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Saturday, September 7, 2002

STATIC SHOCK'S NEW LOOK

Kids' WB! has provided The Continuum with a first look at Static's new costume for the upcoming third season of Static Shock.

"The third season is going to look a little different," said Denys Cowan, who is a producer this season. "And the biggest thing is that Static will have a costume change. We felt we needed to make more it toward the feel of the comic book, but kept the flavor of the first two seasons."

Appearing at the recent Comic-Con International in San Diego, Cowan said that the first re-design for Static didn't make it to the show. It was tested for a group of boys and girls, who didn't like it.

"They just gave me a blank stare," Cowan said, laughing. "So we decided to go back to the drawing board and back to the basics."

The third season of Static Shock won't begin on Sept. 14 when Kids' WB! kicks off the new season because the show was a late pick-up. According to a network representative, the new season of Static Shock is expected to begin in either November or January.

Click on the thumbnail to get a larger and fuller look at the costume. And for The Continuum's previous report on the show, including news on appearances by Batman and the Justice League, CLICK HERE.

MARVEL COMICS FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four-page previews of Marvel Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include X-Treme X-Men #18, New X-Men #132, X-Men Unlimited #38, Avengers Icons: Vision #2, Iron Man #59 and Black Panther #49.

CROSSGEN COMICS FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four-page previews of CrossGen Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Way of the Rat #5, The First #23 and Mystic #28.

VAMPIRELLA UPDATE

Amanda Conner returns as new regular cover artist of Vampirella beginning with #15.

Conner's association with the title character goes back into the late 1990s when she illustrated, along with her regular inker Jimmy Palmiotti, a series of stories written by the likes of Warren Ellis (Vampirella Lives), Grant Morrison and Mark Millar (vampirella: ascending evil) and Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski (Vampirella: Death And Destruction).

"It's a pleasure to have Amanda back to being associated with Vampirella," said editor Maureen McTigue. "Her artistic style can match and bring forth the sexiness, humor, horror, or kinetic action that turns up in the book."

Conner's covers will be the regular version of each book. The monthly title will continue to have limited alternate covers by a variety of artists. Vampirella #15 begins a new story arc, "The Pack," written by Jay Faerber and illustrated by Matthew Clark and Ron Randall. Alternate cover artists are Tony Harris (#15), Karl Waller (#16), Clark (#17) and Nelson DeCastro (#18).

"The Pack" will be a four-issue story arc starting in November. The story dwells on the supernatural and takes Vampirella on a twisting ride cross country.

Vampirella investigates a series of murders in the Pacific Northwest. She finds herself on the wrong end of the law, but is able to pull in an ally. Discovering a frightening truth, Vampirella heads east, and tracks this new horror through the New York City subway.

"'The Pack' is unlike anything I've ever written," Faerber said. "It's an odd mix of horror and crime, and features Vampirella taking on a pack of werewolves who are making life hell for campers in the Pacific Northwest. Helping (or hindering, depending on your point of view) Vampirella is a sly police detective who doesn't realize the true nature of the killings he's investigating."

"Jay's story is faboo," Clark said. "It takes place not too far from me, so when I read the scripts I knew the area well. Hell, I think I've camped there a few times myself and hopefully it comes through. It's well crafted with all the right beats. It's a rich setting, and a wide variety of people and places. We have bikers, werewolves, hikers, a young couple in love, cops and park rangers, real people doing real things... oh yeah, and a hot babe in a bikini."

Faerber said that Clark, who recently drew Felon for Top Cow, is doing some of the best work of his career.

"And he's so gung-ho about it, he cancelled his plans to attend the San Diego Comic Con so he could stay home and draw," Faerber said. "And he was ahead of schedule!"

Said Clark: "Gods and monsters, criminals and cops, now I'm adding Vampirella, babe fighting in a bikini. What's not to love. Really. I'm getting to draw the original slayer of vampires. Each project I've been blessed with drawing something completely different. It help keep the art fresh, keeps me on my toes. Vampirella walks and talks with meaning. She commands the story, she's a force of nature. There's a certain appeal she has that no other character has, determination, with just a smige of cheese. I think of old Hammer films when working on her. I hope I'm doing her justice."

HAUNTED TANK WINS POWER COMPANY POLL

Kurt Busiek, writer of DC Comics' Power Company, announced Friday that the Haunted Tank was the winner of the online poll as part of the "Power Boost" promotion.

