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Valentino, Kirkman, Hester & Faerber initiate "The Pact"

Official Press Release

BERKELEY, CA -- November 29, 2004 --Image Comics founding partner Jim Valentino has been a busy man of late. First, he pulled his seminal independent creation, normalman, out ofretirement for a twentieth anniversary special. Next, he reintroducedShadowHawk in a brand new one-shot. Now, he's assembled a team of top Imagetalent to do something that's never been done before.

Beginning in March, Image Comics will debut THE PACT, a four issueminiseries starring four of Image's youngest superheroes. Along withValentino's legendary ShadowHawk, THE PACT includes Robert Kirkman'sInvincible, Phil Hester's Firebreather, and Jay Faerber's Zephyr, from thepages of NOBLE CAUSES.

The twist is that each issue will be written by the creators of thecharacters involved, a first for a comic book miniseries. Part of the fun,according to Valentino, is that each writer is working independently of theothers.

"Part of the excitement of this project for me is that I don't know whatJay, Robert or Phil are going to do. I think that 'surprise element' hasbeen gone from comics for far too long," says Valentino. "I'm reallylooking forward to this, these are great writers, great artists. This, tome, is what it's supposed to be about--fun. And I think this is a really funexperiment."

Each issue will also feature a different artist bringing the group to life.Valentino will be handling his own story, kicking off the series. Thesecond chapter, written by Jay Faerber, will be illustrated by rising starCarlo Barberi (Justice League Unlimited). Phil Hester's third chapter willbe handled by recent Comic Book Resources Comic Book Idol contest winnerCarlos Rodriguez (see details at comicbookresources.com), and RobertKirkman's concluding story will be drawn by relative newcomer Jason Howard.

Once Valentino pitched the idea, the other writers were quick to jump onboard.

Hester sees the book as a chance to rekindle a bit of comic book magic thatseems to be missing from most mainstream books these days.

"Remember how you felt the first time you saw Superman race the Flash, orSpider-Man interact with Daredevil, or Dragon mix it up with Spawn?," asksHester. "I see The Pact as a chance to recapture that sort of thrill. Youhave characters that are just as exciting and well-realized as the bigicons, but free from all the continuity baggage encumbering those historicheroes. I hope the feeling readers get from The Pact is that anything couldhappen in any issue. It's a team book that doesn't have to kowtow to thestatus quo."

Jay Faerber wasn't any harder to convince than Hester.

"Jim had me at the words 'team up'," says the NOBLE CAUSES and FIREBIRDSwriter. "I love the idea of a shared Image universe, so I'm always up forprojects that promote that idea. And the opportunity to write ShadowHawk,Invincible, and Firebreather was too good to pass up! I've wanted to workCarlo Barberi for a couple years now, and when The Pact idea startedevolving, he was on my short list."

Kirkman is just happy for the chance to play with a handful of Image icons.

"When Jim approached me about writing an issue of The Pact I was thrilled,"says the bearded wordsmith. "When else am I going to get a chance to writeShadowHawk, Firebreather and play around in the Noble Causes universe?These are all characters I love independently. I've followed all theirappearances in the past and I'm thrilled to be able to participate inbringing them together. Jim has a great idea here... I'm just glad he letme tag along."

As for the motivation for the characters involved, according to Valentino,it was only natural that the younger Image superheroes would hang outtogether.

"They're all roughly the same age, around seventeen. They all come fromrather dysfunctional families and they're all trying to figure out theirplace in the world, not just as people, but as heroes." says Valentino. "Ithink this team has all the elements of a great series. One that can touchupon the drama and the humor of being a teenager as well as provide somekick-ass action. I think there will be a lot of great stories to be told,these will just be the first four!"

THE PACT #1 is solicited in the January PREVIEWS, and will hit stores inMarch.

Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by acollective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on tobecome one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There arecurrently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, MarcSilvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into threemajor houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions and ImageCentral). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre,sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror,crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists andwriters working in the medium today.

Visit www.imagecomics.com for more information

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