DC Comics spotlight projects for February, 2003

Tue, November 19th, 2002 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

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Catfight in Gotham!


BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/BATGIRL - CATWOMAN/ORACLE

One woman fought crime valiantly as Batgirl before finding a new role as the all-seeing Oracle. The other stalked the dark streets of Gotham as Catwoman, earning a living by stealing from the rich.

Now they must forge an uneasy alliance in a 2-part Prestige Format miniseries titled BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/BATGIRL and BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/ORACLE. Written by John Francis Moore (CATWOMAN, BATMAN FAMILY), these two special issues explore the relationship between the diametrically opposed vigilantes in the past and present.

The first part, BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/BATGIRL, featuring art and cover by Darick Robertson (TRANSMETROPOLITAN) and Jimmy Palmiotti (21 DOWN) with a cover by Robertson, takes place in the past, when Barbara Gordon filled the role of Batgirl. Part 2 - BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/ORACLE - features art by Dave Ross (BIRDS OF PREY, Daredevil) and Palmiotti and covers an encounter in the present, with Gordon now acting as Oracle.

When a string of prostitute murders baffles the Gotham police, the two women come together in an effort to stop the heinous crimes. But their investigation brings them face to face with a greater evil than either of them could ever imagine or hope to defeat alone. Can these women successfully overcome their opposing natures to defeat a common enemy, or will their differences lead them to destruction?

This project is supported with trade and house ads.

BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/BATGIRL and BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/ORACLE form a 2-part Prestige Format miniseries edited by Matt Idelson. The 48-page BIRDS OF PREY: CATWOMAN/BATGIRL arrives in comic-book shops February 5 with a cover price of $5.95 U.S.

Bright lights, big city!


ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES

It's time to book a return passage to Astro City - that storied municipality populated by dozens of super-powered heroes and villains!

The Homage hit series returns this February as a series of miniseries. The first, ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES, is a 5-issue bimonthly miniseries that reunites writer Kurt Busiek (THE POWER COMPANY, Thunderbolts) with artist Brent Anderson (Rising Stars) and cover artist Alex Ross. LOCAL HEROES kicks off with three stand-alone stories that reintroduce the heroes and villains of Astro City, followed by the 2-part tale "Dark Ages."

The series begins with the tale "Newcomers," introducing Pete Donacek, the genial doorman at one of Astro City's finest hotels. New to the city? Want to see the heroes? Pete knows the best places, where you're most likely to spot 'em, and the neighborhoods to avoid. But Pete was a newcomer to the city himself once - and has a story of his own to tell.

ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES features plenty of Astro City's superstars, including Samaritan, the Confessor, Honor Guard, Jack-in-the-Box, Crackerjack and more. Pack your bags and book your reservation today!

This project is supported with a full-color poster, trade and house ads, and a mini-site at www.dccomics.com.

ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES is a 5-issue miniseries from WildStorm's HOMAGE COMICS edited by Ben Abernathy. The 32-page issue #1 arrives in comic-book shops February 12 with a cover price of $2.95 U.S.

A comics institution reaches a landmark issue!


ACTION COMICS #800

The modern super-hero was born in the pages of ACTION COMICS #1, the book that introduced the world to Superman. Now, more than six decades later, ACTION COMICS celebrates its milestone 800th issue with a look back at the life of Superman, the icon who has been the template for virtually every comic-book hero to follow!

Written by Joe Kelly (SUPERMAN; JLA) with art by Pascual Ferry (SUPERMAN, Uncanny X-Men), Duncan Rouleau (ACTION COMICS), Cam Smith (SUPERMAN, GEN13), and Marlo Alquiza (SUPERMAN, The Tenth), plus Tim Sale, Mort Drucker, Lee Bermejo, Kilian Plunkett, Dave Bullock, and Gaijin Studios, ACTION COMICS #800 builds on the momentum begun in January's SUPERMAN: THE 10-CENT ADVENTURE. ACTION COMICS #800 also features a painted cover by Drew Struzan, the artist behind the striking posters for the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies!

How has the Man of Steel affected the lives of those around him? Whether inspiring acts of unimaginable heroism or unspeakable evil, Superman's life since his crash-landing on Earth has had far-reaching consequences the entire DC Universe. This special issue re-examines Superman's life and the impact he's made both as a real and fictional character. A series of reality-based vignettes by guest artists delves into Superman's influence on the lives of everyday people throughout his comics history and beyond!

