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Wednesday, June 21, 2000

MARVEL COMICS FOR SEPTEMBER

Following are Marvel Comics' solicitations for September, with information provided by the company.

SPIDER-MAN TITLES

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, cover by Joe Quesada.

An outsider even amongst his own peers, high school student Peter Parker is a young man at the crossroads of destiny. Orphaned as a youth and raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, Peter finds himself the target of a constant tirade of pranks perpetrated by school jock "Flash" Thompson and his burly bud, nicknamed "Kong." But when fate intercedes and Peter finds himself the recipient of strange and amazing powers, how long can our hero ignore the painful prodding? And when industrialist Norman Osborn takes a deadly interest in this development, will Peter be able to avoid a violent case of corporate downsizing? When backed into a corner, will the hero learn that with great power there must come great responsibility?

48 pages, $2.99.

SPIDER-WOMAN #17

Written by John Byrne, art by Bart Sears and Randy Elliott, cover by Sears.

Spider-Woman stitches together the myriad strands of fate that bind Flesh and Bones with Miss Itch and Mr. Scratch.

32 pages, $2.25.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23

Written by Howard Mackie, art by John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna, cover by Romita.

A lead-in to Maximum Security. At long last readers learn the secret that connects Senator Ward, Arthur Stacy and the Ranger. And just when readers thought it couldn't get more bizarre, in come the aliens known as the Z'Nox. It's revelations galore-and they all tie-in to next month's huge Maximum Security.

32 pages, $2.25.

SPIDER-GIRL #26

Written by Tom DeFalco, art and cover by Pat Olliffe and Al Williamson.

The events from last issue's shocking cliffhanger have everyone asking the same questions: What's wrong with Spider-Girl? Will her powers ever be the same again? And does May Parker herself even care? Plus: Normie Osborn goes to a psychiatrist-and Phil Urich meets up with a man named Reilly.

32 pages, $2.25.

SPIDER-MAN UNIVERSE #8

Now reformatted-and a dollar cheaper. It's three complete Spider stories in one book (with helpful character bios and story intros). Great for new readers-or veteran fans who just need to catch up-this 80-page issue reprints Peter Parker, Spider-Man #20, #21 and #22,

80 pages, $3.99.

PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN # 23

Written by Paul Jenkins, art by Mark Buckingham and Dan Green, cover by Buckingham.

Roomates Peter Parker and Randy Robertson are both experiencing weird dreams about alien abduction. And what's even more strange is that they'll lead-through a chilling chain of events-to the creation of an all-new villain! But what does this all have to do with Maximum Secruity? Plus: Meet the newest addition to Spidey's rogue's gallery, Type Face.

32 pages, $2.25.

SPIDER-GIRL PRESENTS: DARKDEVIL #1

Written by Tom DeFalco, art by Ron Frenz and Al Milgrom, cover by Frenz.

On one side is the Kingpin, attempting to manipulate the mayoral election. On the other is the Secret Society of Scriers, seeking revenge against the man called Kaine-the man who stole the child who grew up to become Spider-Girl. And in the middle is Darkdevil. Plus: At long last, readers finally learn the first part of this mystery man's origin.

32 pages, $2.99.

BACKPACK MARVELS: SPIDER-MAN VOL. 1

Backpack Marvels are filled with black-and-white reprints of some of the House of Idea's most memorable tales. Better yet, these are stories that have been chosen specifically to appeal to the first-time reader, and are the perfect introduction to our wonderful universe of heroic fantasy.

160 pages, black and white, 8 inches by 5 inches, $6.95.

SPIDER-MAN: REVENGE OF THE GREEN GOBLIN #2

Written by Roger Stern, art by Lee Weeks and Bob McLeod, cover by Weeks.

Continuing the story that will have far-reaching repercussions on the two monthly Spidey titles. In his time, Norman Osborn has been many things: father, industrialist, tortured soul-and the sadistic super-villain known as the Green Goblin. He has cheated death, faced the madness of his own twisted psyche, and even found love. Now, once again at the top of his game, Norman is engineering the ultimate revenge upon his most hated foe-by striking right where the ever-amazing Spider-Man lives.

32 pages, $2.99.

MARVEL HEROES TITLES

FANTASTIC FOUR #35

Written by Carlos Pacheco, art by Pacheco and Rafael Marin, cover by Pacheco.

