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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

DARK HORSE COMICS FOR FEBRUARY

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

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #98

Written and art by Hiroaki Samura.

"Twilight," part 3 of 3. The moonlit forest battle between Manji and Giichi concludes. A bit too confident in his mystical healing powers, Manji has survived several sloppy sword fights and recovered from severe injuries ... but never from a beheading! Giichi's fighting style and unique weapon of choice may be just what's needed to take the near-immortal warrior down. Rin, recently reunited with her beloved Manji, watches the fight from the shadows, while a strange figure lurks in the forest behind her with evil intentions. A cliffhanger ending? You betcha! Two bloodthirsty fan-favorites clash in another stylish Samurai showdown.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 9.

BMWFILMS.COM'S THE HIRE #4

Written by Kurt Busiek and Steven Grant, art by Francisco Ruiz Velasco.

Sam Wavish has everything: a magnificent yacht moored on the coast of Monaco, membership at an exclusive club in Paris, control of a company he has worked all his life to build ... and enemies. Now the only things between Sam and losing everything‹including his life--are a fast car and a laconic Driver. They have a long road ahead of them, an unbreakable deadline to meet, and a small army of mercenaries who will risk anything to stop them. For Sam, it's the ride of his life. For the Driver, it's just another day on the job.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 2.

B.P.R.D.: THE DEAD #4

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

Something horrible has waited 50 years inside an abandoned military facility that the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Now the team must confront the ghosts of scientists and a Nazi madman with a scheme involving the Robe of Christ, the Spear of Destiny, and a giant death ray. Back on the East Coast, Abe Sapien dreams of happier times in the arms of his long-dead wife.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 23.

CONAN #13

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

Thoth-amon launches a terrible magical attack on Conan as the High Priest Kalanthes calls upon the power of an ancient holy site. The natural world explodes in a monstrous outpouring of beetles and weeds, and an acolyte of Kalanthes succumbs to the power of the evil god Set.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 16.

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

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 14 pages from issue #7 of the ongoing series.

176 pages, $15.95, in stores on April 27.

THE CHRONICLES OF CONAN VOLUME 7: THE DWELLER IN THE POOL AND OTHER STORIES TPB

Written by Roy Thomas, art by John Buscena.

Throughout his adventures across the mythic Hyperborean world, the barbarian called Conan crosses swords with many colorful and dangerous characters, somehow always finding himself on the wrong end of a wizard's wrath, or staring down the hungry jaws of a nightmarish beast. Proving himself more than a match for whatever comes his way, Conan has become one of the most enduring and strangely endearing characters in all of popular culture. The stories in this edition feature more tales of thrilling adventure and chilling betrayal as only writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema could deliver.

160 pages, $15.95, in stores on March 30.

CONCRETE: THE HUMAN DILEMMA #3

Written and art by Paul Chadwick.

Former speechwriter Ron Lithgow returns as Concrete, the title character in one of the most critically acclaimed, creator-owned series in comics history. Trapped in an alien's rock-hard body, Lithgow quickly became an accidental celebrity. Now, fresh from reaching a new level of intimacy with his longtime love interest Maureen, he starts into a high-profile spokesperson gig for a controversial new population-control program. As the interviews and interrogations begin, so does ... a voracious itch? Concrete's attention will soon be diverted by a panelist's radical proposal‹one feasible enough to be highly seductive. Speaking of which, new fiancé Larry Munro encounters a fetching young woman who is unabashed in her fascination with him.

32 pages, black and white, $3.50, in stores on Feb. 23.

CRAVAN HC

Written by Mike Richardson and Rick Geary, art by Geary.

