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Friday, July 11, 2003

MUTANT X UPDATE

Tribune Entertainment on Thursday night confirmed for The Continuum that Karen Cliche has joined the cast of Mutant X and provided details about her role.

Cliche, who most recently starred as Mackenzie Previn in the syndicated action series Adventure, Inc., will play Lexa Pierce, an "intriguing new character with a shadowy past." Like the members of the Mutant X team, Lexa was also the unwitting subject of genetic experimentation gone awry and, as a result, has special powers that allow her to manipulate light in amazing ways.

According to Tribune, Victor Webster (Brennan), Victoria Pratt (Shalimar) and Forbes March (Jesse) are returning for the third season of Mutant X, which begins in syndication the week of Sept. 29.

Lauren Lee Smith, who played Emma, confirmed on her web site that she will not be returning for Season 3. Tribune has not indicated if John Shea, who plays Adam, will be back.

The second season of Mutant X ended on a cliffhanger, with all the main characters in jeopardy.

Cliche's series television credits include the MTV drama Undressed; the Muse Entertainment/ Spelling Television series All Souls; and Fox Family's Big Wolf on Campus. She co-starred with Adam Baldwin in the Francis Ford Coppola pilot Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and with Stephen Baldwin and Peter Gallagher in the made-for-television movie Protection. She has also appeared in a number of other TV movies, including Race Against Time with Eric Roberts.

On the big screen, Cliche appeared in Miramax's action thriller Steal, starring Stephen Dorff and Natasha Henstridge. She also starred in Summer, a feature film tribute to the filmmaking of John Hughes.

Look for more on Mutant X soon here in The Continuum.



VAMPIRELLA MAGAZINE

Bringing Vampirella back to its original format, Harris Comics has announced in October it will unveil Vampirella Comics Magazine, a 48-page, combination color and black-and-white-white magazine hosting brand new and classic material.

Each issue of Vampirella Comics Magazine will host sexy new Vampirella stories by some of the best and brightest comics talent, the up-and-comers, the fan-favorites, the award-winners, the cutting edge. The tales, in a shorter format, allow for a wider range of situations and experiences for both the classic character and those involved. What's more, The magazine will showcase work from other creators, with new previews of their projects and in-depth interviews concerning their work and the project.

The first issue #1 features a painted cover by Mark Texeira, and an alternate photo cover featuring new Vampirella model Kitana Baker. New Vampirella stories, the color "Vampirella Must Die" by the 21 Down writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Argentinean sensation Gabriel Rearte), and the black-and-white, classic-inspired "The Killing Floor" by Steve Lieber.

The issue also features an interview with Alan Moore, discussing his work, life and The Voice of the Fire, accompanied by art from the novel by Jose Villarubia. Mark Wheatley continues his introduction of Frankenstein Mobster, following an online meeting with Vampirella, with art and an interview.

The magazine will continue to provide the visages of the models portraying Vampirella. The newest face is Kitana Baker, Playboy Playmate and Miller Lite Girl.

"I'm very excited about this new project," editor Maureen McTigue said. "It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people on the new Vampirella material and with other publishers to help showcase their new projects."

Sized at the classic 8 1/4 x 11, this new publication is priced at $3.95, and the first issue is in stores in time for Halloween.



CROSSGEN, IMAGE FIRST LOOKS

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

Titles include Lady Death #6 from CrossGen Entertainment and Magdalena #1, Kore #3, Heirs of Eternity #3 and Defiance #8 from Image Comics.



SMALLVILLE UPDATE

CFQ will be selling posters of Smallville's Kristin Kreuk during Comic-Con International in San Diego next week.

The posters will be oversized (16 inches by 20 inches) versions of the cover of Femme Fatales magazine that Kreuk is featured on. The actress, who plays Lana Lang, is featured in a six-page story.

The print run of 50 posters is expected to sell through at the CFQ booth on Thursday.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger look at the magazine's cover.

In other Smallville news:

* It is still unknown exactly which cast members from Smallville will appear at the Comic-Con panel. According to a representative of Warner Bros. television, it will depending on availability. Look for complete panel coverage next week here in The Continuum.

* The fourth issue of the Smallville comic book will include a feature on the upcoming DVD of the first season.



