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WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover B) (Jul 2003) Wizard Press

cover:  Jim Lee
Joe Quesada
WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover B)
Date: Jul 2003
Cover Price:  $4.99
Publisher: Wizard Press

Available in two covers: Batman and Spider-Man cover and Spider-Man 2 Concept Art
To be released 30 July 2003.
Features JLA/AVENGERS Diary by George Pérez.

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    WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover A) (Jul 2003)
    Wizard Press
    WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover B) (Jul 2003)
    Wizard Press

     August 9, 2003 | Wizard World in Texas Ad

    WIZARD WORLD TEXAS 2003 (11/21/03 - 11/23/03)

     August 2, 2003 | Essential Tale: Judas Contract
    From Titans Tower

    Teen Titans Essential Tale: "The Judas Contract"
    from Wizard #0, 2003
    transcribed by Bill Walko

    If anything, "The Judas Contract" shreds superteam ideals by asking, "Who do you trust?"

    Co-plotting creators Wolfman and Perez craft an all-new art of deception with their iconic version of the Teen Titans.

    In fact, a true appreciation of this tale (which DC recently collected into a TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS trade paperback) comes from knowing that it comprises only a patch among a larger, more sinister tapestry.

    Approximately a year before "Judas Contract" begins, a snarky young girl named Terra joins the Teen Titans under peculiar - and as a result, sympathetic - circumstances. At first, the earth-manipulating teen fights them, claiming she's a pawn of terrorists who have kidnapped her parents. The Titans resolve the issue, but not before learning the kidnappers had killed Terra's parents long ago without her knowledge. All alone in the world, Terra seeks refuge with the Titans.

    Over the course of the next year, Terra's sarcastic 'tude wins her teammates over. They let her in on all of their secrets - their real identities, their personal lives, their day job - severything. The lead-in to "Judas" serves up the ultimate whammy: Terra serves under the employ of the Titans' No. 1 nemesis, Deathstroke the Terminator... and has been from the start. And now the pair - hired by the nefarious organization known as the HIVE - know exactly how, where and when to strike at the start of "Judas."

    And pounce they do, systematically taking out each Titan, one by one, for eventual execution at the hands of the HIVE. With one exception: the ex-Robin, Dick Grayson, who outmanuevers the far superior Deathstroke to escape and plan his team-mates' liberation in a then-new guise of Nightwing.

    The ensuing battle for the Titans' freedom comes at a high cost, and Terra's duplicity cuts too deep, as one Titan perishes by story's end. Perhaps the deepest wound went to Changeling (now called Beast Boy) - before "Judas," he believed that he and Terra had a blossoming romance; instead her deception devastated him with a broken heart.

    "The Judas Contract" proves that innocence can be lost at any time, and things aren't always what they seem. The teenage life still walks its road of hard knocks...but for the Teen Titans, "Judas" left them a world more dangerous than ever.

    ALSO CHECK OUT: If it's got the names "Wolfman and Perez" on the cover, then it's gotta be good. And the following three examples kick ass. Pick up the first four issues of New Teen Titans (vol. I) and see how these Titans ain't a Junior JLA. New Teen Titans (vol. I) #20 serves as a touching one-shot story where Wally West (then going by Kid Flash) writes his parents describing what it means to be a Titan. Finally, the "Who Killed Trident?" storyarc in Titans (vol. I) #33 presents a unique murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.

     August 2, 2003 | Almost Famous: Absorbing Man


    JLA/Avengers artist George Pérez's cover for Avengers #184 catches the true essence of Absorbing Man: he's tough as all hell to put down! This 1979 cover depicts Creel's towering presence, unaffected by the assailing Avengers. The story has Creel escaping America to earn his freedom - even though he insist on always wearing presion pants and toting a ball and chain. NM Value: $7.

     July 30, 2003 | JLA/A Diary in Wizard #0

    By George Pérez
    As told to Mike Cotton
    transcribed by Vu (email)

    Comic's ultimate crossover has been 20 years in the making, and with the project debuting in September, the artist details the challenges, the exhilaration and how he almost called it quits.

    WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover A) (Jul 2003)
    Wizard Press
    I've waited my entire life for one day - the day JLA/Avengers became reality.

    Sure, for the last two years, I've been drawing the JLA/Avengers match-up pitting the classic superteams from the rival publishers DC and Marvel Comics. And after pushing for 20 years, a handful of false starts, scuttled plans and missteps, I wasn't sure if JLA/Avengers was ever going to see the light of day.

