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Saturday, October 9, 2004

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR JANUARY

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

APOCALYPSE NERD #1

Written and art by Peter Bagge.

Imagine yourself in a post-apocalyptic world, where all the creature comforts that you've spent an entire lifetime taking for granted were suddenly gone for good. How do you see yourself reacting to such a situation? Would you "suck it up" and be stoically content? Or would you spend most of the time cursing your fate? We all like to picture ourselves as the former, though the latter is probably a more accurate portrayal‹and that's exactly what our "hero" is like in Peter Bagge's new mini-series.

Marvel as our protagonist, an asthma ridden, myopic former middle manager for a software company, has his limited survival skills continually put to the test, only to continually come up short! Thrill as his dumb childhood friend Jeff Beasley bullies him around, as he abuses his new found status as the undisputed alpha-male of the two! Cringe as what's left of human civilization continually deteriorates around them, and they along with it.

Each issue will also feature a back of story detailing poignant yet humorous anecdotes about America's Founding Fathers. Finally, George Washington and his gang will be starring in comics of their own!

32 pages, black and white, $2.99.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #97

Written and art by Hiroaki Samura.

"Twilight," part 2 of 3. Giichi, a top Mugai-ryü assassin with a penchant for head collecting, has given the near-invincible warrior Manji an ultimatum: join the Mugai-ryü or die. Never one to be bossed around, Manji chooses the path of "mouthing off and fighting" with gusto. Armed with an arsenal of strange weapons and confidently relying on his mystical healing powers, Manji may be getting a little too cocky, especially since he's never had to recover from a beheading before. Within a moonlit forest, another stylish Samura skirmish begins, and two bloodthirsty fan-favorites clash.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 12.

BMWFILMS.COM'S THE HIRE #3

Written by Mark Waid, art by Claude St. Aubin.

The Driver's passenger is a nobody, lower echelon bureaucrat. There's no reason anyone would want to kidnap the guy. So why are he and the Driver being pursued by thugs in semi-trucks and helicopters? And what to the Feds know about the situation that the Driver doesn¹t? In the midst of a high-speed cross-country‹and across rooftops!‹chase, the Driver must figure out who or what the bad guys are after if he and his passenger are to survive.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 12.

B.P.R.D.: THE DEAD #3

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

Johann communes with the Bureau's new headquarters, while the 80-year-old German who'd been living in the basement, surviving on a diet of spiders and mushrooms since the fifties, shares a story of Nazi scientists, occult technology, and the U.S. death-ray cannon. Back east in a small seaside village, Abe Sapien reunites with his dead wife.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 19.

CONAN #12

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

Conan meets Janissa the Widowmaker, deadliest bladeswoman of the Hyborian Age. Down and out in Ophir, Conan is befriended by Kalanthes, Priest of Ibis, the man Thoth-Amon has sworn to kill. But even if Conan is willing to stand between Thoth and his intended victim, he may not get the chance‹not if Janissa has her way. Featuring the origin of Janissa, and Conan in over his head in manipulation, murder, and a war of wizardry.

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

CONAN VOLUME 1: THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER AND OTHER STORIES HC

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord and Thomas Yeates.

When the internationally famous barbarian hero returned to comics, with an all-new fresh start by award-winning writer Kurt Busiek and dynamic artists Cary Nord, Thomas Yeates, and Dave Stewart, the result was instant sell-outs and multiple printings to keep up with the demand. Now Conan's earliest adventures are collected in a handsome 176-page collection. Catch all the action and savagery as he wars with the murderous Vanir, meets the Frost Giant's Daughter, and is taken as a slave by the ancient sorcerers of Hyperborea! This top-selling new series faithfully expands on original author Robert E. Howard's literary creation. Collecting issues #1-#6 and fourteen pages from issue #7 of the ongoing series.

176 pages, $24.95, in stores on March 30.

CONCRETE: THE HUMAN DILEMMA #2

Written and art by Paul Chadwick.

Speechwriter Ron Lithgow returns as Concrete, the title character in one of the most critically acclaimed creator-owned stories in comics history. Trapped in an alien's rock-hard body, Lithgow is an accidental celebrity whose high profile is being courted by a front-page CEO. Though Concrete believes overpopulation to be an important issue, does he want to become the spokesperson for a controversial new population control program? Just when Lithgow thinks that he has an answer, the CEO appears with an offer that he can't refuse. Meanwhile, new fiancé Larry Munro unhappily stumbles over the first downside to engaged bliss. Toss a deadly freeway shooting into the mix, and you've got the makings of Paul Chadwick's most mature Concrete miniseries yet.

32 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on Jan. 26.

FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY: THE HARD GOODBYE 2ND EDITION TPB

Written and art by Frank Miller.

Legendary artist Frank Miller opened a noir opus in Sin City. This critically acclaimed triumph‹honored by both an Eisner Award and the prestigious National Cartoonists' Award‹combines the pulp intensity of writers like Spillane and Cain with the gritty graphic storytelling that only Miller can deliver. Sin City is the place‹tough as leather and dry as tinder. Love is the fuel, and the now-infamous character Marv has the match ... not to mention a "condition." He's gunning after Goldie's killer, so it's time to watch this town burn!

