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Thursday, May 13, 2004

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR AUGUST

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

ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: THRILL OF THE HUNT TPB

Written by Mike Kennedy, art by Roger Robinson.

In the farthest reaches of space, a creature terrified us. Acid blood. Armored skin. Razor-sharp teeth. No mercy. In the depths of a rain forest, another creature hunted us. Perfect camouflage. Fearsome weapons. Brutal methods. No conscience. In 2004, these monsters clashed on Earth in the greatest battle the universe has ever known. But far in the future, long after a technological catastrophe that started a second Dark Age, all memory of these two species has been forgotten. And when Mankind again reaches for the stars, we will discover that, truly, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Once again, Man is caught in the middle of a deadly struggle.

Based on this summer's major-motion picture from 20th Century Fox, Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt carries the themes and story elements from the film into new territories of action and terror, crafted by Mike Kennedy and illustrator Roger Robinson, all in a value-priced original graphic novel. Cover painting by Society of Illustrators award-winner David Michael Beck.

96 pages, 5 1/4" by 7 1/2", $6.95, in stores on Sept. 1.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #92

By Hiroaki Samura.

"Last Blood," part 3 of 5. The Shingyoto-ryy swordsmen, on a quest to avenge the strange death of their schoolmaster, are split into three groups and fighting the three classiest swordfighters in the Blade universe. The stuttering, vindictive Iriya is determined to kill Anotsu, his now-decrepit target, but must first face Makie, the beautiful-yet-vicious angel of death. The young, swaggering Magatsu is locked in close combat with one of the Shingyoto-ryu clan's most honorable students, and a confident Manji, almost finally reunited with Rin, begins to dispatch his share of bloodthirsty opponents to the netherworld. Join us as Hiroaki Samura continues to reinvent the bushido grudge match by mixing elements of classic samurai tales and epic Western films with modern punk rock sensibilities.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 11.

BMWFILMS.COM-THE HIRE #2

Written by Bruce Campbell, art by Kilian Plunkett.

"Precious Cargo."Inspired by the BMW Films series, Dark Horse presents the second story featuring The Hire. Just as each episode in the film series is helmed by a different well-known director, each issue of The Hire is produced by a different top creator or creative team. This issue is written by Bruce Campbell (yeah, that Bruce Campbell) and illustrated by Kilian Plunkett (Superman: Red Son).

In this latest adventure, the Driver's assignment takes him to the Motor City, where shuttling a pregnant school teacher to a suburban airport turns into a history lesson on Detroit's highways and byways--and a crash course in evasive driving. Some mobsters are after the Driver's passenger, and they're willing to play rough. But easy or rough, the Driver always plays for keeps, and he shows his pursuers why they should heed the warning: OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR MAY BE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 11.

CONAN #7

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord and Thomas Yeates, colors by Dave Stewart, cover by Joseph Michael Linsner.

Conan leads a rebellion against the slave masters of Hyperborea‹but can even he face the mightiest sorcerers of the oldest, most corrupt civilization of the ancient world? The answers bring pain, death, and heartbreak, and reveal the truth about Hyperborea--and the source of Conan's lifelong hatred for that dark and cheerless land.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 25.

DON BLUTH'S THE ART OF STORYBOARD TPB

By Don Bluth and Gary Goldman.

From Don Bluth -- master animator, artist, and director of such cartoon classics as The Secret of N.I.M.H., An American Tail, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Anastasia, and Titan A.E. -- comes Don Bluth's The Art of Storyboard, a one-of-a-kind textbook that describes in detail the technical and artistic processes involved in crafting storyboards for animated films, the visual blueprints that lay the foundation for the animators' magic. Don Bluth takes readers on a journey as only an artist of such vast skills and filmmaking experience can, going from the breakdown of a script, through story conferences with Don Bluth Films collaborators Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy, and onto the finished boards. Loaded with technical tips and insights into the tapping of the creative imagination, The Art of Storyboard also features page after page of Bluth's beautiful storyboard illustrations, many in full color. Whether used as an inspiring tool for professional and aspiring animators or just for the sheer joy of seeing how the written word is channeled through the animator's mindscape on its way to the screen, Don Bluth's The Art of Storyboard is a fascinating peek behind the curtain of film's most creative storytelling medium.

112 pages, $14.95, in stores on Sept. 29.

FIERCE #2

Written by Jeremy Love, penciled by Robert Love, inked by Jeff Wasson.

