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Monday, September 13, 2004


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


By Kentaro Miura.

Back in the day, Guts the Black Swordsman was a top slayer for The Band of the Hawk, an elite mercenary unit led by Griffith, whose calm demeanor and callow beauty belied his fighting prowess and steel will. While in a king's employ, the attraction between the king's daughter and Griffith and the growing favor of the king towards the Hawk leader raises the hackles of the king's jealous son, who plots to have Griffith summarily assassinated. But if the plot fails, the king's son will likely have to deal with Guts and his titanic broadsword, and the results of such confrontations are rarely pretty... or easy to clean up.

224 pages, black and white, $13.95, in stores on Jan. 12.


By Hiroaki Samura.

"Twilight," part 1 of 3.Trying to recover from a Mugai-ryü ambush, Anotsu assembles a colorful group, his finest surviving Itto-ryü warriors, to re-affirm loyalties and focus their anger. Once again, revenge-lust hangs heavy in the air, as Anotsu sets his followers against the man he feels is responsible for crippling his sword school. Reunited and recovering from their last ferocious battle, Manji and Rin rest at an idyllic cabin. Rin hones her swordfighting skills and drops a huge surprise on Manji. Their break from the fray may be short-lived, however, as the bald, spectacled Giichi arrives with an unsettling proposition.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 8.


Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Guy Davis, colored by Dave Stewart.

Mysterious shrines are appearing across the Midwest‹shrines to frog-like gods that mean gruesome death for anyone who encounters them. But before the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense can pursue this threat, Johann is overcome by a mysterious presence lurking deep beneath the new B.P.R.D. headquarters. Meanwhile, Abe Sapien wrestles with demons of his own in an old house on the coast of Rhode Island. The secrets of his past are not only revealed to him, but take terrible form before his very eyes.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 1.


Written by Mike Mignola, art by Guy Davis, colored by Dave Stewart.

After holding it a secret for ten years, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola finally reveals Abe Sapien's bizarre history. Introduced in the first Hellboy book and featured prominently in the film, Abe Sapien has remained one of the most intriguing mysteries of Mignola's celebrated work.

The recent Hellboy film steered clear of any origin story for Abe so that the tale could be told in Plague of Frogs. The story of Abe's origins unfolds as the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense try to stop the monstrous frog men from the first Hellboy graphic novel, Seed of Destruction. The plague begins its spread across America, lending an apocalyptic new direction to Mignola's stories. Collecting the five-issue miniseries.

144 pages, $17.95, in stores on Jan. 26.


Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord and Thomas Yates, colored by Dave Stewart, cover by Leinil Francis Yu.

It's the fateful finale of Dark Horse's adaptation of Robert E. Howard's classic Conan story, "The God in the Bowl!" A Hyborean, locked-room murder mystery explodes in horror and death, as Conan comes face-to-face with the inhuman machinations of the dread sorcerer Thoth-amon. Plus, threads build that will embroil Conan in a continent-spanning conflict that will change the direction of his life forever.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 22.


By Paul Chadwick.

Speechwriter Ron Lithgow's mind was suddenly removed from his body and placed into that of an immense extraterrestrial‹one with a rock-like shell for skin. Now, 16 years after his comics debut with then-fledgling publisher Dark Horse, Lithgow enters into another contemplative conundrum. As the accidental celebrity Concrete, he is now courted by a high-profile CEO to lend his name to a controversial population control program. While Concrete mulls this generous proposition over with his companion Maureen, his longtime aide Larry Munro mulls over an entirely different sort of proposal.

32 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on Dec. 29.


Written by Kevin Munroe, art by Dave Wilkins and Sean Galloway, colored by Tony Washington.

El Zombo Fantasma was the most famous and notorious Mexican wrestler on the planet, up until he was murdered ... apparently for throwing a match. Now the luchador has fallen into a strange land of purgatory, and the only way to avoid an eternity of fiery damnation is to return to Los Angeles and guard the well-being of a struggling young spitfire, 10-year-old Belisa Montoya. However, this role as an undead guardian angel gives El Zombo the opportunity to hunt down his killer ... and unearth far more than he bargained for. Collecting the three-issue miniseries Featuring a pinup gallery from Joe Chiodo, Francis Tsai, James Jean, Erik Gist and more.

88 pages, $9.95, in stores on Jan. 26.


By Masamune Shirow.

March 6, 2035. Motoko Aramaki is a hyper-advanced cyborg, a counter-terrorist net security expert heading the investigative department of the giant multi-national, Poseidon Industrial. Partly transcending the physical world and existing in a virtual world of networks, Motoko is a fusion of multiple entities and identities, deploying remotely controlled prosthetic humanoid surrogates around the globe to solve a series of bizarre crimes. Meanwhile, Tamaki Tamai, a psychic investigator from the Channeling Agency, has been commissioned to investigate strange changes in the temporal universe, brought about by two forces, one represented by the teachings of a professor named Rahampol, and the other by the complex, evolving Motoko entity. What unfolds will be all in a day's work...a day that will change everything, forever.

