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Monday, August 2, 2004

TEEN TITANS UPDATE

David Slack, producer of the Teen Titan animated series, dropped hints about upcoming episodes during the Warner Bros. Animation panel at Comic-Con International recently.

"In Season 3, look for a return of Slade in a really cool way that we're all happy with," said Slack, who appeared on stage with producer Glen Murakami and actors Ron Perlman (Slade), Tara Strong (Raven), Scott Menville (Robin) and Greg Cipes (Beast Boy).

"There's an arc centered around Cyborg and we see the apperance of a very popular villain from the comics, Brother Blood, who was a ton of fun to write. And in Season 4, we are telling a little story about Raven. And then there's the conclusion of the 'Judas Contract' story that will be airing soon, with Terra."

As the second season comes to a conclusion with four episodes -- the first of which aired on Saturday night -- Slack said the challenge has been to keep things fresh.

"It definitely does reach a period where things feel like you've done it all," he said. "After Season 2, I felt like, 'We've done the 26 obvious ideas.' But then you kind of get past that and it really gets to a point where things flow again. We had an episode where we came up with the idea for it and I wrote the outline in about 48 hours recently. It's always nice when things flow."

In other notes from the panel and weekend activities with the cast and crew, which including a signing at the Bandai booth.

* Menville on the advice voice director Andrea Romano gave him in playing Robin: "Andrea said that this is not the Robin you've seen before. This is not the Robin from the 60's series. This is not, 'Holy cow, Batman!' This is a cool Robin."

* Perlman: "I am so grateful every time on a show, anything at all, that is received because that's what we're here to do. It's one thing to do the stuff, but the equation is not complete until it is received and appreciated. Teen Titnas is an amazing example as that. And Hellboy is as well, so I've been very blessed this year."

* Rob Hoegee and Amy Wolfram are story editors beginning with the third season.

* For a rundown of upcoming episodes, CLICK HERE.



JOHN RIDLEY TALKS AUTHORITY, WARBLADE

John Ridley, writer of the upcoming The Authority: Human on the Inside graphic novel, said he is taking a bit of a back-to-basics approach with the 96-page hardcover.

"A lot of times, the characters service the plot, more than the plot services the characters, and what I wanted to get back to, also, is who they are as characters," Ridley said during the recent WildStorm panel at Comic-Con International. "Sort of reset them and take them back closer to their StormWatch days, where they really originated from.

"When you write something like this -- especially when it's a one-shot and there's a lot of money going into it and it's a marquee project -- you want to give The Authority and the characters a lot to do and make it big. But it doesn't really matter -- you can throw everything at them, super-villains and alien invasions -- but it doesn't matter if the characters, you don't really care about them and what's going on with them.

"So it really was kind of resetting and getting back to them as people, so to speak, as opposed to just people with super-powers knocking peoples' heads off."

Here's how DC describes the book:

"The Authority, Earth's last of defense, have performed God-like acts in their defense of the planet, whether defeating ancient gods or fending off interdimensional invasion forces. But these brave acts haven't always endeared them to many in power...particularly in the United States. The President, tired of being embarrassed by what he views as a bunch of costumed freaks, sets a plan in motion that could very well destroy the Authority from the inside...a plan so cunning and unexpected, it'll shake the Authority to their very core. And with an unexpected threat from the future on Earth's doorstep, if could very well mean global extinction."

The art is by Ben Oliver, a new British artist. "He's amazing," Ridley said.

The Authority: Human on the Inside will hit stores on Sept. 15 and will cost $24.95.

Ridley, whose film credits include Three Kings, is also writing Warblade in Razor's Edge, a new title that launches from WildStorm in October.

"With Authority, you come in and, even though it hasn't been around for a while, there's history to it," Ridley said. "The fans are very serious about it. And you're walking in other people's shadows. You want to make it your own, but there's a box, so to speak, that you're working in.

"With Warblade, Ben Abernathy is my editor and he really liked Human on the Inside and he said, 'Look, we've got this other stuff. Just pick whatever you want to do.' Which is nice of him to say.

"I didn't know anything about Warblade. I had never heard of this cat before. I didn't know what he did. So for me, it was great because I just wanted to take this character that other people knew, and, with a little bit of arrogance, do whatever I wanted with him."

The artist on the project is Simon Bisley.

"Working with Simon, he really did interpret my feelings of 'I don't care, let's do something really interesting.' and took it to whole other level," Ridley said.

"For those of you who know Warblade, he's been out of the scene for a little bit. Again, as with Authority, I wanted to take a story and not make it about alien invasions and super freaks. What's the tiniest thing I could possibly do and stretch it over five issues and still make it big enough that its worth your money? That was the challenge, and working with Simon, I think we did it."

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SAVAGE DRAGON RUNS FOR PRESIDENT

Image Comics' Savage Dragon is running for president. The Dragon's run for the White House begin in earnest with Savage Dragon #119, available just in time for the election this November.

Savage Dragon creator and Image Comics publisher Erik Larsen outlined the political game plan for Dragon.

"Ronald Winston Urass is a wealthy man and his wealth is the key ingredient needed for a successful run for the White House. But this isn't at simple as you might think. Dragon himself has no strong political aspirations. He's literally thrust into the spotlight because the will of the American public," Larsen said. "It'll be a campaign, like none ever waged. A real grassroots effort. In actuality, neither Dragon or Urass will actually be on any ballots and that they're depending entirely on people writing them in. Urass spends billions in ads and appears everywhere in an effort to drum up support for this grassroots campaign.

"When it's revealed that Bush has been replaced by an Imposter in issue #119 things Rreally take off for Dragon. People don't trust their leaders. They don't know what's real and what isn't. They don't know who to believe in and who to trust."