MARVEL REMOVES PRINCESS DIANA FROM X-STATIX

Marvel Comics on Thursday issued a brief statement indicated it was pulling the use of Princess Diana from an upcoming arc of X-Statix.

Here's what the release said:

"Marvel Comics had planned to release a book using the spirit of Princess Diana as one of its heroines. While Lady Diana was portrayed in a positive light in the comic book, upon reflection, the company has decided to remove Princess Diana and all references to the Royal Family from the five-part X-Statix series."

The storyline, "Di Another Day," was slated to begin in X-Statix #13 in September. Marvel had released images from the story in its solicitations.

G.I. JOE'S BRISK SALES

Image Comics has announced that Diamond has completely sold out of G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #1 by Josh Blaylock, Mike S. Miller and Armando Durruthy.

A limited-edition second printing of G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #1 has already been scheduled and will ship in mid-July.

G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #1 is one of a handful of G.I. Joe comics to sell out in recent weeks, including all recent issues of G.I. Joe and G.I. Joe: Frontline. G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #1 arrived in stores on July 2.

"There's been a huge surge in reorder activity on all G.I. Joe titles over the last month or so," said Image director of marketing Eric Stephenson. "We're sold out of every issue of G.I. Joe: Frontline -- with the exception of a small quantity of issue #2 -- and we're nearing a similar situation with the main G.I. JOE title. The rapid sell out of G.I. Joe vs. Transformers is really just the capper of an amazing month's worth of sales."

In addition to the brisk sales of recent issues of G.I. Joe, Stephenson also pointed out that the second G.I. Joe trade paperback was completely sold out.

"I really think a lot of retailers have underestimated the loyal following that supports G.I. Joe," Stephenson said. "I see it month in and month out in the numbers: Retailers order fewer copies of each issue and then we watch the reorders pile up after the books actually ship. There's obviously a demand for these comics, but retailers' initial orders are consistently out of sync with that."

Josh Blaylock credited much of the increased excitement for the title to new G.I. Joe artist Brandon Badeaux, as well as the upcoming roster of talent contributing the G.I. Joe and G.I. Joe: Frontline.

"The run on the recent issues of G.I. Joe since Brandon's arrival on the book is the clearest indication possible of fans' enthusiasm for the new art and the new direction G.I. Joe's stories are taking," Blaylock said.

With that in mind, both Blaylock and Stephenson urged retailers to double-check their orders and place advance reorders for the weekly G.I. Joe: Frontline issues shipping in August (#11-14), as well as the all-new silent issue of G.I. Joe (#21) by Mike Zeck, which Stephenson predicted would be an "instant sell out."

Written by newcomer Brandon Jerwa with art by Eddy Barrow and Cory Hamscher, with covers by Francis Manapul, G.I. Joe: Frontline #11-14 is a four-part story arc entitled "History Repeating" that revolves around G.I. Joe undercover agent Chuckles. G.I. Joe #21 marks veteran artist Mike Zeck's long-awaited return to sequential illustration and his first ever full-length G.I. Joe story on an all-new silent issue featuring the most popular G.I. Joe characters, Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow.

"When G.I. Joe first launched two years ago, there were people who predicted the book would run out of steam pretty fast," Stephenson said. "The truth, though, is that G.I. Joe just gets better with each passing issue. Josh and his crew have so many great things planned for the book and anyone with even a passing interest in these characters would just be plain foolish to ignore these books right now."

G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #2, G.I. Joe #19 and G.I. Joe: Frontline #9 all hit stores July 23.

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TALES OF THE REALM PREVIEW

CrossGen Entertainment on Thursday released the cover and a six-page preview to Tales of the Realm, a six-issue mini-series from MVCreations that will be published through CrossGen's CGE imprint starting in September.

Here's how the series is described:

"Set in Hollywood, this light-hearted adventure follows the lives of three characters that star in the hit TV show Tales of the Realm. Now in its 7th season, Realm is one of the top rated TV shows in all the land, but sadly, the actors get paid squat and toil in horrible working conditions. To make matters worse, a troll is suing the studio because he thinks Realm is portraying his race in a negative light! Those anti-trollite jerks! How will our trio solve this dead-end dilemma... and make the jump to big-time movies?"

"From the get go, we tried to do something that was different than what you normally see in comics," said MVCreations marketing director Jonboy Meyers. "We set Tales of the Realm in a world that has everything our world today has around us, but with a fantasy twist. Orcs are Hollywood agents, ogres are blue-collar workers, and dragons... well, dragons are airplanes."