Jonathan Fierce, a profiler for the FBI gifted with psychic abilities, failed to stop an explosion which has just killed his team of fellow agents, the only real family he's ever had. The FBI wants to charge him with the crime. Now Fierce is hunted by the Feds and on the run from the crime syndicate that killed his team. Miraculously, Fierce can hear the voices of his slain teammates, giving him the skills and abilities to become a one man strike force. Now he's going deep under cover into the Jamaican underworld to strike at the heart of the syndicate and uncover the facts behind the conspiracy against him. Jeremy and Robert Love, the creative force behind Gettosake Entertainment and the masterminds who brought comics fans Midnight Mover, now bring you the slickest, most stylish and suspenseful action thriller on stands today. Fast-paced movie style action, with elements of superheroics.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 9.

FUSED: THINK LIKE A MACHINE TPB

Written by Steve Niles, art by Josh Medors and Peter Repovski, cover by Eric Powell.

Mark Haggerty was a promising young robotics engineer with a smart, sexy wife and a bright future just within his grasp‹until his body became fused with an experimental robot suit during a routine testing session. Trapped inside a powerful, high-tech body that's as mysterious as it is cool, and suddenly the unwilling pawn in a deadly struggle between obsessive egos and misguided military forces who wish to recruit him for their own uses, Mark's life is forever changed. And the outlook for life returning to anything close to "normal"...well, it's not looking too good. With his human body consumed more each day by the Cy-bot suit, his once-loving marriage is suffering the consequences of his transformation, and the most dangerous elements in the world closing in around him, Mark's just doing what he can to get through each day. The sudden appearance of a bizarre super-villain at the military base he's called home spins Mark's world even more violently out of control. And soon he realizes one thing--his only recourse is to keep fighting whatever gets in his way, until he gets his life back. Collecting the four-issue mini-series.

112 pages, $12.95, in stores on Sept. 22.

GO BOY 7 VOLUME 2: THE HUMAN FACTOR TPB

Written by Brian Augustyn, art by Jon Sommariva and Todd Demong.

When Jonny Zero's blood was infused with lifesaving nanotech plasm his life was changed forever. No longer simply a teenaged boy, Jonny became Go Boy 7--Human Action Machine! Now Jonny's life is one adventure after another as he battles the evil, nonsensical genius of The Cultist -- who seeks the destruction of logic, reason, and Go Boy 7. In this collection, the Cultist's devastating creativity with anarchic giga-technology threatens civilization yet again, and an enigmatic new player is in town: BioAgent! Who is this sudden hero, what is happening to Jonny's body, and what is the origin of the Cultist? Collecting issues #5-8 of the series.

96 pages, $12.95, in stores on Sept. 22.

GO GIRL! VOLUME 1: THE TIME TEAM TPB

Written by Trina Robbins, art by Anne Timmons.

Today is like any other day in Grover Cleveland High's science lab‹any day in the Jurassic Era, that is. Doc, the school genius, has rigged up a tight little time machine masquerading as an exercise bike, all fine and good until pretty-girl princess Heather cops a ride and drags herself, Doc, and Lindsay Goldman--a.k.a. teen superhero GoGirl!--back several million years to the dinosaur-infested jungles of the long-gone past. If being late for cheerleading practice isn¹t enough of an annoyance, try ditching a hungry T-Rex! And where did those alien spaceships come from?

96 pages, black and white, $5.95, in stores on Sept. 8.

THE GOON #8

By Eric Powell.

Vampires. What have they become? Effeminate fang-bearing prissy types wearing billowy shirts and velvet suits that would embarrass a gay pirate. Mostly the Goon just straps them to the hood of his car and sets them on fire. But that is not what vampires used to be. In the beginning they were restless spirits who would rise from the grave to leech the life from their still-grieving loved ones. Now one of these ancient succubi has returned with her heart set on the man they call Goon.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 18.

GRENDEL: DEVIL'S REIGN #4

Written by Matt Wagner, art by Tim Sale.

It is the 26th century A.D. Orion Assante has become the Grendel-Khan, emperor of the western world, and a huge political target. In an effort to strike at the Khan, African nationalists kidnap Orion's wife Sherri, who is still recovering from the tragedy of losing a child. Meanwhile, a vampiric revolution is brewing at Grendel's Palace in Vegas ... and hinges somehow on a timid man with a pigeon totem. Regardless, it has become necessary to invade Africa. Grendels, ready yourselves. The time is now, and the difference is you. Re-presenting the original Grendel #37, newly remastered by award-winning colorist Matt Hollingsworth.

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Aug. 18.

HARD BOILED TPB

Written by Frank Miller, art by Geof Darrow.

After being out of print for over a year the award-winning, fan favorite is back.Carl Seltz is a suburban insurance investigator, a loving husband, and devoted father. Nixon is a berserk, homicidal tax collector racking up mind-boggling body counts in a diseased urban slaughterhouse. Unit Four is the ultimate robot killing machine--and the last hope of the future's enslaved mechanical servants. And they're all the same psychotic entity.

