Catching Up With Len Wein and Chris Claremont

Catching Up With Wein and Claremont

At Mid-Ohio Con this past weekend, Newsarama caught legendary writer Len Wein and Chris Claremont chatting about their upcoming work and posing for photos with some of the X-Men characters they created and defined.

Wein told Newsarama that he's writing next year's Superman/Batman Annual for DC Comics.

"It was something I pitched," Wein explained. "I was asked by Dan DiDio to pitch a storyline. Originally, it was going to be five issues, but it's now the annual for next summer instead. It will be out next March or April. Chris Batista is doing the pencils, and I've seen the first third of the book. It's looking great."

The writer said the Annual tells the story of an "old character who was called Composite Superman."

"Now he's just the 'Composite,'" Wein said. "I always hated the fact that Batman didn't get the same billing. And it's a brand new take on the character."

Wein also wrote the Watchmen video game that will be released in March, timed to coincide with the release of the Zack Snyder film, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Having edited the Watchmen comics when they were first released, Wein said it was difficult to find a way to translate the story to a game, so the makers opted for a prequel.

"The fortunate aspect of the Watchmen is that there's a lot of past," Wein said. "And the video game is set 10 years before the movie. It involves things that were just discussed or mentioned in the book. But now you get to see that story."

The game, which is being developed by the Danish development team Deadline Games, takes place in the '70s and focuses on Nite Owl and Rorschach.

"It was challenging. There are a lot of things you can and cannot do, with the medium you're working in," Wein said. "But it was a lot of fun."

Wein said that although he hasn't seen the entire Watchmen film, he's seen "pieces" of it. "It looks spectacular," he said. "I'm really looking forward to it."

Wein said he also just wrote another issue of The Simpsons, as well as a Western story for a new anthology coming out from Image Comics next summer. And the writer has an episode he wrote of the Cartoon Network animated series Ben10 coming out soon.

"I also have a new mystery project from DC that I can't talk about yet," he teased.

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Meanwhile, Claremont was talking to fans about his Marvel series Big Hero Six, the mini-series about the Japanese superhero team that started in September, and New Exiles, the universe-hopping team of Marvel heroes.

"We're probably going to wrap up the whole evil Sue Storm situation," Claremont said of upcoming storylines in New Exiles. "We'll introduce some new characters, ex-troduce some old characters, and throw in some surprises. People who have been relishing the idea of Exiles as a place where people can die should be careful what they wish for, because I can guarantee you a Christmas body count of sorts. And with the New Year comes rebirth."

Claremont said the upcoming New Exiles Annual will pick up the pieces of something that happened to fan-favorite character Morph before the writer took over the series.

"It's essentially going to conclude the long, ongoing question of Proteus and Morph," Claremont said of the issue, which will be released at the end of December and will address the fact that Morph's body is possessed by the evil (but up-until-now brainwashed) Proteus. "The pencils [by Tom Grummett] so far look great. Hopefully the story will read as wonderfully."

Claremont said he also has a new project "which I'm not at liberty to talk about," and a graphic novel that's being released only in France for now.

"If anybody's in France, they can pick up a copy of Wanderers, which is from Fusion, an imprint of Soleil and Panini, which is a graphic novel that Phil Briones and I have been working on for awhile. And it's the first of a three-volume epic that's set in Medieval Europe. It's sort of a sequel to The Once and Future King."

Claremont's also working on the second volume of GeNext, the series he launched this year that got an enthusiastic from fans who want to see new X-Men characters. Based on the idea of the second generation of X-Men that would have appeared had the first team aged in real time, GeNext was picked by fans a few years ago as the project they most wanted to see Claremont do next. The first five-issue volume is being collected by Marvel for release in December before the promised second volume starts next year.

"This second iteration of GeNext essentially picks up about 40 minutes after the first arc left off," Claremont said. "The last issue ends when they're on Genosha, and Olivier has been in telepathic communication with Megan. Help is on the way, but they're not going to get there to rescue them in time, so they were on their own. Colossus and Megan Summers show up to pick them up, and we see where we go from there."

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