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Wednesday, July 17, 2002

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR OCTOBER

Following are Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for October, with information coming from the company.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #2

By Scott Allie, Ryan Benjamin and Curtis Arnold, cover by Brian Horton.

The plot against the Emperor and Darth Vader proceeds, but as the conspirators worry about whether either of their targets suspect - and how much they might suspect - they also begin to wonder about each other. Can the cold-blooded killer Gauer be trusted? What about the ambitious Imperial Officer Dezsetes? And who can tell what goes on behind the blank eyes of the cybernetically enhanced Grand Moff Trachta? In the midst of the plots and counter plots, word comes of a new threat - a new, unknown Jedi has emerged to challenge Vader.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 2.

OH MY GODDESS! #91

By Kosuke Fujishima; Produced by Studio Proteus,

"Traveller," part 1 of 5. It looks like Belldandy's powers are having a little trouble. She can't even make a penny levitate! What's going on? And to make matters worse, members of Keiichi's motorcycle club come for a visit. . . with a bunch of possessions for Keiichi to store, and now the crew is a bit short on space. But not to fear, it's Skuld to the rescue! You know how Skuld likes to create crazy new technologies, well, this time she's made a computer that will alter space! With the click of a makeshift video game controller, the room is twice as large! Now there's space for all the stuff and Keiichi too. But just wait, someone's got to mess it up eventually. It's the start of a fun new storyline in which otaku Matthew Sweet, the pop music star, will make a special appearance. Well, his lyrics will, at least.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 2.

OH MY GODDESS!: FINAL EXAM TPB

By Kosuke Fujishima, translated by: Studio Proteus, cover by Fujishima.

This final "remastered" volume restores the "lost" Oh My Goddess! stories, presenting the full early storylines of student Keiichi Morisato's life with Belldandy, an honest-to-goodness, full-on goddess. That wish-come-true was looking pretty good there for awhile with the sweet and beautiful Belldandy - until her sexy sister Urd crashed the party with the intent of helping move her sister's Earthbound love life into the fast lane. But goddesses or no goddesses, Keiichi's daily life goes on, however the mundane motions of daily life tend to take unpredictable twists when supernatural siblings are in the mix. Note: includes material from the previously published 1-555-Goddess.

152 pages, black and white, $13.95, in stores on Oct. 2.

AMERICAN SPLENDOR: UNSUNG HERO #3

Created and written by Harvey Pekar, illustrated by David Collier.

This issue marks the conclusion to Harvey Pekar's and illuminating biography of Robert McNeill. With just a few weeks left in his tour of duty, nineteen-year-old McNeill's only thoughts are of escaping Vietnam's violently surrealistic landscape and returning home to the United States. But to do so, he must stay one step ahead of the enemies who try to take his life, the depression and nihilism that permeate his camp, and the commanding officers who use every loophole they can find to keep him in the bush.

24 pages, black and white, $3.99, in stores on Oct. 9.

BILLI 99 TPB

By Sarah Byam and Tim Sale, cover by Sale.

World War III hit, and nobody noticed. Lost amidst the crooked politicians and corrupt corporate practices of the late 20th century, the American Dream became polluted and drowned out, replaced instead with an ever-growing chasm between the "haves" and "have-nots." No one is more aware of this than Billi Chadam. Daughter of honest industrialist Ray Chadam and heiress to the multi-billion dollar Chadam International empire, Billi finds herself in a whirlpool of murder and corporate espionage, framed for her father's death, and on the run from those who are supposed to be her allies. But Billi has a secret, one she shared with her father before he was taken from her. By night Billi dons the mask of the Sword of Toleado, a blade-wielding vigilante bringing hope to the oppressed and striking fear in the oppressors. There's more to saving her city than sword-waving heroics can accomplish, though, and before the tensions between her company's employees and the city's on-the-take police force reach a boiling point, Billi must set the balance right, no matter what the cost.

200 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Oct. 9.

DEAD TO RIGHTS

By Mike Kennedy, Francsico Paronzini and Randy Emberlin, cover by Tim Bradstreet.