128 pages, $16.95.

HELLSING VOLUME 4 TPB

By Kohta Hirano.

What do you get when the Nazis having hidden in South America for generations, have engineered an army of vampires, and are preparing for an all-out campaign of deathly dominance? Well, for one, you get a little unity. It seems the Protestant Hellsing Organization and the Catholic Iscariot agency might just have to think about teaming up. It's looking like the world's biggest battle of blood and fangs is soon to erupt. Read about the next big arms build up as the first World War of the undead is mounting. It's just heating up in Hellsing.

192 pages, black and white, $13.95, in stores on Sept. 22.

LAST TRAIN TO DEADSVILLE: A CAL MCDONALD MYSTERY #4

Written by Steve Niles, art by Kelley Jones.

Steve Niles has done it again‹crafted a white-knuckled horror adventure that's as funny as it is frightening, and as smart as it is spooky. This month Niles--along with his artist accomplice Kelley Jones‹puts a wrap on Last Train to Deadsville, the latest hit mini-series of his Cal McDonald canon. With his ghoul-partner Mo'Lock in trouble, and his journalist girlfriend tagging along to keep her eye on him, Cal's hands are full even before he gets to the point of dealing with an entire Southern California town that just happens to be possessed by the nastiest spirit ever. Demonic possessions, gaping holes that lead to hell, otherworldly monsters--Cal can deal with these. But a girlfriend who wants to know what their future holds? Talk about a nightmare.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 25.

LAZARUS JACK TPB

Written by Mark Ricketts, art by Horacio Domingues.

Mark Ricketts presents a spellbinding new tale blending reality and imagination, comedy and terror. Plagued by an incident that cost him his family, magician Jackson Pierce struggles to reclaim them by embarking on a terrifying, nonstop, dimension-hopping thrill ride. On this journey through fantastic worlds both seduced and devastated by black magic, Jackson undergoes disturbing transformations, falls prey to an insane sorcerer, defies zero gravity, and ultimately confronts the demons from his past.

128 pages, $14.95, in stores on Sept. 29.

LONE TPB

Written by Stuart Moore, art by Jerome Opena, Alberto Ponticelli, Ben Templesmith and John Wycough.

Ravenous zombies have overrun the post-apocalyptic town of Desolation. Sharpshooter Luke and her older brother, Mark, are desperate. Their only hope is to track down and enlist the help of a gunman legendary in the western wasteland, a man known only as Lone. But if they find him, can they trust him? Cletus, a right geezer who claims to know Lone, seems to know more than he's saying--'specially after Luke mentioned how the zombies are being controlled by a strange figure that bleeds yellow. And what are "Gunfathers," anyway? After fighting off radiation-twisted mutants for two weeks, Luke and Mark are ready for answers. Collecting the six-issue mini-series.

152 pages, $14.95, in stores on Sept. 29.

M.A.R.S. PATROL TOTAL WAR TPB

By Wally Wood.

When mysterious invaders appear out of nowhere to wreak havoc and attack every nation on the planet, the Earth's military forces call on an elite team of the most skilled soldiers from all over the world, the Marine Attack Rescue Service‹better known as M.A.R.S. Patrol. Dark Horse is proud to present a collection of rare material from one of the greatest artists to ever illustrate science fiction comics, the legendary Wally Wood's M.A.R.S. Patrol Total War. Reprinting the first three issues of the Gold Key science fiction epic, this collection represents Wood's total contribution to the series and is a must for any fan of Wally Wood or collector of comic book or science fiction classics.

112 pages, $12.95, in stores on Sept. 29.

MILKMAN MURDERS #2

Written by Joe Casey, art by Steve Parkhouse.

The promiscuous daughter, the sadistic son, and the drug-addled, abusive husband all do their parts to erode our housekeeping heroine's last scrap of sanity in the wake of last issue's horrific events. Joe Casey spins a yarn more twisted than his weirdest Batman book, more out of this world than The X-Men. Steve Parkhouse, who showed the monstrous side of suburban England with Alan Moore in Bojeffries Saga, goes into a deeper, scarier world as the Milkman Murders continue.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 4.

THE NAIL #3

Written by Steve Niles and Rob Zombie, art by Nat Jones.

Rocker Rob Zombie and rockin' horror writer Steve Niles are hard at work hammering out the year's most over-the-top horror comic‹The Nail. Hunted and terrorized by a demonic band of devil bikers across a remote area of North Dakota, semi-pro wrestler Rex "The Nail" Hauser and his family are quickly realizing that their own resourcefulness is their only hope for survival in this deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

But the hunters are relentless as they stalk and terrorize their quarry, and soon Rex and his family realize that they can't run, and there's nowhere left to hide ... so now their only hope is to band together and take a stand against the demons-on-wheels, even if it's the last thing they do.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 18.