This project is supported with house and trade ads.

ACTION COMICS is an ongoing series edited by Eddie Berganza. Issue #800 is 64 pages and arrives in comic-book shops February 5 with a cover price of $3.95 U.S.

JSA: THE UNHOLY THREE

Return to the war-torn world first presented in 1999's acclaimed Elseworlds miniseries JSA: THE LIBERTY FILES in JSA: THE UNHOLY THREE - a 2-issue Prestige Format miniseries that reunites the original creative team of writer Dan Jolley (JLA: GODS AND MONSTERS) and artists Tony Harris (STARMAN) & Ray Snyder (THE AUTHORITY) under painted covers by Harris!

Picking up eight years after the events of last year's JSA: THE LIBERTY FILES, JSA: THE UNHOLY THREE finds the Bat, the Clock and the Owl back in action - this time hot on the trail of a pair of KGB operatives code-named Parasite and Steelwolf. It seems the spies have been killing American covert agents in Berlin while tracking down the mysterious "trigger," a device that could bring an end to all life on Earth! Can the "Unholy Three" stop them in time?

JSA: THE LIBERTY FILES thrilled fans by integrating familiar JSA characters into a world teeming with Nazi troops, Egyptian thugs and undead assassins. Expect more gut-wrenching action and intriguing spy games in the pages of JSA: THE UNHOLY THREE!

This project is supported with house and trade ads and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

JSA: LIBERTY FILES is a 2-issue Prestige Format Elseworlds miniseries edited by Peter Tomasi. The 64-page issue #1 arrives in comic-book shops February 19 with a cover price of $6.95 U.S.

Garth Ennis' look at war continues!


WAR STORY: ARCHANGEL

RAF Flight Officer Jamie McKenzie has the worst luck.

VERTIGO's WAR STORY: ARCHANGEL - the final issue in this round of Garth Ennis' critically acclaimed war comics - features the exquisite art of Gary Erskine (THE AUTHORITY, Star Wars: Requiem for a Rogue) and tells the story of McKenzie as he trains and takes flight in the midst of World War II.

Everyone knows that the Japanese had kamikaze pilots, but no one knows about their British counterparts, the CAMship (Catapult-Armed Merchantmen). Due to a shortage of aircraft carriers in 1942, the British began strapping obsolete, single-passenger fighter planes to ancient freighters and tankers, cramming them full of ammunition, and launching them by highly volatile rockets tied to each wing. But here's the kicker: The pilot must engage the enemy until his ammo is gone, then attempt to land with whatever fuel left or bail out into the sea and hope to be picked up. Not quite kamikaze, but just as crazy.

After ticking off his squadron leader, Jaime is "volunteered" for training on the new CAMships. McKenzie has the worst luck, but sometimes bad luck is better than no luck at all.

WAR STORY: ARCHANGEL reflects the "by any means necessary" attitude adopted by the Allied Powers in the struggle to defeat Hitler and his forces. Don't miss this powerful issue!

This project is supported with house ads and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

WAR STORY: ARCHANGEL is a 64-page VERTIGO one-shot edited by Will Dennis and is suggested for mature readers. It arrives in comic-book stores February 12 with a cover price of $4.95 U.S.

The 'Cats are on the prowl again!


THUNDERCATS: THE RETURN

What happens when the world you know is gone and the last five years of your life may have been nothing but a bad dream? Lion-O, leader of the Thundercats, is about to find out! Hot on the heels of the successful first THUNDERCATS miniseries comes THUNDERCATS: THE RETURN, the latest offering in WildStorm's exciting revamp of the classic '80s cartoon!

Writer Ford Lytle Gilmore (THUNDERCATS) returns, this time teaming with artists Ed Benes (SUPERGIRL, CODENAME: KNOCKOUT) and Joe Pimentel (Spider-Man Unlimited, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to present a 5-issue miniseries that thrusts everyone's favorite feline heroes five years into a disturbing future. Issue #1 also features a variant cover by John Cassaday (PLANETARY, Captain America).

Lion-O, imprisoned for the last half-decade and unaware of the passage of time, finally is rescued from captivity. He emerges into a nightmare world in which Thundera has fallen, evil holds sway, and the Thundercats are enslaved…those that are still alive, anyway. But Lion-O isn't the kind of king who'll sit by and watch this horror without putting up a fight…even though it may prove to be the toughest battle of his life!