    Back in 1983 we came close. I actually drew 21 pages of a JLA/Avengers one-shot, but company policies and editorial wrangling torpedoed the project before I ever put pencil to paper on page 22.

    And, of course, there were always rumors. A comic convention ever went by when someone didn't asking me, "When are you going to do JLA/Avengers?" over the years, the project took on mythical proportions with expectations and speculation rising with each passing year. And if it were up to me, I would've done it in a second. But when you're dealing with the two biggest publishers in comics (and some of the biggest egos to boot), nothing's easy.

    But today, June 27, 2003, as I finished off the inks (did I mention, I'm penciling and inking the entire series?) on issue #3, I can hardly believe JLA/Avengers is almost complete.

    This is my diary from the first time I seriously began talking to Marvel and DC about the updated version of the crossover. Everything from the first phone calls in 1999 to today as I review the colors of the Batman/Captain America fight. If you think you know everything there is to know about the new JLA/Avengers, think again.


    Martian Manhunter & JLA

    Jan 10, 1999 - I've been approached on and off over the years about a JLA/Avengers project. But now that both JLA, with Grant Morrison and Howard Porter, is successful, and Avengers is successful under Kurt Busiek and myself, it looks like we might get a shot at actually doing the series. Kurt and Tom Brevoort believe it's a perfect time. Now that these two books are hot, why don't we start negotiating it? Everyone is a little concern that I won't have time to draw the regular Avengers series and the crossover, so we decide it just take place in both regular series and I'll draw the Avengers half with Howard drawing the JLA half. It's a terrible monster to coordinate, though.

    Apr 15, 2000 - Thankfully, Marvel and DC have cased negotiations. No one wants to do this series more than I do, but I don't think Grant really had any enthusiasm to do a crossover book like this. I'd rather draw the entire thing myself. This is my baby and I don't want anyone else breast feeding her.

    Aug 5, 2000 - Now that Mark Waid's been tapped to write JLA, there's been talk of working out another crossover with Mark and Kurt co-writing it. But this time, I'll draw the entire series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Aug 28, 2000 - I finish my last issue of Avengers today. I'd hope to be working on JLA/Avengers by now, but who knows when that will happen.

    Sep 3, 2000 - Joe Quesada took over as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics a few days ago. I am a little disappointed when I called to congratulate him and he tells me that he isn't interested in doing any more crossovers with DC. Joe feels that the novelty of inter-company crossovers has been diluted by the recent glut of such projects. I can't really disagree. Even I wrote one, the Silver Surfer/Superman crossover in 1997! Joe doesn't dash all of my hopes though. According to him there's one crossover he'd do - JLA/Avengers. He also says that the project's mine if he can get it approved. He says he'll keep me informed. I won't hold my breath.

    Oct 5, 2000 - I just started doing CrossGen Chronicles and Mark Alessi calls me today to ask if I'd be interested in working for his company full time. I'm seriously considering his offer, but with JLA/Avengers being talked about again, I'm not sure if I want to lock myself down in an exclusive contract with CrossGen even though it's very enticing.

    Oct 18, 2000 - Both DC and Marvel have now expressed interest in having me pencil JLA/Avengers, but no one's even started talking about contracts yet. Also Mark [Waid] just signed an exclusive with CrossGen , so Kurt would have to write it solo. I wonder if this is just going to turn into another debacle.

    Nov 22, 2000 - I've informed Marvel and DC that if I don't receive a written agreement by Dec 15, I'll sign and exclusive contract with CrossGen and won't be able to work on JLA/Avengers for at least two years.

    written by Mike Cotton
    What happened with the 1983 JLA/Avengers crossover?

    In the early 1980s, it looked like nothing could stop a JLA/Avengers crossover- nothing but Marvel and DC Comics.

    Following up on a very successful string of crossovers like 1976's Superman vs Spider-Man and 1982's X-Men/New Teen Titans, Marvel and DC agreed to a JLA/Avengers one-shot crossover.

    Gerry Conway plotted the story and George Pérez was assigned to pencil it, but before long, problems began to surface that would eventually torpedo the project. Conway's initial plot, which reportedly revolved around time travel and set the JLA/Avengers up in a Contest of Champions-style competition, took almost two years to complete.

    By February of 1983, though, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter was finally able to review a plot - he refused it flatly, claiming the story made no sense.

    Everyone agreed that a revised plot was needed. Unfortunately, no one told that to Pérez who began drawing the rejected plot.

