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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007

COMING THURSDAY

Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for December -- and much more!

BLADE: THE SERIES RETURNS

Spike TV is bringing back Blade: The Series for a two-day marathon in October.

The first 10 episodes will be shown on Friday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (ET/PT), with Episodes 11-13 scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m.-noon.

Here's how Spike TV describes the event:

"Immortal warrior Blade continues his fight against a shadowy underworld of vampires who are threatening total domination of mankind. Blade's latest pursuits take the half-vampire to his hometown of Detroit where he meets Krista, a recently dispatched U.S. military combat medic who is investigating her brother's suspicious murder. As Krista is pulled into the underworld, she teams up with Blade and his partner Shen to infiltrate the vampires from the inside and out. However, Blade has to keep strict tabs on Krista, who could easily succumb to the dark forces of the underworld she now inhabits."

Blade: House of Chthon, an uncensored release of the show's pilot movie, will be available on DVD from New Line Home Entertainment on Sept. 18.

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BRANDON VIETTI TALKS LEGION OF SUPER HEROES

From The Batman to Superman Doomsday to Legion of Super Heroes, Brandon Vietti continues to be one of Warner Bros. Animation's go-to directors on DC Comics properties.

After completing work on the fourth season of The Batman, Vietti then directed the first act of the upcoming Superman Doomsday movie before joining the Legion crew for the show's second season, which starts Sept. 22 on Kids' WB!.

"I'm a big science-fiction fan and I was really itching to do something with characters with super powers again, a fun team show," Vietti said of moving over to Legion this season. "I love Batman. That was consistently one of the only comics I got all through my childhood and teenage years. I still pick up Batman books today. Always loved that chraacter.

"It was hard to leave it, but I was anxious to get into something new, too. Legion was a great break for me, to jump into a very different world from Gotham City."

Vietti's name will be popping up frequently in Season 2.

"They had an unusual situation with directors this year in that we were short on directors, so I helped out with a lot of episodes," he said. "I don't even know the number of episodes, but it was more than half."

The second season figures to hit the ground running, with new designs, new Legion members, a new big villain in Imperiex and a new Superman -- all in the first episode, which Vietti directed.

"It's exciting to work on that stuff," he said. "The scale is always fun to work with, but then of course you're faced with deadlines and stuff, trying to make legions and armies fight each other. It's hard to do that."

Does Vietti have a favorite Legion character on the show?

"I really took a liking to Lightning Lad and some of the stories we've crafted around him," he said. "And also, our new take on Superman. I love that character. He was so much fun to work with. I can't talk too much about him, but he's great and I think the fans will dig him, too."

On Legion, Vietti is reuniting with producer James Tucker.

"James was a board guy on The New Batman/Superman Adventures when I was hired on, and James helped me when I was the new guy," Vietti said. "Now he's moved up through the ranks and he's producing, and it's great to work with him."

Producing is something Vietti would like to do.

"Most definitely," he said. "I've got my eyes on that. If they'll have me, I would love to do that someday."



GENE-FUSION VOICE CAST

Shaun McLaughlin told The Continuum that the upcoming Gene-Fusion: Tournament of Champions animated film, based on the Beckett Entertainment Property, features a mix of veteran voice talent and newcomers.

"We did four days of auditions and heard almost 400 people for the roles," McLaughlin told The Continuum. "After working in L.A. for so long, I was leery about casting entirely out of Montreal, but I reversed myself after the first day when I realized we had 4-6 good, solid choices for each role."

Among the animation veterans were John Stocker, who provides the voice of Gorath, the lead Fusion trainer, and Rick Jones who plays a fast-talking sportscaster.

Among the newcomers is Alison Louder, who has since been cast in the third Mummy movie.

"Two big revelations were Nicolas Canuel, who plays Leechur, the owner of Gene-Fusion fighting. A Quebecois actor doing his first role in English. He's a very well-know mactor in French-Speaking movies and his current film Bluff just played the Cannes festival.

"Also Ryan Rumsey. This was his first role as well (I believe) and when he read for Ziggy, one of the young fusers, he just walked away for the part. Any time anyone else read for the part, Gabe Benson just hit the button on his computer that played Ryan's audition and it was all over. Ryan also did a guest shot on The Dead Zone soon after we recorded."

Other cast members included Kwasi Songui, who was in 300 and Lucky Number Slevin, and Julian Casey, who played Lestrade in the Matt Frewer Sherlock Holmes.

McLaughlin said the film was recently screened in Montreal.