This project is supported with house and trade ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

THUNDERCATS: THE RETURN is a 5-issue WildStorm Productions miniseries edited by Jeff Mariotte. The 32-page issue #1 arrives in comic-book shops February 19 with a cover price of $2.95 U.S. Note: This issue will ship with two covers. All orders will be filled with covers by Ed Benes & Joe Pimentel (50%) and John Cassaday (50%).

WILDCATS: BATTERY PARK TRADE PAPERBACK

The team members of the WildCats underwent a series of life-shattering events in WILDCATS: SERIAL BOXES. Will they be able to pick up the pieces and carry on?

WILDCATS: BATTERY PARK - a WildStorm Productions trade paperback collecting WILDCATS (Volume 2) #20-28 by writer Joe Casey (ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, AUTOMATIC KAFKA, Uncanny X-Men) and artists Sean Phillips (SLEEPER) and Steve Dillon (PREACHER) - answers that very question, as the team faces the traumatic aftermath of SERIAL BOXES.

In this volume, Grifter finally discovers the true fate of Zealot. Maul's research brings unwanted attention from the government. Spartan faces down a hostile takeover of the Halo Corporation. And the grievously injured Voodoo discovers an unexpected benefit of her hybrid genetics.

This project is supported with house ads.

WILDCATS: BATTERY PARK is a 224-page WildStorm Productions trade paperback that arrives in comic-book shops February 19 with a cover price of $17.95 U.S.

Dare to dial!


H-E-R-O

What would you do if you had powers beyond comprehension? If you could soar high above the earth with the birds? If you could move objects just by thinking about it? Would you help others? Make some cash? Or just have some fun?

What if you found a device that gave you such powers?

H-E-R-O - a new ongoing DCU series that poses these questions to everyday people working everyday jobs and living everyday lives - is written by Will Pfeifer (FINALS, BIZARRO COMICS) with art by Kano (ACTION COMICS) and painted covers by John Van Fleet (BATMAN: THE CHALICE). In H-E-R-O, each person's attitude toward newfound power varies, and those solutions won't always be right ones.

Jerry Feldon is one of those people. He's a young man living in a town where prosperity and industry have dried up, stuck in a lousy job without a future. A brush with Superman makes him even more depressed - Jerry could never be like him. And Jerry's depression is driving him toward one fateful decision, one he can never change. That is, until he finds a device that changes him. It gives him power. It gives him hope. But is that enough?

Updating the popular and classic DC concept DIAL "H" FOR HERO, this new series isn't just about Jerry Feldon. Rather, it's a series of story arcs exploring many different ordinary people who, thanks to the H-E-R-O device, become extraordinary.

This project is supported with a preview insert in selected November in-store books, trade and house ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

H-E-R-O is an ongoing series edited by Mike McAvennie and Peter Tomasi. The 32-page issue #1 arrives in comic-book shops February 12 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S.

A new era for the Amazon Princess!


WONDER WOMAN #189

Now that writer/penciller Phil Jimenez has ended his acclaimed run on WONDER WOMAN, readers are wondering what triumphs and tragedies lie ahead for the Amazon Princess. February's WONDER WOMAN #189 brings the first glimpse of the answer, as the all-star team of writer Walter Simonson (ORION, Thor), interior artists Jerry Ordway (PLANETARY/JLA: TERRA OBSCURA) & P. Craig Russell (THE SANDMAN, The Ring of the Nibelung) join longtime WONDER WOMAN cover artist Adam Hughes for an extraordinary 6-part story: "The Game of the Gods."

It's been weeks since anyone has seen Wonder Woman, and a world begins to fear it has lost its greatest heroine. Of course, Diana is not dead…although she is being buried in the Cryptocombs - a strange, otherworldly space that serves as the Cemetery of the Gods. Bereft of her memories, shorn of her powers and lacking her traditional costume, lasso and bracelets, Wonder Woman must rely on her Amazonian training as she fights her way out of the grave, battling a sea of foes and struggling to protect a strange statue of a baby girl, sculpted from clay.

What caused this strange split between Diana's mortal and immortal selves? How will Wonder Woman make her way back to the land of the living and regain her memories? Who are the new heroines striving to aid Diana in her quest? And what staggering sacrifice must be made to save creation from the menace known only as "The Shattered God?" The most shocking Wonder Woman story in recent memory begins in February!

