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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2008

COMING TUESDAY

Animation news, First Looks -- and more!

STEVE GERBER DIES

Steve Gerber, a writer of comic books for more than 30 years and creator of such characters as Howard the Duck and Omega The Unknown, died on Sunday from complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 60.

Gerber had been updating his blog from a hospital in Las Vegas, where he was admitted on Jan. 21. He recently noted he had been feeling better and was working on a Dr. Fate script for DC Comics.

On Monday night, Mark Evanier, who worked with and was a friend of Gerber, posted a note on Gerber's blog to announce his death. Evanier said he would post tributes at his site, which can be found HERE.

 ThinkGeek Gadgets


JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER'S KYLE MACLACHLAN

Kyle MacLachlan, who provides the voice of Superman in the upcoming Justice League: The New Frontier direct-to-DVD film, said he enjoyed portraying the ideals of the character.

"Superman stands for so many things that I believe in -- strength, justice, fighting for what's right," said MacLachlan, who currently stars on Desperate Housewives after roles in Dune, Blue Velet and Twin Peaks. "You just canšt turn down the opportunity to play a guy like Superman."

Casting for the film focused on finding actors that could channel the tones of the Korean war era of the mid-1950s without sounding corny or old-fashioned.

"Kyle MacLachlan is the perfect example -- he sounds exactly like what you'd think a '50s era Superman would sound like," said executive producer Bruce Timm. "He's very righteous and good, but still very natural. We didn't want the sound of Superman in 2008, and Kyle gave such a great, stylized performance in capturing that mid-50s feel."

The tone for Superman is set early on in the film, especially in a scene with Wonder Woman.

"There's a sort of moral imperative that Superman has, and I think the language he uses is a little more proper -- he's just not a guy who uses his words casually," MacLachlan said. "So maybe, unconsciously, that 1950s tone just creeps in there for me."

Justice League: The New Frontier was MacLachlan's first voiceover experience in animation. Although used to looping for live-action roles, he found the animation experience more challengimg.

"When I'm synching to myself in live action, which is what I usually do, my mouth moves the same way and I can see it visually and it somehow connects," MacLachlan said. "This is a little more difficult because the animated mouth moves a little differently -- the animation doesn't quite have the same amount of detail that you would see in a real-life performance. Like the word 'strategy' -- we were having trouble in the booth getting that one right because I couldn't really see how it was formed in my animated mouth. But we made it all work."

MacLachlan found particular amusement in the voicing the action sequences within the film.

"The physical performance is fun -- you have to use your imagination a lot more," he said. "It's a lot of grunts and oomphs and ughs, which you just can't help but act out physically. I'm sure it looks funny from the other side of the glass. Like in one scene, it was about getting hit with a pterodactyl wing versus getting punched by a super villain. There's apparently a difference in that sound. So you have to shade it a bit and use the imagination."

 ThinkGeek Gadgets


MARVEL COMICS ROUNDUP

Marvel Comics on Monday revealed it will be publishing a third Iron Man title beginning in May.

The Invincible Iron Man #1 will be written by Matt Fraction, with art by Salvador Larroca.

Here's how Marvel describes the book:

"Tony Stark -- Iron Man, billionaire industrialist and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- faces the most overwhelming challenge of his life. Ezekiel Stane, the son of Tony's late business rival and archenemy Obadiah, has set his sights, his genius and his considerable fortune on the task of destroying Tony Stark and Iron Man. What's worse, he's got Iron Man tech, and he's every bit Iron Man's equal and opposite...except younger, faster, smarter...and immeasurably evil."

The title joins Iron Man and Marvel Adventures Iron Man in Marvel's lineup.

In other Marvel news, the publisher on Monday unveiled an additional page from X-Force #1, revealing the story's villlain.

The issue, written by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost with art by Clayton Crain, is scheduled for release on Wednesday. It kicks off the six-part "Angels and Demons" story arc.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"There are lines that the X-Men have sworn never to cross. But after the shocking events of 'Messiah Complex,' Cyclops realizes that some enemies need to be dealt with permanently... and the X-Men can never know about it. Enter Wolverine, Warpath, X-23 and Wolfsbane...X-Force."

Click on the thumbnails for larger images, and for more X-Force pages, CLICK HERE.

wolverine 1


THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN

Kids' WB! has released an image and descriptions from the first two episodes of The Spectacular Spider-Man.

The show will debut with back-to-back episodes beginning at 10 a.m. on March 8.

The first episode is "Survival of the Fittest."

Here's how the network describes the episode:

"Summer is over for Peter Parker and school's ready to start -- both literally (it's his junior year of high school), and in the real world of crime-fighting -- as Spider-Man faces his first real challenge (The Enforcers) and his first real super-villain (Vulture)."

Robert Englund from A Nightmare on Elm Street provides the voice of the Vulture. Englund recently provided the voice of Riddler in The Batman.

"Survival of the Fittest" was written by Greg Weisman and directed by Victor Cook.

The second episode is "Interactions." Following is the episode's decscription:

"Peter Parker and Spider-Man both try to make connections. Nerdy Pete attempts to tutor the popular Liz Allan, while Spidey reaches out to stop a new menace: Electro."

Crispin Freeman voices Electro, and Alanna Ubach voices Liz.

The episode was written by Kevin Hopps and directed by Troy Adomitis.