312 pages, $24.95, in stores on Jan. 19.


Written and art by Eric Powell.

As a special holiday treat the cast of The Goon would like to perform that time-honored holiday classic A Christmas Carole. Yes, it's Dickens; heart-warming tale of a dead-beat dad who always shows up late for work and won't work on Christmas to provide his invalid son with proper medical attention. And then three ghosts come and terrorize some old rich guy into paying for the cripple's medical expenses.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 15.


Written by Matt Wagner, art by Tim Sale, colored by Matt Hollingsworth and Giulia Brusco.

With the entire island of Japan annihilated by sun gun technology, Grendel-Khan Orion Assante now commands the entire planet, assisted by his elite and massive guard of Grendels. The world has entered into a grand imperial age, but Orion I has grown old. The only remaining member of his political inner circle, the ruler must somehow produce an heir and safeguard his empire from power-hungry opportunists. Orion I will volunteer his own body for the cause, and has little time to worry about fugitive vampire Pellon Cross or his now-evangelical following. Though the spirit of the Devil must have left the late Eppy Thatcher, a new incarnation may have been in plain sight all along. Re-presenting the original Grendel #40, newly remastered by colorists Matt Hollingsworth and Giulia Brusco.

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Dec. 15.


Adapted from a script by written by Brad Bird, penciled by Ricardo Curtis, inked by Ramon Perez.

Mr. Incredible travels to the mysterious jungle island of Nomanisan where he has accepted a mission from Mirage, a woman who claims to be a working for a top-secret division of the government. On the island Mr. Incredible defeats an out-of-control robot, the Omnidroid 9000, and in doing so regains some of the confidence that he had lost after going into the Super Relocation Program. With a newfound belief in himself, Mr. Incredible's life begins to turn around‹he buys a new car, starts working out‹basically, he's a new man. Soon Mirage contacts him with another assignment. Mr. Incredible returns to Nomanisan to be debriefed on the mission, but once on the island, he's attacked by a newer and stronger Omnidroid. It's just about to end his life, when a wild-haired man with a familiar past stops it, boasting he is Syndrome, Mr. Incredible's nemesis! Now Mr. Incredible is in danger. If he's going to come out of this alive there's only one thing that can save him--his family!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 22.


Written by Steven-Elliot Altman and Michael Reaves, penciled by Bong Dazo, cover by Ben Templesmith.

A madman stalks the streets of London's Whitechapel slum, leaving a trail of grisly murders in his wake. The police have only one suspect: a prominent and respected physician named John Watson! The master detective Sherlock Holmes, in order to solve the most fantastic mystery of his career and save his greatest friend from the gallows, employs a band of young street urchins to infiltrate the alleys of Whitechapel. They can go everywhere, see everything, overhear everyone. They are the Baker Street Irregulars. Join the Irregulars in the most fantastic and terrifying adventure of their lives, as they uncover an evil unlike anything Sherlock Holmes has ever faced.

128 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Jan. 12.


Written by Paul Dini, art by Jose Garibaldi and J. Bone.

When you're the near-immortal teen-aged daughter of Santa Claus, it stands to reason that you've had more than your share of interesting dates. This Christmas adds a different dimension to Jingle Belle as we see her through the eyes of those who know her best--her old boyfriends. In a series of vignettes ranging from funny to bittersweet, several of Belle's beaus, aged 18 to 80, gather to share stories of the time they knew her and reveal how the elf-girl's own special magic changed their lives.

The holidays have come to the weird and woolly town of Mutant, Texas. When the villainous Kiyote clan commandeers Mezcal's Cantina for their Christmas party, Sheriff Ida and her posse waste no time in teaching the rowdy revelers their own version of "Peace on Earth."

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 22.


Written by Phil Amara, art by Nuria Peris.

In the not-too-distant future, Japan is under siege by strange mechanical monsters led by a sinister ex-hero named Eko. Though the future looks bleak, all is not lost. There is a young hero chosen by the Landlord Yuri to fight against the phantoms that plague Japan. He is Karas, a powerful armored being appointed to defend the innocent. With the help of Yuri, his mystical mentor, Karas sets out to preserve the natural balance of the universe, and to prevent the friendly old-world monsters from being transformed into mechanical demons!

Karas is the newest creation from the minds of Tatsunoko Production (the production company of Speed Racer and Battle of the Planets) and Keiichi Sato (The Big O).

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 1.


Written and art by Fred Gallagher.

The popular American manga web comic hits its third volume. Piro and Largo are still stuck in Japan, and this odd couple of an anime/manga-obsessed fanboy and a hard-core gamer, are both stirring up trouble, and stringing together awkward crushes. It's a true fantasy existence, as the insane and destructive Largo fights "zombie hordes" and Piro pursues the heart of a budding voice actress. All the while, an expanding cast of surprising and delightful characters keeps the chaos moving and the charm flowing.

224 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Jan. 19.


Written and art by Kosuke Fujishima.