This project is supported with house ads.

WONDER WOMAN is an ongoing series edited by Ivan Cohen. The 32-page issue #189 arrives in comic-book shops February 26 with a cover price of $2.25 U.S.

Danger in a New Dimension!


DANGER GIRL 3-D

J. Scott Campbell's & Andy Hartnell's unique blend of humor, adventure and playful, sexy super-spies made DANGER GIRL one of the smash-hits of the '90s. Now CLIFFHANGER is proud to present a new dimension in danger: DANGER GIRL 3-D - a fabulous one-shot in Danger-Vision, written by Campbell & Hartnell with gorgeous art by Campbell & Alex Garner!

That's right - for the very first time, you can thrill to the sight of Abbey, Sidney, Natalia, and Valerie, as they jump, leap and run through 48 pages of deep dimension action! Collecting the rare 8-page Danger Girl preview story (from the GEN13 #25 Voyager Pack) and the 32-page issue #1, this unique Special also includes a cover gallery of some of the best and most notorious DANGER GIRL covers, all in 3-D!

The eye-popping effects are brought to you by the master of 3-D comics, Ray Zone! A pair of Danger-Vision 3-D glasses sporting graphics by Cambell is polybagged into each issue.

This project is supported with house ads.

DANGER GIRL 3-D is a 48-page CLIFFHANGER PRODUCTIONS one-shot edited by Scott Dunbier. It arrives in comic-book stores February 26 with a cover price of $4.95 U.S.

NIGHTWING: THE HUNT FOR ORACLE TRADE PAPERBACK

Blockbuster, Bldhaven's deadliest crime boss, is on a rampage. A mysterious hacker has made Blockbuster's life difficult for far too long. It's time for Nightwing - with the help of the Birds of Prey - to hunt this person down and terminate this hacker's actions once and for all, at whatever cost. And that hacker is Oracle!

The chase is on in NIGHTWING: THE HUNT FOR ORACLE - a 192-page trade paperback collecting NIGHTWING #41-46 and BIRDS OF PREY #20-21, written by Chuck Dixon (BATGIRL: YEAR ONE), with art by Greg Land (Sojourn, NIGHTWING), Patrick Zircher (NIGHTWING, Thunderbolts), Butch Guice (BIRDS OF PREY, Ruse), and Drew Geraci (NIGHTWING).

While Nightwing desperately tries to rein in the unstable vigilante Nite-Wing, his daytime counterpart Dick Grayson graduates to a street cop. Meanwhile, Blockbuster's thirst for vengeance against Oracle has him sending some of the deadliest assassins after the hacker. When the crime boss captures Nightwing, will our hero be tortured into revealing Oracle's location?

This project is supported with house ads.

NIGHTWING: THE HUNT FOR ORACLE is a 192-page trade paperback, arriving in comic-book stores February 19 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

COSMIC ODYSSEY - NEW EDITION TRADE PAPERBACK

He is one of the most powerful and feared beings in the universe…but now Darkseid the schemer faces a menace beyond even his great abilities. Now the towering New God must find aid from beyond the boundaries of his realm - forced to seek it in the camp of his enemies. What Darkseid needs…is heroes.

COSMIC ODYSSEY - NEW EDITION is a 200-page trade paperback collecting for the first time in eight years the universe-spanning 1988 epic that rocked the DC Universe. Written by the acclaimed Jim Starlin (BATMAN, Captain Marvel) and featuring art by Mike Mignola (Hellboy) & Carlos Garzon (Star Wars) with a cover by Mignola, COSMIC ODYSSEY finds Superman, Batman, Green Lantern John Stewart, Martian Manhunter, Starfire, the Demon, plus Orion, Lightray and Forager of the New Gods working together with one of the deadliest beings known to man. This eclectic group of heroes must race against time to stop a cosmic entity hell-bent on destroying the galaxy. Do they have what it takes? Or will one hero's brashness spell cataclysmic destruction for an entire world?

COSMIC ODYSSEY is a thrilling, non-stop adventure filled with unrelenting action, intense drama and, ultimately, terrible tragedy - with repercussions that had major lasting impact on the DC universe!

This project is supported with house ads.

COSMIC ODYSSEY - NEW EDITION is a 200-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 5 with a cover price of $19.95 U.S.

