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Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Basking in the third-biggest premiere weekend of the year, Fantastic Four star Michael Chiklis said a sequel might be coming fairly quickly.

"I've heard grumblings that we might start as early as next spring," Chiklis told Access Hollywood on Monday. "I think they'll only get better and better from here."

Chiklis, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba and Chris Evans are all signed for three FF films.

In other Marvel movie news:

* In an e-mail to her fan club, Halle Berry has confirmed her participation as Storm in the third X-Men movie.

"I've been laying low trying to take a much needed-rest and now I am ready to hit the ground running with my 'X' suit on!" Berry wrote.

* Marvel and Lions Gate will preview the Ultimate Avengers animated movie at Wizard World Chicago.

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Hawkeye returns in House of M #3 as Marvelšs event of the summer kicks into high gear.

"I know no one believed me at the time but, as I said when we first started on Avengers, Hawkeye is one of my all-time favorite characters," said writer Brian Michael Bendis. "As soon as he died, we started cooking a way to bring him back and I could not wait for this day. He's back, he's got a fist full of arrows and he is not happy."'

With Hawkeye's return revealed, Marvel unveiled the covers to House of M #4 and The Pulse #10. The art by Esad Ribic, Brandon Peterson and Mike Mayhew, show the Avenging Archer aiming to find out who is responsible for his untimely demise.

House of M #4, on sale on July 20, also introduces an important mutant in the House of M named Layla Miller.

Picking up on the events in House of M #4 and #5, in The Pulse #10 Hawkeye sets out on a mission of vengence and validation. The Pulse #10 is on sale on July 27.


Moonstone Books has released its solicitations for November.

For a rundown, with cover images, CLICK HERE.


Wednesday's episode of Foxšs The Inside will feature original artwork by Tone Rodriguez, whose credits include Violent Messiahs and The Snake Plissken Chronicles.

The Inside is Fox's character driven ensemble series about FBI Agents who investigate serial crimes while discovering that lifešs biggest surprises might come from their own lives. Known for its dark humor and sophisticated case theories, The Inside proved to be a dream job come true for Rodriguez.

"I was originally contacted by Robert Anderson, the Property Master for The Inside. He told me that the showšs producers were looking for some gritty, film noir style artwork to be prominently featured as a plot device for an upcoming episode," said Rodriguez.

This weekšs episode of The Inside is about a fictional comic book creator, Max Stern, who is secretly a delusional serial killer. Stern stalks and kills women, later chronicling these exploits in a comic book called "Dragunov."

Rodriguez said, "The Inside was looking for demons, dragons, monsters, and claws, just not in that order. I worked up several fictional comic book covers, pin-ups, splash pages, and sequential pages to give the killer the appearance of a having a very full and successful comic book career. These pieces will be all over this weekšs episode. I drew these pages in an art style that was very different from my normal work and the freedom of it all was totally thrilling."

Anderson said "Tonešs mad art skills and quick work really saved us on this episode and saved my ass! He knew exactly what the show needed and delivered."

Among the guest-stars in the episode is Heather McComb, who played Jubilee in Fox's Generation X television movie.

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Super villains and spies take over Oni Press in October with the release of Armageddon & Son, a 96-page original graphic novel by John Layman and Dave Dumeer.

Here's how Oni describes the book.

Armageddon & Son is the story of Alphonse Feeney, a James Bond-style evil villain, who, after a lifetime of planning to destroy the world, is having a serious run of bad luck. His henchmen, who he's treated in normal super villain style -- namely killing them when they get mouthy- have shown an uncanny talent for surviving, and they've teamed up against him to get revenge and destroy the world- with Feeney's own plan! Feeney is forced to team up with his nemesis, the super agent known as The Falcon, to stop his own assassination and save the world, but will he be able to overcome his own tendency for destruction to do it?

"I'd watch these action movies and see the villain ruthlessly dispose of one of his henchmen after being disappointed by him, or take one out so he wouldn't have to share any of the glory‹or profits, and I kept thinking, why would anybody possibly work for a guy like that?" Layman said.

"We have these stereotypes of the megalomaniacal super villain, the suave super agent, the loyal henchmen; they show up in every spy movie and we never really think twice about them. It was fun to play with those, shake them around a little."

Joining the unlikely alliance of Alphonse Feeney and The Falcon is Feeney's son, Doon, a slacker screw-up who is reunited with the evil spy dad he never knew he had. As he gets swept into the world of international intrigue, the question remains: does the global destruction gene run in their family? If it does he'll have to push it to the side; there's a world to save!