Do you know that cute little girl with the glasses? The shy one who always seems to be blushing? Well, it looks like her time in the spotlight is about to come. The rough-and-ready crew at the Nakomi Tech motor club needs a new director, and meek-and-mild Sora Hasegawa's drawn the winning lot, a tall order in the midst of such macho machine-heads for someone who can barely drive a car! And she'll have to prove her mettle on the racecourse to remain director--or to have the right to opt out! Luckily, she has the expert advice of top club racer Keiichi Morisato and the supernatural assistance of his dyed-in-the-wool goddess girlfriend, Belldandy, to help her over the rough spots to prepare for the race. Too bad she'll have to race against Keiichi, who's determined to take the checkered flag!

312 pages, black and white, $18.95, in stores on Jan. 12.


Written by Ron Marz, penciled by Luke Ross, colored by Jason Keith.

How far will a man travel for love? What battles will he fight? Will he cross heaven and earth to be by the side of the woman he loves?

Beginning in the feudal Japan of 1704, Samurai: Heaven and Earth follows a lone samurai warrior sworn to be reunited with the love of his life who has been spirited away by his enemies. His pursuit of her will carry him farther than he could have imagined‹from his native Japan to the sprawling empire of China, across Europe, and finally to Paris itself. There, in the fabled halls of King Louis XIV's Versailles, he must cross blades with the greatest swordsmen ever known if he is to reclaim his love.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 1.


Written by Ron Marz, art by Adriano Melo, colored by Michael Atiyeh, cover by Tommy Lee Edwards.

Boba Fett is on a mission. But this time his objective is not a person, but a thing: a holo-projector containing an irreplaceable recording. The one caveat is that the device is somewhere in the wreckage of a massive Star Destroyer, guarded by Imperial fighters and scheduled for destruction by the Empire to prevent any salvageable parts from falling into Rebel hands. An impossible mission? Not for the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy. Stormtroopers beware! Boba Fett is on a mission, and none had better stand between him and his prize!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 1.


Written by Haden Blackman, art by Brian Ching, cover by Ching and Brad Anderson.

Consumed by the belief that the dark Jedi Asajj Ventress still lives, Obi-Wan Kenobi has temporarily forsaken the Clone Wars and recruited Anakin Skywalker in his desperate hunt for Ventress.

But Anakin still believes that Obi-Wan is chasing a ghost--and he should know, because he himself killed Ventress. And Anakin;s doubts are not assuaged when, following the trail of the rumors of Ventress' existence, they walk into a trap set by their old enemy, the bounty hunter Durge!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 8.


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

Information obtained from the captured renegade Jedi Quinlan Vos could be vitally important to a Republic victory in the Clone Wars‹or it could be a setup for a massive ambush. Jedi spy-master Tholme decides to send his best agent, Aayla Secura, to the Outer Rim worlds in hopes of verifying Vos' story.

But if following the information could be dangerous for an entire Republic fleet, how safe can it possibly be for a single Jedi?

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Dec. 29.


Written by Rob Williams, art by Lucas Marangon, Brandon Badeaux and more.

The "new" Star Wars Tales continues! The vastness of the Star Wars galaxy hosts an ever-unfolding mythology, filled with character-driven stories of loss and tragedy, of heroism and redemption. This issue contributes three more such tales to the mythos‹the tragic saga of mysterious Jedi Darca Nyl continues to unravel, courtesy of writer Rob Williams and artist Brandon Badeaux; Two enemy soldiers accidentally left behind after Return of the Jedi's Battle of Endor must survive a tribe of disgruntled Ewoks and each other in "Marooned" by Lucas Marangon; and we kick off the issue with a tie-in to the LucasArts video game Republic Commando.

64 pages, $5.99, in stores on Dec. 22.


By Steve Niles, Joe Casey, Jason Hall, Andy Diggle, Henry Gilroy, Haden Blackman, Jim Pascoe, Andrew Robinson, Jim Royal, Tony Millionaire, Cary Nord, Ben Templesmith, Peter Bagge, Giblert Hernandez, Bob Fingerman, Rick Geary and more.

Star Wars Tales Volume 5 features an astonishing variety of stories featuring Boba Fett, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, and more! This substantial volume includes a Chewbacca story gorgeously illustrated by Cary Nord, Haden Blackman's unbelievable Han Solo tale, Scott Kurtz's parody of The Breakfast Club, and the "all-indie issue," featuring many of the best independent comics creators in the business. Collecting issues #17-#20 of the quarterly Star Wars Tales.

248 pages, $19.95, in stores on Jan. 26.


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

Two What's Michael? episodes start this issue off, as we find out why kittens and stereo speakers are a bad mix! Shadow Star continues to develop several creepy, adolescent side-characters, and Shiina tries to adjust to life at the high-pressure Banda Academy. The giant robot rumble in Cannon God Exaxxion concludes, as the tenacious Hoichi faces bloodthirsty alien invaders in a fiery showdown! The slice-of-life romance in Club 9 finds the naïve Haruo feeling confused and tested by an insistent suitor. Our Seraphic Feather meta-heroes battle treacherous super-soldiers aboard a doomed space shuttle, but a betrayal among the terrorists may give them the chance they need to escape.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Dec. 29.

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