This is a true story about the most interesting person you've never heard of: Arthur Cravan, major figure in pre-WWI cutting-edge art circles, was among the greatest mysterious figures of the Twentieth Century. A self-confessed thief, forger, and con-artist, he used a roster of assumed names and false identities. He was known, at various times, as a novelist, poet, painter, art critic, lecturer, publisher, and the lightweight boxing champion of France. Always a rebellious, restless spirit, this dedicated rule-breaker was a political radical whose friendship with Leon Trotsky earned him the surveillance of the U.S. government--even through his immigration to Mexico with his wife, the poet Mina Loy. In 1918, at the age of thirty-one, the fascinating physical giant vanished without a trace, and‹despite several supposed sightings over the years--was never seen again. Is it possible that he became the mysterious, reclusive novelist B. Traven, who wrote The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

72 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on March 2.

DAMN NATION #1

Written by Andrew Cosby, art by J. Alexander.

The United States' borders and ports are locked down against a terrible threat. However, the barbed wire and infantries are not positioned to keep an enemy out, but to protect the rest of the world from a vampire plague that's spread over every inch of the country. Andrew Cosby, the creator of UPN's Haunted and the Sci-Fi network original series Eureka, and producer of the film version of Matt Wagner's Mage, teams with rising star and Eisner Award-nominee J. Alexander for a vampire epic of global proportions. Most of the living have fled the U.S., but a group of scientists remain behind, working on a cure. Now that they¹ve succeeded, a military operation is launched from the President's current offices in the U.S. Embassy in London, to save the cure from the encroaching undead--but the real motivations of the military remain in question.

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

DRAGON PRINCE #1

Written by Ron Marz, art by Jeff Johnson, colored by Jason Keith.

Aaron knows he's not like most other fourteen-year-olds. Living on the edge of San Francisco's Chinatown, he's never fit in with any of his schoolmates. Despite the best efforts of his mother, who has raised Aaron by herself since he was a baby, he's never fit in anywhere. He's just never known why. But that's all about to change, as Aaron is confronted with the truth of his heritage. He is the Dragon Prince, heir to the bloodline of all dragons, and the last hope for dragonkind's survival. Suddenly on the run from merciless Dragon Hunters, Aaron must embark upon a quest that will reveal the true fate of his father, and bring him face to face with a secret cabal of wizards who have hunted dragons to extinction ... and plan on finishing the job with Aaron himself.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 16.

FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY: THE BIG FAT KILL 2ND EDITION TPB

Writter and art by Frank Miller.

Criminals have always called the shots in Sin City, whether bootleggers, gamblers, or politicians. But ever since the first dame set up shop in Old Town, those side-streets have been run by the women who walk the night. It's been a delicate truce, but now there's a messy body and the mob's looking to reclaim those licentious streets. They're going to have to put down a tight band of dangerous women and a guy named Dwight to do it. Now Dwight, he knows something that the mob's gotta learn the hard way: sometimes standing up for your friends means killing a whole lot of people...

184 pages, black and white, $17, in stores on Feb. 2.

FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY: THAT YELLOW BASTARD 2ND EDITION TPB

Written and art by Frank Miller.

Just one hour to go. Hartigan's polishing his badge and working himself up to kissing it goodbye, it and the thirty-odd years of protecting and serving, tears, blood, and triumph that it represents. He's thinking about his wife's smile, about the thick, fat steaks she's picked up at the butcher's, about the bottle of champagne she's got packed in ice, about sleeping in till ten in the morning and spending sunny afternoons flat on his back. But with one hour left to go, he gets word about that one loose end he hasn't tied up: a young girl who's helpless in the hands of a drooling lunatic. Just one hour to go ... and Hartigan's gonna go out with a bang.

240 pages, black and white, $19, in stores on Feb. 2.

HELLSING VOLUME 6 TPB

Written and art by Kohta Hirano.

The war between three armies of vampires, humans, and those in-between is in full swing. The Hellsing organization is embattled as London is falling to Nazi vampire forces, turning the city's citizens into rivers of blood and a population of ghouls. It looks like it might be the end of Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing and her henchman, Walter. But what's this? The Vatican? But that means the Vatican is unprotected. If you haven't figured it out yet, Earth is in chaos of a World War like no other. New forces will rise up, surprises of undead power will surge forth, guns will blaze, and blades will sing. There's no telling how this will end, as Hellsing clamors forward with a seething wit and a frantic pace, and style that passes beyond gothic grace.