Carlos Pacheco assumes both the writing and penciling duties for the monthly adventures of the FF. And Carlos starts things off with a bang as the cosmic quartet goes toe-to-toe with one of their oldest and most deadly foes-the master of matter manipulation known as Diablo.

32 pages, $3.25 (standard cover, $2.25).

HELLCAT #3

Written by Steve Englehart, art and cover by Norm Breyfogle.

Series conclusion. The lords of the Underworld wage war upon one another and their mystery opponent. Hellcat thinks she holds the key to victory, but to use it, Patsy Walker will have to bring about a fundamental change in the nature of Hell itself.

32 pages, $2.99.

INCREDIBLE HULK 2000

Written by Paul Jenkins, art and cover by Mark Texiera.

A rampaging Hulk hits Manhattan-making a bee-line for the Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Reader won't believe what he wants-or what his cousin She-Hulk will have to do to stop him.

48 pages, $3.50.

POWER PACK: PEER PRESSURE #4

Written by S.C. Bury, art and cover by Colleen Doran and Terry Austin.

The conclusion to the limited series. Power Pack has to save the Snarks from themselves-but why would the kids help their greatest enemies? Will this decision be the nail that drives the team apart?

32 pages, $2.99.

THOR #29

Written by Dan Jurgens, art by Andy Kubert and Scott Hanna, cover by Kubert.

The Thunder God declares war on the Wrecking Crew as an ally slips deeper into the everlasting embrace of Hela, Goddess of Death. Meanwhile, in Asgard, the item Jagrfelm received from Odin leads to the return of another foe of the Realm Eternal.

32 pages, $2.25.

AVENGERS INFINITY #3

Written by Roger Stern, art and cover by Sean Chen and Scott Hanna.

The purpose of the enigmatic Infinites becomes evident as Thor, Tigra, Moondragon, Photon and Quasar confront an opponent the size of a planet. And a last page revelation spells certain doom for our cosmos-and the seriously overmatched Avengers Infinity team.

32 pages, $2.99.

AVENGERS UNIVERSE #4

Now reformatted and a dollar cheaper. This issue reprints Avengers (Vol. 3) #16, #17 and #18 (the three-part Wrecking Crew story by Jerry Ordway) complete with informative character bios and story summaries.

80 pages, $3.99.

BLACK PANTHER #24

Written by Christopher Priest, art by M.D. Bright, cover Chriscross and Anibal Rodriguez.

Once she was one of the Dora Milaje, a wife-in-waiting to the king of Wakanda! Now she is Malice. But is her aim to destroy T'Challa or Killmonger, who now bears the mantle of the Black Panther?

32 pages, $2.50.

DOOM #2

Written by Chuck Dixon, art and cover by Leonardo Manco.

Stripped of his awesome armor, Victor Von Doom has been stranded across the solar system on the world he once saved, Planet Doom. And to make matters worse, he's been captured and thrown into the slave pits under the iron rule of the evil Al Khalad-from which the only escape is death.

32 pages, $2.99.

IRON MAN #34

Written by Joe Quesada and Frank Tieri, art by Paul Ryan and Rob Hunter, cover by Aletha Martinez.

Tony Stark attends a party for the mega-rich where everyone in attendance is granted super-human abilities. How does the mysterious Dr. Power hand out the juice-and does his presence signify an even bigger threat to the entire Marvel Universe? Probably, since this issue leads into next month's Maximum Security event.

32 pages, $2.25.

SPACEKNIGHTS #2

Written by Jim Starlin, art by Chris Batista and Chip Wallace, cover by Batista.

Led by the headstrong Terminator, the Spaceknights are called in to squash an uprising on the planet Trion. But is everything as it seems? Our young heroes get their first real taste of action-and the results are deadly. Plus: Tristan begins to see visions of the future, but will these warnings come in time to save his teammates-or will they instead cause tragedy?

32 pages, $2.99.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #35

Written by Dan Jurgens, art and cover by Jurgens and Art Thibert.

The knock-down, no-holds-barred battle between Captain America and Protocide. After what the man who could have been Cap did to the U.S.Agent, we sure hope the Star-Spangled Avenger's insurance is all paid up.

32 pages, $2.25.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #11

Written by Peter David, art and cover by Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom.