BATMAN: BRUCE WAYNE - FUGITIVE VOLUME TWO TRADE PAPERBACK

It's the conclusion to 2002's most talked-about event! Batman's "family" has concluded that its mentor did not kill Vesper Fairchild - he was framed! Now the Dark Knight himself must find out who did it - and why - in BATMAN: BRUCE WAYNE - FUGITIVE Volume Two.

FUGITIVE Volume Two is written by Greg Rucka, Devin Grayson and Ed Brubaker, with art by Steve Leiber, Scott McDaniel (who provides a new cover), Sergio Cariello, Roger Robinson, and others. It collects the stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #768-772, BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #31 and BATMAN #605.

Batman, on the trail of poisoned heroin on the Gotham streets, begins to unravel the final pieces of the mystery. But before confronting the figure behind the scheme, he first must stop the poison from killing more people and learn why the clandestine government group called Checkmate has come to his city. Ultimately, Batman stands face to face with Vesper's real killer, and the stunning revelation sends shockwaves through the Dark Knight's world for some time to come.

This project is supported with house ads.

BATMAN: BRUCE WAYNE - FUGITIVE Volume Two is a 144-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 5, with a cover price of $12.95 U.S.

GREEN LANTERN: THE POWER OF ION TRADE PAPERBACK

When Green Lantern Hal Jordan amassed an enormous amount of power in order to fix a terrible tragedy, he became the destructive being known as Parallax - and ultimately lost everything. Now the current Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, is noticing a power expansion. Can anyone handle such unlimited power without losing his humanity?

GREEN LANTERN: THE POWER OF ION is a 224-page trade paperback collecting GREEN LANTERN #142-150. Written by Judd Winick, with art by Dale Eaglesham, Eric Battle, Brandon Badeaux, Jamal Igle, Pat Quinn, and others, with a new cover by Ariel Olivetti, this volume finds Kyle battling his evil opposite, Oblivion. When the hero expends all the energy from his Power Ring to stop his foe, he sheds his GL identity and transforms into something new and more powerful - an identity he calls Ion.

Now, as a near-omnipotent being, Ion's actions save countless lives on Earth and throughout the galaxy. But his friends fear for him - after all, great power can hurt just as easily as it can help. Undoubtedly one of the greatest personal challenges Green Lantern ever endures, THE POWER OF ION has forever changed Kyle Rayner's perception of heroism!

This project is supported with house ads.

GREEN LANTERN: THE POWER OF ION is a 224-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 26 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

HAWKMAN: ENDLESS FLIGHT TRADE PAPERBACK

In Ancient Egypt, he was known as Prince Khufu. Today he is called Carter Hall. Archaeologist. Winged Warrior. Hawkman.

He's lived thousands of lives - his soul reincarnated again and again, destined forever to be reunited with his true love. That is, until now...

HAWKMAN: ENDLESS FLIGHT is a 176-page trade paperback collecting the first six issues of the hit HAWKMAN ongoing series, plus the lead story and select profile entries from HAWKMAN Secret Files #1. Written by Geoff Johns & James Robinson, with art by Rags Morales, Michael Bair, Patrick Gleason and Christian Alamy, as well as a painted cover by Andrew Robinson, ENDLESS FLIGHT follows the new adventures of one of the DCU's premier super-heroes, Hawkman - spinning out of his return in the pages of JSA.

Prince Khufu's "soul mate" has been reincarnated into the body of Kendra Saunders - also known as Hawkgirl. But with no memories of her past lives, Kendra has made it quite clear she wants nothing to do with Hawkman. Now the two heroes must figure out a way to work together as they unravel the mysteries within the enigmatic southern epicenter called St. Roch, travel to exotic lands, and battle creatures and villains of ancient and new myth!

This project is supported with house ads.

HAWKMAN: ENDLESS FLIGHT is a 176-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 12 with a cover price of $12.95 U.S.

Lois Lane…missing! Superman…dying?!?


SUPERMAN: CRITICAL CONDITION TRADE PAPERBACK

Lois Lane wasn't herself...literally. "Lois" turned out to be the villain Parasite, who assumed Lois's form to get close to Superman. But in doing so, the Parasite contracted and died from Kryptonite poisoning. Worse, he took the secret of the real Lois' location to his grave!

The search for Lois taxes the Man of Steel to his very limit in SUPERMAN: CRITICAL CONDITION - a 192-page trade paperback collecting THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #579 & 580, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #101 & 102, ACTION COMICS #766 & 767, SUPERMAN #158 and the lead story from SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS SECRET FILES #1.

