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Friday, September 12, 2003

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR DECEMBER

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

AL CAPP'S LI'L ABNER: THE FRAZETTA SUNDAYS VOLUME 4 (1960-1961)TPB

By Frank Frazetta.

Volume 4 features two separate Fearless Fosdick adventures and collects the Sunday strips from the beginning of 1960 through 1961. In one, our favorite bumbling detective moonlights as female officer Phyllis Fosdick. Paramount successfully released their Li'l Abner movie in 1959, but here Li'l Abner makes a separate film...with disastrous results. Years before Japan invaded the American auto market, Capp presciently depicts the success of the $19.95 Japanese Nomotocar (it has no motor), and Capp foresaw the cross-breeding of animals long before DNA manipulation. Also featured in this volume: jinx Joe Btfsplk, pilot Captain Eddie Ricketyback, and more! Each quarterly volume contains extensive story-by-story annotations by Li'l Abner and Al Capp expert Denis Kitchen.

120 pages, $18.95, in stores on Jan. 21.

ASTRO BOY VOLUME 23 TPB

By Osamu Tezuka.

This, the final volume in the definitive Astro Boy collection, features a cavalcade of Astro Boy short stories featuring everything Astro fans have come to expect: robots, ray guns, rockets and a riot of a good time.

192 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Jan. 28.

BERSERK VOL. 2: THE GUARDIANS OF DESIRE TPB

By Kentaro Miura.

The evil Count uses his dark powers to transform a defeated guard captain into an inhuman horror to combat Guts, the Black Swordsman. Puck, Guts' pint-sized fairy sidekick, is captured when he attempts to stop an old doctor's execution, and he is given as a gift to the count's daughter, a sweet girl in a gilded cage, imprisoned by her father in her own room. Guts, determined to make mincemeat of the Count, assaults the castle and carves a swath of blood-soaked destruction through the Count's minions. Face-to-face with the Black Swordsman at last, the Count reveals his true form, and even Guts' super-sized sword may not be big enough to contend with this demonic monstrosity.

240 pages, black and white, $12.95.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #85

By Hiroaki Samura.

"Mirror of the Soul," part 1 of 3. It's the return of Makie! The fan favorite female killer is back. It may not be a happy moment, in fact, it's quite sad, but what do you expect from Hiraoki Samura? Once again, two of the most deadly people in Japan, a man and a woman, will be face to face. Sound exciting? Well, if they didn't love each other, it might be. But this meeting could be a bit morose instead. This is a story of beauty and pain, of suffering and love and tortured souls. But don't forget, these two could cut you to ribbons and smash your skull to oblivion, and you'd never understand how, such frail and beautiful people. Rejoice, Makie's back! And that means Blade of the Immortal is moving into a period of intense action.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 10.

CANNON GOD EXAXXION #20

By Kenichi Sonoda.

You want artillery? How about a cannon the size of your high school? You want action? How about an army of aliens, cyborgs, and giant robots gunning for a smartass teenager who holds the keys to a nearly indestructible killing machine? You want thrills? How about a buxom, cybernetic supermodel programmed to obey your every command?

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 17.

CHOSEN #1

By Mark Millar and Peter Gross, cover by Gross.

Imagine you're 12 years old and suddenly discover that you're the returned Jesus Christ. You can turn water into wine, make the crippled walk again, and perhaps even raise the dead. What do you do, what does your family do, and how does it affect you knowing that you're destined to grow up and take part in a conflict that people have been waiting almost two thousand years for? Chosen has been described in the British press as Spider-Man meets the Book of Revelations. SFX magazine describes it as Harry Potter for Christian fundamentalists. This mini-series is part of the creator-owned Millarworld line of books from writer Mark Millar and artist Peter Gross and will be supported by ads in the other Millarworld titles from Image, Avatar Press and Top Cow this month in the debut issues of Run, The Unfunnies and Wanted.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 24.

