Going back to Autumn 2008, some of you may remember that I ran a story on the future of Alan Davis' Clan Destine (This one, in fact) coming out of that years Mid Ohio Con, which Davis attended along with oft collaborator Chris Claremont. This was the news that unfortunately that year's Clan Destine mini had not pulled enough readers to justify Marvel giving it another go, and that Davis would therefore be trying to continue his story in a series of three Annuals (A Fantastic Four, a Daredevil and a Wolverine.
Well, now we're in 2010. 2009 went by without any news on the subject. I kept an eye out for ANY books which Davis worked on, in hope of a Destine family glimpse, but sadly no. To be honest, with the end of the year approaching it had started to pass out of hope and mind. I had the opportunity to ask Davis about the series in person, at BICS in October, and totally forgot until afterwards.
But quite by fluke the other week I got to talking on the subject of Clan Destine with one of the 'Vocal Minority' on Comic Book Resources - who asked me about that very article from 2008. So, I went looking...
Davis has continued to work for Marvel, where he has an exclusive contract for work, over the past year. Mostly covers and one shots for other writers. I loved his work on X-Men: The list, the rough sketches of which he had with him at BICS. But with the advent of Chris Claremont's X-Men Forever (A book picking up from where CC left the X-Men titles in the early 90s) and Louise Simonsen's X-Factor Forever (Very much the same concept, but with her and the original X-Factor series)over at Alan Davis' forum some people were questioning if an Excalibur Forever, could be that far behind, courtesy of Davis...
Unfortunately, for us hardcore Excalibur fans, Davis suggests there are no such plans from his point of view:
If there are any plans, I won’t be involved. I’ve decided the Wolverine Annual will be my last writing for the foreseeable future and I’ll go back to being ‘just’ a penciller!
Just' a penciller!? I think most of us would agree that Alan Davis is more than a cut above being JUST a penciller. The guy is a living legend.
But would that be the same Wolverine annual he mentioned back in 2008> Why certainly...
The annuals have been delayed because over the last eighteen months Marvel asked me to work on the other projects and covers which significantly slowed progress. I have completed the Fantastic Four and Daredevil Annuals—and hope to continue the Wolverine Annual during any downtime on the six part series I’ll start to pencil in January.
As I have said elsewhere, my first priority has always been family and one of the factors that determined which projects I took on has been how the deadlines will impact my family. In the last couple of years my work took a back seat because both my children got married in 2008, with all of the usual upheaval and celebration, and our first grandchild arrived in 2009. I’ve had a terrific couple of years. However, what I discovered was that, with the added distractions of one-offs and covers, it is difficult to build or maintain the necessary momentum to write and pencil a book. I realised I needed to make a choice.
Although I have had offers to write for other artists on balance I prefer to work as a penciller with a writer rather than seeing my story drawn by someone else.
I’m sure Marvel will announce the mini-series in due course.
And I can absolutely appreciate where he is coming from. That's a lot of big family stuff all coming in a relatively short space of time. And while I would still be more than willing to read an Alan Davis comic with artwork from another, I can quite understand why he would prefer not to do that.
So that's the state of play. Two out of three annuals are ready. One more still on the go. Keep your eyes peeled throughout 2010. I doubt that, in the current market, these are books which will be given a huge Marvel fanfare. But any fan of Clan Destine would be a mug to miss out on them.
I've been meaning to do a proper charting of the Destine family tree for the Blog here. Hopefully in the next couple of months I'll get a chance to do that, because I love that book. The Destine's were always such a unique family, and the way in which they could be inter-weaved into pretty much any period of Marvel history has always seemed to me like a very much untapped potential.