192 pages, black and white, $13.95, in stores on March 2.

THE INCREDIBLES #4

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

Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl arrive just in time to save their Super powered kids, Violet and Dash from the clutches of Syndrome's henchmen. But in short order Syndrome traps the whole family and imprisons them on his island. Unfortunately, Syndrome has just launched his new and improved Omnidroid against an unsuspecting city. Will the Incredibles be able to escape Syndrome? Will the Omnidroid destroy civilization as we know it? Will Mr. Incredible finally accept the help of his own family? All will be answered in this final issue of The Incredibles!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 23.

JINGLE BELLE #4

Written by Paul Dini, art by Jose Garibaldi.

It's high-stakes action and laffs a'plenty as Jing goes toe-to-toe with the mob for control of her Santaville gambling casino. When gangsters owning a rival club demand a huge cut of Jing's busness, the feisty elf-chick fights back as only she can! Pity the poor gangsters! Will they take her down or will Jing wind up the new Queen of organized crime? And what will Santa Claus say when he finds everybody swingin'? Learn the answers in the conclusion of this two-part Jingle Belle epic by writer Paul Dini and artist José Garibaldi.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 23.

KATSUYA TERADA'S THE MONKEY KING VOL. 1 TPB

By Katsuya Terada.

Based on the 16th-century, Chinese fantasy adventure classic, Journey To The West (also the inspiration for Dragon Ball!) Katsuya Terada's take on the legend of the Monkey King is a savage, lusty saga that The Portland Tribune calls "a Buddhist version of Conan the Barbarian." He raised holy hell as the baddest ape in Ancient China ... until the Lord Buddha himself dropped a mountain on him! Now the Monkey King will get his parole with one condition--he must escort a Buddhist nun through the demon-haunted wastes of the Silk Road on an impossible quest: reach India and bring back a collection of sacred scrolls.

136 pages, $14.95, in stores on April 27.

LAST TRAIN TO DEADSVILLE: A CAL MCDONALD MYSTERY TPB

Written by Steve Niles, art by Kelley Jones.

Supernatural private eye Cal McDonald thinks he's seen it all, at least until a couple of rampaging rednecks bust through his door hootin' about demonic possessions. Thus begins Cal's most spine-chilling (and side-splitting) case yet, as these Beverly Hellbillies take him down a trail of terror into the heart of a Southern California backwater brimming with monsters and mullets. Can Cal and his living-dead partner Mo'Lock save an entire town from the nastiest spirit this side of the river Styx? Will Cal's girlfriend Sabrina forgive him for forgetting Valentine's Day before they¹re overcome by a demonic horde? And just how did little Billy Ray end up with a portal to Hell in his bedroom? Collecting the four-issue miniseries.

144 pages, $14.95, in stores on March 30.

MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER 4000 A.D. VOLUME 2 HC

Written by Russ Manning, Robert Schaefer and Eric Freiwald, art by Manning.

Dark Horse delivers another fantastic collection of rare classics from a comics legend! Russ Manning, famous for his spectacular work on the Tarzan newspaper strips of the late sixties, brought fans his "Tarzan of the future" in Magnus, Robot Fighter. While his work on the original comics series lasted only twenty-one issues, Manning's creation has survived generations, influencing countless science fiction artists and writers to this day. Fans of Alex Raymond, Mac Raboy, or Wally Wood should not miss this beautifully bound hardcover, the second Magnus archival collection and the latest addition to Dark Horse's line of science-fiction classics. Collecting issues #8-#14 of the 1964-66 original Magnus series.

200 pages, $49.95, in stores on March 30.

MANGA DARKCHYLDE #1

Written and art by Randy Queen.

