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Monday, July 28, 2003

WITCHBLADE DEATH POOL

Top Cow Productions will be staging "a reverse Survivor" with its Witchblade title this fall, culminating in the deaths of two characters.

Top Cow's Matt Hawkins told The Continuum that a voting process beginning in Witchblade #70 will result in the deaths of two of book's cast. A pool of 12 characters will be presented in that issue, with readers voting which two characters they want to protect. Each issue, two more characters will be protected, until the last two remaining are killed in Witchblade #75.

"We needed to pare down our cast anyway," Hawkins said. "So this is a good way to find out who people don't like."

Even the lead character is in jeopardy. "If Sara Pezzini is whacked, then we'll have to give somebody else the Witchblade," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the death scenes of the final four characters will also be drawn, and readers will get to see what the deaths of the last two protected characters would have looked like in Witchblade #75.

In other Top Cow news, Hawkins told The Continuum that there will be two crossovers with Marvel in the first half of next year as part of the deal for Marc Silvestri drawing Grant Morrison's last New X-Men arc.

One of the crossovers will be Witchblade/Wolverine with a creative team to be named. Hawkins said he is hoping to get Dale Keown to draw a Darkness/Hulk story.

JIM LEE/BRIAN AZZARELLO ON SUPERMAN

DC Comics confirmed for The Continuum on Monday that Jim Lee and Brian Azzarello will be teaming on a run of Superman.

The run is expected to start in March and will likely last 12 issues.

Lee is also teaming with Jeph Loeb for a follow to the "Hush" story arc in Batman.

More announcements about creative talent - to include Greg Rucka, Chuck Austen and possibly Grant Morrison - for the Superman books are expected soon.



TEEN TITANS GO!

Teen Titans Go!, a new ongoing series based on the Cartoon Network animated series, will launch on Nov. 26 from DC Comics.

The book is written by J. Torres, with art by Todd Nauck and Lary Stucker and a cover by Dave Bullock. Shown here is the cover to the first issue.

Here's how DC describes the book:

"Join Robin and his band of teenage heroes - the brave Cyborg, funny guy Beast Boy, the na´ve but seriously hot (and way powerful) Starfire, and the moody goth-girl Raven - as they battle for truth, justice and pizza!

"In the fabulous first issue, the team just wants to chill out and play video games. But those creepy kids from the HIVE Academy - Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth - have hacked into the Titans Tower game system, and the Titans get caught in a virtual reality gone mad! Will they discover the mystery man behind it all?"

The book will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



AVATAR PRESS' THE DRIVE-IN

Avatar Press has announced that it will publish Joe R. Lansdale's The Drive-In, a new comic book mini-series featuring the collaboration of Lansdale, Chris Golden and Andres Guinaldo.

Described as "a twisted mixture of terror and dark humor the likes of which only Lansdale can brew up," The Drive-In is a four-issue mini-series with covers by Jacen Burrows. It will launch in October.

"No one in the world writes like Joe Lansdale. Nobody," Golden said. "From the beginning of his career his voice has been fascinatingly unique. And he's more than a little weird. He'd have to be, to come up with a concept as nasty and funny and twisted as The Drive-In."

"I'm very excited about this comic book adaptation, both script and art," Lansdale said. "A great combo of talent for what is one of my more unique works. One that over the years has acquired a strong cult following. I'm grateful for that, and I hope the comic edition will further interest readers in the original, and that this version will be received with the same enthusiasm."

"If you've ever read any Lansdale, or really even read any reviews of his work, it's easy to understand why he has such an affinity for comics," said Avatar Press editor-in-chief William Christensen. "People talk about his outrageous ear for dialog, his skill with pacing, an imagination that can be both scary and darkly funny, and that modern sort of Texas pulp voice. But really, the man was simply born to tell these certain kinds of stories, and as it turns out the comics medium is one very good way to help him do that. It's kind of like if Stephen King and Alan Moore had grown up in the same family, Joe would've been one of the other brothers. The way he's wired lets him do what he does better than just about anybody. The Drive-In is a prime example of the Lansdale mojo at work."