Grant City. A sordid playground of crime corruption. The push-and-pull warfare between law and disorder swings favor on a daily basis, drowning its citizens in a pool of perpetual darkness. But the most dangerous man in Grant City used to carry a badge... Dead to Rights tells the story of an undercover cop buried so deep in his mission, he's starting to question the direction of his loyalties. And when fugitive ex-cop Jack Slate tears a bloody path through his territory, things go rapidly to hell. While the game follows Jack Slate's search for his father's killer, this prestige format comic book supplements the plot from an outside character's perspective. Familiar faces reveal additional information about key events in the game, further broadening the scope of this explosive noir adventure. Based on the highly anticipated video game from Namco, Dead to Rights was created in close association with the original development team at Namco, led by the game's creator, Andre Emerson.

64 pages, $5.95, in stores on Oct. 9.

GRENDEL: RED, WHITE, & BLACK #2

Created and written by Matt Wagner, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Dan Brereton, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Andi Watson and more.

Matt Wagner and Dark Horse present five more tales. There is only one thing that Hunter Rose - the man behind the assassin's mask of Grendel - holds more precious than his own life, and that is his adopted daughter Stacy Palumbo. But Hunter soon finds himself at odds with Stacy over her new friend, a wolf named Argent, who also happens to be Grendel's most deadly nemesis! Five stories. Five artists. One Vision. From the politics of organized crime to the ancient ethics of the Samurai warrior code and beyond, Wagner and company continue to explore the rich tapestry that is the world of Grendel.

48 pages, black and white, $4.99, in stores on Oct. 9.

SHADOW STAR: SHADOWS OF THE PAST TPB

By Mohiro Kitoh.

Shiina Tamai is an awkward, self-conscious teenager, struggling with school and self-esteem. But her daily travails become of secondary importance when she encounters and bonds with an extraterrestrial shape-shifting creature, one of a menagerie of spaceborn entities now on Earth, including terrifying Shadow Dragons, flying beasts of vast and lethal powers. And a new creature has emerged, an etheral flying "angel," but one whose wide, sparkling eyes and graceful wings mask even greater dangers -- which become painfully apparent to any who encounter her.

144 pages, black and white, $13.95, in stores on Oct. 9.

STAR WARS: INFINITIES - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK #4

By David Land, Davide Fabbri, Christian Dalla Vecchia and Dan Jackson, cover by Chris Bachalo.

Dagobah is a mysterious place. Beneath the heavy canopy of ancient trees lies a strange jungle inhabited by creatures in caves and swamps not seen elsewhere. Dagobah is also home to the greatest living Jedi Master, Yoda. It's here that he has trained young Leia Skywalker to take her rightful place in the Jedi Order. Though she has quickly learned what he's taught her, she is not a Jedi yet. She has two important final tasks to complete. Yoda, too, has a final mission. His home is about to become a battleground, as he faces the fiercest soldier the dark side has ever commanded: Darth Vader! In a mortal confrontation on an astral plane, these warriors will clash for the fate of the universe.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 9.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE DEATH OF BUFFY TPB

By Fabian Nicieza, Tom Fassbender, Jim Pascoe and Cliff Richards.

Buffy is dead. Her friends are trying to get on with their lives. Between them, there is enough anger, frustration, loss, guilt, and tragedy to resurrect an ancient demon. Things aren't looking too good for Willow, Xander, and the gang. A lovelorn demon has been set free into our dimension, and its food is the grief of Buffy's nearest and dearest. If that's not bad enough, a horde of demonic reptilian sorcerers plan to resurrect their fallen comrade and paint the town blood red. Can Buffy's friends face the threat without a Slayer to defend them? Willow finds that she can learn a great deal from these reptilian mystics. And if there's going to be one resurrection, why can't there be two?

120 pages, $15.95, in stores on Oct. 16.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: TALES OF THE SLAYERS -- BROKEN BOTTLE OF DJINN

By Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, Gene Colan, Jeff Matsuda, cover by Matsuda.