THE CHRONICLES OF CONAN VOL. 3: THE MONSTER OF THE MONOLITHS AND OTHER STORIES TPB

By Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith and Gil Kane.

This is the third volume in a series collecting the early Conan comic-book stories by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith. Originally created in the 1930s, Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian has survived to emerge as one of this century's most powerful and popular characters. Even more impressive than the character's lasting appeal over the past seven decades, is the caliber of talent involved in all of the various Conan incarnations. Of those, there are few that speak as clearly and as uniquely as artist Barry Windsor-Smith. Over the course of these early stories, Windsor-Smith's stunning evolution from comic-book cartoonist to full-fledged artist is apparent. This volume collects issues #14, #15 and #17-#21 and features completely remastered color.

156 pages, $15.95, in stores on Jan. 28.

CRUSH #3

By Jason Hall and Sean Murphy, cover by Murphy.

After barely escaping an encounter with Agent Bixby's werewolf assassins, Liz gets in a disastrous argument with her adopted parents that her alter-ego Crush finishes...in the monster's typically explosive fashion. Liz finds refuge with Carl and Jen, her only real confidants, who are dedicated to helping her solve the mystery of her brutal transformations and mysterious past. Life is definitely changing for Liz, with shadowy secret agents and her own classmates after her. Have you ever had nightmares about being naked in front of your class in high school? Well, this issue's cliffhanger ending is much worse, putting Liz in a situation that may be the final straw that breaks her crumbling reality into pieces.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 24.

THE FOUR KILLERS VOL 1: THE LONESOME RIDER HC

By Joe Kubert and Claudi Nizzi.

Tex Willer is a Texas Ranger and a forthright defender of the downtrodden and oppressed. His job is as hard as the Texas plains: to uphold the law where there is no law, in the vast, violent territories of the Old West. In The Four Killers, Tex takes the trail of a quartet of ruthless outlaws who have taken the lives of a family close to him, a family to whom the Ranger can now provide only retribution. Created by Claudio Nizzi, more than half a billion Tex graphic albums have been sold worldwide, illustrated by a who's who of top artists. And now, American comics icon Joe Kubert takes up the reins as illustrator, providing his signature grace, grit, and power to this legendary graphic-fiction series. The Four Killers is another essential Venture graphic album, featuring the finest comics the world has to offer, available in limited quantities and for the first time in an English-language edition.

48 pages, $14.95, in stores on Dec. 10.

FUSED: THINK LIKE A MACHINE #1

By Steve Niles and Josh Medors, cover by Eric Powell.

For Mark Haggerty life has become more than a little complicated. He's been fused inside of a robotic Cy-Bot exo-suit, forced to live on a military base, and become the subject of endless tests, all the while trying to figure out how to relate to his wife from inside a hulking metal body. If that weren't enough now he has to defend himself against the unwanted advances of group of superheroes who want to recruit Mark into their ranks... It's enough to give even a robot an ulcer--and judging from the mysterious ache in Mark's metal "stomach" it may just have done that.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 31.

GHOST IN THE SHELL II: MAN-MACHINE INTERFACE #11

By Masamune Shirow.

Roaring down the final stretch, Man-Machine Interface reaches its explosive climax as master storytelling visionary Masamune Shirow continues to tear down the walls between actual and virtual, flesh and circuit, soul and science. Shirow has crafted a true 21st Century epic of monumental visual complexity and staggering conceptual depth, almost as though Shirow were writing for an audience already living in the future he envisions. Translation by Frederik L. Schodt.

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Dec. 24.

THE GOON #4

By Eric Powell and Kyle Hotz.

Two Goon stories for the price of one. In the first story, the Goon and Franky make their way to the bottom of the sea in search of sunken treasure, only to fall into the clutches of a wretched, evil sea hag, who turns out to be lonely for a man. In the second story, guest artist Kyle Hotz joins Goon creator Eric Powell, as an insane skunk-ape ruins a pie-eating contest that the Goon has money riding on. Nothing comes between the Goon and his money.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 17.