The all-ages re-interpretation of an enduring fan favorite starts right here! In this first ever, comic book release of Manga Darkchylde, the Sinister Sisters of Shadow have come to Salem, Georgia to seek an audience with a girl named Ariel Chylde. The same girl who just discovered she can become any of the creatures from her nightmares! Poor Ariel's still just trying to adjust, and only wants to use her curse for good, but these creepy Sisters surely have something more sinister in mind.

32 pages. $2.99, in stores on Feb. 2.

THE NAIL TPB

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

Hunted in one of the most desolate regions of America, preyed upon by an evil that does not sleep, Rex Hauser is The Nail--and it's time he took a stand. A semi-pro wrestler, Hauser has been touring the country performing at small-time arenas until the fateful night he and his family run afoul of a bloodthirsty gang of Satanic bikers stalking the North Dakota Badlands. Now he's a lone man fighting for the survival of his loved ones in a no-holds-barred standoff against the forces of Hell itself! Co-written by the newly formed CREEP International writing team of modern horror masters Rob Zombie and Steve Niles, The Nail is a relentless, unflinching portrait of the heart of darkness, and what one man will sacrifice to hold it at bay. Collecting the four-issue mini-series.

96 pages, $12.95, in stores on March 30.

SAMURAI: HEAVEN AND EARTH #3

Written by Ron Marz, art by Luke Ross.

The samurai Shiro has left a bloody trail behind him, journeying from feudal Japan to China in pursuit of his kidnapped love, the lady Yoshiko. But he has remained a step behind her captors all the way across 18th-century Europe. Now he finds himself in the teeming streets of Paris, a stranger in a very strange land. Crossing swords with the king;s Musketeers, Shiro is drawn into a plot against the king--and realizes the only way to be reunited with Yoshiko may be to assassinate Louis XIV.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 2.

SPYBOY: FINAL EXAM TPB

Written by Peter David, art by Pop Mhan and Norman Lee.

This is it, boys and girls! Alex Fleming, a.k.a. SpyBoy, comes face to face with his greatest challenges ever‹his senior prom, his graduation from high school, and the long-awaited revelation of the truth about his mother! Tossed into this already volatile mix is SpyGuy, a deadly new villain who cleverly disguises himself as a substitute teacher! In this collection, Alex's world is turned upside down when the local police discover his hidden stash of weapons and conclude that he's a terrorist. Will SpyBoy clear his name and survive graduation day, or will he be blown to SpyBits? Find out, in the clever and action-packed SpyBoy: Final Exam! Collecting the four-issue mini-series.

96 pages, $12.95, in stores on March 30.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE #30

Written by Thomas Andrews, penciled by Adriana Melo, colored by Michael Atiyeh, cover by Tomás Giorello.

"Sons," part 2 of 5. Luke, Leia, and their companions have been taken prisoner on Jabiim by the very Rebels they've come to help. Worse, the only people from whom they could expect any help--X-wing pilots Wedge Antilles and Hobbie Klivian--are up to their necks in trouble themselves. To top it off, an Imperial fleet is headed for the planet with orders to kill or capture everybody. Luke thinks he can find a way out of their current predicament if he can just figure out what it was that his father--Jedi hero Anakin Skywalker--did 20 years ago that caused this whole mess.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 2.

STAR WARS: EMPIRE VOLUME 4--THE HEART OF THE REBELLION TPB

Written by Judd Winick, Ron Marz, Welles Hartley and Randy Stradley, art by Paul Chadwick, Davidé Fabbri, Tomás Giorello, Adriana Melo and Christian Dalla Vecchia.

She was the catalyst that helped to turn a rag-tag rebellion into the Rebel Alliance. She provided the impetus for the "Heroes of Yavin" in their attack on the Death Star. And she was the spark that ignited the flames of passion in one of the galaxy's most notorious rogues. "She," of course, is Princess Leia, the leader--and heart--of the Rebellion against Palpatine's galactic Empire. The four stories in this volume follow Leia from the weeks just before the events in A New Hope, to the time just before The Empire Strikes Back--from her first transforming experience with armed rebellion, to facing the ramifications of consequences of the destruction of her home planet, to the beginnings of true love. This volume collects the Star Wars: Valentine one-shot, plus issues #5-#6 and #20-#22 of the ongoing Empire series.