Following up the Tales of the Slayers graphic novel, Buffy TV writers Doug Petrie and Jane Espenson return with a tale of two Slayers: One, a young girl slumming through the bleak streets of 1930's New York City, and another, parading through the brighter streets of 1990's Sunnydale. This month marks cover artist Jeff Matsuda's first story pages of Buffy Summers, both in this book and in Dark Horse's Reveal. Petrie again teams with his dream artist Gene Colan to show a Slayer facing the same creature as Buffy, but sixty years earlier.

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Oct. 16.

CANNON GOD EXAXXION #10: STAGE 2 PART 2

By Kenichi Sonada, translated by Studio Proteus.

The tension rises as Hoichi's school is the focus of attention. The occupying aliens have figured out that the kid in the gunsuit is connected to Hoichi's high school, and so they've begun a program of weeding out the possible perpetrators. What does it mean? You and Hoichi will find out, and it won't be pretty. Not at all. Find out what will make Hoichi so angry that he will be willing to go to war against the evil aliens, and get back into the giant robot, Exaxxion.

40 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on Oct. 16.

GO GIRL! TPB

By Trina Robins and Anne Timmons.

Back in the day, Janet Goldman was an honest-to-goodness flying superhero, the far out Go-Go Girl. But Go-Go Girl eventually hung up her costume -- well, put it away in a dresser drawer -- and now her teenage daughter, Lindsay, has inherited Mom's flying powers, donned her old costume, and become the teenage superheroine sensation Go Girl! Now she's fighting crime and righting wrongs...with an occasional leg up from the now semi-retired Go-Go Girl. Pouring the classic charm of comics of the past through a subtle modernist filter, series creator/writer Trina Robbins and artist Anne Timmons have crafted an all-ages delight, garnering critical praise and a coveted Lulu Award. The GoGirl! collection includes pinups by Barb Rausch, Steve Leiber, Lea Hernandez, Sergio Aragones, and others and bonus features, including material never before seen in the GoGirl! series.

136 pages, black and white, $15.95, in stores on Oct. 16.

SUPER MANGA BLAST! #26

By Masamune Shirow, Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Yuzo Takada, Hiroyuki Utatane and Yo Morimoto, translated by Studio Proteus

The year of Shirow in Super Manga Blast! is just getting started. If Shirow's Appleseed isn't hot enough for you, you're sure to sweat in your seat when you read Shadow Star, as the dragon kids expose weaknesses in their abilities, but is it a weakness in the dragons, or the kids? And over in 3x3 Eyes things aren't exactly cooling off, as Pai, Yakumo, and tough-punching Jake get ever closer to the secret of the sacred land. Plus, cutey Pai takes a bath. As always, plenty of action from Seraphic Feather, as the battle rages in the research lab and it looks as if the whole place will collapse, but somehow Apep and Fawn find the time to have a little make-out session.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Oct. 16.

RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT: HUMAN WONDERS #3

By Haden Blackman and Cary Nord, cover by Nord.

Human Wonders, the third installment of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! series focuses on human oddities throughout history. Narrated by the original Siamese Twins, this issue covers human hyperboles, including the world's fattest twins, and explores the bizarre human afflictions that produce dog-faced boys and elephant men. Though disturbing and stark, Human Wonders attempts to prove how those who appear less than human can actually be so much more than the rest of us.

24 pages, black anf white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 23.

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #47

By John Ostrander, C.P. Smith, Jasen Rodriguez, cover by Steve Firchow.

Obi-Wan and Anakin have their hands full protecting Senator Greyshade from attacks by droid assassins, sky-bike riding Dug assassins, and beautiful assassin princesses with diplomatic immunity. Meanwhile, Autem and Omin, the two Senate Guards who are also on the Greyshade assignment, discover a common link among the assassins -- a link that strikes a little too close to home for Autem. Action and adventure during the time that the Republic ruled the galaxy and the Jedi were the glue that held the Republic together.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 23.