Here's how the premise is described:

"When a group of friends decide to spend a day at the world's largest Drive-In theatre horror fest, they expected to see bloody murders, rampaging madmen, and mayhem -- but only on the screen. As a mysterious force traps all the patrons inside the Drive-In, the worst in humanity comes out."

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SMALLVILLE UPDATE

The third season of Smallville will launch in either late September or early October, a WB representative told The Continuum.

An exact date hasn't been determined yet for the show, which is alredy moving to its new time period of Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

In other Smallville news:

* The Wednesday, Aug. 13 episode is a repeat of "Insurgence."

* Above is a look at the Inkworks' presentation from Comic-Con International in San Diego for its new Smallville trading cards.

* Look for more Smallville news, including third-season images, soon here in The Continuum.



FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER MEETS VAMPIRELLA

Harris' Comics Vampirella will meet up with Image Comics' Frankenstein Mobster in a free, daily online comic strip running in the month of August.

The daily strip begins Aug, 4 and will run each weekday during the month.

"The Ballad of Frankie and Vampi" is written and illustrated by Frankenstein Mobster creator and Hammer of the Gods co-creator Mark Wheatley. The strip is edited by Harris editor Maureen McTigue.

The strip will be hosted on a number of different comics and pop culture-related sites including www.ImageComics.com, Insight Studios Group's www.SunnyFundays.com and Harris Publications' www.Vampirella.com.

Like the title character, the series Frankenstein Mobster is a potent amalgamation of different elements, all which focus to make for a great story. Horror, action and even humor combine to for a ripping good read.

The Frankenstein Mobster used to be Terry Todd, a crusading cop for whom the law was at least a compulsion, if not more. Life as a good cop in a bad town wasn't easy, but death is apparently even harder. Now he's been revived in a patchwork body, and he finds himself sharing his own skull with three unscrupulous mobsters.

"I've been in love with Vampirella since I was a kid living in my treehouse," said Wheatley. "I had one of those six foot tall posters of Vampirella on the wall of my treehouse living room! In fact it was the old Warren horror magazines that started me down the path that lead to creating the Frankenstein Mobster."

"Here's my theory about comics," said McTigue. "It's not brain surgery. You bring in the people who you think can do the job and you let them do it. As an editor, you help them along, if they come to some sort of block or need the assistance you can provide. In this case, this is Mark's project and I'm along for the ride. If I could be of any assistance, he has been free to use me, but I just get to enjoy this one from the sidelines and cheer the project on."

Wheatley will be center stage in Harris Publications' first issue of its revived Vampirella magazine with a cover by Wheatley and an interview with the creator.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

In case you missed some of The Continuum's recent coverage from Comic-Con International in San Diego, here are some links.

* For stories from Preview Night, including an interview with Mike Mignola about the Hellboy movie, CLICK HERE.

* For the CrossGen Comics panel, CLICK HERE.

* For the WildStorm Productions panel, CLICK HERE.

* For a look at the Hellboy movie trading cards, CLICK HERE.

* For a look at the Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman movie, CLICK HERE.

* For DC Comics' Batman panel, CLICK HERE.

* For DC Comics' Vertigo panel, CLICK HERE.

* For the Spider-Man sequel panel, including a first look at Doc Ock, CLICK HERE.

* For comments from Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry about appearing in a third X-Men movie, CLICK HERE.

* For the Smallville panel, CLICK HERE.

* For an interview with Spider-Man 2 producer Avi Arad, CLICK HERE.

* For DC Comics' super teams panel, CLICK HERE.

* For Phil LaMarr talking about the Static Shock/Green Lantern team-up, CLICK HERE.

* For the Hellboy movie panel, CLICK HERE.

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BRIEFLY

  • Mystic #41 from CrossGen Entertainment has Solusandra coming to Ciress, seeking Giselle's sigil. "It's one of the initial big changes," Mystic writer Tony Bedard said. "She's never going to be the same after this issue."

  • The Punisher movie begins filming Saturday in Tampa, Fla. Look for more news from a press conference regarding the movie this week here in The Continuum.

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie placed seventh at the box office with an estimated $4.8 million, pushing its total to $52.7 million through three weeks. The Hulk stands after $129.5 million after a weekend take of $0.5 million.

  • Coming Tuesday: TV news -- and much more!!!


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