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SAN DIEGO -- At its Comic-Con International panel on Saturday, Aspen Comics announced a deal with Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures that includes a feature film based on Soulfire.

Calling Soulfire a "remarkable blend of science fiction and fantasy," Hurd said, "We want to bring magic back to the world."

*"Bottom line, we're ecstatic. We've been working with Gale's team for some time on this," Aspen's Frank Mastomauro said, adding he knows that creator Michael Turner would feel the property is in good hands.

Also part of the deal is The Scourge from Scott Lobdell. Aspen will publish a mini-series, with a feature film planned.

"All of Manhattan gets infected with a gargoyle virus," Lobdell said of the property. "Instead of zombies, it's an entire scourge of gargoyles taking over Manhattan."

The story focuses on a police officer, who is trying to find his son, who was a Broadway matinee.

The announcement came at the end of a busy panel, with fans voicing their approval with thunder sticks.

Panelists included Peter Steigerwald, Frank Mastromauros, Joe Benitez, Vince Hernadez, J.T. Krul, Ale Garza, Michah Gunnell, Beth Sotello, David Schwartz and Fathom movie writer Jordan Mechner.

Other highlights included:

* Mastromauro said that Fathom is closing in on the end to Michaet Turner's vision for the property. Two issues remain.

* Mastromauro said there are many more stories to tell with Fathom, showing a slide for Volume 4.

David Schwartz is writing the story that bridge the gap between Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. "I'm extremely excited not just to be part of such a great book, but a great group of people," Schwartz said.

Schwartz said he will take the little bits and pieces from Aspen's history that have been mentioned, including her Blue dad and Black dad and her mom, and expand on them.

* Jordan Mechner said upon first reading Fathom, he thought it would make a great movie. He said he turned the first draft of the script two weeks ago. j

"We've departed from the comic books necessarily to taylor it for the film and make story the right size, and be true the spirit of Aspen and Fathom," Mechner said.

Mastromauro said Mechner has retained everything Turner put into the book and updated it for today's world. "He takes a realicts. It's a great movie based on a comic book, not a comic book movie," Mastroamauro said.

* Mastromauro said that there will be more Executive Assistant books, and the property has received a good response for other potential media.

* Mechner said the movie is based on the first arc. "But it doesn't follow it exactly, it takes some liberties," he said.

* Steigerwald said a lot of variables will play into how quickly Fathom will reach the theaters.

* Mechner on Megan Fox, who is attached to star: "Megan is ready and waiting to star in the movie. We do need a director, and that's going to be an important step."

* Mechner said Fathom is the first movie not based on Prince of Persia or something that he has created. When he read the comics, he began to inquire about the film possibilities.

* Steigerwald said there are many moments from the comics that are being incorporated into the movie.

* Asked about Iron and the Maiden, Steigerwald said the future is really up to creator Jason Rubin.

* Benitez said to expect more of his art in Aspen books.

* Steigerwald said that President Barack Obama made his first comic-book appearance in Shrugged, as he was swapped for George Bush in the trade paperback.

* Mastromauro said that Dellec will be a different feel from previous Aspen titles and is also getting good feedback from other media.

* J.T. Krul and Alex Konat are teaming on a new series called Mindfield, in which the C.I.A. uses drugs to develop mind-reading agents.

For an interview with Krul, CLICK HERE.

* Aspen Showcase: Kiani is scheduled for late October.

* Mastromauro said he has a story for a second volume of Shrugged, and there might be some film possibilities.

* Mastromauro said Ekos is still planned, and he talked with Geoff Johns two days ago about it.

* Souflire Volume 2 will premiere in October, with Marcus To on art. Mastromauro said he's done with six issues and there will be Soulfire books monthly through next summer. To and Benitez covers for #1 were shown.

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