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Sunday, July 13, 2003

X-MEN: EVOLUTION UPDATE

X-Men: Evolution returns to the Kids' WB! Saturday morning lineup on Saturday, Aug. 2 with new episodes, The Continuum has learned.

The first new episode to be aired is "X23," featuring a major new character created by Marvel Studios' Craig Kyle. The Continuum has obtained the first unmasked image of the character, which is shown here.

Here's how the episode is described:

"Wolverine discovers that his DNA has been used to create a new Weapon X - a 14-year-old mutant girl!  Having experienced a traumatic childhood and a past shrouded in mystery like her genetic donor, she's volatile and dangerous.   Infiltrating Xavier Institute, she begins to immobilize the X-Men one by one - and lies in wait for Wolverine..."  

"X23" is written by Kyle and Chris Yost and directed by Curt Geda.  

X-Men: Evolution actually returns to the Kids' WB lineup on Monday, July 28. It will air daily -- except for Wednesday -- through Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. with rebroadcast of key episodes in the Apocalypse story arc.

X-Men: Evolution will air in the 10:30 a.m. time period, as Static Shock moves to a new slot. Beginning Aug. 2, the Kids' WB! Saturday morning lineup will include What's New Scooby-Doo? At 8 a.m.; Yu-Gi-Oh! at 8:30 a.m.; Jackie Chan Adventures at 9 a.m.; Megaman: NT Warrior at 9:30 a.m.; Pokemon: Master Quest at 10 a.m.; X-Men: Evolution at 10:30 a.m.; Yu-Gi-Oh! at 11 a.m.; and Static Shock at 11:30 a.m.

Other new X-Men episodes from the third season will include "Cruise Control" and the two-part "Dark Horizon." Nine new episodes are being produced at Film Roman for Season 4.

Look for more on X23 and X-Men: Evolution soon here in The Continuum.



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 #27, Uncanny X-Men #428, Daredevil #49, Amazing Spider-Man #55, Wolverine #3, New Mutants #3, X-Men: Phoenix #2, Spider-Man & Wolverine #2 and Captain Marvel #12.



STREET FIGHTER #0 IN SAN DIEGO

Image Comics has announced that a special edition of Street Fighter #0 will be available exclusively at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Street Fighter #0 is a special stand-alone prequel to the Street Fighter series debuting in September. It features an original nine-page story exclusive to the issue, plus an extensive character profile section with vital information on the Street Fighters.

The issue is limited to 3,000 copies and will be available at the UDON booth in the Image Section. A free limited edtion promo poster will be given out as a bonus to those who purchase the book, while supplies last.

Street Fighter writer Ken Siu-chong and artists Alvin Lee will be at the convention, signing for the fans throughout the weekend. Other UDON artists that will be available to sign books include: Long Vo, Charles Park, Locke, Christina Chen and Jo Chen.

Those who dress up as Street Fighter characters can come to the UDON booth and get a free copy of Street Fighter #0.



MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE PREVIEW

MVCreations on Friday released a five-page preview from Masters of the Universe Vol. 2 #5, due in stores on July 30

Here's how the book is described:

"The Masters must confront one of their own! The unthinkable has happened, and the Masters race to stop one of their own from unlocking the secrets of Castle Grayskull! But, what part does Skeletor play in all of this? Has he turned one of the Masters against them? And will He-Man and the Masters be able to face Skeletor and his minions, as well as one of their own? This issue proves to be our most shocking issue to date.

"The fan response to MOTU Volume Two has been overwhelming, Issue 5 will be a complete shocker for fans as we see a showdown of epic proportions take place," said MVCreations marketing director Jonboy Meyers. "This issue sets the stage for a Battle of the Ages in #6.

"We've strived to keep each new story line refreshing and exciting," said MVCreations president Val Staples. "With Season Two of He-Man and the MOTU premiering this coming fall on the Cartoon Network, be sure to note that events in season two of the animated series will be mirrored in comic-book series as well. We have a new Scaly menace slithering it's way back into Eternia and you can bet good money that it's going to have some serious ramifications not only for He-Man and the Masters, but for Skeletor and his minions as well!

"It's nice to add a new element to the comic series as well as the cartoon."

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IMAGE COMICS' SWORD OF DRACULA

Image Comics is launching the all-new Sword of Dracula series by Jason Henderson and Greg Scott in October.

As Henderson explains it, Sword of Dracula is about a re-invention of Dracula for a whole new generation of vampire fans with new powers and a darker, more intense attitude. Scott is giving Dracula an anime-influenced look, and the series will feature covers by Tony Harris.