ASTRO BOY VOLUME 8 TPB

By Osamu Tezuka, translated by: Frederick L. Schodt, cover by Osamu Tezuka.

Astro remains stranded in the 20th century, but he's certainly not laying about! Astro must save the Earth from a voracious Martian fungus -- and save the intelligent organism from the hydrogen bomb -- all the while having to begin the fight for robot's rights and to keep robots from fighting each other.

200 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Oct. 30.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #50

By Scott Lodbell, Fabian Nicieza, Cliff Richards and Andi Watson, wraparound cover by Paul Lee and Brian Horton.

"Hellmouth to Mouth," part 4 of 4. Scott Lobdell wraps up his first apocalyptic run on Buffy with a special fiftieth issue, featuring more story pages, as well as two backup features: a prose story by Lobdell, with illustrations by Paul Lee; a short comic by Andi Watson; and a wraparound painted cover by regular cover artists Lee and Brian Horton. "Hellmouth to Mouth" concludes as Buffy finally rescues Xander and Dawn from the crew that's nearly destroyed Sunnydale - The Scourge! They soon find that the only thing worse than the Scourge is their secret leader, revealed this issue! Buffy's not just fighting for her friends' and family's lives, she's fighting for a chance to live her own life, to be more than a fearless vampire hunter. Who better to have backing her up than former sadistic Slayer Faith and the vampire hunting vampire himself, Angel?

40 pages, $3.50,5 in stores on Oct. 30.

GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: MAN-MACHINE INTERFACE #1

By Masamune Shirow, translated by: Frederik L. Schodt, cover by Masamune Shirow.

March 6, 2035. Motoko Aramaki is a hyper-advanced cyborg, a counter-terrorist net security expert, heading the investigative department of the giant multi-national, Poseidon Industrial. Partly transcending the physical world and existing in a virtual world of networks, Motoko is a fusion of multiple entities and identities, deploying remotely controlled prosthetic humanoid surrogates around the globe to solve a series of bizarre incidents. Meanwhile, Tamaki Tamai, a psychic investigator from the Channeling Agency, has been commissioned to investigate strange changes in the temporal universe, brought about by two forces, one represented by the teachings of a professor named Rahampol, and the other by the complex, evolving Motoko entity. What unfolds will all be in a day's work...a day that will change everything, forever. Man-Machine Interface, the sequel to Masamune Shirow's groundbreaking Ghost in the Shell reaches American shores. Featuring 100 pages of new art and story created since its original publication, most rendered in full color with digital effects on a level never before seen in the annals of graphic fiction.

40 pages, $3.99, in stores on Oct. 30.

LONE WOLF AND CUB VOL. 26: BATTLE IN THE DARK TPB

By Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, cover by Matt Wagner.

One could believe the old adage about the grass being greener on the other side. But, if you're referring to the "other side" of the Sanzu, the river between life and death, chances are it will be white, the color of a samurai's death robes. And a lot of that "grass" was probably dispatched by the hand of Itto Ogami. The Yagyu "grass," spies planted for years in local citizenry, has been on the move, gathering in Edo for a final battle. The ronin Itto Ogami has walked a path of demons with Daigoro at his side, on a quest of vengeance and death that has shaken the very foundations of the samurai caste and the shögunate. No one has been able to stop him, not even the crafty, Abeno Kaii and it looks like he's about see his final day, but he won't go out without a battle of wits.

312 pages, $9.95, in stores on Oct. 30.

USAGI YOJIMBO #61

By Stan Sakai, cover by Sakai.

Chizu was once the feared leader of the deadly Neko Ninja Clan, demanding respect and loyalty from those around her. But circumstances have made her a fugitive, and now she's running for her life, hunted by the clan that she used to command. Coming out of hiding to rescue the life of a child, Chizu quickly finds her own life in even more peril than before. Meanwhile, an elite ninja assassination team set their sights on what they believe are the keys to locating the missing woman -- a pair of wandering ronin named Usagi and Jotaro.

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 30.

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