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Oeming/Wheatley’s ‘Hammer of the Gods’ moves to Image

by  in Comic News Comment
Oeming/Wheatley’s ‘Hammer of the Gods’ moves to Image

Official Press Release

ORANGE, CA — 22 May, 2002 — Image Comics officially announced today that
the hugely successful indy hit HAMMER OF THE GODS is moving to Image Comics.
POWERS artist Michel Avon Oeming and BREATHTAKER scribe Mark Wheatley, the
creators behind HAMMER, are moving their epic saga to the big “i” with a
spectacular collection of the original miniseries in trade paperback form
this September.

[Hammer of the Gods: Mortal Enemy]

Entitled, HAMMER OF THE GODS: MORTAL ENEMY, the new collected edition of the
original miniseries is slated to get the full-color treatment for the first
time, and subsequent offerings will debut in color. A new three-issue
miniseries — HAMMER HITS CHINA — will follow in November.

HAMMER OF THE GODS began as a five-issue miniseries published by
Insight Studios Group. The epic saga focuses on a Viking boy, Modi, who
is cursed to never touch a weapon lest he lose his soul. Modi is a
frustrated Viking, angry with the world and the gods themselves. His
quest against the gods forces him into hand-to-hand battles with giants,
trolls, demons and even beautiful Valkyries.

Created by Michael Avon Oeming, co-creator of the Image Comics smash
hits POWERS and BASTARD SAMURAI, HAMMER OF THE GODS is a collaboration
between Oeming, who plots and draws the stories, and Mark Wheatley, who
plots and writes the tales. Wheatley is perhaps best known for his creations
MARS, RADICAL DREAMER, and BREATHTAKER. The stories are told with a light
touch that brings the characters to life in a world of wonders and
tumultuous action. HAMMER OF THE GODS, as reviewer Mike Barron noted,
“dodges every cliché.”

“I’m trying to make it easier on my readers to find my books,” Oeming
said from Insight Studios’ headquarters. “The overwhelming success of
POWERS and BASTARD SAMURAI have made a very strong statement that Image
Comics is a great home base for me. That’s where many of my readers look
for my books, and that’s where HAMMER OF THE GODS is going to be.” He
said he wanted to make it clear that he was not leaving Insight Studios
behind. “The guys at Insight are my friends, and there is no place better
to give birth to a new project.”

[Hammer Hits China]

Insight head honcho, Mark Wheatley agreed. “We’re trying to be good
parents to HAMMER OF THE GODS. Mike and I took the luxury of several
years of development on the series before we started publishing. Then we
focused a great deal of attention on just how our Viking was introduced
into the market. But the kid is all grown up now! We’re gratified by the
strong response the series has generated, and the time has come to turn
this over to a publisher who has the experience dealing with hits the
size of HAMMER.”

Insight Studios will continue to produce HAMMER OF THE GODS for Image with
the creative team remaining the same, including the exceptional work of John
Staton. The one major change for the Image incarnation of HAMMER will be
the move to color. When Insight Studios published the HAMMER OF THE GODS
COLOR SAGA in December of 2001, it became the fourth best-selling graphic
novel offered through Diamond Comic Distributors. This first color book was
the maiden effort for colorist John Staton and the positive response from
fans was largely responsible for the decision to take all HAMMER projects to
color.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with some great colorists,” said Oeming.
“John’s gray-tones were fantastic, but his color work takes my art to the
proverbial whole new level.”

Scheduled to strike the comic-buying public in September, the 176-page
HAMMER OF THE GODS: MORTAL ENEMY will be available for order in the July
issue of PREVIEWS.

Current printings of some issues of the original miniseries remain available
through Diamond Comic Distributors. These include: HAMMER OF THE GODS #1
(DEC002073), #2 (FEB012085), #3 (APR012241), #4 (JUN012205), #5 (AUG012047),
and HAMMER OF THE GODS COLOR SAGA (STAR14986). These issues should be
available for immediate reorder.

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