    "It was excruciatingly annoy," says Pérez today, the only person to work on both the original one-shot and the current four-issue crossover shipping in September. "I drew 21 pages before I got the call to stop penciling immediately."

    Eventually writer Roy Thomas re-scripted the initial plot but the infighting between Marvel & DC's editorial teams put the project in jeopardy.

    Everyone from Pérez to Thomas to Shooter did interviews about the project's continued delays and by May of 1984 both published officially scuttled the one-shot.


    Dec 15, 2000 - I finally received the contract for JLA/Avengers and I inform Mark Alessi I will go exclusive with CrossGen as of October 2002.

    Jan 17, 2001 - While Kurt, Tom and Dan [Raspler] work on a plot, I work on the first promo art for a joint announcement at March's Orlando Megacon and Wizard #116 in March. I can hardly believe I'm being paid for an actual piece of artwork for JLA/Avengers. This isn't a fan commission - this is the real deal!

    Mar 2, 2001 - By the time we all get together in Orlando to announce the project, everyone was already talking about it. I guess a project this big can't be kept under wraps for too long. And since Marvel and DC already announced they'd be co-hosting a panel, most fans and pros have already put two and two together.

    It eases my mind a little bit now that everyone knows JLA/Avengers is a go again. Now that DC and Marvel have put their collective reputations on the line, I don't see anything holding this project back anymore.

    Mar 24, 2001 - as expected the plot is taking a long time to be approved. I'm already receiving pieces, but I can't get a real feel for the story without everything. I like what I see so far, though.

    Apr 6, 2001 - Wizard wants to run the first art from JLA/Avengers, so I'm jumping ahead of my work to push through the pencils and inks on the first two double-page spreads. I can't wait for fans to get a look at this stuff. So far, I haven't drawn any pages of the JLA and Avengers interacting, so we picked out pages of the JLA fighting a major Marvel Villain (Terminus) and the Avengers taking on a major DC villain (Starro).

    Apr 8, 2001 - There's so many characters in this series, I'm doing research like crazy. I literally couldn't remember what Terminus looked like today!

    Apr 15, 2001 - Marvel and DC have a very different vision of what the coloring on JLA/Avengers should look from mine and Tom Smith's. I feel bad that Tom's caught in the middle.

    Apr 20, 2001 - I am growing increasingly annoyed with the coloring on the two spreads we're sending Wizard for their "First Look". When I voice my displeasure to Tom and Dan both decide that Tom Smith and myself are more than welcome to make any grievances public. I guess no one wants to be the person who has to go to their bosses and say, "I'm the one responsible for George Pérez quitting this book."

    May 3, 2001 - I just finished page #21 of the first issue. As I wrote "JLA/Avengers issue #1, page #22" on the next art board, I realized this is further than this project has ever gone before. I called Tom Brevoort immediately to celebrate. This is a landmark day!

    May 17, 2001 - The plots are slowing down and I don't think it's Kurt's fault. Dan Raspler doesn't want to approve anything until he gets a complete plot. I'm getting annoyed. He seemed to be very indecisive and that's something we can't allow with a project this big.

    May 21, 2001 - Since a holdup in plot approval doesn't allow me to continue penciling, I start to ink what I've already penciled for issue #1. I want this project to be "all George Pérez", a complete representation of my art.

    Jun 7, 2001 - Now that issue #1 is penciled and I'm halfway through penciling issue #2, DC's business department want to have a firm date when JLA/Avengers will ship, but that's impossible at this point. There's no way this book should have a ship date until we know it can ship. I tell Marvel and DC that I'll walk away from the project if they don't hold to their word when they said, "JLA/Avengers will ship when JLA/Avengers is ready to ship."

    Jun 18, 2001 - I work on the first meeting between the JLA and Avengers today, and Thor cracks Superman with his hammer in a scene that's going to be huge! I would expect no less from Kurt!

    Jul 10, 2001 - As I'm inking the last pages of issue #1, I learn I'm going to have to go back and redraw Green Lantern's costume. DC recently updated his look and it'll need to be reflected. After speaking with everyone involved, we agree that this will be the last costume change we make. If costumes or characters change from now on, they won't be reflected in the crossover.

    Aug 1, 2001 - With the pencils on issue #2 almost complete, I make preparations to take a brief vacation to France with my wife this September. I look forward to taking some time off.

    Sep 11, 2001 - As my wife and I prepare to go to the airport we hear the news about the World Trade Center disaster. I can't believe any of this. We cancel our trip.