DARK HORSE COMICS FIRST LOOKS

For covers and two- to three-page previews of upcoming Dark Horse Comics titles, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Conan #49, Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #6 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12.

For covers and three- to seven-page previews of Marvel Comics titles arriving in stores on Feb. 13, CLICK HERE.

Mailordercomics.com


APRIL SOLICITATIONS ROUNDUP

For previously posted April solicitations, click on the publishers' names below:

* Antarctic Press.

* Ape Entertainment.

* Arcana Studio.

* Archie Comics.

* Aspen Comics.

* Avatar Press.

* Big City Comics.

* BlueWater Productions.

* Bongo Comics.

* Boom! Studios.

* Dabel Brothers Productions.

* Dark Horse Comics.

* DC Comics.

* Devil's Due Publishing.

* Desperado Publishing.

* Digital Webbing.

* Dynamite Entertainment.

* IDW Publishing.

* Image Comics.

* Markosia Publishing.

* Marvel Comics.

* Moonstone Books.

* Oni Press.

* Red 5 Comics.

* Top Cow Productions.

* Viper Comics.

Magic Cards on PokeOrder.com!

BRIEFLY

* Fox has released a promotional image from "Widowmaker," Sunday's new episode of American Dad.

Here's how the network describes the episode:

"Francine pushes Stan to open up to her emotionally, but she gets more than she bargained for when he tells her that he killed her best friend Julie's husband. Meanwhile, Roger plays psychiatrist to help them work through their issue."

* Shane Haboucha is providing the voice of Robin in the Justice League: The New Frontier movie.

* TNT will air the first Spider-Man movie on Saturday at 11:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.



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.

* Wednesday, February 6: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Marvel Comics roundup, NBC's Knight Rider and Archie First Looks.

* Tuesday, February 5: Chassis to Bluewater Productions, Dark Horse First Looks, MAD Magazine and Marvel First Looks.

* Monday, February 4: The Batman, The Spectacular Spider-Man, First Looks, Archie Comics' Mayhem and Ben 10: Alien Force.

* Sunday, February 3: Iron Man and First Looks.

* Saturday, February 2: Smallville, The Spectacular Spider-Man and First Looks. Make Your Own Custom Valentine!

* Friday, February 1: Punisher: War Zone, Iron Man, Marvel First Looks, Dark Horse First Looks and Image First Looks.

* Thursday, January 31: X-Men: Legacy, The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Middleman on ABC Family, Moonstone Books for May and Bluewater Productions First Looks.

* Wednesday, January 30: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Bluewater Productions teams with Legend Films, First Looks and Markosia Publishing for April.

* Tuesday, January 29: The Spectacular Spider-Man's Tricia Helfer, The Batman, DC Comics roundup, The Simpsons, Antarctic Press for April, Arcana Studio for April, Marvel Comics First Looks and Dynamic Entertainment First Looks.

* Monday, January 28: Smallville, Boom! Studios for April, Ape Entertainment for April, Red 5 First Looks, Dark Horse First Looks, Marvel First Looks and DC First Looks.

* Sunday, January 27: Dynamite Entertainment for April, Avatar Press for April, Aspen Comics for April, Dabel Brothers Productions for April, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Archie Comics First Looks.

* Saturday, January 26: Family Guy, Desperado Publishing for April and Big City Comics for April.

* Friday, January 25: Marvel First Looks, The Simpsons, Image First Looks, Marvel/WGA deal, Digital Webbing for April, New Exiles, Dabel Brothers' Mercedes Thompson and Marvel/Soleil deal.

* Thursday, January 24: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, X-Force, Devil's Due Publishing for April, Bongo Comics for April, Oni Press for April and Meet the Spartans.

* Wednesday, January 23: X-Men: Divided We Stand solicitations, Red 5 Comics for April, Smallville, Bluewater Productions' 2008 titles, The Stranded, First Looks and Marvel Comics roundup.

* Tuesday, January 22: The Dark Knight's Heath Ledger dies, DC Comics for April, Marvel Comics for April, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Archie Comics for April, Marvel Comics First Looks, Image Comics First Looks and Boom Studios' Cthulhu Tales.

* Monday, January 21: IDW Publishing for April, Turok: Son of Stone, The Spectacular Spider-Man, First Looks and Cinemax's Month of 300.

* Sunday, January 20: Justice League of America and First Looks.

* Saturday, January 19: Smallville's Black Canary and First Looks.

* Friday, January 18: Flash Gordon, Fantastic Four, Marvel First Looks, Transformers Animated, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Image First Looks and Archie First Looks.

* Thursday, January 17: Image Comics for April, Top Cow Productions for April, Viper Comics for April, Smallville, Dabel Brothers' Wild Cards and Marvel First Looks.

* Wednesday, January 16: Justice League movie on hold, Jeph Loeb press conference, Dark Horse First Looks, Marvel First Looks, Flash Gordon and The Spirit.

* Tuesday, January 15: The Simpsons, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Blade: The Series, Archiblad Saves Easter and First Looks.

* Monday, January 14: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Iron Man movie, Smallville, Perhapanauts and First Looks.

* Sunday, January 13: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Image Comics First Looks.

* Saturday, January 12: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and First Looks.

* Friday, January 11: Marvel First Looks and Image First Looks.

* Thursday, January 10: Bluewater Productions for May, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, IDW Publishing's children's division and Boomerang for February.

* Wednesday, January 9: Dark Horse Comics for April and First Looks.



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