The vengeful son of Yon-Rogg (the greatest foe of the original Captain Marvel) is back-but that's nothing compared to Una-Rogg, his daughter. But is she on her brother's side, or on Genis'? And who is the mysterious owner of the Comic Book Castle?

32 pages, $2.50.

INCREDIBLE HULK #20

Written by Paul Jenkins, art by Ron Garney and Sal Buscema, cover by Garney.

The conclusion to "Dogs Of War." The Hulk runs head-on into the forces of Ryker-and learns the secret that has driven his opponent. It's all-out carnage in the most secret of government installations. Plus: Doc Samson-and the revenge of General Ross.

32 page, $2.25.

THUNDERBOLTS #44

Written by Fabian Nicieza, art and cover by Mark Bagley and Greg Adams.

Straight from the pages of Avengers #33, the Avengers/Thunderbolts crossover explodes, The T-Bolts and the Earth's Mightiest Heroes stand side-by-side against Count Nefaria! But before they can confront the Count they'll have to deal with Atlas and Wonder Man-who are both in the thrall of Nefaria.

32 pages, $2.25.

AVATAARS: COVENANT OF THE SHIELD #3

Written by Len Kaminski, art and cover by Oscar Jimenez and Eduardo Alpuente.

Captain Avalon, Blackthorn, Nighthowl, Ironheart, Witchfire, Idol and Bloodraven lay siege to the castle of Dreadlord-but must one king lay down his life to save another? Plus: The significance of the realm of Eurth in the Marvel Universe is revealed.

32 pages, $2.99.

AVENGERS #34

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by George Perez and Al Vey, cover by Perez.

It's the double-sized conclusion to the Avengers/Thunderbolts crossover. Continued from the events of Thunderbolts #44, as both teams-plus guest-stars Black Widow and Captain America-battle an all-powerful Count Nefaria for nothing less than the fate of the world! Plus all sorts of cool stuff that we could tell you, but we won't spoil all the fun.

48 pages, $2.99.

BEFORE THE FANTASTIC 4: REED RICHARDS #3

Written by Peter David, art and cover by Duncan Fegredo.

The swashbuckling conclusion. The trail of adventure leads Reed Richards to Egypt, where the young scientist battles Victor Von Doom for the legendary Claw of Bast.

32 pages, $2.99.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 2000

Written by Dan Jurgens, art Greg Scott and Dan Green, cover by Jurgens.

The battle that began in Captain America #35 continues here. Who is Protocide? Why was he the first to take the famed Super-Soldier Serum? Why did he never become Captain America? Join readers to see how things might have turned out very differently for the shield-slinger in a story that, like Marvel's other 2000 Annuals, ties directly into the ongoing series.

48 pages, $3.50.

DEADPOOL #46

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti, art by Paul Chadwick and Ron Randall, cover by Joe Jusko.

"Cruel Summer," part 1. Wade Wilson takes a job from one of New York's Finest-an assignment that just might get him whacked by the mob. Of course, these wiseguys have never had to deal with the Merc-With-The-Mouth before.

32 pages, $2.25.

IRON MAN: BAD BLOOD #3

Written by David Michelenie, art and cover by Bob Layton.

Tony Stark vs. James Rhodes... to the death? What's causing Iron Man's irrational behavior-and will Rhodey live to find out?

32 pages, $2.99.

MARVEL: THE LOST GENERATION #4

Written by Roger Stern, art by John Byrne and Al Milgrom, cover by Byrne.

An eerie premonition sends the Yankee Clipper and his First Line into the heart of Texas.

32 pages, $2.99.

MAXIMUM SECURITY: DANGEROUS PLANET

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Jerry Ordway and Will Blyberg, cover by Ordway.

The great galactic powers of the universe have gathered to deal with a globe they perceive as a threat, but is that world the rampaging Ego the Living Planet-or Earth itself? Featuring appearances by Professor X and his cadre of mutant Skrulls, the Silver Surfer, the Inhumans, the Starjammers and the Avengers Infinity team. The action storms across the Marvel Universe in October.

48 pages, $2.99.

UNIVERSE X #2

Written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, art by Doug Braithwaite, cover by Ross.

Captain America and Captain Mar-Vell head into the Siege Perilous in hopes of stopping the Church of Immortus' attack on the world's Human Torches! Plus: Appearances by the Inhumans, Alpha Flight, the Black Knight, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Adam Warlock and the Fantastic Four.