208 pages, black and white, 6 inches by 9 inches, $17, in stores on Jan. 5.

FRANK MILLER¹S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR 2ND EDITION TPB

Written and art by Frank Miller.

It's one of those hot nights, dry and windless. The kind that makes people do sweaty, secret things. Dwight's thinking of all the ways he's screwed up and what he'd give for one clear chance to wipe the slate clean, to dig his way out of the numb gray hell that is his life. And he'd give anything. Just to cut loose. Just to feel the fire. One more time.

And then Ava calls.

208 pages, black and white, 6 inches by 9 inches, $17, in stores on Jan. 5.

THE GOON VOLUME 3: HEAPS OF RUINATION TPB

Written and art by Eric Powell.

Beware all undead minions and other variegated doers of badness! Rouse up trouble with the honest folks of Lonely Street and it's the Goon you'll answer to! Robot or alien, werewolf or vampire, zombie or gorilla (or zombie-gorilla), it makes no difference to the Goon--he'll serve you up a mouthful of broken teeth right quick, as evidenced by the fine tales collected in this fine volume‹the third in the ever-expanding line chronicling the triumphs and tragedies of the lone man brave enough to stand against the Zombie Priest and his ghoulish army of ... um ... ghouls. Collecting issues #5-#8 of the bi-monthly series. This volume also includes a very special guest appearance by Hellboy co-written and drawn by award-winning Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola!

128 pages, $12.95, in stores on Feb. 23.

THE INCREDIBLES #3

Adapted from a script by Brad Bird, art by Ricardo Curtis and Ramon Perez.

On the remote island of Nomanisan, Mr. Incredible discovers the villain Syndrome is hatching a diabolical plot, when he is suddenly captured by the evil genius. Now only Mr. Incredible's family can save him. But they may be in as much trouble as Mr. Incredible when Syndrome learns that they're on the way to help! Will Mr. Incredible be able to free himself from the clutches of Syndrome? Will his family be able to evade Syndrome¹s island defenses? Find out in issue #3 of The Incredibles!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 26.

JINGLE BELLE #3

Written by Paul Dini, art by Paul Garibaldi.

Determined to prove herself worthy of the Claus legacy, Jingle leaves the North Pole to take over a struggling Santaville amusement park. Yet despite Jing¹s best efforts, the former family fun park is on its last legs and seems destined for the wrecking ball. But when Jing discovers the park owner is Native American, she gets the bright idea to turn the place into a Santa-themed gambling casino! In no time Jing's club is raking in big bucks and attracting big attention‹from the mob! Santa's little girl vs. gangsters? Believe it, baby.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 26.

MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #5

By Howard Chaykin, Kevin McCarthy, Roy Thomas, Jason Hall, Eric Wight, Paul Grist, Jeffrey Brown, David Hahn, Shawn Martinbrough and more, cover by Matt Wagner.

The blue-suited Escapist is back in the limelight. Howard Chaykin and David Hahn team up for "Siren Song," wherein a mesmerizing saxophone player forces her listeners to commit dastardly deeds/ Writer Kevin McCarthy and artist Shawn Martinbrough present "The Death of the Escapist," with our favorite hero caught by a totalitarian despot. The dictator will crush his citizens' aspirations for freedom‹starting with the Escapist! Jason Hall, of Creeper and Pistolwhip fame, writes the polemic "The Final Curtain" -- featuring the return of artist Eric Wight, winner of the 2004 Russ Manning Award! Also in this issue, the Master of Elusion takes on the Physician of Illusion‹Doc Hypnosis!--in a story written and drawn by Paul Grist, and veteran comics scribe Roy Thomas returns with more Escapist lore of the 1960s. Last but not least, a very special story written and drawn by alternative comics wunderkind, Jeffrey Brown.

80 pages, $8.95, in stores on Jan. 12.

RING VOLUME 0

Written and art by Meimu.

Thirty years before the setting of the American blockbuster adaptation of The Ring, Sadako Yamamura was just a young girl, thrust from society because of her dangerous and fascinating psychic powers. It's hard to imagine, but the girl who would eventually climb out of your television set and kill you with pure fear was once a very pretty and confused girl. This is the story of Sadako, before she was a dead body in the well, the story of a scary power emerging from a nervous girl.

160 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Feb. 16.

SAMURAI: HEAVEN AND EARTH #2

Written by Ron Marz, art by Luke Ross.

Lady Yoshiko, love of the samurai Shiro, has been spirited away, kidnapped by Chinese invaders to be kept as a plaything for a cruel warlord. But Shiro has vowed that nothing will keep him from her side ... not even the warlord's entire army. Ron Marz and Luke Ross continue their epic samurai tale that will span entire continents, from feudal Japan to the mirrored halls of Versailles!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 5.

SAMURAI EXECUTIONER VOLUME 4 TPB

Written by Kazuo Koike, art by Goseki Kojima.

