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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

FANTASTIC FOUR MOVIE UPDATE

Burger King will have a promtional tie-in with the Fantastic Four movie, The Continuum has learned.

The tie-in will feature Kids Meals and toys, similar to the successful campaign for Spider-Man 2 last summer. Burger King representatives were to visit the FF set in Vancover this week.

Of course, Toy Biz will also be involved with the film, and The Thing figures to be prominent in plans. Look for Thing fists, similar to the Hulk fists, and Michael Chiklis has recorded Thing trademark lines to go with an action figure.

In other Fantastic Four news:

* Entertainment Tonight profiled the film on Tuesday, including actual scenes. Shown were the massive Brooklyn Bridge set, the aftermath of the cosmic storm and the aftermath of Ben leaving Doom's quarantined room.

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* The Fantastic Four is expected to be a PG-13 film.

* For an edited transcript from Monday's Fantastic Four press conference. CLICK HERE.

* Look for reports on Fantastic Four all this week here in The Continuum.





BRANDON ROUTH TO PLAY SUPERMAN

Variety has confirmed Internet reports that Brandon Routh will be playing Clark Kent and Superman in the new Superman film.

Although a final deal has not been struck, an announcement is expected soon.

Routh, 25, recently wrapped his first feature role in Deadly, starring oppositing Laura Propon. His television credits include One Life to Live, Gilmore Girls, Will & Grace and Cold Case.

The film is being directed by Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies, with a script by X2's Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty. Production is expected to begin early next year in Australia.

The film is operating under the working title of Superman Returns.



DREAMWAVE'S BEAST WARS

Dreamwave Productions has announced a January launch for Transformers: Beast Wars, a a six-part series based on the toy line by Hasbro and successful television series by Mainframe Entertainment.

The series, which takes place years after the original Generation One series, follows the adventures of Optimus Primal and his Maximals (descendants of the Autobots) versus Megatron and his Predacons (descendants of the Decepticons).

James McDonough and Adam Patyk will write, with Don Figueroa providing pencils.

"In the late nineties, when I first heard about this new show that was claiming to be Transformers, I said, What is this new show?' They change forms, the leaders had very familiar names and looked similar but I was so surprised to see animals as their alternate modes, not vehicles," Figueroa said. "But from the first episode I was hooked. This series was groundbreaking and it is amazing that we get to bring it to comic-book form."

Said Dreamwave president Pat Lee: "For me, Beast Wars really represents the coming-of-age for the Transformers franchise. It is a series that acted as a go-between for Transformers fans, both old and new, and brought in some really cool ideas for the world of Transformers."

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BATMAN: EUROPA

DC Comics had announced Batman: Europa, a fully painted mini-series spearheaded by Jim Lee and featuring both U.S. and European contributors.

Lee, Editorial Director of the WildStorm imprint, recently returned from a year living with his family in Italy and immersing himself in the Italian comics community.

Said Lee, "I had the chance to meet some fantastic creators throughout Europe, so it was just natural to try and set up projects spotlighting some of them who have never worked on DC characters before."

Batman: Europa will be cowritten by Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali. Each issue will be illustrated by a different artist, showcasing their distinctive styles as Batman -- and his unexpected ally the Joker -- track a mysterious foe through Paris, Berlin, Prague, and, finally, Rome.

The debut issue's illustrator is Lee, followed by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Gabriele Dell'Otto will provide art for the fourth issue. The third issue's artist will be announced as soon as the choice is finalized.

"Giuseppe (or Cammo as he is better known) and I shared studio space for a year in Reggio Emilia, and we would sit around and talk about projects at our informal second 'studio' - the brasserie - and over drinks, we would talk comics with Matteo," Lee said.

"Out of those talks came this idea to do something involving a diverse and eclectic group of creators. After several late-night phone calls to Brian Azzarello, we came up with a storyline which would pit Batman against his greatest villains and best showcase the individual talents coming together for this unique project.

"What's also cool is that this will be Cammo's first published painted project. For years, fans have seen his incredible line work on Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Robin and, in November, The Intimates from WildStorm. What they haven't seen is his painted work, which is just as fantastic."

Lee continued about his collaborators: "Another great first to come out of this project is that it will give Gabriele Dell'Otto his first chance to work his magic at DC. I have been a big fan of his stunning work on Secret War and gave him an open invitation for him to do something... anything for us after his commitments on that project were complete. His renditions of the Marvel characters are incredible and I look forward to his take on Batman and his Rogues Gallery.

