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MARV WOLFMAN WANTS A CUT OF MARVEL'S 'BLADE'

Although it's the first of their movie adaptations to make it to the silver screen without a hitch, not to mention riding considerable good word-of-mouth, "Blade" is causing Marvel Comics headaches of an entirely different sort.

Veteran comic book writer Marv Wolfman, who created the half-vampire hero along with artist Gene Colan back in the "Tomb of Dracula" comic in the early 1970s, is suing the comic company for $35 million, saying he never gave permission for the movie to be made.

Marvel, and other comic book companies, traditionally owns the exclusive rights to characters under a "work for hire" contract, but Wolfman asserted, in a suit filed in Los Angeles on Thursday, that he was a freelancer when the character was created, and that Marvel never filed a copyright on the character and that there was no contract, written or oral, giving Marvel the rights to Blade or the film's villain, Deacon Frost.

Wolfman's and Colan's names were added to the opening credits of "Blade" shortly before it was released. Marvel had been the subject of intense criticism after it was revealed it initially planned not to mention Wolfman and Colan.

The Comic Wire could not reach Wolfman for comment by press time and Marvel Comics declines to comment on the litigation at this time.

JEFF SMITH TO DIRECT 'BONE' FOR NICKELODEON

Jeff Smith has come full-circle. Before he created the Eisner award-winning independent comic "Bone," he was a cartoon animator, a background that clearly influences his comic book work. Now his light-hearted fantasy kingdom will be coming to the big screen, as an animated movie.

Nickelodeon Movies, which is also producing the upcoming "Rugrats" movie, announced the deal last week.

"Nickelodeon is a place where traditional entertainment values are given a fresh, edgy feel," said Smith in a Nickelodeon press release. "I'm extremely pleased with this announcement. Nickelodeon Movies is exactly where Bone needs to be."

The first collection of Bone issues has sold over 90,000 English-language copies.

No release date for the feature has been announced.

SHAKE-UPS AT DC AND MARVEL: 'IMPULSE' GETS NEW TEAM, 'ALPHA FLIGHT,' 'HEROES FOR HIRE' REPORTEDLY CANCELED

Once upon a time, working with one of the Big Two comic book companies was the recipe for financial and career stability. But as the comic market continues to contract, even that is no longer a sure thing.

That was brought home late last week, when a DC Comics marketing representative confirmed that "Impulse," starring one of the company's most popular new characters of the past decade will be getting a new creative team: writer Todd DeZago and artist Ethan Van Sciver.

The move, which has long been rumored on various Internet fan sites, has no official start date, although current "Impulse" artist Craig Rousseau told the Comic Wire "to the best of my knowledge, [William Messner-Loebs] is staying with the book, although I am leaving the title as of issue 50 (or thereabouts) to try my hand at something other than a hyperactive speedster."

Comic Wire was unable to reach Messner-Loebs at press time.

DeZago has already had a go-round with the teen speedster character, having written "World Without Grownups," which introduced the Young Justice team Impulse is a member of, along with Robin and Superboy, and the "Young Justice" special "The Secret." Vac Sciver previously did the art on "Impulse" #41.

And Newsarama (available at http://www.mania.com/newsarama) is quoting Marvel Comics assistant editor as saying that "Alpha Flight" and "Heroes for Hire" have both had their respective plugs pulled, having fallen below a newly instituted minimum sales figure of 35,000 copies (for comparison's sake, DC Comics has been pulling the plug on series that sell less than approximately 18,000 copies per issue).

Close to the kill level but not dead yet, according to writer Joe Kelly and editor Paul Tutrone, is "Deadpool," which Newsarama points out is due for a big push from Marvel in October. The "Deadpool Month" promotion will include a new paperback collection of back issues and several specials. http://fly.to/superboy.

ANIMATED BATGIRL, SUPERGIRL TO MEET IN ALL-GIRL EPISODE

The first animated cartoon meeting of Superman and Batman has just made it to video, and fans are already eagerly awaiting the next go-round for the World's Finest heroes. But fans of their female colleagues will be getting to see them in action together next season as well.

Detroit News Comic Continuum (http://detnews.com/comicbooks/) is reporting Hilary Bader, who wrote three Batman episodes of "The Batman/Superman Adventures" last season has written "Girls Night Out," which will unite Batgirl and Supergirl for the first time.

"It's all girls," Bader told the Continuum. "Girl villains. Girl heroes. Nothing but girls. The boys are out of town, and the girls take over."

That means Supergirl, Batgirl, Livewire, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Bader's no stranger to writing strong female characters: She also writes for "Xena: Warrior Princess."

Batman Explains How [SPOILER] Is Alive After All

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