152 pages, $17.95, in stores on March 30.

STAR WARS: OBSESSION #4

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

Still convinced that Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress is alive, Obi-Wan Kenobi leads Anakin Skywalker and Senator Bail Organa to the grisly graveyard world of Boz Pity. They're hopelessly out-numbered, but Obi-Wan's obsession has made him blind to the danger. Fortunately, help is on the way. Rig for action as Mace Windu leads a battalion of Jedi and an army of clone troopers to the rescue! All of your favorite Jedi guest star, as well as villains Count Dooku and General Grievous. Plus, the return of ARC Trooper Alpha.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 16.

STAR WARS: REPUBLIC #74

Written by John Ostrander, art by Jan Duursema, colored by Brad Anderson.

"The Siege of Saleucami" part 1 of 4. The final arc in Republic before Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith! The events in this story will tie directly into the film. The Outer Rim Sieges have begun, and Jedi Master Oppo Rancisis leads the Republic forces in a desperate drive against a new and major Separatist threat on the planet Saleucami. Aayla Secura and her army must punch through the Separatist fleet to bring re-enforcements and much needed supplies. On the surface of the planet‹and beneath it‹battles rage, and betrayal simmers! The Dark Jedi Sora Bulq has allies ... and one may be among the Jedi themselves.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Feb. 23.

TRIGUN ANIME MANGA "WOLFWOOD"

Based on the novel by Yasuhiro Nightow and the animation produced by Madhouse,

Trigun is the manga and anime sensation, sweeping America with its conflicted and funny characters, frantic action, and a style that defies age barriers. Of the two most noticeable characters in Trigun, Wolfwood plays the foil against Vash the Stampede, with his negative view of humanity and gigantic cross-like gun, this fighting priest is far from docile. This twenty-five cent, right-to-left reading comic centers on Wolfwood's dark character, and introduces the reader to the second volume of the Trigun Anime Manga series from Dark Horse Comics. Will Wolfwood ever understand Vash's desire to never kill another human? Will he be able to protect our red-coated hero from dying himself? Time will tell. Get your introduction to the gunslinging man of the cloth with 24 pages of brilliant color and bountiful action.

24 pages, 25 cents, in stores on Feb. 9.

USAGI YOJIMBO #82

Written and art by Stan Sakai.

The rabbit ronin once again encounters Koyama Matabei, the samurai on a sanctioned vendetta for his father's four killers. Honor demands that he place their heads on his father's grave, and he is hot on the trail of the final murderer. Three down, one to go ... but why is Usagi, who helped Matabei in issue #53, now determined to stand in his way? Find out this month, in "Vendetta's End."

32 pages, black and white, $2.99.

USAGI YOJIMBO VOLUME 19: FATHERS AND SONS TPB & LTD

Written and art by Stan Sakai.

Master storyteller Stan Sakai opens this brand-new collection with a deadly ambush on the fugitive Lone Goat Assassin and his child, Gorogoro. Lone Goat is victorious, but wounded‹and his son is too young to help. Unable to seek proper medical attention, Lone Goat collapses in an abandoned house. What he needs is a knowledgeable ronin, and soon! Elsewhere, Usagi is in a desperate search for his young companion, Jotaro, who has eluded murderous kidnappers. His is a panic that only rises out of fatherly love, though he has kept the secret of Jotaro's parentage from the boy throughout their travels together. If they are able to continue on to Kitanoji Temple, will the rabbit samurai confess before they part ways? Featuring appearances by readers' favorite characters‹including the deadly Neko Ninja. Collecting issues #69-#75 of the ongoing series.

184 pages, $15.95, in March 2.

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