Monday, August 31, 2009



Worldwide leader in family entertainment agrees to acquire

Marvel and its portfolio of over 5,000 characters

Acquisition highlights Disney’s strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.

Investor Conference Call:

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT / 7:15 a.m. PDT today, August 31, 2009. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to or dial in domestically at 800-260-8140 or internationally at 617-614-3672. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 51214527.

The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney investors website through September 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM EDT/4:00 PM PDT.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of nearly $38 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics).

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this communication may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements relate to a variety of matters, including but not limited to: the operations of the businesses of Disney and Marvel separately and as a combined entity; the timing and consummation of the proposed merger transaction; the expected benefits of the integration of the two companies; the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical fact. These statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Disney and Marvel regarding future events and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Neither Disney nor Marvel undertakes any obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

legal or regulatory proceedings or other matters that affect the timing or ability to complete the transactions as contemplated; the possibility that the expected synergies from the proposed merger will not be realized, or will not be realized within the anticipated time period; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the possibility of disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the possibility that the merger does not close, including but not limited to, due to the failure to satisfy the closing conditions; any actions taken by either of the companies, including but not limited to, restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments or asset acquisitions or dispositions); developments beyond the companies' control, including but not limited to: changes in domestic or global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences; adverse weather conditions or natural disasters; health concerns; international, political or military developments; and technological developments.

Additional factors that may cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements are set forth in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Disney for the year ended September 27, 2008, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on November 20, 2008, under the heading “Item 1A—Risk Factors” and in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Marvel for the year ended December 31, 2008, which was filed with the SEC on February 27, 2009, under the heading “Item 1A—Risk Factors,” and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by each of Marvel and Disney.

Important Merger Information and Additional Information:

This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval. In connection with the proposed transaction, Disney and Marvel will file relevant materials with the SEC. Disney will file a Registration Statement on Form S-4 that includes a proxy statement of Marvel and which also constitutes a prospectus of Disney. Marvel will mail the proxy statement/prospectus to its stockholders. Investors are urged to read the proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed transaction when it becomes available, because it will contain important information. The proxy statement/prospectus and other documents that will be filed by Disney and Marvel with the SEC will be available free of charge at the SEC's website,, or by directing a request when such a filing is made to The Walt Disney Company, 500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521-9722, Attention: Shareholder Services or by directing a request when such a filing is made to Marvel Entertainment, Inc., 417 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016, Attention: Corporate Secretary.

Disney, Marvel, their respective directors and certain of their executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Marvel is set forth in its definitive proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on March 24, 2009. Information about the directors and executive officers of Disney is set forth in its definitive proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on January 16, 2009. Investors may obtain additional information regarding the interests of such participants by reading the proxy statement/prospectus Disney and Marvel will file with the SEC when it becomes available.

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Comic News: Premieres "Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?!" Episode 5

It’s a very special episode of Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?! as we look back at the man, the myth, the giant head: M.O.D.O.K.

It’s a very special episode of Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?! as we look back at the man, the myth, the giant head: M.O.D.O.K. From his timeless black and white debut to his hilarious game show appearances and star turn as a 70s action hero, we remember M.O.D.O.K.’s most memorable moments! Check it out at

What, you’ve never heard of any of this stuff? Well then you better watch this one!

Captain America, Deadpool, the Punisher and many more guest star in this brand new video presentation of “Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?!” Plus, hear the vocal talents of X MEN NOIR artist extraordinaire Dennis Calero—as the Leader!

Watch “M.O.D.O.K.’s M.O.M.E.N.T.S.” now at


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Toy News: Shifting Gears

NECA announces new BATSU Gears of War figures!

Sure, we've got our regular Gears of War figures and they're awesome, but now things are getting Batsu.

In Japanese, the symbol "batsu," like the English 'X' is used to show something wrong. Like when you get a strike on Family Feud, that's a batsu. For NECA, it's a whole new way of experiencing some of your favorite characters and lines, and we're starting with the three most popular Gears of War combatants in limited production runs (translation: get 'em while you can).

The highly-stylized Batsu versions of Dom, Marcus and The Locust each stand over 5" tall, are poseable at the neck and shoulders and designed with urban vinyl in mind. They also have the Lancer accessory, and you'll know them when you see them because of the window box packaging.

Once again, these are limited runs, which means they won't be around forever. They hit stores next month, so make sure to keep an eye out, and of course they'll be available online at our Amazon storefront. Keep it tuned to for more info on this and other lines from your favorite games and movies.


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Comic News: Hero Initiative at Dragon*Con

Hero Initiative hits

Pop Culture’s largest event:


We’re not breaking the world record dancing to “Thriller,” but we are attending Dragon*Con in Atlanta Georgia, Labor Day weekend September 4th-7th at the Atlanta Convention center. The Hero Initiative will be in attendance with many special guests including George Pérez, Cully Hamner, and Paul Jenkins. For more information about the con, check out the website at

Also check out Hero Initiative’s brand-new Hero Comics on sale at the booth, and our seductive Sachs and Violens perfume oils. You never know who the perfume may attract. For more information on Sachs and Violens perfume oils or to order,

check out .