32 pages, $3.50.

MARVEL KNIGHTS TITLES

DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOL. 1

Written, art and cover by Frank Miller.

Years ago, with sales sagging on Marvel's Man Without Fear, creative reins were handed over to a young writer/artist named Frank Miller. With cancellation hanging over the head of this long-running title, Miller breathed new life into the series with a look and tone that borrowed from crime fiction and film noir-a feel that has propelled Daredevil to his current place at the top of the sales charts. The centerpiece of these groundbreaking tales is the tragic saga of Elektra, the shy Greek coed who was transformed into a vengeance-filled assassin that our hero Matt Murdock would eventually be forced to fight. A sweeping epic of love and betrayal, these stories are dark and grim, yet retain a human center of love and redemption. Gathered into a series of volumes, this installment reprints Daredevil (Vol. 1) #159 - #169.

256 pages, $24.95.

MARVEL BOY #4

Written by Grant Morrison, art and cover by J.G. Jones.

After all he's been through, Noh-Varr meets his match... and it's his girlfriend! The femme fatale named Exterminatrix and her ruthless father, Dr. Midas, will do anything to get Marvel Boy's cosmic ray engine-even if they have to kill him to get it,

32 pages, $2.99.

DAREDEVIL #18

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by David Mack, cover by Joe Quesada and David Mack.

Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich at last uncovers the final fate of Leap Frog. What exactly happened with him and Daredevil on that rooftop? And why has it left one boy in emotional turmoil?

32 pages, $2.99.

PUNISHER #8

Written by Garth Ennis, art by Steve Dillon and Jimmy Palmiotti, painted cover by Tim Bradstreet.

Lying near death with the Gnuccis closing in, Frank Castle has certainly seen better days. But can the Punisher pick himself off the canvas in time to save his friend, Spacker Dave? And just when you thought you've seen Ma Gnucci throw everything she can at Frank-enter the Russian.

32 pages, $2.99.

PUNISHER/PAINKILLER JANE

Written by Garth Ennis, art and painted cover by Joe Jusko.

One saw his family gunned down-and became a one-man army. The other was blown out of a 12-story building-but rose again to gain revenge. So what happens when two of the most prolific killing machines to ever live finally come face-to-face? It's love at first sight, of course. That is, it is for Painkiller Jane-much to Frank Castle's dismay. Can the Punisher end this blind date in a painless manner, or will it be guns and roses for these two lovebirds? And more importantly, can the world survive this rifle-totting romance?

32 pages, $3.50.

SENTRY #3

Written by Paul Jenkins, art and cover by Jae Lee.

How can you make the world remember you again? That's the difficult task ahead for Bob Reynolds as he begins to make people recall his life as the Sentry-and his first two subjects are The Hulk and Spider-Man. Plus: Mr. Fantastic receives a most unexpected visitor.

32 pages, $2.99.

MARVEL KNIGHTS #5

Written by Chuck Dixon, art by Eduardo Barreto and Klaus Janson, cover by Joe Quesada and Danny Miki.

As the Punisher continues to plot against the Marvel Knights, a new target for Frank Castle emerges: the mysterious drug lord known as-and no, we're not making this up-Daddy Wronglegs. But what is it that makes this villain so different from your average goon? Meanwhile, Moon Knight rises to make Daredevil a most interesting offer.

32 pages, $2.99.

X-MEN TITLES

MUTANT X #25

Written by Howard Mackie, art by Tom Lyle and Andew Pepoy, cover by Michael Golden.

Will Havok finally leave the Mutant X world? When faced with the opportunity, will Alex Summers at last return home? This 48-page, turning-point story will irrevocably alter the lives of The Six-and for one member, definitely not for the better.

48 pages, $2.99.

UNCANNY X-MEN #386

Written by Chris Claremont, art and cover by Tom Raney.

Apocalypse is gone, Magneto is distracted by ruling Genosha-now a new force steps in to fill the power vacuum. It's someone bent on destroying humanity-especially the X-Men. His first target? The woman known as Phoenix. The seeds are planted here for our major year-ending X-Men event.

32 pages, $2.25.

X-MEN: BLACK SUN #1: THE NEW X-MEN

Written by Chris Clarement, art by Thomas Derenick and Sean Parsons, cover by Vince Evans.