HELLBOY JUNIOR TPB

By Mike Mignola, Bill Wray, Dave Cooper, Stephen DeStefano, Pat McEown, Hilary Barta, Glenn Barr and Kevin Nowlan, cover by Wray.

Finally, the most bizarre Hellboy spinoff is collected in one volume, after four years out of print. Ren and Stimpy artist and Big Blown Baby creator Bill Wray joins with Mignola and a lineup of humor cartoonists to reimagine a young, diaper-clad Hellboy and a host of other twisted children's characters. Includes the outrageous Mignola-drawn tale Squid of Man and many others.

120 pages, $14.95, in stores on Jan. 21.

HELLBOY: WEIRD TALES #6

By P. Craig Russell, Will Pfiefer, Evan Dorkin, Cameron Stewart, Gene Colan, Doug Petrie and John Cassaday, cover by Frank Cho.

The anthology continues with an all-star lineup featuring Hellboy in a homicidal theatre production, the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense investigating a monstrous aquarium, and the ever-popular Lobster Johnson serial by John Cassaday.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 10.

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IRON EMPIRES VOLUME 1: FAITH CONQUERS TPB

By Christopher Moeller.

The science-fiction epic brought to life by painter and storyteller Christopher Moeller returns to comic shops and bookstores. Faith Conquers, the first in the series of Iron Empires collections from Dark Horse, kicks off the release of the Iron Empires role-playing game and will be followed by a second trade paperback, Sheva's War, in April, as well as an ongoing series of new Iron Empires adventures in the months to follow. Volume 1 collects the four-part series originally titled Shadow Empires, published in 1994, and features the three-part story "The Passage," originally published in Dark Horse Presents, now in full color for the first time.

160 pages, $17.95, in stores on Jan. 21.

JUDGE DREDD VS. ALIENS: INCUBUS TPB

By John Wagner, Andy Diggle, Henry Flint and Chris Blythe, cover by Greg Staples.

Judge Dredd, the gritty, gruff hero of Britain's sci-fi anthology 2000 AD, faces off against Fox Films' Aliens in a battle that just may bring Mega-City One to its knees. The tenacious Judge Dredd, upholding the law in a deadly, radioactive future, has faced everything from mutants to supernatural possessions...but can he, a group of judges, and the elite team called the Verminators fend off an infestation of the deadly, acid-drooling Aliens? Facing their most dangerous enemies yet, it's lawmen versus nature's best killing machines in a bloody battle to keep the vast metropolis of the future from becoming a hideous breeding ground. Collecting the four-issue miniseries.

104 pages, $12.95, in stores on Jan. 28.

LONE #4

By Stuart Moore, Jerome Opena and John Wycough, cover by Ben Templesmith.

Lone's origin is revealed. In the radioactive, zombie-filled, dog-eat-dog future that youngsters Luke and Mark live in, trust is hard to come by...especially trust placed in a gunslinger with shadowy intentions and a hidden purpose. Bent on finding out if Lone, their current protector, is actually human, Mark's actions from last issue nearly got him killed. Now, Lone's only friend, Cletus, sits with the kids to tell them the unsettling bedtime story of when Lone first met GF Enterprises and the sadistic Gunfathers. Lone, on a risky reconnaissance mission outside of Desolation, seeks to unravel certain mysteries that have been on his mind, as the final showdown to free Desolation from Gunfather control and zombie infestation draws near.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 17.

LONE WOLF 2100 #11

By Mike Kennedy, art by Francisco Ruiz Velasco.

Stripped of three of his eight android senses, Itto's fighting skills are put to their ultimate test as he launches a solo assault on the Cynat Owari corporation's computer brain trust. If he is to find the key to extracting the cure for the War Spore virus from Daisy Ogami's blood, he must carry his quest to the heart of the enemy's stronghold. The fates of both humanity and androidkind are tied to the cure, and Cygnat Owari's android leader will stop at nothing to destroy Itto and Daisy. And for Itto, succeeding in his mission may result in his own demise.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 31.

