Mark Waid takes on "City of Heroes"

In an incredible co-venture with NCsoft & Cryptic Studios, Top Cow Productions will launch City of Heroes as a comic book that will link together gamers and comic book fans alike! Celebrated writer Mark Waid (X-Men, Hunter-Killer, Flash, JLA, Ruse, Fantastic Four, Kingdom Come, Empire) teams up with David Nakayama (Proximity Effect, a graduate of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, and a Wizard art contest winner), to bring to life the action and the adventure of the super heroes and villains that make up the massive online multiplayer world that comprise the City of Heroes.

With an audience of well over 100,000 subscribers to the game within two weeks of its April launch in 2004, the multiplayer online universe has already received mass market and critical acclaim in the gaming industry. When the City of Heroes comic book launches in May, the impact of the tie-in of the game and the comic book will be huge, as the comic book will be sent out to all City of Heroes game subscribers. "The most exciting part for me," says Editor in Chief, Jim McLauchlin, "is the fact that we'll be sending this out to over 200,000 City of Heroes players every month. There are a legion of fans out there who love comic books as an idea and as a genre, but may have forgotten that they love comic books in and of themselves. This is our chance to remind them. It's a great day for the comic business."

As the official comic book for City of Heroes, the ongoing series will focus on the signature heroes from the online game, The Freedom Phalanx: Statesman, Manticore, Positron, Sister Psyche and Synapse. "Our goal is to bridge the gap between game players and comics readers with something that appeals to both and conjures the best elements of both media," says Top Cow Productions President Matt Hawkins. "I've been playing the game since it came out and met with game creator Jack Emmeret and NCsoft marketing guru Kevin Sullivan. Our discussions eventually let to this deal and announcement."

Cryptic Studios, Inc., located in Los Gatos, California, was established in July of 2000 and is an independent developer of massively multiplayer online games for the PC and next generation consoles. Its first game, City of Heroes, launched in April 2004. The game takes place in a virtual world where thousands of people play simultaneously, take on the role of super-powered heroes, fight villains and help create a dynamic story in a visually-stunning, 3-D graphical world.

NCsoft - North America (NC-NA) is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NC-NA, with development and administrative offices in Texas and California, launched two ground-breaking titles in the first half of 2004, Lineage® II and City of Heroes. The company also works with NCsoft subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. More information about NCsoft – North America can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com.

NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo and all associated NCsoft logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. City of Heroes is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. and NCsoft Corporation. Cryptic Studios is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Top Cow was founded in December of 1992 and currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and 2 licensed) in the industry's Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise Witchblade was TNT's #1 original film of 2000. Virtually all of Top Cow's other properties are in development as feature films, live action television, animation or video games. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and role playing games.

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