Beginning a five-part adventure that celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the all-new, all-different X-Men. The demon known as Belasco is burning a path around the globe searching for the legendary Bloodstone. With it, he can rip open a dimensional portal, allowing all of Limbo to pour into our world. Enter Storm, Banshee, Sunfire, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and the new mutant who took on the namesake of Thunderbird. But can even this team (that first formed 25 years ago in Giant Size X-Men #1) stop the fiery fiend from stealing the souls of their most cherished loved ones-the members of the original X-team? All this, plus the return of Magik. But who is the girl in the Eldritch Armor? Is she a friend back from the dead... or a new enemy in disguise?

32 pages, $2.99.

X-MEN: THE HIDDEN YEARS #12

Written by John Byrne, art by Byrne and Tom Palmer, cover by Byrne.

Magneto returns in this double-sized issue. Meanwhile, little Ashley Martin's unleashed mutant power lashes dangerously out of control-and caught in its wake is Professor X. Plus: Marvel Girl, Candy Southern and Cyclops are sold into slavery. All this, plus... Namor, the Sub-Mariner?

32 pages, $2.99.

CABLE #85

Written by Robert Weinberg, art and cover by Michael Ryan.

The destinies of Nathan and Rachel Summers are inextricably linked. But when Cable helped defeat Apocalypse, he apparently wiped out his own future-including Rachel's emergence as the Mother Askani. Now only Phoenix remains-but she's stranded at the end of time with the man called Guant, the greatest mass murderer in recorded history. To save his sister, Cable must reach the unreachable-a place of unimaginable desolation called the House on the Borderline.

32 pages, $2.25.

GENERATION X #69

Written by Warren Ellis and Brian Wood, art by Steve Pugh and Bob Wiacek, cover by Art Adams.

"Come on Die Young," part 3. Continuing the story that answers questions by filling in the "Revolution" time gap. Mutant paranoia has wormed its way into the Massachusettes Academy, and even the human students are suspects. With the grounds darkened by society's secret prejudice, Generation X faces what may be their greatest challenge-and their most horrendous tragedy.

32 pages, $2.25.

X-MEN: BLACK SUN #2: STORM

Written by Chris Claremont and Len Wein, art by Thomas Derenick and Mark McKenna, painted cover by Vince Evans.

Storm faces off in aerial warfare with the high-flying Angel, who's been possessed by the nasty N'Garai. Meanwhile, the mysterious Magik continues her quest for the Bloodstones-but is she with or against Belasco? Will Phoenix, Beast, Iceman and Polaris be able to stop her? More importantly, should they?

32 pages, $2.99.

X-MEN: BLACK SUN #3: BANSHEE & SUNFIRE

Written by Chris Claremont and Roy Thomas, art by Karl Waller, cover by Vince Evans.

Wolverine, Iceman, Banshee and Sunfire storm Genosha. What new surprises await them in the island nation now ruled by their greatest enemy, Magneto? Will Banshee and Sunfire be able to stop Polaris and Iceman before they too are transformed by Belasco? And how will Polaris react to her former teammates invading her newfound home? It's civil war-X-Men style.

32 pages, $2.99.

X-MEN: BLACK SUN #4: COLOSSUS & NIGHTCRAWLER

Written by Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson, art by Alitha Martinez and John Stanisci, painted cover by Vince Evans.

Belasco is close to finishing his collection of Bloodstones. Wolverine and Thunderbird battle in Limbo. Colossus and Beast face off against the N'Garai known as Pilgrim. And, on top of all that, Nightcrawler fights Magik in a winner-take-all brawl for his soul. Clues to the identity of this sword-swinging mystery woman begin to unravel this issue as the stakes continue to climb for the remaining X-Men.

32 pages, $2.99.

BACKPACK MARVELS: X-MEN VOL. 1

Backpack Marvels are ideal for younger readers, black-and-white reprints have that been chosen specifically to appeal to the first-time reader.

160 pages, black and white, $6.95.

BISHOP: THE LAST X-MAN #14

Written by Josephy Harris, art and cover by Georges Jeanty and Art Thibert.

