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Oeming/Wheatley's 'Hammer of the Gods' moves to Image

Official Press Release

ORANGE, CA -- 22 May, 2002 -- Image Comics officially announced today thatthe hugely successful indy hit HAMMER OF THE GODS is moving to Image Comics.POWERS artist Michel Avon Oeming and BREATHTAKER scribe Mark Wheatley, thecreators behind HAMMER, are moving their epic saga to the big "i" with aspectacular collection of the original miniseries in trade paperback formthis September.

[Hammer of the Gods: Mortal Enemy]Entitled, HAMMER OF THE GODS: MORTAL ENEMY, the new collected edition of theoriginal miniseries is slated to get the full-color treatment for the firsttime, and subsequent offerings will debut in color. A new three-issueminiseries -- HAMMER HITS CHINA -- will follow in November.

HAMMER OF THE GODS began as a five-issue miniseries published byInsight Studios Group. The epic saga focuses on a Viking boy, Modi, whois cursed to never touch a weapon lest he lose his soul. Modi is afrustrated Viking, angry with the world and the gods themselves. Hisquest 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 smashhits POWERS and BASTARD SAMURAI, HAMMER OF THE GODS is a collaborationbetween Oeming, who plots and draws the stories, and Mark Wheatley, whoplots and writes the tales. Wheatley is perhaps best known for his creationsMARS, RADICAL DREAMER, and BREATHTAKER. The stories are told with a lighttouch that brings the characters to life in a world of wonders andtumultuous 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," Oemingsaid from Insight Studios' headquarters. "The overwhelming success ofPOWERS and BASTARD SAMURAI have made a very strong statement that ImageComics is a great home base for me. That's where many of my readers lookfor my books, and that's where HAMMER OF THE GODS is going to be." Hesaid he wanted to make it clear that he was not leaving Insight Studiosbehind. "The guys at Insight are my friends, and there is no place betterto give birth to a new project."

[Hammer Hits China]Insight head honcho, Mark Wheatley agreed. "We're trying to be goodparents to HAMMER OF THE GODS. Mike and I took the luxury of severalyears of development on the series before we started publishing. Then wefocused a great deal of attention on just how our Viking was introducedinto the market. But the kid is all grown up now! We're gratified by thestrong response the series has generated, and the time has come to turnthis over to a publisher who has the experience dealing with hits thesize of HAMMER."

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

"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 theproverbial whole new level."

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

Current printings of some issues of the original miniseries remain availablethrough 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 beavailable for immediate reorder.

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