Hero’s booth schedule at Dragon*Con is as folows:

FRI., 04 SEP (HOURS 1:00 PM-7:00 PM)
1:30-2:30: Paul Jenkins
3:30-5:30: George Pérez
5:30-6:30: Paul Jenkins

SAT., 05 SEP (HOURS 10:00 AM-7:00 PM)
10:30-12:30: George Pérez
12:30-1:30: Paul Jenkins
1:30-2:30: Cully Hamner
2:30-4:30: George Pérez
4:30-5:30: Paul Jenkins

SUN., 06 SEP (HOURS 10:00 AM-7:00 PM)
10:30-12:30: George Pérez
12:30-1:30: Paul Jenkins
2:30-3:30: Cully Hamner
4:30-6:30: George Pérez

MON., 07 SEP (HOURS 10:00 AM-5:00 PM)
10:30-12:30: George Pérez

About Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit or call 626-676-635.

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Comic News: Boom Sudios for September 2nd

Boom! Studios has released what coming out on Spetember 2nd

CARS: RADIATOR SPRINGS #1 - An all-new CARS arc! Lightning McQueen is hanging out with his friends in Radiator Springs when he realizes that everyone knows his story, but he doesn’t know anyone else’s. McQueen wants to know how his friends ended up in Radiator Springs...and why they decided to stay. Issue #1 of CARS: RADIATOR SPRINGS shines the showroom spotlight on Flo and Ramone!

DEAD RUN #4 - "All Speed. No Limits." The end isn't near... it's here. America has become a wasteland, leaving the few cities that remain transformed into impenetrable fortresses. NICK MASTERS is a driver, the best there is. If you need something picked-up, delivered, or disposed of, Nick's your man. But when he fails to deliver… all hell breaks loose. The finale to the epic saga that redefines the science fiction action genre. From the writer of HEXED and FALL OF CTHULHU, Michael Alan Nelson, collaborating for the first time with EUREKA creator Andrew Cosby!

DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP #3 - Worldwide best-selling sci-fi author Philip K. Dick's award-winning DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? - the basis for the film BLADE RUNNER – comes to comics in an innovative, ground-breaking maxi-series with the full text, fully illustrated. Thanks to the Rosen Corporation and its invention, the Nexus-6 android brain, human being’s artificial counterparts are now harder to detect than ever. But bounty hunter Rick Deckard has a special weapon in his arsenal…the empathy test. With backmatter by FARSCAPE creator Rockne S. O'Bannon!

IRREDEEMABLE #6 - The Plutonian’s rampage continues as the Paradigm’s dwindling members regroup and prepare to go on the offensive. Even with new information about the Plutonian’s past, will it be enough to tip the scales against a mad god? A "twilight of the superheroes"-style story that examines super-villains from Mark Waid writer of KINGDOM COME and EMPIRE!

CARS: THE ROOKIE TPB - See how Lightning McQueen became a Piston Cup sensation in this pulse-pounding collection! CARS: THE ROOKIE reveals McQueen's scrappy origins as a local short track racer who dreams of the big time...and recklessly plows his way through the competition to get there! Along the way, he meets Mack, who help McQueen catch his lucky break.

THE INCREDIBLES: FAMILY MATTERS TPB - This action-packed trade collects all four issues THE INCREDIBLES: FAMILY MATTERS. Acclaimed scribe Mark Waid has written the perfect INCREDIBLES story! What happens when Mr. Incredible's super-abilities start to wane...and how long can he keep his powerlessness a secret from his wife and kids?

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Comic News: Radical Comics for September 2nd

Radical Comics has released what coming out on Spetember 2nd.

Based on a story by WARREN ELLIS
Written and illustrated by STEVE PUGH
28 pages, FC, $2.99

4 covers, one each by Steve Pugh, Jelena Djurdjevic and Garry Leach along with a wraparound cover by Alan Brooks

Hotwire #4 Cover A: by Steve Pugh Diamond Code: MAR094396
Hotwire #4 Cover B: by Jelena Djurdjevic Diamond Code: MAR094397
Hotwire #4 Cover C: by Garry Leach Diamond Code: MAR094398
Hotwire #4 Wraparound Cover D: by Alan Brooks Diamond Code: MAR094399

From the revolutionary storytelling of Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis comes the electrifying climax! What do you do when your city is under siege from a riot, your personal war against the "blue lights" has spun into all-out chaos, and all the good choices are long gone? If you're Alice Hotwire, you risk everything to face the horror of Amir Malik and uncover a truth that could both save the city—and destroy it at the same time.