The election storyline will last beyond the current political season, with lingering ramifications for the book.

"The Dragon has, in the past, saved the world several times," explains Larsen. "At one point he had overthrown a dictator that had taken control of the world and there were a number of people who felt strongly that he should have taken control of the planet himself. He's widely perceived as a natural leader and respected as a man of power and integrity. When Urass raises the notion of the Dragon becoming the head honcho of the United Stares as its Commander in chief it makes a lot of sense to a great number of people."

The Image booth at Wizard World Chicago will feature a limited edition "Dragon/Urass in '04" bumper sticker.



FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four- or five-page previews of upcoming titles, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Fade from Grace #1, Ruule Vol. 2: Kiss & Tell #3 and The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty #2 from Beckett Comics, Fierce #2 from Dark Horse Comics and Ocean #1 from DC Comics.

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WEEKEND BOX OFFFICE

Spider-Man 2, in its fifth week, moved ahead of Catwoman, in its second week, at the box office over the weekend.

Spider-Man 2 placed fifth with an estimated $8.5 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $344.2 million.

Catwoman, which opened third, placed sixth with an estimated $6.0 million, pushing its total to $29.4 million.

The Village was first over the weekend with $50.8 million, followed by The Bourne Supremacy with $23.4 million. The Manchurian Candidate with $20.2 million and I, Robot with $10.1 million.

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BRIEFLY

  • Daredevil will return to Cinemax in September with seven showings. Airings include Sept. 1 at 2:45 p.m., Monday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 11:35 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 3:15 a.m., Friday Sept. 17 at 2:45 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m.

  • Here's a first look at the cover to Captain Gravity #1, the start of a six-issue mini-series in December from Penny-Farthing Press. The book is by Joshua Dysart, Sal Velluto, Bob Almond and Mike Garcia.

  • Jennifer Connelly, star of last year's Hulk movie, will be a guest on an upcoming episode Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio. The network released this publicity photo from her appearance on Friday.

  • Cartoon Network has acquired two new animé properties that will begin airing Saturday, Nov. 6, during Adult Swim, its late-night block of animation aimed at adults 18-34. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex will air Saturdays at 11 p.m. (ET, PT), and Fullmetal Alchemist will air Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. (ET, PT).

    Set in the not-too-distant future when technology plays a key role in everyday human life, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex follows the adventures of the most popular female cyborg, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi, and her fellow police officers of Section 9. Along with the ever-ready Tachikomas, the officers must continue their mission to hunt down criminals in both the real and online world. In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the officers of Section 9 are called in to resolve a murder before it turns into an international incident, hunt down a runaway state-of-the-art killing machine and solve the mystery of a defective android.

    Fullmetal Alchemist tells the story of 15-year-old Edward Elric, a prodigy known as the Fullmetal Alchemist, who has special abilities to manipulate objects and transform them into other things. Because of an experiment gone awry, Edward and his brother, Alphonse, paid a heavy price for messing with the natural laws of science. Edward lost his leg, and Alphonse lost his entire body. But Edward is able to enclose Alphonse's soul inside a suit of armor but at the cost of his right arm. Equipped with a replacement mechanical arm and leg, and a near mastery of alchemy, the brothers set forth on an adventurous quest to find the fabled Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies to their natural state.

  • To the right is a first look at a Transformers lithograph from Dreamwave Productions.

  • Brittany Murphy, one of the stars of the Sin City movie, will be a guest on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Thursday night.

  • Stan Lee's Sunday Comics is a new online comics subscription service that launched last week on Komikwerks.com, and was announced at the Comic-Con International. The service is a new business venture involving Lee, ibooks and Komikwerks and will offer online readers access to thousands of pages of comics per year for a monthly fee.

    "This website is a great way to get fantastic comics by legendary creators out to readers all over the world. I'm excited to be a part of it," said Lee, who as the host of Sunday Comics, will be authoring his trademark column Stan's Soapbox every week, exclusively on the Sunday Comics page. ³I¹ve known Byron Preiss at ibooks for years -- he's got a real knack for picking and publishing some of the best comics from around the world. And Komikwerks is doing a bang-up job with their website -- there's so much great stuff on there, it's -- dare I say -- uncanny!"

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

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    COMICS CONTINUUM BACK ISSUES

    In case you missed The Continuum's recent coverage, here are some links:

    * For Tuesday, July 27, including an interview with the cast of the Fantastic Four movie, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, July 26, including Comic-Con International news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Sunday, July 25, including Comic-Con International news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, July 24, including Marvel Comics' solicitiations for October, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, July 23, including Comic-Con International news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, July 22, including an interview with Catwoman screenwriter John Brancato, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, July 21, including Devil's Due solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, July 20, including Catwoman movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, July 19, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, July 17, including an interview with Catwoman star Halle Berry, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, July 16, including an interview with Catwoman star Sharon Stone, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, July 15, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, July 14, including Dark Horse's solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, July 13, including an interview with Catwoman star Benjamin Bratt, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, July 12, including DC Comics' solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, July 10, including Catwoman movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, July 9, including Marvel news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, July 8, including Teen Titans news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, July 7, including Spider-Man 2 news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, July 6, including Jessica Biel talking about Blade: Trinity, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, July 5, including Spider-Man 2 news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, July 3, including X-Men movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, July 2, including Elektra movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, July 1, including Spider-Man 2 news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, June 30, including an interview with Spider-Man 2 producer Avi Arad, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, June 29, including an interview with Spider-Man 2 star Tobey Maguire, CLICK HERE.

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