In the wake of Spider-Man the relationship between comic books and the film industry have gotten closer and closer -- and it's turning into a two-way street.  Led by a raft of highly successful 'retro' titles (see 'Retro Rules Again in July'), comics based on licensed properties are enjoying something of renaissance.  Now Newsarama reports that MGM has licensed three properties, Stargate SG-1, Species, and Robocop to Avatar Press.  The three properties involved started on the big screen, and then migrated to television before getting a chance at four-color immortality.


Of the three licenses involved, Stargate SG-1 appears to be the strongest at this time.  The Stargate SG-1 TV series is now in its sixth season, has been garnering high rankings in its prime Friday night spot on the Sci-Fi Channel (see 'Stargate SG-1 Getting Great Ratings on the Sci-Fi Channel'), and a Stargate animated series is about to debut on Fox (see 'September on Fox Box').  With trading card series from Rittenhouse Archives and two complete TV Season DVD compilations out by September, there should be plenty of Stargate merchandise around when the Avatar Stargate SG-1 comic series arrives next year.


Avatar might appear to be a strange choice at first, but the company has come a long way from its 'boob-fest' Bad Girl period.  With current titles written by some of the top scribes in the business including Alan Moore, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis, Avatar has expanded its range and ambitions.  Creating great comics based on licensed properties is not an easy proposition -- it's often tough to get top-flight creators to work on film and TV-based projects -- but these licenses provide Avatar the opportunity to appeal to science fiction fans and broaden the audience for their comics.