AQUAMAN

Originally planned: late nineties [1998/99(?)], DC Comics

writer, Harlan Ellison and Peter David; art, unknown

After he left Aquaman, writer Peter David mentioned that he and Harlan Ellison had talked about writing a storyline involving the Jack Kirby created Fourth World characters “Deep Six.” The story never got to an art or solicitation stage.


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DR. STRANGE

Originally planned: circa 2000, Marvel Comics

story, Harlan Ellison; art, John Romita, Jr.

Around the time Joe Quesada took over as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics in mid-2000 there was some discussion of a possible “Dr. Strange” comic to be written by Harlan Ellison and feature art by John Romita, Jr.

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HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR #6

Issue 6, September 1995, Dark Horse Comics

Solicited but canceled. The contents of this issue became Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor Quarterly.

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HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR QUARTERLY #2+

Issues 2 and beyond, 1995/96, Dark Horse Comics

No further issues were solicited beyond issue 1 of Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor Quarterly.

Artists, such as Paul Smith, had been mentioned, both in the press and privately, as potentially working on stories and Jan Strand mentioned on his website that he and Richard Corben would be adapting the story “The Man in the Juice Wagon.” This story would eventually see print in Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor Vol. 2.


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JSA ALL-STARS

Originally planned: 2003, DC Comics

Dr. Fate story, Harlan Ellison; art, never announced

JSA All Stars was a mini-series featuring the modern-day incarnation of the Justice Society of America. Each issue featured a main story featuring one of the “legacy” characters, modern characters like Mr. Terrific who shared a name and theme with a classic, golden age character. Each issue also featured a back-up story, by a variety of writers and artists, featuring the golden age version of the character. As originally announced, Harlan Ellison would write the back-up story featuring Dr. Fate. Unfortunately, schedules did not work out and the story was assigned elsewhere.

Background

Update: October 1, 2002 — All DC Comics books, cover dated 2002, featured a news/hype page called “DC In Demand.” A rumor/future project hype column on that entiled “What’s This, You Say?”, and credited to “Your Mole at 1700″, contained the following tidbit:

I mean, I’m not supposed to talk, but… …[hints of new Elric comic series by Michael Morcock and Walter Simonson and a Dr. Fate mini-series] … Or that the JSA will heat up further in another series with contributions by Harlan Ellison, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Chabon, and other big names?

No Further info was given at that time.

Update: October 3, 2002 — Wow. That was quick. A few days after December cover dated DC Books went on the stand with the hint of an Ellison JSA story, the project was officially announced, without Ellison’s participation. The project, entitled JSA All-Stars, is an eight-issue mini-series concerning the modern day Justice Society of America. Issues 2 through five will feature a lead story starring one of the current JSA members, along with a back-up story about that heroes golden age equivalent. These back-up stories were to feature the all-star writer line-up mentioned previously. However, Ellison was no longer able to included among that line-up. According to the internet comic book news web-site Newsarama:

And while DC and writer Harlan Ellison were ultimately unable to work scheduling on a back-up story (as mentioned this month in the publisher’s new ‘DC on Demand’ information page), DC has still lined up an impression group of writers, including as promised a Pulitzer-prize winning author making this comic book debut…

In fact, the Pulitzer-prize winning author mentioned, Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), was the only one of the three names mentioned in the DC In Demand article that was still attached to the project. For completists sake, and because it should still be a well written and drawn mini-series if you don’t mind the modern Justice Society team, here is the announced line-up of creators [lead story creators first; then back-up creators]:

  • #1 – JSA: Geoff Johns/David Goyer (w), Sal Velluto/Bob Almond (p/i)
  • #2 – Mr. Terrific: Johns/Goyer, Dave Ross; Michael Chabon, Michael Lark
  • #3 – Dr. Fate: Johns/Goyer, Barry Kitson; Darwyn Cooke (w/a)
  • #4 – Stargirl: Johns/Goyer, Mike McKone; James Robinson, Tony Harris
  • #5 – Hourman: Johns/Goyer, Adam DeCrocker; Howard Chaykin (w/a)
  • #6 – Hawkgirl: Johns/Goyer, Phil Winslade; Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale
  • #7 – Dr. Midnight: Johns/Goyer, Steve Sadowski; Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Rizzo
  • #8 – JSA: Johns/Goyer (w), Sal Velluto, Bob Almond

No release date other than “next year” [2003] was mentioned.

Update: March 2004 — In an interview with Jon B. Cooke for Comic Book Artist #23 (Dec. 2002, TwoMorrows Publishing) HE mentioned some of his potential future comics work:

CBA: So you will occasionally continue to write comics?

Harlan: Oh, absolutely. I’m doing some right now. If I had not gotten involved in terrible, terrible, deadlines, I would have already finished a Doctor Fate I’m doing for [DC Comics editor] Peter Tomasi, that takes place back in 1940. In fact, it’s a story that takes place immediately after the banquet story in JSA Secret Files. But I was late with it, and he had to reassign it to someone else, so we have decided that we’re going to do… I can’t tell you exactly, but it will be a one-shot, killer project. A kind of dream of mine come true.

It appears that this was the story originally planned for the JSA All-Stars mini-series. No official announcements or further news has appeared since the interview.


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MARVEL KNIGHTS: SILVER SURFER

No Release Date Announced, Marvel Knights/Marvel Comics

writer, Harlan Ellison; art, Joe Quesada (rumored); editors, Joe Quesada & Jimmy Palmiotti

Rumored Silver Surfer story to be written by Harlan Ellison. The plot had been seemingly adapted to be a Dr. Strange story, said to be illustrated by John Romita, Jr., but unfortunately that project never happened either. Because plot is out-of-date with current Marvel continuity and Romita, Jr. has announced the Dr. Strange project, this is assumed dead.

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REALWORLDS: SUPERMAN

Planned: 2000, DC Comics/Realworlds

“Exorcising Demons”

writers, Harlan Ellison and Peter David; art, Paul Ryan; editor, Andy Helfer

A “Superman” story that was to be part of what became a four book series examining DC heroes and their impact on the “Real World.” The book was mentioned by Ellison in several interviews and mentioned in preliminary press announcements of the series. But when the series was finally solicited over several months in 2000 the “Superman” book included was not the Ellison/David/Ryan book.

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THE SHADOW

Originally planned: early eighties (?), Fantagraphics Books (?)

writer, Harlan Ellison; art, Michael Kaluta

Rumored Shadow graphic novel to be illustrated by classic seventies Shadow artist Michael Kaluta. Never solicited.

For more information see The Comics Journal #54, 57, 61, and 82.


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