NYCC '09 - Wildstorm Panel with Jim Lee

Wildcats #7 cover

DC’s Wildstorm imprint entered the panel fray of the New York Comic Con on Saturday afternoon. The panelists attending included Jeff Parker, editor Ben Abernathy, writer Christos Gage, artist Neil Googe,  Wildstorm founder/Editorial Director Jim Lee, artist Mike Costa, and artist Tom Fowler.  The panel was emceed by Wildstorm Hank Kanalz, VP General Manager of Wildstorm.

After the trailer Kanalz said that as promised, the Wildstorm titles had shipped on time for a full year, and have told the

Wildcats: Gage said that issue #8 will spotlight Ladytron (guest-illustrated by Pete Woods). “Imagine Mad Max with a Lady Cyborg,” Gage said. Issue #9 will see the ‘Cats go to Hawaii to see the Utopian kingdom established by Majestic after Armageddon, something which will begin to pull threads together from the past four issues, and lead to a “bombastic issue #12,” Gage said. “And from there, things get even worse.”

The Authority - Standing in for the creators, Abernathy recapped the World’s End story, and how it hit The Authority worst of all.  After the catastrophe, the members of the Authority are slowly coming back together as a team and as individuals, despite the fact that they failed the entire world. Characters established during the Warren Ellis run (as well as villains from the Southeast Asia region) will be returning to the series as well.

Gen13 - The characters were caught in a time loop during Armageddon, and missed the entire battle, and have returned to a world utterly shattered. After landing in New York, the team has begun their quest to return to the city called Tranquility, leading to a massive road trip west.

Stormwatch PhD: Gage had nothing but praise for Ian Edginton’s work on the series, “And I love Jackson King’s ZZ Top moustache,” Gage added.  

Moving on, Kanalz said that both Point Blank and Sleeper are returning to print, combining Sleeper into an omnibus style collection.

The slideshow then continued through the Wildstorm line. Highlights include:

Ex Machina began its final year with issue #40, and will conclude with #50.

Speaking of new, creator-owned series, Kanalz announced Killapalosa, written by Adam (Robin) Beechen with art by Trevor Hairsine. The basic concept, Kanalz said, is that the world’s high selling rocks and roll band also happens to be a top assassination squad, and perpetrate their Black Ops while on location for their tour. The six issue miniseries is slated to debut in May.

Astro City: The Dark Age will return later this year for volume three out of four. Kanalz said that, in according to their mission of keeping all their titles shipping on time, the entire series is done, and will ship regularly.

Moving to the licensed properties, Lee said that the videogame properties that Wildstorm has acquired are all hand-selected by Wildstorm, rather than being pitched to them via the game’s marketing, allowing for the comic creators to work directly with the game creators and flesh out aspects of the game stories that the game creators have thought of, but didn’t have the opportunity to handle in the game. Lee will draw the cover to Gears of War #9, and add a new character to the game’s story. Simon Bisley will illustrate issue #7.

The forthcoming Resident Evil series by Rick Sanchez and artist Kevin Sharp will introduce two new characters to the game’s milieu, and Wildstorm will collect Resident Evil: Fire and Ice illustrated Lee Bermejo as well as some of Lee’s original Resident Evil series when Wildstorm originally held the license to the game.

Speaking on Resistance, Costa explained that the miniseries will cover the gap between the first two games, while backup stories in each issue set up the PSP game, .

Wildstorm will be expanding the line of World of Warcraft series with a new comic series later this year.

Speaking of Starcraft, Abernathy said that Simon Furman’s story will introduce a new team of mercenaries into the Starcraft universe, and will build towards the release of .

Asked if they would be acquiring the Warhammer franchise, Kanalz said that Wildstorm is in talks with a lot of different people about a number of different things.

More characters from Number of the Beast will start to reappear in the Wildstorm titles after scattering with Armageddon. “You never know,” Abenathy said, “Maybe the Paladins will get back together on some mountaintop and decide to take the world back to the way it was in the 1940s…They weren’t just throwaway characters. They are out there and will be integrated.”   

Asked about more Tranquility, Abernathy said that a new six issue series, Tranquility: one Foot in the Grave will be coming up later this year, and will pick up from the end of the first series.

Asked why there aren’t more “Wildstorm Signature” or creator-driven titles coming out through the imprint, Lee said that he’s been in discussions all weekend and has seen a couple of “offbeat” titles that he’d like to pick up that are along those lines.  

The perennial Grant Morrison/Wildcats question was asked, with Lee’s response that they still both want to finish the series, but both clearly overcommitted themselves at the time.

More New York Comic Con 2009 Coverage:

NYCC '09 Video Page

NYCC '09 Mini-Site

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