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Friday, October 10, 2003

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR JANUARY

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #85

By Hiroaki Samura.

"Mirror of the Soul," part 2. Manji's fiercest and sexiest combatant returns. When they fought in the "Dreamsong" storyline, Makie Otono-Tachibana, as swordswoman of the Itto-ryu left our near-immortal hero lying helpless in bloody dirt. Now, Anotsu finds her in a small town as he flees Kaga, and she's a run-down husk of the warrior she once was. What brutal and unfortunate circumstances drove her to hate -- and hunt -- her own father? When she finally found him, something happened to turn her into a quivering, suicidal wreck. Will Anotsu's love for both Makie the woman and Makie the warrior still hold true after he sees the physical scars of her despair?

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 14.

CHOSEN #2

By Mark Millar and Peter Gross, cover by Gross.

Jodie Christianson has just discovered that he's the second coming of Jesus. It's a heady responsibility for one so young. So what does the returned savior do? Tests his powers of course! The problem is the whole turning water into wine and walking on water thing isn't working. But when Jodie starts mysteriously curing the ill, people in his small town start to take notice. Including a skeptical priest... This mini-series is part of the creator-owned Millarworld line of books from writer Mark Millar.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 21.

CLUB 9 VOLUME 3

By Makoto Kobayashi.

Haruo Hattori's the hottest county import that Tokyo's ever seen. Working in one of the most happening Hostess bars in the notorious Ginza, Haruo gets all the attention she could ever want--all she'd never want--since she's trying to stay loyal to her boyfriend back home. But that's not easy when a made-of-money bachelor with marriage on his mind gives her a nice little present for Haruo's 19th birthday, just a li'l 'ol Ferrari.

192 pages, black and white, $15.95, in stores on Feb. 25.

CRUSH #4

By Jason Hall and Sean Murphy, cover by Murphy.

Without skipping a beat, creators Jason Hall and Sean Murphy fling us right back into last issue's classroom cliffhanger. With Agent Bixby's monstrously strong lackey, Brute, ripping apart Liz's high school, our heroine is forced to fight back as her demonic alter-ego, Crush. Walls crumble, rows of lockers are thrown, and Liz will inch towards more answers concerning her demonic predicament and deadly pursuers...if she survives! As Liz's crazy neighbor, Mr. Cooter says, "Witch-girls...government conspiracies...explosions. The whole world is coming to an end!" Well, probably not, but one thing's for sure, Brigston Lassiter High School will never be the same.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 28.

FREAKS OF THE HEARTLAND #1

By Steve Niles and Greg Ruth.

Trevor Owen has a younger brother who lives in the barn behind the house, too monstrous to be let into the house. The boy's only 6 years old, but he towers over his older brother, and possesses monstrous strength. For years, Trevor has looked after his baby brother, keeping him from the light, but now that's all about to change. His family's profane secret is about to be revealed, uncovering the horrible truth of the small midwestern town the boys have grown up in.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 21.

FUSED: THINK LIKE A MACHINE #2

By Steve Niles, Josh Medors and Peter Repovski, cover by Medors.

Things haven't been the same for Dr. Mark Haggerty since his all-too-human body fused to the internal workings of a hi-tech cyborg exo-suit. Now that the Cy-Bot suit has fully claimed the physical humanity of the young scientist, Mark and his wife, Nikki, are left wondering if it will also take his mind. Still, the couple faces more immediate concerns, starting with the Implementers--the top secret militants who seek to recruit Mark for their own uses and will apparently stop at nothing to get him to comply. When Mark and Nikki decide to leave the military base and try life as civilians, Doctor Hussar and the Implementers take drastic action and turn to the darkest, most dangerous secrets of the U.S. military for help. Look out, Cy-Bot--here comes Cro-Mag.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 28.

GO BOY 7 #6

By Brian Augustyn, Jon Sommariva and Kris Justice, cover by Francisco Ruiz Velasco.

The Cultist sets his vengeful sites on Washington D.C. Vowing to destroy the Nation's capitol with Giga-Technoloy, the Anarchic Automation releases an unstoppable infestation of marching, munching, mechanical bugs each the size of a  rat. Can Go Boy 7 and Jett Girl turn the tide before the Cultist's swarm of ravenous robots put the bite on the President?

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 28.

THE GOON: ROUGH STUFF TPB

By Eric Powell.

Dark Horse Comics presents the origin of Eric Powell’s The Goon, the earliest stories published for the very first time in color. The Zombie Priest has just set up shop on Lonely Street and intends to build an undead army, and the Goon's the only man who can stop him. His early battles with the undead are mixed with stories of the Goon's youth, as readers meet his circus-freak clan and learn how he came to be the head of a notorious crime family. Also included in this volume is a look at the creation of the Goon and his world with a special "Evolution of The Goon" sketchbook section.