Written by Jeph Loeb, J.M. DeMatteis, Joe Kelly, and Mark Schultz, with art by Carlo Barberi, Pascual Ferry, Kano, Doug Mahnke, Mike McKone, Cary Nord, Pablo Raimondi, and Duncan Rouleau, this collection features a new cover by Rouleau & Marlo Alquiza.

Unfortunately, while searching for Lois, Superman is weakened by a mysterious ailment and scours Metropolis until he collapses. It then falls to Batman to conclude the search while Steel, Superboy, Supergirl, and The Atom team up and miniaturize to actually enter the Man of Steel's dying body. There, the heroes must find the cause of Superman's illness and cure him…if there's still time!

This project is supported with house ads.

SUPERMAN: CRITICAL CONDITION is a 192-page trade paperback arriving in comic-book stores February 12 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

A major metropolitan miniseries!


SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS

There's something brewing beneath the futuristic surface of Metropolis…something responsible for bizarre events and dramatic changes in the city's inhabitants. And Superman's pal, Jimmy Olsen, is determined to find out what that something is!

SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS is a 12-issue maxiseries launching in February by the acclaimed team behind The Call of Duty: The Wagon: writer Chuck Austen (Uncanny X-Men, U.S. War Machine) and illustrator Danijel Zezelj (Captain America: Dead Man Running). The series revolves around Daily Planet photojournalist Jimmy Olsen, on the job in the technologically advanced world of Metropolis, where the Tech introduced in stories collected in SUPERMAN: ENDGAME! is once again is gaining sentience…with strange results! Jimmy encounters old folks made young again, villains merged together, and the dead who can't find peace.

But who - or what - is behind these seemingly Tech-instigated events? What does it have to do with Superman? And how will Jimmy deal with a rival who threatens to overtake his status as the top photographer in Metropolis?

This project is supported with a preview insert in selected November in-store books, a full-color poster, trade and house ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS is a 12-issue maxiseries edited by Eddie Berganza. The 32-page issue #1 arrives in comic-book shops February 19 with a cover price of $2.95 U.S.

BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS

When a crime spree takes the Dark Knight from the familiar turf of Gotham City across the globe to Tokyo, he finds himself locked in mortal combat with his greatest enemies…but are they really what they appear to be?

BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS presents famed manga creator and new Uncanny X-Men artist Kia Asamiya's (Silent Moebius, Steam Detectives) uncompromising take on the World's Greatest Detective, first serialized in Japan and now collected in English in one mammoth 352-page hardcover volume! Originally presented over a year-long span in the pages of Kodansha's Magazine Z, CHILD OF DREAMS has been painstakingly adapted by acclaimed mystery novelist Max Allan Collins (ROAD TO PERDITION, BATMAN).

The question at the heart of BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS is whether Batman is truly at war with the familiar members of his Rogue's Gallery - The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, The Penguin, and Catwoman - or if they're just bizarre simulations brought on by Fanatic, a new drug that's hit the mean streets of Gotham City. Batman soon learns that Fanatic turns would-be super-villains into facsimiles of the genuine article…with just one hitch: After a few hours, they melt down into mummified corpses! Now it's up to Batman to put a decisive stop to the chaos caused by Fanatic, even if the battle takes him to another continent!

BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS is far more than just another Batman story; it represents an iconic figure transcending the international borders of comic-book style and finding a interpretation from a distinctly different cultural perspective!

This project is supported with trade and house ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS is a 352-page hardcover edited by Andrew Helfer that arrives in comic-book shops February 26 with a cover price of $?.?? U.S.

STEAMPUNK: DRAMA OBSCURA TRADE PAPERBACK

Thrill to the adventures of Cole Blaquesmith with STEAMPUNK: DRAMA OBSCURA, a 176-page volume collecting issues #6-12 of the CLIFFHANGER PRODUCTIONS series, all by the creative team of writer Joe Kelly (ACTION COMICS, JLA) and artists Chris Bachalo (DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, Uncanny X-Men) and Richard Friend (WILDCATS)!

STEAMPUNK: DRAMA OBSCURA collects the storylines "Mechanica Sundown" and "X," that tell the tale of Cole Blaquesmith as he sets out with his ragged band of steampunks to bring down the regime of Lord Absinthe. The trail is a long one, dense with difficulties and fraught with danger and mystery. Why is Fiona alive? Who are the Sundowns, and where do their loyalties lie? What is the secret of Mambutu X? And will Vicki ultimately betray Absinthe…or Cole?