"There is going to be a friendly one-ups-manship on this project that is going to bring out the very best in all of us."

Batman: Europa will be coedited by Scott Dunbier, WildStorm Executive Editor, and Mark Chiarello, DC's Editorial Art Director. It is currently scheduled from DC for the third quarter of 2005.

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DC COMICS FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four-page previews of DC Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include JLA #108, Adam Strange #2, Planetary #21 and The Authority: Revolution #1.

Look for more first looks on Thursday here in The Continuum.

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NEW IDENTITY CRISIS PRINTING

With the second printing of Identity Crisis #1, written by Brad Meltzer with art by Rags Morales and Michael Bair, sold out before its in-store date of today, DC Comics is sending the issue back to press for Identity Crisis #1 Third Printing.

The new printing will feature a brand-new cover by Morales and Bair and is scheduled to arrive in stores on Nov. 10.

"The entire creative team is overwhelmed by the response to Identity Crisis," Morales said. "It's going to be quite a feat to top our work on this series. For the cover, I'm working on a new piece of art, and I hope people like it! On behalf of the whole team, I''d like to say thank you very much!≤

"The public's interest in this powerful debut issue shows no sign of letting up," said Bob Wayne, DC's VP -- Sales & Marketing. "We're happy to make it available again."

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THE BATMAN UPDATE

After several weeks of reruns, The Batman is getting a new episode.

Kids' WB! has announced that a new episode, "The Man Who Would Be Bat," will air on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m.

The network has removed The Batman from its Friday afternoon line-up, replacing it with Yu-Gi-Oh!.

For the complete Kids' WB! lineup for the week of Oct. 25, CLICK HERE.



SMALLVILLE UPDATE

The WB has released story information about "Jinx," the Wednesday, Oct. 27 episode of Smallville that features Mxyztplk.

Here's how the episode is described:

"Famous for challenging Superman with magical mischief, Mxyztplk swoops into Smallville in the form of Mikail Mxyztplk, a young foreign exchange student who starts an underground gambling ring at the high school. Chloe (Allison Mack) is drawn into the ring and loses her savings on a football game after Mxyzptlk uses his powers to control all the players - including Clark. When Chloe discovers Mxyzptlk's secret, he kidnaps her and threatens to kill her unless Clark throws the championship game. Meanwhile, Lex threatens Mxyzptlk with deportation unless he uses his powers for Lex's benefit."

Mxyzptlk is played by Trent Ford.

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TOP COW TRADE PAPERBACKS FOR 2005

Top Cow has released is trade paperback schedule for 2005, with nearly twice as many offerings.

"We've always had a strong presence with our trade paperbacks and the occasional original graphic novel," said Top Cow President/C.O.O. Matt Hawkins, ≥but we're literally doubling output in 2005. We've sold out recently of a number of Top Cow previously printed trades and this has afforded us the opportunity to bring old content in line with our new program. Combining old trades with additional content will slightly alter volume numbers for Witchblade and Darkness."

Combining previously published volumes with new content and soliciting completely new volumes, Top Cow is overhauling its program to feature more competitive pricing and better spine design.

For Top Cow's 2005 slate, CLICK HERE.

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BRIEFLY

  • Joe Bennett, artist of The Crew, Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America and The Falcon, Elektra and other series, has signed a two-year exclusive contract with DC Comics.

    "It's a real honor to be a DC exclusive artist," Bennett said. "It's always rewarding when people enjoy what you do, and it's even more rewarding when you love doing it! DC has been very kind to me since the beginning of our relationship. And the DCU is a vast territory for me to explore in the years to come. Working with Editor Stephen Wacker, writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and inker Ruy Josť on Hawkman has been a real joy for me. And I can't wait to see what comes next!"

    Bennett begins his run on Hawkman with issue #35.

  • DC has announced that the Superman: For Tomorrow Hardcover is being resolicited. The collection, which was to include Superman #204-208, instead will run through issue #209. The story is written by Brian Azzarello with art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

  • Coming Thursday: Marvel 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 Wednesday, Oct. 14, including Marvel and IDW news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Oct. 13, including X-Men movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Oct. 12, including Justice League animated news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Oct. 11, including DC Comics news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, Oct. 9, Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for January, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Oct. 8, Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, Oct. 7, including Elektra movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, Oct. 6, including Marvel and DC first looks, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Oct. 5, including Wolverine movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Oct. 4, including Lady Death news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, Oct. 2, including Smallville and Static Shock news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Oct. 1, including X-Men movie news, CLICK HERE.

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