GIVE'EM A CLICK

"Wanting to create a series that's unique -- and above all else, fun for any reader -- we came up with a concept that puts a unique twist on the fantasy story," said MVCreations president Val Staples. "When it came time to bring the series to life, we wanted to make sure it captured all the comedy and tragedy that this kind of book would contain... well, mostly comedy.

"Writer Robert Kirkman was the obvious choice to deliver the humor. Robert has an incredible grasp of comedic timing and knows how to write believable characters that fit into this environment. Next to his Invincible stuff, it's his best writing to date! Penciling the series is MVCreations Art Director Matt Tyree. Matt brings a very refreshing style to the series creates the perfect tone for the story."

"The concept by Val and Matt is absolutely brilliant, and to be quite honest... I wish I had come up with it; there literally is nothing out there today that is quite like it," Kirkman said. "There's just so much potential with this stuff to go into so many different directions."

"Val and I developed the idea back in '99 to be a fun, creative story. It's my baby and all time favorite pet project!" Tyree said. "With the addition of Robert as the writer, the story can't get much better. Every script I read makes me laugh out loud."

Tales of the Realm #1 goes on sale Sept. 3.

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TEEN TITANS SECOND PRINTING

With Teen Titans #1 sold out at DC Comics nine days before its in-store date of July 16, DC has announced that the issue will go back to press for a second printing.

Thes premiere issue, which introduces a new team of Teen Titans, is written by Geoff Johns with art by Mike McKone and Marlo Alquiza. The cover of the Second Printing features art by McKone and Alquiza that appeared on the Teen Titans promotional poster.

"I'm thrilled DC is behind this book and believes in it enough to initiate a second printing before issue one even hits the stands," Johns said. "It's been a great week for the Titans crew."

"As always, we look at every sold-out book on a case-by-case basis, and since Teen Titans sold out before it even reached stores, going back to press on it made sense," said Bob Wayne, DC's VP - sales and makreting."Fan enthusiasm for this series is high, and with the new printing, retailers should have no hesitation in increasing orders on upcoming issues."

Teen Titans #1 Second Printing is available for order now and is scheduled to arrive in stores on July 23 with a cover price of $2.50.

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ULTIMATE X-MEN MUST HAVE

A 48-page Marvel Must Have: Ultimate X-Men #34-35 is available for order and will go on sale Aug. 6, a week before Ultimate X-Men #36 reaches comic shops.

Ultimate X-Men #34-35 are the first two chapters of "Blockbuster," the six-issue story arc by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch that focuses on Wolverine and guest-stars Spider-Man, Daredevil and the Ultimates' Black Widow. Both issues have both sold-out at Diamond.

"We run out of superlatives here at Marvel to describe the quality and the buzz that Brian Bendis brings to every project," said Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, "so the best compliment we can give him for his work on Ultimate X-Men is even accounting for the sales spike 'Blockbuster' showed before it ever went on sale, we had this new Must Have collection in the wings ready to go knowing there would be even more readers wanting to jump on board.

"And much of the credit should also go to David Finch. Not only is he doing the best work of his brilliant career on this book, he keeps turning in issue after issue, and ahead of schedule. If readers enjoy on-time books and consistent creators teams, they're in for a treat as Brian and David are planning a healthy run together."

Marvel Must Have: Ultimate X-Men #34-35 will sport a new price of $2.99.

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BRIEFLY

  • Dreamwave Productions sent The Continuum the accompanying teaser image for Transformers War Within: The Dark Ages, a new project by Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman. No details were provided, except to "expect a full official press release in the next few weeks."

  • Moonstone Books' ongoing The Phantom series launches in November, by Ben Raab and Pat Quinn, with a cover by John Cassaday.

    Here's how Moonstone describes the first issue:

    "The Mighty Phantom breaks up a slave camp in his native Bangalla whose captives are mining a vast diamond field at the command of the vile terrorist Ali Gutalle. A stone-cold killer, his counter strike is set against a black tie state function where Diana Walker is to give the keynote speech. As bullets fly, as time bombs click to detonation, will the Phantom have the power to catch villains with one hand, and save his family with the other?

  • Coming Saturday: First looks -- and much more!!!


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