"When we started all this," Busiek said, "with our plans to give away art, signed books and more to support the upcoming big changes in The Power Company, DC looked for ways to join in, to get behind the book. And since one of the upcoming events in the book was a new member for the team, someone established in the DCU, DC very generously got behind the idea, with an online poll at dccomics.com, asking readers who they'd most like to see join the team."

The choices were Batgirl, Booster Gold, Firestorm, Superboy and the Haunted Tank, the longtime star of DC's G.I. Combat series -- a W.W.II US Army tank whose commander is regularly visited by the spirit of his ancestor, Civil War general J.E.B. Stuart, the ghost giving advice and support as the tank and its crew fought for victory in Europe, Africa and elsewhere.

And while the poll made it clear that the new member had already been decided, Busiek and Grummett promised that if someone other than their choice won the poll, the winner would at the very least make a guest-appearance in the pages of The Power Company.

The poll went live in early August, and with 78,710 total votes, Haunted Tank was the winner with 18,585, followed by Firestorm with 17,972, Booster Gold with 15,636, Batgirl with 14,644 and Superboy with 11,873

"We put the Haunted Tank on the poll just for the fun of it," Busiek said. "I think I joked that we should put the Unknown Soldier on the list, and Tom (Grummett, Power Company artist) countered with the Haunted Tank, and we both loved the mental image so much that we had to include it. Little did we know."

Firestorm took the lead early in the poll, but within a few days, Tank-boosters were flocking to the site, and it was neck-and-neck for the rest of the contest.

"I don't know whether they actually wanted to see a haunted Army tank actually join the team," said Busiek, "or whether they just wanted to see what Tom and I would do with such a bizarre guest-appearance. Or whether there was just one crazed G.I. Combat fan voting over and over and over. Whatever, the Tank won -- and sure enough, the Tank will show up. But not necessarily the way anyone would think."

Busiek said that the Haunted Tank was not actually his and Grummett's choice for the new member.

"We do have a new member, who is not a large and destructive military vehicle," Busiek said. "And he -- or she -- will be joining in #11, as promised. Actually, readers will find out who it's going to be on the last page of #10. That's all as we planned it -- and we think both new readers and longtime DC readers will be both happy with and surprised by our choice.

"But, we promised to use the poll winner, and we're not about to back out. We've figured out a fun story -- a new twist on the history and legacy of the Tank, one that'll not only give us a look at the Haunted Tank in all its glory, but will send the story of the Tank in a new and unusual direction.

"We're not going to fob this off with a cameo -- we take our lunatic readers seriously. It'll be a full-on Power Company story, and a full-on Tank story, too. We've already started planting the seeds of the story, and they should start appearing by Power Company #13."

Power Company #8, the kickoff to the series-changing "Power Loss" story, arrives in stores on Wednesday. With the team-devastating events of "Power Loss," a new member in #11 and both the Haunted Tank and a Manhunter/Batman clash in the wings after that, what's next?

"Well, we still have to give away the rest of the prizes," Busiek said. "Thirty-two stores that carry The Power Company will get the other prizes -- signed comics, 'virtual store appearance' phone calls, and even original cover art. We'll be contacting the stores that have won the virtual store appearances in the next few days, to set them up, and then announcing the full list of winners next Wednesday, when #8 hits stores."

"Readers and retailers have been enthusiastic and supportive of the whole 'PowerBoost' idea and have been letting us know that they're seeing sales already rising in their stores, that they're trying out the book and enjoying it, adding it to their pull lists, and more. So Tom and I are delighted. We're having a blast doing the book, and are very happy about the momentum we're building up. And we're not going to slow down anytime soon -- we're just going to keep the surprises and the drama coming."

BRIEFLY

  • One of the most popular stories from writer Mark Waid's run on The Flash - "The Return of Barry Allen" - is returning to print in The Flash: The Return Of Barry Allen, a 192-page trade paperback that was previously sold out.

    The book, now available, reprints The Flash #74-79 by Waid and artists Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson. It also features a cover by Brian Bolland - an homage to the cover of Showcase #4, Barry Allen's first appearance.

  • Coming Monday: Justice League news, Mutant X news -- and much more!!!
    E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com



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