Finally, the twisted storyline rockets toward an appropriately epic conclusion involving a half-machine Napoleon, a war-crimes trial, and the final resolution of our heroes' feelings for one another, with the fate of war-torn France hanging in the balance!

This project is supported with house ads.

STEAMPUNK: DRAMA OBSCURA is a 176-page CLIFFHANGER PRODUCTIONS trade paperback that arrives in comic-book shops February 12 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

JLA: RIDDLE OF THE BEAST

In a universe of darkness, a world without a name struggles to heal itself after generations of war. And against murderous odds, a solitary boy must lay claim to his heritage, and topple walls of ignorance and fear in order to save his home.

In the tradition of The Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time and The Chronicles of Amber comes JLA: RIDDLE OF THE BEAST - a 104-page Elseworlds softcover that has everything lovers of high fantasy look for. Written by Alan Grant and featuring characters and creatures designed by Michael Wm. Kaluta, the most distinctive aspect of this graphic novel is the variety of artistic visions employed. To best dramatize the multitude of settings and characters, each chapter of RIDDLE OF THE BEAST is rendered by one of comics' top painters, including Carl Critchlow, Simon Davis, Glenn Fabry, Jon Foster, Rafael Garres, Doug Alexander Gregory, Alex Horley, Hermann Mejia, Jim Murray, Andrew Robinson, Liam McCormick-Sharp, Gregg Staples, Saverio Tenuta, John Watson, and Martin T. Williams. Taking full advantage of each artist's stylistic strengths, the cities and wilderness of the Nameless World are realized to their fullest.

In a peaceful corner of a land plagued by hideous creatures and fractured by war, a young hero named Robin is sent on a lonely quest to unify the feuding lords of the sundered realms against the menace of the risen Beast. But as mighty as the armies of the Beast have become, it is ignorance and arrogance that are Robin's keenest enemies.

Sword fights, sprawling battles, demonic uprisings, and creatures that beggar description all fill this high-fantasy Elseworlds epic - complete with colorful, fully rendered maps, a compelling world-history in true swords-and-sorcery tradition, and a gorgeous cover painting by Justin Sweet!

JLA: RIDDLE OF THE BEAST is a 104-page Elseworlds softcover graphic novel that arrives in comic-book shops February 5 with a cover price of $14.95 U.S.

PREACHER: DEAD OR ALIVE - THE COLLECTED COVERS SC

The acclaimed VERTIGO series PREACHER may have come to an end, but its haunting imagery lives on in PREACHER: DEAD OR ALIVE - THE COLLECTED COVERS. In the tradition of THE SANDMAN: DUST COVERS - THE COLLECTED SANDMAN COVERS book, DEAD OR ALIVE is a comprehensive collection of every cover painting of PREACHER by fan-favorite artist Glenn Fabry, in a handsome softcover edition that beautifully showcases his award-winning work. DEAD OR ALIVE collects all 66 covers of the monthly series, as well as the covers to all PREACHER SPECIALS, trade paperback collections, the PREACHER retail poster, and even the cover to Wizard: The Comics Magazine #71.

Featuring an introduction by PREACHER writer/co-creator Garth Ennis, a foreword by Fabry, and a behind-the-scenes peek and running commentary throughout on the creative process behind each cover by Ennis and Fabry, DEAD OR ALIVE will makes a beautiful addition to any coffee table or art-book library. Each cover painting - reproduced free of logo and text - is accompanied by black-and-white reproductions of the artist's initial cover sketches (including the ones that didn't make the final cut) complete with notations. Fans of the popular series can now see for themselves what went on between initial concept and final execution.

PREACHER: DEAD OR ALIVE - THE COLLECTED COVERS is a VERTIGO 192-page softcover, and is suggested for mature readers. It arrives in comic-book stores February 5 with a cover price of $19.95 U.S.

SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN: THE AMERICAN SCREAM TRADE PAPERBACK

Can the man from the Meta Zone make sense of America?

SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN: THE AMERICAN SCREAM TP collects the first six issues of one of VERTIGO's founding titles, written by Peter Milligan (HUMAN TARGET: FINAL CUT, X-Force) with art by Chris Bachalo (DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, STEAMPUNK) and Mark Pennington (HELLBLAZER, DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE) and a cover by Brendan McCarthy (2000 A.D.). And with the VERTIGO X ANNIVERSARY PREVIEW released the same month featuring the first new Shade story in years, now is the perfect time to rediscover this quixotic and timeless character.

This fantastic re-imagining of Shade, The Changing Man - a character created by the legendary Steve Ditko (Amazing Spider-Man) in the 1970s - begins in an explosion of madness as 23-year-old Kathy George relives the horror her parents' deaths. Hoping for a reprieve from the constant nightmares and the ever-present threat of insanity that have hounded her since their deaths, Kathy instead is swept up in Shade's arrival from his home dimension, Meta, into the body of the serial killer who destroyed her life. From there, Kathy and Shade begin a journey into America's collective unconscious as they combat the malevolent force known only as The American Scream.

SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN: THE AMERICAN SCREAM, a 168-page VERTIGO trade paperback, is suggested for mature readers. It arrives in comic-book stores February 26 with a cover price of $17.95 U.S.

10 Years On The Edge For 99

Has it been 10 years? That's what they tell us. Not too long in geological terms, but in comics…that's a lifetime. For 10 years, VERTIGO has put out comics that no one thought possible then and ushered in an entire generation of talent still going strong now. We've packed a lot of heavy hitting into 10 years and believe us when we say - we're just getting started. The party begins here:

February's VERTIGO X ("TEN") ANNIVERSARY PREVIEW, a 48-page one-shot priced at just 99 U.S., kicks off a yearlong celebration of ten years on the edge. Part retrospective and part exclusive looks at the projects that will define 2003 and beyond. Call it a user's guide to the coolest comics to come out next year. The preview includes pages from:

o SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN


Experience the madness of a new Shade short story by the X-Statix creative team of writer Peter Milligan (HUMAN TARGET) and Mike Allred (Madman, X-Force). This is exclusive to the preview, but then what's a birthday party without your favorite crazy uncle showing up to ruffle some feathers? (Look for the SHADE: THE CHANGING MAN - THE AMERICAN SCREAM TP elsewhere in this section.)

o THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS (Deluxe hardcover)


Neil Gaiman returns to VERTIGO with stories of the Endless. Featuring a who's who of world-class artists: Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, Bill Sienkiewicz, P. Craig Russell, Barron Storey, and others. If that doesn't get your blood pumping, you've probably already met Death.

o THE ORIGINALS (Graphic novel)


The British mod scene kicked to the max in Dave Gibbons' riveting tale of futuristic youth culture. Life imitating art in a big way.

o AT DEATH'S DOOR


Death, manga style - in a 192-page digest. Delirium and Despair throw a party for the recently released denizens of Hell - in Death's apartment. Think Death's gonna be happy about that? Doubt it. It's by Jill Thompson, as you've never seen her before.

o THE LOSERS


If the U.S. government believed your Special Forces unit was killed in combat, what else would you do but go underground and form the ultimate high-stakes heist crew? Action with attitude ensues in this new ongoing series by Andy Diggle and Jocko.

o THE WINTERMEN


Don't let the frozen title fool you - this 8-issue miniseries combines the Russian Mafia with fallen super-heroes to tell a 21st century gangster tale that's definitely fresh. Written by Brett Lewis, with art by John Paul Leon.

o CAN'T GET NO


Marked from head to toe with super-indelible ink, Chad Roe becomes a living work of primitive art. Writer/artist Rick Veitch takes you on a post-modern odyssey over the course of three issues.

o PLUS: BEWARE THE CREEPER, ORBITER, LOVECRAFT, BARNUM!, CITY LIGHTS and more!

o And: interviews and more with a host of VERTIGO luminaries past and present including Gaiman, Milligan, Azzarello, Kubert, Ellis, Risso, Ennis, Dillon, Morrison, Carey and Willingham; a timeline charting VERTIGO history; a fashion file; a "horrorscope"; an artists' jam; a high school photo page and much, much more. Don't let the next 10 years pass you by…

This project is supported with a full-color poster, house and trade ads, and a minisite at www.dccomics.com.

VERTIGO X ANNIVERSARY PREVIEW is a 48-page special edited by Shelly Bond and is suggested for mature readers. It arrives in comic-book shops February 26 with a cover price of $0.99 U.S.

 
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