MEGATOKYO VOLUME 2 TPB

By Fred Gallagher and Rodney Caston.

The popular web comic that spawned a best-selling trade paperback has found a new home. Fans and friends of the Megatokyo web comic have come to love the characters and their offbeat adventures. Whether entangled in a fantasy gaming scenario, saving Tokyo from devastation by rampaging zombies, or taking timid steps towards love, swirling with youthful awkwardness, we get to experience Tokyo through many unique and drastically different points of view. New discoverers of the series may find familiar emotions and a dialogue that is freakishly similar to their own.

176 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Jan. 7.

MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS...THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #1

By Michael Chabon, Howard Chaykin, Kevin McCarthy, Eric Wight and others.

Leaping onto center stage from the wings of comics history comes that dazzling Master of Elusion, foe of tyranny, and champion of liberation--the Escapist. Operating from a secret headquarters under the boards of the Empire Theater, the Escapist and his crack team of associates roam the globe performing amazing feats of magic and coming to the aid of all those who languish in the chains of oppression. The history of the Escapist's creators, Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay was recently chronicled in Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Now the best of the Escapist's adventures are collected into a giant 80-page anthology for all to enjoy.

80 pages, $8.95, in stores on Dec. 17.

OH MY GODDESS! #104

By Kosuke Fujishima.

"Dr. Moreau," part 5. Mechanical mayhem and riotous robotics abound in the climax to the most fun-filled Oh My Goddess! adventure yet. Love can conquer anything. Even a crazed robotic engineer who will stop at nothing to possess the secrets of Banpei and his true love the "welcome girl."

40 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on Dec. 3.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #16

By Welles Hartley, Davide Fabbri and Christian Dalla Vecchia, cover by David Michael Beck.

"To The Last Man," part 1 of 3. He may have washed-out as a pilot at the Imperial Academy, but Lt. Janek Sunber has found a new home in the infantry. Hoping for a post on a world where he could see some action against the Rebels, he instead finds himself on the jungle world of Maridun as part of a regiment overseeing the construction of a new base. But just when he's resigned himself to a long, uneventful tour of duty, things heat up. The alien natives are restless, and on the hunt for human skulls! Sunber is about to learn one of the truths about the infantry: all service is sacrifice, and in the infantry that sacrifice is usually in blood.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 3.

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STAR WARS: INFINITIES--RETURN OF THE JEDI #2

By Adam Gallardo, Ryan Benjamin and Saleen Crawford, cover by Rodolfo Migliari.

As Leia, Lando, and Chewbacca pursue Boba Fett in an effort to retrieve the frozen form of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker discovers that he has arrived too late for his rendezvous with Yoda. Worse, he has run into the waiting clutches of Darth Vader. Unaware that Luke has been captured by the Empire, Leia and the others have their own encounter with Imperials--as well as a fateful showdown with Fett. All of the characters and situations you loved from the film, but twisted and altered by fate as can only happen in Infinities.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 10.

STAR WARS TALES #18

By Andy Diggle, Henry Gilroy, Haden Blackman, Jason Hall, Todd Demong, Henry Flint, Peter Alilunas and others, cover by Cam Kennedy.

Throughout the galaxy there is one name that can send a chill through the core of any wanted man. That word is Fett. Join Dark Horse for a full-issue tribute to the most feared and respected bounty hunter of all time--Boba Fett. From a stroies of Boba's exciting childhood with his father Jango, through a tales of him tracking down and bringing in wanted men Star Wars Tales #18 is a thrill a minute, action-packed issue that will excite both young and old alike.

64 pages, $5.99, in stores on Dec. 24.

