The last panel I went to at Comic-Con was the Top Cow one on Saturday. It was a pretty wild affair, with lots to say and not enough time. President Matt Hawkins, Publisher Filip Sablik and founder Marc Silvestri (complete with sunglasses indoors for extra cool) were the main speakers, but there were more people brought on stage than an American Idol episode.
The first big announcement was about the Magdalena movie, which now has a screenwriter in Holly Brix and director in Ryuhei Kitamura. The showreel of the Japanese film maker was presented, consisting of great films such as Versus, Azumi and the recent (and very bloody) Midnight Meat Train. I’ve seen most of his films and teaming up a female writer with a director who knows how to create wild action films with female characters is a great choice. Even Top Cow admitted that the love of this character is surprising, considering she’s only appeared in limited series and x-overs, and never an ongoing series. A teaser poster had the names of Luke Goss (Blade 2, Hellboy 2) and Jenna Dewan (Step Up, The Grudge 2) and like the series, it centres on the Catholic church and its power plays but will also focus on the transfer of power from one Magdalena to another, with someone trying to “hasten the Second Coming of Christ.”
There will also be a new Magdalena ongoing series written by Ron Marz who writes Witchblade for the company, with Ryan Sook as the cover artist. Marz is so impressed by his work that he was willing to wait until Sook was available. No interior artist has been announced yet.
The next film news was about Aphrodite IX, another rarely seen character whose popularity seems to defy logic. Apparently the statue based on the green haired character is their most popular and more news about that film will come next month. Hawkins only hinted that the lead actress is “very hot.”
A sequel to the gory The Darkness game is in the works, since the first one sold over a million units. A film is also in the works for Jackie Estacado and more news will come in 6-8 weeks.
In December arrives a Darkchylde/The Darkness one-shot x-over from Darkchylde creator Randy Queen. You can read more about that in Broken Frontier’s interview with Queen.
The Pilot Season book, Alibi will also get its own film and Common Grounds, described as “Cheers with superheroes and villains,” will receive its own, darker live action TV series.
Busy scribe Marz will write a series called Artifacts which focuses on the 13 artifacts he’s introduced in his Witchblade series, and what happens when you bring all of them together, which is something very bad.
Tracker was then briefly mentioned and it focuses on a look at werewolves in a new way. It’s written by Jonathan Lincoln with art by Francis Tsai. William Harms, writer of the excellent Impaler series is bringing us Epoch, which is like a “supernatural Fight Club,” with a myriad of creatures from mythology battling it out.
Then Heroes actor Milo Ventimiglia and his producing partner Russ Cundiff came on stage (they were both sitting right infront of me) to discuss their gruesome Berserker series that plays with Norse mythology and decapitating rage. Ventimiglia obviously likes what Top Cow are doing and believes they’re the only publisher brave enough to publish the series. The director of the indie film Gabriel, Shane Abbess was pointed out in the audience and fans were encouraged to champion his name as a director behind a Berserker film.
Another Pilot Season series will begin, with Silvestri and writer Robert Kirkman creating all 5 one-shots, the most popular of which will become a series.
Then things started getting even more rapid-fire, but here’s a rundown. There will be a Cyberforce ongoing with art by Kenneth Rocafort and a writer to be announced later. Christos Gage will be writing a series called Sunset, and Silvestri will be working on Midway Earth, Jack the Giant Killer and Warrior. Their deal with Jeff Katz’s (Booster Gold writer) company American Original was also mentioned. Phew. Expect more detailed announcements from the busy Top Cow crew in the coming months.