88 pages, $12.95, in stores on Feb. 18.

THE INVINCIBLE ED: THE END? #4

By Ryan Woodward.

Ed finally sees his potential that Nod, now slain by Lance Lundgin, had been trying to teach him. Total fearlessness fuel the once cowardous Ed into taking on the over powerful Lance. Rising from every blow like Rocky Balboa Ed knows that he cannot be stopped. Suspecting a tougher fight that he had expected, Lance decides to take the fight to the football field of Chesterton High, where the looser faces total humiliation in front of the whole school.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 7.

KISS VOLUME 4: UNHOLY WAR

By Mike Baron and Mel Rubi.

The Demon, Starchild, Beast King, and the Celestial have been working and fighting side-by-side through the ages. Now, these superpowered beings are putting everything on the line, and their differences aside, to save the future of humanity from the darkest of threats--the malevolent and terrifying entity known as The Unholy. It's not going to be easy, especially now that they're fighting the battle on The Unholy's terms, and on his terrain--an apocalyptic other dimension where flying beasts lie in wait to attack, and there are no rules to the game, except those that will benefit his dark majesty. The world has never known a danger as real as The Unholy...then again the world has never known heroes like KISS.

80 pages, $12.95, in stores on Feb. 4.

KWAIDAN TP

By Jung and Jee-Yun.

In 12th Century Japan, Lady Orin pines for her warrior lover, Nanko, who has been away in battle. Jealous of her beautiful sister, Lady Akane savagely mutilates Orin's face, beginning a spiral of despair that ends in the suicides of both lovers at Lake Amada. The evil Akane, as fickle fate would have it, becomes the mystical caretaker of the lake, now brimming with a strange power. Thus begins a complicated web of revenge and redemption that spans two centuries. Jung's lush, expressive artwork, action-filled sequences, and expert sense of timing brings to life this suspense-filled tale, packed with ghostly encounters, samurai swordplay, undead armies, beautiful landscapes, and strange demons. The lost spirits of these two unlucky lovers may still find freedom, but their hope now rests on the supernatural birth of a granddaughter...and her ability to unravel the secrets of the restless ghosts that haunt her, the Kwaidan.

144 pages, $14.95, in stores on Feb. 18.

LONE #5

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

It's been a long road, filled with every danger that the post apocalyptic west could imagine, but now the journey has come to an end. Last stop--Desolation! It's the final confrontation between Lone, the zombie hoard and the strange being known only as "The Gunfather" that controls them. Will Lone be able to overcome the zombies and their alien overlord and save Desolation. Or will he merely become another of their victims?

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 21.

LOVE ME TENDERLOIN: A CAL MCDONALD MYSTERY

By Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith.

Working as a private dick is weird business, no matter how you look at it. But working as a private dick in a world populated by ghouls, monsters and other creatures of the night--well, that's as weird as it gets. Welcome to the world of Cal McDonald. When a bizarre string of strangulation murders hits the streets of Los Angeles, and the bodies are found covered in blood, at first it seems like a madman is on the loose. But when it's revealed that the blood isn't from the victims--and in fact, it's not even of human origin--Cal sets his sights on a rendering warehouse close to where the bodies were found.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 7.

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS VOLUME 3--LAST STAND ON JABIIM

By Haden Blackman, Brian Ching and Victor Llamas.

General Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker find themselves in command of a regiment of Clone Troopers on the muddy battlefields of the rain world of Jabiim. With their supply lines stretched thin and reinforcements unable to land due to the perpetual storms, the Jedi and their army have become easy targets for the rebel Alto Stratus and his elite Nimbus warriors. But the situation goes from bad to worse when General Kenobi is listed missing in action, and Anakin is teamed with a group of other Masterless young Jedi on a doomed mission to hold the last line in the Republic's defense. The Clone Wars heat up in this graphic novel that chronicles one of the major battles of the conflict. After 26 years, the most anticipated era in Star Wars history is finally being revealed, with new characters, new locations and action leading toward the events in Episode III.

104 pages, $12.95, in stores on Feb. 25.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #17

By Welles Hartley, Davide Fabbri and Christian Dalla Vecchia.

"To the Last Man," part 2 of 3. Imperial Lt. Janek Sunber wanted to see action, and now his wish has come true--in spades. Sunber's infantry regiment on the jungle world of Maridun is cut off from the rest of the Empire. Their communications have been destroyed, and their way out of the jungle is blocked by thousands of hostile native Amanin. Hopelessly out-numbered, they must choose between combat or surrender--but either decision may mean death. Empire takes a look at the Star Wars galaxy from the point of view of the Imperials in this three-issue arc.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 7.

