Here are some of my key notes from this year’s Baltimore Retail Summit. I am sure a lot of this has been on-line already, but if you didn’t read them there, you’ll read them here first.
In 2008 there will be a crossover involving ALL of the Star Wars comics. People will want to get all of them in order to follow the story.
There WILL be more Serenity comics! In fact, they are planning two mini-series. No other details were given, so I don't know when they're set or when they should be arriving. One thing I do know - the comics will be super crazy hot sellers.
Eric Powell is crazy! He was pushing his "China Town" book like mad. In 2008 he's saying The Goon will come out monthly.
The Dark Tower hard cover will release on 11/7 – another great holiday gift. They're working on the new series, Dark Tower: Long Road Home right now and plan to have most of it done before they solicit it, and it should start coming out in early 2008.
Captain America is really dead, and will stay dead, “for a long, long time.”
Plan on adapting Kinley MacGregor’s Lords of Avalon novels into comics (this was originally a Dabel Bros. property) this winter.
In Marvel Zombies V.2 there will be a Zombie Civil War. The question is, will they kill the undead Captain America Zombie?
In the summer of 2008 B. K. Vaughan will be doing a Wolverine series with Ed Risso as the artist.
They plan to get the attention of the mass media with the third issue of Spider-Man One More Day. Be sure you get a copy early!
BIG things coming for your favorite Marvel Mutants! In regard to X-Men Disassembled, D. Gabriel said, “Things won’t be the same.” This stuff is already happening and will go from now through next July including Uncanny X-Men #50 0. You already know that Marvel is doing an X-Over called “Endangered Species.” They’re also planning another called “Messiah Complex” that will cross into the same X-books. Once it’s over even Astonishing X-Men will reflect the X-World post “Messiah.” Cable will be back, with Olivetti art. There will no longer be a team called “X-Men.” But, there will be an “X-Force” featuring: X-23, Wolverine, Warpath & Wolfsbane.
Something big involving those evil & ugly Skrulls will take place in Might Avengers #7, and D. Gabriel said, “The team won’t be around much longer.” Watch for Dr. Doom and Hood and Deathlock will become the big bad-guys. There will also be an 8-issue mini-series about the Skrulls after World War Hulk, starting in January, featuring Yu’s art. D. Gabriel informed us that Bendis planned on the Skrull invasion since he started New Avengers, and that there are clues as to who they are from the very beginning of the series. Next year’s “big event” will be called “Secret Invasion” and feature Bendis and Yu.
There will be an Ultimate Iron Man V.2 series starting in December (do you smell movie?) featuring the talents of Orson Scott Card & Pasqual Ferry.
The big thing will be Countdown:Arena. It will come out every week for 4 weeks and feature Evil Monarc assembling his army comprised of characters from the 52 worlds. B. Wayne reported that, “You could see the Batman from ‘Gotham by Gasslight’ fighting against Superman and Batman.” Think back to that teaser that DC had released a while back... sounds like that was a spoiler for this.
DC cowboy Bat Lash is coming back. John Severin will draw – so that means beautiful horses.
The hugely popular, “Batman: Killing Joke” is once again going to be reprinted. This time assembled in a set as a deluxe hard cover. There will also be an action figure set including Batman & Joker figured after the art of Brian Bolland.
Coming in December with issue #37, will be Jim Shooter on Legion of Superheroes.
New Shazam mini-series coming. Looks cute! DC is definitely making an effort to keep a quality line of all-age comics. Tiny Titans is coming soon, too.
Wildstorm: Revelations is starting in January and is supposed to come out twice monthly.
Not only will there be an amazing Alex Ross cover for the “Heroes” hard cover, but there will be a “Diamond Exclusive” cover featuring the art of Jim Lee.
Did you know that there are over 9 million current subscribers for the MMORPG World of Warcraft? That’s pretty ‘massive’ if I do say so myself. DC plans to market the comic to those folks, so it should be hugely popular.
DC brought Jim Lee to half of the convention and both days of the summit. He did a quick sketch of Batman with a word balloon saying something about “sorry I’m late...” and auctioned it off at the summit for $350 with the proceeds going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF). A bit later Lee went on stage and announced that he’d auction himself off for an in-store signing in which he’d pay for his own way to the store, a hotel, or he’d even “stay in your house, or basement and even make you dinner, if that’s what you want.” This auction had the whole room buzzing, and eventually Jim Lee was sold to a store owner in Minnesota for $7,500, with proceeds going to the CBLDF.
Garth Ennis is writing a "Dan Dare" comic for Virgin and they were pushing it HARD. Every chair at every table at lunch got a free Dan Dare T-Shirt. This turned out to be the most popular gift of the summit that day because the air conditioning was jacked up to about 60 degrees and everyone was freezing, so people were wrapping themselves up in the Dan Dare shirts.
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future was a post World War 2 comic book published in England, so as you might guess, not many retailers at the summit seemed very interested. But Ennis sounds cool when he says "Batman."