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SAN FRANCISCO -- Hero Squared, a flagship title of sorts for Boom! Studios, will be ending with #9 -- and writer J.M. DeMatteis is just fine with that.

"It's not because of sales," DeMatteis said at Boom!'s panel at Wonder Con over the weekend. "It's just because Keith (Giffen) and I decided to wrap up the story. We'll leave the door open a little."

DeMatteis explained that the story's goal -- to explore the real-life impact a major super-hero fight would have on a city -- could only be achieved once and that Captain Valor basically suffers a breakdown.

DeMatteis praised the work of artist Joe Abraham in the book, noting how he is able to subtlely translate the emotions of the characters while at the same time draw big-scale action.

And he hasn't ruled out a return to Hero Squared someday. "There's a lot of potential for these characters and that world," he said.

DeMatteis was a last-minute addition to the panel, which featured honcho Ross Richie, writer and and new pubishing coordinator Cody DeMatteis.

In other highlights:

* The first issue of Steven Grant's 2 Guns is scheduled in two weeks. Richie described 2 Guns as "a crime book with a lot of sass" and that each of the five issues will contain a big revelation.

* Due in a month is the launch of Andrew Cosby's Cover Girl. The series features an action movie star who sees something he shouldn't have and is marked for death. To protect him while at the same time protecting his image, he's assigned a female bodyguard who poses as his girlfriend.

"And they hate each other," Richie said. "It should be a lot of fun."

* Fall of Cthulhu is Boom!'s only ongoing title. Nelson noted the challenge of the series is to be true to the Lovecraftian tone while giving the stories a contemporary setting.

Richie noted that Andrew Ritchie, artist on Image Comics' Pieces for Mom: A Tale of the Undead, is dreamworlds segments "to make sure we all shiver in pain."

* Station is a new mini-series written by Johanna Stokes that deals with a murder mystery when one of the astronauts on an international space station goes out for repairs and doesn't return.

* Left on Mission, written by Chip Mosher with art by Francisco Francavilla, is a new mini-series about a retired agent who is called back into duty to hunt down a rogue agent -- who is also an ex-lover.

* Salvador is a book developed by filmmakers Michael and Mark (The Astronaut Farmer), written by Sebastian Jones, with art by Steph Stamb and covers by J.K. Woodward. Salvador He is the salvation for genetic engineering gone awry. As a product of the testing he was born brittle and as light as a feather. As a result he can fly, but is ultimately fragile. The world he loves and desires to save -- can shatter him to pieces.

* Boom! has entered a relationship with Perseus Books for bookstore distribution, and Talent will be collected into a trade paperback. Richie said he is going to include many concept drawings and characters in the Talent book.

* DeMatteis said that Boom! will also be collecting some of his Vertigo work, including Seekers into the Mystery, The Last One and Mercy.

* DeMatteis said that The Stardust Kid is all done. "I'm very happy with the last issue," he said.

* Richie said Dan Abnett has agreed to do more Warhammer work for Boom! He is writing Forge of War, a six-issue mini-series. Also look for a Warhammer project called Blood Bowl.

* Dominion is rebooted from the series of the same that was created by Richie and Giffen briefly published at Image Comics. The Boom! series is written by Nelson, with art by Tim Hamilton.

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