STAR WARS: INFINITIES--RETURN OF THE JEDI #3

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

Han is rescued, but Luke has been captured, and Leia's determination to free him has led to a precipitous and premature attack on the Death Star. Meanwhile the Rebel ground troops on Endor have run into their own problems. It all leads up to a surprising setback for the Rebel Alliance -- and for Luke Skywalker in particular. The events of Return of the Jedi have been altered from what you saw in the film. The characters are the same, but the adventure is all new. The possibilities are endless.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 14.

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #61

By John Ostrander and Brandon Badeaux, cover by Brian Ching.

While the Clone Wars continue to hold the attention of the galaxy, sinister plans are afoot within the Senate. Senator Bail Organa's ship is attacked by pirates, and former Supreme Chancellor Valorum returns to warn any who will listen of treachery behind the scenes. With the Jedi away at the wars, it's up to citizen Senators to fight for the preservation of the Republic. But what chance do they have against the power of the Sith? Another milestone in the saga of the Clone Wars.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 21.

STAR WARS: THE RITE OF PASSAGE

By John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Ray Kryssing.

A royal heir has been kidnapped--along with Jedi Master Tholme, who was protecting the boy. Now two of Tholme's former Padawans have teamed up to rescue their Master, unaware of the forces arrayed against them. Their most immediate foes are a father and son team of Morgukai assassins, who have the training and the weapons to go toe-to-toe with Jedi. But behind it all are the machinations of the notorious Count Dooku. Collecting the four-issue mini-series.

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

SUPER MANGA BLAST! #39

By Masamune Shirow, Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Yuzo Takada and Hiroyuki Utatane and Yo Morimoto.

This issue's"Hypernotes" section continues Masamune Shirow's discussion of the weaponry used in his work, featuring detailed notes. In What's Michael?, Michael, frustrates a photographer and exposes the dangers of cat-snuggling Kobayashi also illustrates the charming life of the cute-yet-clumsy Harou "Hello" Hattori, as a new, determined suitor sets his eyes on her in Club 9. In Seraphic Feather, while Kei's father plays a deadly chess match with the Dykstra Corporation, Sunao and M-Zak continue to use their mysterious abilities to protect Kei. In Shadow Star, Shiina and Akira are coping with the changes brought upon by their shadow dragon. 3x3 Eyes continues its demonic thrill-ride with Pai and Yakumo facing a flesh-eating locust infestation and a deadly new enemy.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Jan. 28.

TALES OF THE VAMPIRES #2

By Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Scott Morse and more, cover by Ben Templesmith.

Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunites with Brett Matthews, with whom he wrote the Angel comics series, and Jane Espenson, longtime writer of the TV series, as they continue this bizarre look at the lives of vampires in the world of Buffy and the Slayers. Whedon and newcomer Alex Sanchez continue their framing sequence, in which a group of young Watchers-in-training learn the secrets of the undead from an ancient vampire kept in chains in the basement of the Watchers Council. Scott Morse illustrates Jane Espenson's poem "Spot the Vampire," a cross between a New Yorker cartoon and a children's book, in which evil hides in plain sight. And the centerpiece of the issue is the fourteen page "Jack" story by Brett Matthews and Vatche Mavlian—a Victorian vampire mystery. Under a cover by Cal McDonald and 30 Days of Night artist Ben Templesmith, the second installment of Tales of the Vampires digs deeper into the dark side of Joss Whedon's girl empowerment myth.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 14.

ULTRAMAN TIGA #6

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

Ultraman Tiga has gone mano-a-monster with many a gigantic beast, always emerging victorious, but often only just. This time he finds himself up against a pair of horrifying alien nasties looking to tag-team their way through the intergalactic hero. Together their might could prove too much for Tiga, and if they succeed in taking him down nothing will stand in the way of a much larger invasion that's waiting in the wings. Continuing the adrenaline-charged series from Hong Kong.

40 pages, $3.99, in stores on Jan. 28.

USAGI YOJIMBO #72

By Stan Sakai.

The Neko Ninja are back—and more deadly than ever!—in this exciting new installment of Stan Sakai's award-winning adventure series, Usagi Yojimbo. When the ronin Usagi and his young charge, Jotaro, travel to a remote village, they are met with a cold and uncomfortable reception. Soon, it becomes clear that things are worse than they first seemed, when the pair discovers that the entire village has been slain and replaced by Neko Ninja who are plotting to assassinate the Geishu Lord, Noriyuki. Not even Usagi, aided by Jotaro and the capable and beautiful swordswoman Tomoe Ame, can stop the trap from being sprung. But...can they at least make it out.

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 28.

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