With Nick Barrucci, Joe Rybandt, Doug Klauba and Phil Hester.
The Dynamite panel started on a somber note, with the news that Michael Turner, who had done covers for Project Superpowers and Red Sonja among many others, passed away last night.
“Mike was a hero. He was always there for the fans,” Nick Barrucci, Dynamite publisher said.
“The comics industry is a brotherhood, a family, and we should celebrate the fact that we’re together,” said Joe Rybandt, director of marketing and associate editor.
“The work is always here and we’ll always have that,” added Phil Hester.
Hester will be joining Dynamite on Masquerade, a project spinning out of Project Superpowers. Doug Klauba, who drew Project Superpowers #0 will draw Masquerade.
The opening chapter of the larger Project Superpowers story will conclude in issue #7, which will be out at the end of the summer, and there will be a Black Terror ongoing series, Death-Defying Devil mini and the Masquerade mini that will serve as a bridge while they ready the next part of the ongoing series.
Project Superpowers is part of a “Golden Age revival” going on in comics right now, according to the Dynamite crew. “It’s our first big superhero book, and the creative teams we’ve assembled on it, we couldn’t be happier,” said Rybandt.
Black Terror is going to be set in the present-day, and Death-Defying Devil is present-day as well with some of it set in the past and one of the greatest reveals in comics. “I’m actually sad I got to read it ahead of time,” said Barrucci.
“It was amazing to read about this whole hidden history of comics, and it was easy to go off and fantasize about what I’d do with those characters, and I just shut it off because those characters were gone. All those characters that me and Jim and Alex were fantasizing about were available now,” Hester said.
The first Project Superpowers T-shirts will be coming out in August, featuring the Alex Ross logo, and statues will be rolling out at the end of the year, and action figures for Christmas ’09.
At the beginning of Superpowers, Barrucci wrote a 12-page outline of what they would do with Golden Age characters, Ross said he wanted to be involved, and Barrucci went back to the office and said, “I’ve got the hook!”
One fan asked about the sidekicks in Project Superpowers. “Oh, baby, we’re just getting warmed up,” Barrucci said.
In Dynamite-related news, Robert Rodriguez will be executive-producing a Red Sonja film starring Rose McGowan.
As readers know, Dynamite killed Red Sonja in issue #29, sent her to hell in issue #30-#34, and she’s back in #35 with new artist Walter Giovanni. Dynamite has Red Sonja’s longest publishing history, so they are looking forward to the movie tie-ins.
In a deal three years in the making, Dynamite will be licensing Judge Dredd from 2000 AD/Rebellion. They will be first American publisher since DC in the mid '90s to publish Judge Dredd and other 2000 AD books, and reprinting the entire 2000 AD library as trade paperbacks. And that’s all thanks to Garth Ennis.
The crew asked for a round of applause for Ennis and The Boys. “I get to read it just like you guys, and it’s great,” said Barrucci, since they exercise no editorial control over the book.
Ennis’s War Comics as well will be published by Dynamite, and he is going to be helping them on Judge Dredd as plot and script consultant. They hope for John Wagner to write this classic character for them, and Ennis will help them fine-tune the character for the American audience. They haven’t decided on formats yet for the book, but it will give them a chance to experiment.
For the next announcement, Rybandt asked, “Doug, what are you working on these days? Do you want to do a monthly?”
“How is Buck Rogers coming on?” Klauba joked.
Dynamite will publish a Buck Rogers comic starting in 2009, though Barrucci said that the decision between Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon was one of the hardest of his career.
In addition, they have the upcoming Blackbeard book announced in Philadelphia, and they just signed a license for The Phantom, and Alex Ross will be doing covers and new character designs.
“We’re going to bring him back to his roots in New York City,” Barrucci said.
In addition to all the new projects, Lone Ranger issues #12, #13, and #14 are in the can and the next Lone Ranger and Tonto special is done, so there will be regular Lone Ranger books through the year. Battlestar Galactica, Jungle Girl, Terminator, and Zorro are also ongoing, as is The Man With No Name.
“Everyone kind of wants to play with The Man With No Name—in a comic book way,” Rybandt said.