STAR WARS TALES VOLUME 4 TPB

By Fabian Nicieza, Timothy II, Haden Blackman, Michael Zulli, Jim Krueger, Bob Harris, Jerome Opena, Jason Hall, Jimmy Palmiotti, Ramon Bachs, Stan Sakai, Adriana Melo, Chris Eliopoulos, Jon Sommariva, Kilian Plunkett, Todd Nauck, Scott Lobdell, Sean Murphy, Brian Augustyn, Paco Medina, Tod C. Parkhill, Joey Mason, Howard Shum, Paul Lee, Brian Horton, Lucas Marangon and others, cover by Tsuneo Sanda.

Collecting issues #13 through #16 of the quarterly anthology, Star Wars Tales Volume 4 features a collection of stories featuring Jedi Master Mace Windu, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and of course the big man himself--Darth Vader. Tales has explored every corner of the Star Wars galaxy and kept readers coming back for more. Collected for the first time into one volume.

224 pages, $19.95, in stores on Jan. 21.

SUPER MANGA BLAST! #38

By Masamune Shirow, Mohior Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Yuzo Takada, Hiroyuki Utane and Yo Morimoto.

Get your Shirow fix this month in Super Manga Blast! with more "Hypernotes," featuring detailed specs on the Seburo MN-23, the futuristic air-gun which you may have seen in the pages of Intron Depot. Shirow gives you a step-by-step breakdown of the design process and design specs of the rifle and its special features. Over in Seraphic Feather, the sexy M-Zak and the meta-talented Sunao fight to rescue Kei from another alien attack. Meanwhile, there's more screwball comedy as we follow the misadventures of What's Michael? and our darling, little Miss "Hello" of Club 9. Over in Shadow Star, teen melodrama and bizarre science fiction collide, bringing you one of the most addictive series in comics. And things just keep getting weirder in 3x3 Eyes, one of the most popular manga series ever.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Dec. 24.

SYN #5

By Keith Giffen and Timothy II.

Her body may have been destroyed, but Syn's consciousness still exists and it's up to the program known as Nina to find her. But Nina's not the only one looking for Syn, those who destroyed her in the real world are now looking to finish the job they started by wiping any trace of Syn from the net once and for all. It's a huge game of hide and seek in a sprawling world with absolutely no limits.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 3.

TALES OF THE VAMPIRES #1

By Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard, Cameron Stewart and others, cover by John Totleben.

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, regroups with the writers from the hit TV show to examine the monsters who've challenged the Slayers through the ages. Kicking off the new series, Whedon teams with one of comics' hottest new stars, Catwoman artist Cameron Stewart, for a look at what happens when disaffected youth turns to vampirism. Also Drew Goddard brings us the story of how Drucilla (of the infamous Spike and Dru) went crazy during their time in Prague before reigning their terror on Sunnydale.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 10.

TRIGUN VOLUME 2 TPB

By Yasuhiro Nightow.

Dark Horse continues its parade of new manga with the second volume of Trigun. Set in some kind of post-apocalypse western future, Trigun continues to knit a goofy yet mysterious story about a nice-guy gunslinger with a dangerous past and a huge bounty on his head. Everyone is after Vash the Stampede, but no one can put a bullet in him. Adding to the comedy is the pair of ladies working for an insurance company who must put a stop to Vash's destruction, though they certainly don't believe this amiable prankster is the vicious destroyer.

344 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Jan. 7.

ULTRAMAN TIGA #5

By Tony Wong and Khoo Fuk Lung, cover by UDON.

It's terror at sea as an alien presence infests ships and vessels across the Pacific, its menacing influence leading all tankers and ocean liners to a single destination—the floating headquarters of the Terrestrial Peacekeeping Commission! Soon Diago (Ultraman Tiga's alter-ego) and the rest of the Global Unlimited Task Squad find themselves assaulted from all sides, unwilling to fire on the humans that are hosting the unearthly parasites and unable to hold back the tide of possessed sailors that are flooding their base. Worse yet, Ultraman Tiga's monster-smashing abilities prove futile against such a small and pervasive threat. This could be lights out for GUTS.

40 pages, $3.99, in stores on Dec. 31.



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