"What really differentiates our Dracula is we followed what everyone says: we went 'back to the book,' but in a way that no one ever does," Henderson said. "Dracula in Stoker's novel is just at the start of his vampiric powers -- Van Helsing refers to him having a 'child-brain' as far as power goes -- and we wanted to show, what would he be like if he kept growing. He's not romantic; Dracula in the novel feeds a live child to his vampires and sics wolves on the mother. He's a twisted man who has very big plans and is used to leading a whole country.

"We wanted to see Dracula as a king, in a war. Dracula needs to be big, the way Christopher Lee was big in 1958 and Lugosi was big in 1931. He needs to be an onslaught of power and evil. In Sword of Dracula, Dracula is every bit as evil as he is in Stoker's novel -- and moreso, every bit as twisted as the historical Dracula -- and he's proud of it. He's grown in power -- he knows how to use blood, and lots of it - he has an army of vampires at his disposal. He's honed his power over blood to keep them entrenched in a protected fortress wherever he sets up his 'kingdom.' He's constantly moving because as far as he's concerned, the earth is his."

A screenwriter and novelist, Henderson wrote the script for the Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and the story For Command & Conquer: Renegade.

Dracula has a new look, too, and according to Henderson, it's far from any previous incarnation: "Again, we wanted to bring the character from the book forward in time, but remember his roots. He bears the Dragon emblem of the real Vlad, and he matches the real Prince's age. Stylistically, Greg's given him a look that's very influenced by Asian and European movies and animation. This is not the Dracula that wandered around Virgin Records in Dracula 2000."

Since the threat of Dracula is so large, the good guys must have a vast arsenal -- hence the leads in Sword of Dracula are the Polidorium, a well-armed, well-equipped G.I. Joe-style agency newly led by Veronica "Ronnie" Van Helsing, who has faced Dracula before joining the organization.

"Ronnie's a zealot," Henderson said. "She regards Dracula as the Bin Laden of vampires, and as such she's taking all the resources of this organization to target the main vampire threat. She's not your typical comic-book heroine. She's very human and Greg and I are slowly falling in love with her."

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DC COMICS ROUNDUP

Superman: Birthright #1, the debut issue of the 12-issue maxi-series, has sold out at DC Comics only nine days after its on-sale date of July 2. This special issue features a 40-page story by Mark Waid, Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan at the regular-issue cover price of $2.95.

"Superman, Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Dave McCaig...I feel like I'm playing in the greatest band ever, and that retailers and fans have embraced Birthright is just terrific," Waid said. "As for my part, all I ever promised was that I'd show readers who don't love Superman exactly why I do. I'm thrilled they're enjoying the show, because it only gets better."

"From the time we first heard that Mark was going to write this project and Leinil was going to draw it, we knew fans were going to have a strong response to this series," said Bob Wayne, DC's VP - sales and marketing. "Even with a significant overprint, we ran out faster than expected. As always, we urge retailers to increase their orders."

DC Comics has no plans to go back to press on this issue at this time.

In other DC news:

* Batman #616 reached the top of Diamond Comic Distributors Orders chart for June in-store titles. This is the ninth chapter of the "Hush" storyline by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

"It's great to be back on top after a brief stopover at the #2 spot," says Loeb. "And if we had to take a passenger seat for one month, I can't think of a better person to cede that to than Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka. It's a testimony to the fans and the retailers that they have been loyal to the monthly Batman book since issue #608. We promise not to let up through the end of the 'Hush' storyline - every issue from this point on promises to have a twist ending that will have the readers guessing - as we look forward to an exciting and competitive summer!"

"I'm glad to see the retailer and fan support for Batman is as strong as ever," Lee said. "I love the fact that readers are trying to figure out who Hush really is. I look forward to discussing all the conspiracy theories with readers this summer at Comic-Con International: San Diego next week and Wizard World Chicago in August. Should be fun!"

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NEW ENGLAND COMICS FOR NOVEMBER

Following is New England Comics' solicitation for November, with information coming from the company.

WW2: SNIPERS #1

Written and drawn by Ron Ledwell.

Both the Allied and Axis sides devoted considerable effort and resources to the subtle---but deadly---art of snipubg. In WW2: Snipers, veteran historian and comic artist Ron Ledwell takes an expert look at this intriguing and often-overlooked aspect of the Second World War.

$3.95.

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BRIEFLY

  • The status of John Shea, who plays Adam, on Mutant X should be revealed in the next few days.

  • Midway Games announced that it will ship a new video game based on the animated Cartoon Network television series, Justice League, for next-generation platforms in 2004.

  • Coming Monday: Movie news -- and much more!!!


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