"Chronowar," part 3. It's Bishop vs. the Chronomancer in mortal combat. With the Last X-Man locked in this furious fight, Jinx and Scorch lead his army in a life-and-death collision with the Chronotroopers. As bodies fall, it doesn't look good for the heroes. Includes a shock ending that will take Bishop and this title in an all-new direction.

32 pages, $2.25.

IRON FIST/WOLVERINE #1

Written by Jay Faerber, art and cover by Jamal Igle and Rich Perrotta.

Danny Rand is hot on the trail of Junzo Moto, the young ninja that stole away the power of the Iron Fist. Meanwhile, Wolverine is investigating the recent resurgence of Hand activity in Tokyo-where Junzo is attempting to bring about the return of the supernatural city of K'un Lun.

32 pages, $2.99.

X-MAN #69

Written by Warren Ellis and Steven Grant, art and cover by Ariel Olivetti.

"Further Down the Spiral," part 3. How did Nate Grey become the mutant shaman for the 21st Century? This story reveals all! The X-Man has been torn to another Earth-where he learns how and why he's been secretly manipulated into acts of amazing destruction. Then, shock is piled upon shock as he comes face-to-face with the Nate Grey of this world.

32 pages, $2.25.

X-MEN #106

Written by Chris Claremont, art by Leinil Francis Yu and Mark Morales, cover by Yu.

Questions are answered here. The Neo: who are they? Cecelia Reyes: what is her fate? Rogue and Colossus: what emotions exist between them? Plus: A pact is sealed that could doom the X-Men. All this, and the team's final assault on the lair of the Neo.

32 pages, $2.25.

X-MEN: BLACK SUN #5: WOLVERINE & THUNDERBIRD

Written by Chris Claremont, art by Pablo Raimondi, cover by Vince Evans.

Belasco's plans come to fruition. The necessary souls are collected and the portal between dimensions is almost open. And as the Bloodstones are at last gathered, Thunderbird and Wolverine fight for the lives of the X-Men. Will Magik be the team's savior or their executioner? And just who is she anyway?

32 pages, $2.99.

GAMBIT #22

Written by Fabian Nicieza, art and cover by Yanick Paquette and Sean Parsons.

Gambit is hunted by the Neo. If these warriors were enough to push the X-Men to the brink, what chance does Remy LeBeau alone have against Rax, the head hunter of their clan?

32 pages, $2.25.

WOLVERINE #156

Written by Rob Liefeld, art and cover by Ian Churchill.

Penciler Ian Churchill returns to the X-Mansion-and he's brought along Spider-Man. Deep below New York City, Wolverine and the wondrous wall-crawler fight for survival against the Mole Man and his menacing minions. But can Logan and Spidey stop the deadly new species that Mole Man has bred to punish mankind?

32 pages, $2.25.

X-MEN: THE UNEARTHED ARCHIVES SKETCHBOOK

Over the past few decades, unused character designs and artwork have sat in file cabinets, gathering dust. But now Marvel has taken the best and most interesting pieces and are publishing them for readers' review. Included here are alternate designs by Jim Lee, variant costumes by Art Adams, and the original New Mutant character sheets (just wait until you see the first version of Cannonball). Also thrown in are sketches and designs by artists such as Joe Madureira, Paul Smith, Rob Liefeld, Steve Skroce and more.

32 pages, $2.99.

X-MEN UNIVERSE #12

Now reformatted-and a dollar cheaper. This issue reprints Uncanny X-Men #384, #385 and X-Men #104-along with helpful character bios and story summaries.

80 pages, $3.99.

X-FORCE #108

Written by Warren Ellis and Ian Edginton, art and cover by Whilce Portacio and Gerry Alanguillan.

"Murder Ballads," part 3. Continuing the story arc that fills in the gap before the "Revolution!" A villain with the gene for murder has targeted a powerful member of the Marvel Universe-and only X-Force can stop him. Plus: See the freshly redirected team begin to develop their powers in amazing new ways.

32 pages, $2.25.

THE ASTONISHING X-MEN

Written by Howard Mackie, art by Brandon Peterson.

Collecting the story that rocked the X-Men in 1999. Professor X has disbanded his fabled team of X-Men! But why? His students assemble a new team to find out his secret. But Cyclops, X-Man, Iceman, Cable, Angel and Phoenix discover that Apocalypse has targeted the Mannites, a new breed of humanity that may be the next step in evolution. This new squad must protect these innocents at all costs-but when Apocalypse unveils the newest of his Four Horsemen, they realize they may have met their match.