A frenetic mix of samurai honor, base violence, and the blood of beheading, Samurai Executioner, is not for the faint of heart. For those who love blood and guts crime drama, historical fiction, and brutal action, this is right up your alley. The men who brought you Lone Wolf & Cub also created Kubikiri Asa, a young ronin samurai who helps keep the peace by putting the fear of beheading into Edo's criminals. But it doesn¹t always work, and so he has to. Full of squirting blood, fast-paced samurai swordwork, and the drama that comes from human corruption, Samurai Executioner is like no other classic manga.

304 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Feb. 9.

SHADOW STAR VOLUME 6: WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU NOW? TPB

Written and art by Mohiro Kitoh.

Shiina and Akira are part of a special group of teenagers who've bonded with extraterrestrial creatures with amazing abilities. And while some of these Shadow Dragons are benign and wondrous, others are terrifying and lethally powerful, particularly when controlled by masters with dark, violent thoughts and agendas. Once such group of "dragon bearers" has set their Shadow Dragons against the Japan Self-Defense Force, with destruction and death as the predictable conclusion. But the government isn't taking this threat Collecting stories from Super Manga Blast! issues #31-#37.

224 pages, black and white, $15.95, in stores on Jan. 26.

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS ADVENTURES VOLUME 3 TPB

Written by Haden Blackman, Ryan Kaufman and Wells Hartley, art by Matt Fillbach and Shawn Fillbach.

As the Clone Wars continue to rock the Star Wars universe, the Republic's forces, led by the Jedi, find themselves drawn ever-deeper into Darth Sidious' evil web. With stories covering all aspects of the Clone Wars==from the trials of the revered Jedi Master Yoda, to the tribulations of the lowliest Clone Troopers fighting on the front lines, to the wicked machinations of the dreaded Count Dooku and General Grievous‹these fast-paced tales feature a unique look into the world of Star Wars and at the events that shook the Galaxy far, far away...

96 pages, $6.95, in stores on Feb. 23

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #29

Written by Thomas Andrews, art by Adriana Melo, cover by Tomas Giorello.

"Sons," part 1 of 5. With its mines played out and the planet nearly stripped of its valuable ore, the Empire's interest in Jabiim is waning. But Emperor Palpatine is not willing to allow Jabiimi rebels to forcibly boot the last of his stormtroopers off the planet. The harder they fight, the tighter the Imperial grip becomes.

Help arrives in the form of the Rebel Alliance, which is hoping to convince the fiercely independent Jabiimi to join their galaxy-wide cause. But Rebel hero Luke Skywalker doesn't realize he's walking in his father's tainted footsteps‹or that the name "Skywalker" may earn him a death sentence from his would be allies!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 5.

STAR WARS: OBSESSION #3

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

Lured into a trap aboard a drifting space wreck, Obi-Wan and Anakin become separated, and Anakin is forced to face the seemingly unkillable bounty hunter Durge. But Durge has not reckoned with Skywalker's innate power, or the young man's growing ties to the dark side. Without Obi-Wan's moderating influence, Anakin goes off on Durge!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 19.

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #73

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

With Aayla Secura's help, Jedi Master Tholme has uncovered a Separatist plot that could drastically alter the Republic's fortunes in the Clone Wars‹for the worse!

Anzati assassins are feared throughout the galaxy for their deadly cunning and stealth. Their only rivals were the now defunct cult of Morgukai assassins, whose strength and sheer tenacity made them dangerous adversaries even for the Jedi. Now, unexpectedly, the Morgukai are back--and in numbers not seen for hundreds of years. Worse, they are being trained by Anzati masters, and working for Count Dooku!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 26.

SUPER MANGA BLAST! #49

By Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Kenichi Sonoda, Toshiya Takeda and Hiroyuki Utatane.

Romance leads to tearful drama in Club 9, as our confused heroine, Harou, finds herself in another very uncomfortable situation with another handsome suitor! An invading alien army plans its next move in Cannon God Exaxxion, and Hoichi finally returns to home base to face the wrath of Akane's parents. What's Michael? features the return of a feline mafia leader, Boss Charles, as he prowls across his ever-expanding territories. Kei and Sunao attempt to rescue a wounded hijacker in Seraphic Feather, while the power-mad Apep is distracted by his fetching assistant, Fawn, on their lunar base. This month's Shadow Star episode finds Shiina delving deeper into a secret society of Dragon Bearers.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Jan. 26.

USAGI YOJIMBO #81

Written and art by Stan Sakai.

Master storyteller Stan Sakai continues his internationally celebrated samurai adventure, Usagi Yojimbo! In this issue, two short stories catch up with a pair of the series¹ most beloved characters. In the first, warrior Tomoe is on a hunting excursion with Lord Noriyuki when she stumbles into a battle--a battle fought fifty years ago!‹wherein her clan was decidedly beaten. If she manages to stay alive, how will she return to the present? The second story features a figure not seen since the adventure of Grasscutter II--Priest Sanshobo! Fans who have long awaited his return and more of Tomoe will be delighted by this latest installment of Usagi Yojimbo.

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Jan. 26.

The Simpsons Christmas train! Limited Edition Coll



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