character who's entire life has been charted in numerous stories and mini-series over the years. Some of the questions he intends to address? Who and what Blacksmith is, why he's involved in both his and his alternate history sister Rachel's life at different points in time, and why he's the only member of the Clan Askani who's not a woman. He also wants to address the question of why Cable's still called the Chosen One, even though he killed Apocalypse when he was 11. The unraveling of these questions will begin in issue #85.

Additional Marvel Knights News

* Marvel Knights editor Joe Quesada hinted at the Marvel Panel that they might be doing more with the character of Echo, who's currently seen in Daredevil. 'You'll be seeing more of Echo if fan reaction is positive,' said Quesada. 'She may have her own thing going. We've talked to some creators who might be interested in doing it.'

* When asked if Marvel has any plans in the near future for Ghost Rider, Bill Rosemann, Marvel's associate manager of retail sales, advertising and promotion, said, 'Possibly. We're thinking about it.' He didn't expand further, but later at the Marvel Knights panel, Joe Quesada elaborated on the possibility. 'There's some Ghost Rider stuff being kicked around,' said Quesada. 'When Marvel Knights started up, there was some Ghost Rider stuff on the table. At the time, his series had just been canceled, so he needed to sit for a while. We're talking to some talent. It'll be cool, like what we did with Punisher.'

* When the Sentry mini-series is done, Quesada said Jae Lee will be doing a four-issue Fantastic Four mini-series with writer Grant Morrison. The series will likely be out in early/mid 2001. Quesada also said if there's a year three for Marvel Knights, Morrison might do a Silver Surfer project, as well as more Marvel Boy. Additionally, Quesada said the Sentry fifth week event books will be the first time a Marvel book has carried both the regular Marvel Comics and special Marvel Knights logos.

* Following his current scripting run on Daredevil, which ends with issue #15, writer David Mack will be painting four issues, starting with Daredevil #16. Brian Michael Bendis will be scripting the storyline.

Short Takes

* When asked what Marvel thought of the movie Spider-Man's web-shooters being organic, instead of the traditional mechanical ones that Peter Parker creates after he gains his powers, Rosemann compared director Sam Raimi's reasoning to the decision to put Wolverine in a black leather costume in the X-Men movie as opposed to his traditional yellow spandex costume. 'Why wouldn't it make sense that he get that power from the radioactive spider?' said Rosemann. 'I don't know if audiences would buy that a kid in high school invented web-shooters and fluid. Trust Raimi. It doesn't change the heart of the characterit's mainly cosmetic. We have a year, so just relax and hope it's good. If it's not, we'll go on the Internet and yell about it. Until then, relax.'

* For those of you haven't heard or seen it advertised in Previews, Marvel will be reprinting Frank Miller's entire first run on Daredevil in three volumes as part of their Visionaries line of trade paperbacks. According to Rosemann, the books will include everything Miller drew, not just the issues he also wrote. The first volume is due out in October, with the second to follow in February. A date for the third and final volume was not announced.

* Even though next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Fantastic Four (1961-2001 for those of you counting), Marvel says it has no special plans yet to mark the occasion. According to assistant editor Brian Smith, there may do a special, double-sized issue, but Marvel editorial hasn't planned that far in advance yet.

* USAgent fans hungering for more of the Captain America wanna-be following his recent appearances in Thunderbolts will get there wish in October's Maximum Security crossover. The former Cap replacement will apparently be featured in the event. And after that? Rosemann hinted there might be a mini-series in the future.

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