160 pages, $15.95.

X-MEN MOVIE SPECIAL ON FOX TV

X-Men: The Mutant Watch, a special taking an unusual approach to bringing viewers behind the scenes of the X-Men movie, will air Tuesday, July 11 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Fox.

Bruce Davison is reprising his role as Senator Kelly this week in shooting for the special. Taking Senator Kelly's campaign as its theme, X-Men: The Mutant Watch follows a mock hearing by the Senate Subcommittee on Mutant Activities. Through the Senator's arguments, viewers will get access to exclusive footage and interviews.

The special is directed by Tom Grane.

Featured on X-Men: The Mutant Watch will be:

  • The difference between good and bad mutants and their struggle to maintain balance in a human world that constantly rejects and scapegoats them.

  • The X-Men characters, including Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Cyclops (James Marsden), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Magneto (Ian McKellen), Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Sabretooth (Tyler Man) and Toad (Ray Park).

  • An interview with director Bryan Singer.

  • The transformation of Mystique and Sabretooth from human actors to mutant character using makeup.

  • A look at the stunts and special effects.

    Look for more on X-Men: The Mutant Watch soon here in The Continuum.

    In other X-Men movie news:

  • Tyler Mane, who plays Sabretooth, will be part of a chat through the X-Men official site on Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET).

  • Maxim magazine has released images from its July issue, which features X-Men stars Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Famke Janssen.

    GIVE'EM A CLICK

    FIRST LOOK - VIOLENT MESSIAHS #1

    Violent Messiahs #1 from Image Comics ships on Wednesday. The issue will be carried in traditional comic book stores and Tower Records.

    "We are very excited about the sale to Tower," said Hurricane Entertainment's Jan Utstein-O'Neill. "It will allow the book to be seen by a larger audience, which, we hope will ultimately bring those folks into comic book stores looking for new stories."

    Here's how Hurricane describes the book:

    "A mysterious door hides something old and alive. A hyper-violent vigilante prowls the streets. A serial killer leaves only a poem for a clue. And a female cop tries desperately to understand how it all connects. Welcome to Rankor Island, a carnival of social ills."

    "Cutting edge artwork, a cool story and arguably the best title in the history of comics", said Jim Valentino, publisher at Image Comics. "Violent Messiahs has all the elements we're looking for in a new comic: originality, excellence in execution and a commitment by the creators to on time production."

    Violent Messiahs has taken inspiration from Beauty and the Beast and Frankenstein.

    "The reality is that I love the two stories, I think they pretty much run the gamut of human emotion," writer Joshua Dysart said. "Citizen Pain is a combination of the Beast, who is completely incapable of being loved even though his soul is quite beautiful, and Frankenstein's monster, who is basically the same, except Pain also has a thirst for wisdom and knowledge. The aspect of Frankenstein's monster that I love, that is so symbolic for me, is his relationship with his creator. Citizen Pain definitely has that anger toward what he views to be his god, his creator, his keepers.

    "I also draw from a sense of solitude and loneliness, all the stuff people go through. All those times in your life when you felt really lonely and no one was there for you, that's the energy I take and put into Violent Messiahs -- everyone's kind of lost, lonely and scared."

    Writer Dysart comes to the comics world through traditional short story and poetry. Penciler Tone Rodriguez, making his comics debut, has spent the last five years as a conceptual artist for television and film.

    The Tower Records version of Violent Messiahs #1 will carry a variant cover by Tomb Raider artist Andy Park.

    GIVE'EM A CLICK

    STATIC SHOCK! UPDATE

    Milestone's Dwayne McDuffie told The Continuum that he finished his third script for the first season of the Static Shock! animated series about a month ago.

    The episode of the Kids' WB! series is called "Bent Out of Shape."

    "One of the villains is Bob Washington's Puff, who is very cool," McDuffie said.

    Concerning the show's progress, McDuffie said: "Everything is going great."

    Voice recording is well under way on the series.



    BRIEFLY

  • The Witchblade movie, which premieres on TNT on Sunday, Aug. 27, will include music from U2.

  • The Witchblade/Darkness/Aliens/Predator crossover will begin in October.

  • Coming Thursday: Top Cow news - and much more!!!
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