    Jan 5, 2002 - Looking over my bank records, I realized that I'm losing about 30 percent of my income now that I'm only working on JLA/Avengers. I'm very worried about bankruptcy, I've called my art dealer and he's set me up doing some commissions pieces to help out.

    Jun 3, 2002 - The plans for my new CrossGen book, Solus, haven't been finalized yet, so I've got a one-month reprieve to work on JLA/Avengers. Plot approval remains slow. I'm at a stand still on issue #3 pencils, and I continue inking #2.

    Batman Vs Captain America
    Aug 20, 2002 - I draw the Batman versus Captain America fight today. This one will make the fanboys go crazy!

    Oct 1, 2002 - My CrossGen contract has gone back into effect. From now on, I'll only work on JLA/Avengers at night and on weekends. I'm still penciling and inking issue #3. I'm jazzed to be working on Solus with Barbara Kesel, but I wish I had a little more time to devote to JLA/Avengers.

    Mar 7, 2003 - I can't ever recall working longer days. I work on JLA/Avengers off the clock constantly. Even when I sti down to watch TV with my wife these, I find myself bring a board and pen with me to finish the inks on issue #3.

    Apr 23, 2003 - We're in the home stretch. Although the final plot is still being worked on, I begin penciling the first third of the JLA/Avengers #4. We decide to solicit the project for September - the first issue debuting Sep 3 - and I'm confident we can meet that deadline, but it's still going to be tight. We may have to go to a six-week shipping schedule, but I'm sure each issue will be worth the wait.

    Jun 27, 2003 - Now that we're less than three months away from shipping issue #1, I've finally got some breathing room. Although most of my week is taken up working on Solus, the pencils on JLA/Avengers #4 are coming along nicely and the inks on issue #3 are almost done.

    Looking back, this has been one of the most enjoyable and creative experiences of my 30-year career. People ask me how I feel and I tell them to get back to me Sep 3, I'll feel a lot better then.

     July 30, 2003 | Wizard Zero Preview
    From Kirk

    I received the new Wizard in the mail just before going to work. It only shows two new JLA/Avengers panels if I remember right. One where you see the inside of Jo'nn Jon'zz mind. He's thinking of past JLA members, so you see head drawings of them in his mind.

    Then the other panel I think only shows half of the page. a split face with Bats on one side and Cap on the other. At the bottom Batman and Cap are about to fight. Next to the split faces are on one side Thor and Wonder Woman. On the other side Plastic Man, Iron Man, Quick Silver and Scarlet Witch. The rest of the page isn't shown. George says Thor draws first blood. He also says he almost resigned from doing this series believe it or not.

    Anyway I know you'll read it tomorrow. By the way, George is listed as appearing at Wizard World Texas in November. Cool huh?

     July 30, 2003 | Wizard Zero Available Early to Subscribers
    From Dynamic Forces

    Last Updated 07/29/03 at 4:25pm (EST)
    written by Richard Johnston


    Then of course there's Wizard. DC's relationship with Wizard seems to have been turned up a notch of two, with news stories being given exclusively to the magazine - something that hadn't been the case for the last few years. Which means they're often in the situation where policy has been decided but can't be released, as Wizard has a six week lead time to publication - the magazine has to be finished six weeks before it's on the comic book racks. So DC have to deny/prevaricate when it comes to comment on a story. This has been usual practice for Marvel of late, it's just harder for them to keep things under wraps.

    The amusing situation gets quite farcical when the subscription copies of Wizard arrive a week earlier than the comic shop copies. Suddenly all the newshounds have copies of the stories, printed, but the companies still can't comment because the magazine hasn't been distributed to comic stores yet.

    This week's announcement of Jim Lee and Brian Azzarello on Superman on was precipitated not only by the weekend's rumours, but also that subscription copies of Wizard Zero hit the doormats, featuring the story. This is also where Newsarama's mention that Greg Rucka and Chuck Austen being confirmed on monthly Superman titles came from. Of course they can't say where they came from, otherwise it would be admitting they're just reading from a magazine.

     July 29, 2003 | Wizard Zero on Sale Tomorrow
    From Wizard

    Tuesday, July 29

    What you need to know about Wizard Zero

    Behold the future! Wizard Zero redefines the look, style, and feel of Wizard: the Comics Magazine with unprecedented new features.


    Wizard Zero will be totally redesigned from previous issues and feature a JLA/Avengers diary by George Perez, news on the new Superman movie, the Best Artists in Comics - Alex Ross, Brian Bolland, Bryan Hitch - and more! Wizard Zero also features a bigger, all-new comic book price guide with over 40 pages of prices and market trends!