"At the center of Armageddon & Son is the dilemma of father and son relationships," said Randal C. Jarrell, managing editor. "Every guy needs a father, but what do you do when yours is an insane evil genius, hell bent on destroying the world? Do you go into the family business, or just phone on Father's Day?"

"John has a keen grasp of the conventions that make spy movies what they are, and he twists them around to great effect. You won't look at spy movies the same way again."

The book will cost $9.95. Click on the thumbnails above for larger images.

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For covers and four-page preview of upcoming titles, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Star Wars: Republic #77 from Dark Horse Comics and Fell #1 from Image Comics.

Look for more First Looks on Wednesday here in The Continuum.

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* The two-part story "Think Tank" running through Ultimate Fantastic Four #19-20 has sold out at both Marvel and Diamond Comics. The arc by writer Mike Carey and artist Jae Lee introduced to the Ultimate Universe a deadly new villain the Thinker.

"The Fantastic Four really have stepped off the edge of the superhero genre into actual myth," Carey said. "Writing them feels like adding a single brick to a wall that's already way up out of the atmosphere. And in their Ultimate versions, you get the added weirdness of adding bricks to the base of the wall, rather than the top. It was a huge blast."

* Image Comics is going back to press on Volume 3 of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead series. Safety Behind Bars, which collects issues #13-18 of the series, was printed well above the standard overprint for trade paperbacks -- almost 400 percent over initial orders. The stock of more than 20,000 copies were nearly gone after six weeks.

"Frankly I'm at a loss for words," Kirkman said. "We've sold out of our initial print run in less than two months. I love this book, and I enjoy working on it but I don't know what people are doing with this book--smoking it? This news, to me, means that I can continue writing the book and nothing makes me happier than that, I hope we'll be sending press releases like this out for volume 63."

The second printing of Safety Behind Bars will be in stores by the end of July.

* ADV Films has announced that the first volume in the Samurai Gun anime series, Cocked and Loaded, will hit store shelves on Aug. 16.

Here's how ADV Films describes Samurai Gun:

" Samurai Gun is a blood-drenched tour of the bakumatsu years, a turbulent time that ultimately brought an end to Japan's feudal system. A special breed of samurai stands against the corrupt Shogunate, armed with superior strength, speed, agility... and guns! Morally ambiguous 'heroes,' razor-sharp dialogue, and hair-trigger violence give Samurai Gun the feel of a taut Western. When one lone gunman takes on an army of Samurai, they don't stand a chance."

Based on the manga by Kazuhiro Kumagai, Samurai Gun was produced by Studio Egg and Avex, Inc. (Initial D) in association with ADV Films. It was first aired on Japanese television less than a year ago. The DVD series will include a never-before-seen 13th episode.

* To the right is a first look at the Comic-Con International exclusive covers to The Middle Man #1 and Karma Incorporated #1 from Viper Comics. Each is limited to 500 copies. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

* October releases from Avatar Press will include Jason X Special #1, Species Special #1 and Escape of the Living Dead #1.

* A History of Violence: HBO First Look will debut on HBO on Sept. 12.

* Actor Marlon Wayans is working on a project for IDW Publishing.

* The July 2 episode of Teen Titans on Cartoon Network ranked first in its time period on all television ratings among kids 9-14, boys 9-14 and boys 6-11.

* Speakeasy Comics has announced that it will be publishing the extensive creative library of Chimaera Studios. Projects slated for publication include Project Eon, Lonebow, Silent Ghost and Mutation, which are all set in an interconnecting universe yet do not share the same art style. Super Crazy TNT Blast! is another title scheduled for a fall release. Speakeasy Comics has already published the Chimaera Studios one-shot Wargod in June.

* Coming Wednesday: DC news -- and much more!!!

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

* For Wednesday, July 6, including a press conference with the cast of Fantastic Four, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, July 5, including Marvel Comics news, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, July 4, including Marvel Comics news and Stan Lee talking about the Fantastic Four movie, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, July 2, including Sin City DVD news, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, July 1, including House of M news, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, June 30, including Vampirella news, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, June 29, including news on the partnership of Steve Niles and Thomas Jane, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, June 28, including Fantastic Four movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, June 27, including Marvel solicitations for September, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, June 25, including Marvel solicitations for September, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, June 24, including Marvel news, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, June 23, including Justice League Unlimited news, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, June 22, including IDW's solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, June 21, including Fantastic Four movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, June 20, including DC Comics' solicitations for September, CLICK HERE.

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