OH MY GODDESS! #111

By Kosuke Fujishima.

"Sora Unchained," part 7 of 8. In a special 48-page issue, we find Sora Hasegawa and Keiichi "K1" Morisato neck-and-neck in the cutest and craziest motorized cart race in history. The homestretch nears, as the combatants rev through insane short cuts, attempt gravity-defying feats, and cope with odd twists and complications that only the goddesses Urd and Skuld could add. What are Belldandy's sisters thinking? This issue is a great showcase for creator Kosuke Fujishima's brilliantly expressive, hilarious artwork, and is the penultimate chapter in the "Sora Unchained" storyline.

48 pages, black and white, $3.99, in stores on Aug. 4.

SHI: JU-NEN #3

By Billy Tucci, cover by Tucci and Marc Sparacio.

As Ana's grandfather Yoshitora's life hangs by a thread, Ana realizes she must do battle against her greatest foe and best friend Tomoe. Surrounded by the venomous fan dancer, Lady Kaoyo and the desperate Nara Sohei, Ana has but one choice for survival. She must retreat into the darkened depths of her own vengeful past to bring forward the most primal forces of execution and truly embrace the Spirit of Death ... Shi.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 11.

SPYBOY: FINAL EXAM #4

Written by Peter David, art by Pop Mhan.

It's graduation day for the senior class of Rosenberg High, but where's Alex Fleming, a.k.a. SpyBoy? Trapped in a final, desperate battle with SpyGuy to prevent the entire town from being blown to bits, while Alex's dad wrestles with the discovery that Alex's mother is not only alive, but his greatest enemy.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 4.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #24

Written by Ron Marz, art by Jeff Johnson.

"Idiot's Array," part 1 of 2. Han Solo and Chewbacca are tapped by the Rebel Alliance for a mission that requires their special skills and knowledge of the underworld. But for Han, it¹s a chance to get away from the new responsibilities he's taken on since joining the Rebellion and indulge his former free-booting ways. Visiting old haunts brings chance meetings with old friends. But some friendships may only be as deep as one's pockets, and when a fellow smuggler learns of the Imperial bounty on their heads, Han and Chewie's mini-vacation threatens to become a life sentence.

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

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #68

Written by John Ostrander, art and cover by Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons.

It was bound to happen! Pursuing the lost plans for a Separatist secret weapon, Jedi Aayla Secura has a showdown with her former Master and friend turned dark Jedi‹Quinlan Vos.

Clone Commander Bly, accompanying his Jedi-General Aayla Secura, understands the purpose and function of the armor he wears. But as he experiences the confrontation between Aayla and Quin, he witnesses the strengths -- and weaknesses -- of the mental, emotional, and spiritual "armor" worn by each of the combatants.

In this special issue, told from Bly's point of view the mysteries of the Jedi are viewed from a human perspective. And when the turmoil wrought upon the Jedi by the Clone Wars and by the seething power of the dark side threatens them all, Bly, Aayla, and Quin must each make a life-or-death decision.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 25.

SUPER MANGA BLAST! #44

By Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Kenichi Sonoda, Yuzo Takada, Hiroyuki Utatane and Yo Morimoto.

This issue's starts off with two episodes of Makoto Kobayashi's playful, cat-centric strip, What's Michael?, featuring conniving, domestic felines at their troublesome best. Kobayashi's slice-of-life Club 9 drama chucks its usual romantic comedy aside, as the frightening, two-part "Nightmare on Aki's Street" story line concludes. The heroics of Hoichi "Gun" Kano are chronicled in Cannon God Exaxxion, with the Exaxxion robot temporarily out of commission Hoichi dones his powerful, armored suit! Ambushed on a space transport leaving the moon, the Seraphic Feather team faces combat of the mysterious, meta-powered kind. The horrific conclusion to Shadow Star's "My Eyes Are the Eyes of a Victim..." story arc finds Shiina confronting the supernatural cause of her classmates' violent deaths, and what happens on the last few pages will definitely bring about big changes for our lead characters.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Aug. 25.

USAGI YOJIMBO #78

By Stan Sakai.

The world's favorite rabbit ronin continues his adventures in the 20th year of Stan Sakai's celebrated series, Usagi Yojimbo. A cantankerous old woman hires the reluctant samurai to help her run away from home‹with all of her valuables. However, she is being pursued by a fierce pack of bandits! Can Usagi survive the bandits' attack? Even worse‹can he survive the old lady? Guarding Tess meets 17th century Japan when Usagi becomes a "Samurai for Hire."

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 25.

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