"We did a test of a transfer of digital Gene-Fusion footage to film and ran it on a big screen," he said. "Then we had to move to a bigger theatre and run it again to a packed house. It went over very well and it looks great -- better, actually, than on the TV. I was pretty surprised at how many people showed up from the Montreal animation community."

The film is a Beckett Entertainment/Pop6 co-production and scheduled for a 2008 release.

Kids Halloween Costumes


FIRST LOOKS

For covers and two- to six-page previews of upcoming titles, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Madman Atomic Comics #4, Dynamo 5 #7, Gutsville #2, Repo #4, The Nightly News TP and After the Cape Vol. 1: How Far to Fall TP from Image Comics; Betty & Veronica #230, Sabrina the Teenage Witch #88 and Jughead's Double Digest #134 from Archie Comics and Omega: The Unknown #1 from Marvel Comics.

Transformers


BRIEFLY

* Above are three new one-sheets for the 30 Days of Night movie.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

* Archie Comics collector and historian Jeffrey C. Branch makes his comics writing debut for Archie with the "From the Ground Up" story in Archie & Friends #115.

Branch recently provided an introduction to Archie Digest #236, a special issue that reprinted the original Archie Comics #1 from 1941 in its entirety.

Here's how Archie describes the story, which features art by Rex Lindsey.

"Inspired by TVs home makeover shows, Archie and his friends endeavor to restore historic Pickens General Store and turn it into a museum. But can they overcome their lack of construction experience, not to mention opportunistic politicians who want to exploit the situation for their own gain and fame? It's a poignant addition to the fabled canon of Riverdale lore."

The issue is scheduled to be in stores on Dec. 26.

* To the left is Jim Cheung's cover for Marvel Comics' Warbound #1, a five-issue mini-series spinning out of World War Hulk.

The series, scheduled for 2008, is written by Greg Pak, with art by Leonard Kirk.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.



COMICS CONTINUUM BACK ISSUES

In case you missed The Continuum's coverage over the past month, here are some links. Click on the date to get the day's full report.

* Friday, September 7: Marvel First Looks, Image First Looks and Who Wants to Be a Super Hero?

* Thursday, September 6: First Looks, Warner Bros. to launch T-Works.

* Wednesday, September 5: Smallville, Legion of Super Heroes, The Batman, Heroes, Dynamite Entertainment First Looks and Transformers on DVD. WWE Fatheads - Raw on your wall!

* Tuesday, September 4: Iron Man's Gwyneth Paltrow, The Batman's John Larroquette, TwoMorrows Publishing for December and Superman Confidential.

* Monday, September 3: Legion of Super Heroes, Archie All-Stars and First Looks.

* Sunday, September 2: Family Guy, Flash Gordon and Dark Horse First Looks.

* Saturday, September 1: The Simpsons, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer DVD and First Looks.

* Friday, August 31: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Simpsons and First Looks.

* Thursday, August 30: Legion of Super Heroes, Heroes, Flash Gordon, Marvel First Looks and Archie First Looks.

* Wednesday, August 29: Flash Gordon, First Looks, Image Comics roundup and The Spectacular Spider-Man.

* Tuesday, August 28: Legion of Super Heroes, The Batman, Heroes, DC's Showcase Presents, Moonstone Books for December, Fangoria Comics for November and Archie Comics.

* Monday, August 27: Superman/Doomsday, Heroes DVD, Bluewater Productions for December, Heroic Publishing for December, First Looks, Gene-Fusion, The Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Zombies.

* Sunday, August 26: Dynamite Entertainment for November and Cartoon Network's Teen Titans.

* Saturday, August 25: Devil's Due Publishing for November and First Looks.

* Friday, August 24: Superman animation roundup, Marvel Comics First Looks and Archie Comics First Looks.

* Thursday, August 23: The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Marvel First Looks, Image First Looks, Top Cow Productions for November and Aspen Comics for November.

* Wednesday, August 22: Avatar Press for November, Image Comics for November, The Spirit's Eva Mendes, Feedback's movies and First Looks.

* Tuesday, August 21: Marvel Comics for November, Marvel First Looks and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

* Monday, August 20: DC Comics for November, Archie Comics for November, Eva Mendes joins The Spirit, Feedback in Mega Snake and First Looks.

* Sunday, August 19: 30 Days of Night, Zenescope First Looks and Archie Comics First Looks.

* Saturday, August 18: Smallville's Erica Durance, Digital Webbing for November and First Looks.




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