    Whatever you do, do NOT miss this landmark Wizard event!

     July 24, 2003 | Wizard ZerØ Cover
    From PREVIEWS vol 13, #8

    WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover A) (Jul 2003)
    Wizard Press
     July 23, 2003 | Wizard ZerØ Ships Next Week
    From Diamond

    Shipping Next Week: July 30

    The following products are expected to ship to comic book specialty stores next week. Note that this list is tentative and subject to change. Please check with your retailer for availability.


     June 12, 2003 | Wizard ZerØ Poster
    From Vu

    This is the poster that was given out to retailers who carries Wizard Magazine:

     June 12, 2003 | 53 Wednesday: Wizard ZerØ
    From Silver Bullet Comics

    Wednesday, June 11
    By Michael Deeley

    May 28-Jun. 3: The Obligatory Column about Previews



    “Wizard” is redefining itself, beginning with its upcoming #0 issue. This will include original Spider-Man and Batman comic stories, interviews, new features, and other stuff that makes “Wizard”, “totally redesigned from previous issues”. Also included are the Top 100 X-men comics of all time, and an expanded price guide. Wow, they reverted back to their old selves in no time at all! Literally.

     June 3, 2003 | Wizard Zerø Casts a New Spell
    From Diamond Comics

    Wizard Zerø Casts a New Spell
    June 2, 2003

    In 1991, Wizard: The Comics Magazine forever changed the way comics fans looked at their favorite titles, characters, and creators. This summer, Wizard Entertainment will change the way readers look at the monthly itself with the release of Wizard Zerø.

    During its lifetime, Wizard has continuously redesigned and refined its many features to be more informative, more exciting, and more entertaining. This bold, new phase of the magazine's evolution should entice both faithful and new readers to sample Wizard's magic.

    Wizard Zerø will kick off in style with two never-before-seen, six-page comics stories: a Batman tale by Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee (set between Batman #615-#616 in their "Hush" storyline); and an Ultimate Spider-Man story written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada (marking his first story since 2002's Marvel Knights Double Shot).

    Other features scheduled for Wizard Zerø include an on-set visit to the set of the sequel to Sony Pictures' Spider-Man; a Wizard Zerø Artist Profile on Neal Adams (with exclusive art created for the issue); George Perez's JLA/Avengers diary; "Basic Training" with Fathom creator Michael Turner; an expansive comic book price guide (with a Special Report on the Top 100 X-Men Books of All Time); and more.

    The issue is offered with two covers -- a Lee/Quesada Batman/Spider-Man Cover (JUN031931, $4.99), and an alternate cover featuring Spider-Man 2 Concept Art (JUN031932, $4.99) from the upcoming film -- and is scheduled to ship on July 30.

     May 23, 2003 | JLA/A Diary in Wizard ZerØ
    From Diamond Comics

    Wizard At Ground Zero

    WIZARD ZERØ #0 (Cover A) (Jul 2003)
    Wizard Press
    Going back to grass roots editorial features, Wizard Entertainment has created a new publication that’s not only a throwback, but a hybrid. Because this "old school" magazine also features exclusive comics stories from top creators in the industry. It’s an entirely new kind of equation. And they simply call it Wizard ZERØ.

    Different? Yes! That’s entirely the point. Not only will you get extensive coverage of newsworthy events in the comics community—like the filming of the new Spider-man movie—but also familiar features like in-depth artist profiles.

    And it gets better. How about a JLA/Avengers diary by George Pérez? Or maybe news on the new Superman movie? The return of "Basic Training?" All of this and more make up Wizard ZERØ. The "more" part specifically referring to the exclusive comics that you’ll see from Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee — they contribute an all-new 6-page Batman story that takes place between issues #615 & #616 — and Brian Michael Bendis joins Editor-In Chief Joe Quesada for a 6-page Ultimate Spider-Man tale.

    Yes, Wizard ZERØ ups the ante for news and fun with comics entertainment. Look for it in the Premiere section of Previews!


    Behold the future! Wizard ZERØ redefines the look, style, and feel of Wizard: The Comics Magazine with unprecedented new features:

    ...Wizard ZERØ will be totally redesigned from previous issues and feature the following: A JLA/Avengers diary by George Pérez.

  • Magazine (Batman/Ultimate Spider-Man cover by Jim Lee/Joe Quesada)..........$4.99
  • Magazine (Spider-Man 2 concept cover)..........$4.99
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