28 pgs, FC, $2.99

Delve into the shadows of a hero as we continue this untold tale from Hercules' dark past. As the son of Zeus and his companions begin their search for the traitors in the Egyptian king’s palace, they long for the excitement of the battlefield. But when military secrets continue to leak from the palace, the Greeks are forced to consider a long shot to gain information. Can even the courage of Hercules withstand a trip to Nakhtkeru the Necromancer?

Featuring covers by Marko Djurdjevic and Clint Langley.

Hercules #2 cover A: by Marko Djurdjevic Diamond Code: JUN091054
Hercules #2 cover B: by Clint Langley Diamond Code: JUN091055


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Toy News: Hot Toys Next Marvel collectible figure


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Thursday, August 27, 2009


Enemies from the Past and Future Collide In WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN: BEGINNING OF THE END, The Third Volume of The Hit Animated TV Series

Witness the Launch of a Legendary Series with the Three DVD Set of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN VOLUMES 1-3

Street Date: 11/3/09
Order Date: 10/7/09
Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End DVD SRP: $14.98
Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3, 3-DVD Set DVD SRP: $29.98

This November, Marvel Animation and Lionsgate will bring fans the ultimate showdown between humans and mutants with the eagerly awaited third volume of the hit animated series Wolverine and the X-Men, as well as a boxed set containing the first three volumes of this fan-favorite show. Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End follows Wolverine and the X-Men as they face potential demise in five apocalyptic episodes featuring audio commentary from the show’s creators, and a glossed/embossed O-card. With the release of the third volume, new fans can jump on board in time for the holiday season with the release of the new box set Wolverine and the X-Men Volumes 1-3. The set is encased in bookcase sleeve packaging and comes complete with a unique collectible WXM Laser CelTM (while supplies last) sure to appeal to collectors everywhere.

Both titles from the hit series arrive on DVD on November 3, 2009 with Wolverine And The X-Men: Beginning of the End available for the suggested retail price of $14.98, while Wolverine and the X-Men Volumes 1-3 is available for the suggested retail price of $29.98 -- an incredible value vs. buying each DVD individually!

With 45 years of best selling comic books, a massive fan base spanning all ages and three feature films grossing over one billion dollars at the box office, the franchise is a proven phenomenon. Volumes 1 & 2 of the hit TV series have already shipped over 350,000 units to date. Though the animated series is targeted to boys 6-11, it also appeals to comic book fans of all ages!

Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End: Wolverine and the X-Men fight to stay alive as sinister forces usher in the beginning of the end. In Volume 3, five apocalyptic episodes weave together the tale of the X-Men’s potential demise. In “Future X,” deadly plans are set in motion when Xavier and Cerebro are captured by the malevolent Sentinels. “Greetings from Genosha” welcomes Nightcrawler into a world of killer seduction on Magneto's deceptive island paradise. Time is running out for Logan as he is haunted by the darkness of his past with Weapon X in “Past Discretions.” In "eXcessive Force," Cyclops blasts his way through one old foe after another to find the missing Jean Grey. And the X-Men make what might be their last stand in "Battle Lines", when Rogue uncovers the Brotherhood's seemingly unstoppable plan to trigger the war between mutants and humans.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3: Includes Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the hit TV series Wolverine and the X-Men.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy: In the late 20th century, Professor Charles Xavier created The Institute for Gifted Youngsters, a place where young “mutants” could learn to harness their incredible abilities. But after a mysterious explosion devastated the school, Xavier’s students – the X-Men – disbanded and the man known as Wolverine struck out on his own. One year later, the fiercely independent Wolverine must reunite the X-Men to prevent the world from falling into chaos. Only together can the X-Men steer the course of history away from catastrophe!

Wolverine and the X-Men: Deadly Enemies: Join Wolverine and the X-Men as they continue their fight to prevent an unspeakable future! The action begins as the X-Men strive to free Storm from the Shadow King and Wolverine teams with Gambit to reclaim a collar that inhibits mutant powers. Nightcrawler battles Mojo’s pirates while Wolverine faces off against the Incredible Hulk – and a new enemy. And in a shocking request from Professor Xavier in the future, Wolverine and the X-Men must return a young mutant back to their biggest adversary, the MRD.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End: Wolverine and the X-Men face potential demise in five apocalyptic episodes! Xavier and Cerebro are captured by the malevolent Sentinels. Nightcrawler is lured onto Magneto’s sinister island paradise and Logan is haunted by his dark past with Weapon X. Cyclops takes on old and new foes, and battle lines are drawn when Rogue uncovers the Brotherhood’s terrifying plan to annihilate human and mutant kind alike.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson and Writer
Chris Yost
• Astonishing X-Men: Gifted – The Motion Comic, Episode 1

Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3:
Volume One:
• Character Profiles: Wolverine and the X-Men
• “Making of Wolverine and the X-Men” featurette
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Head Writer Greg Johnson
• Audio commentary with Lead Director Boyd Kirkland and Director Steven Gordon
• “Nicktoons Network Going InScene” Wolverine and the X-Men

Volume Two:
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson and Writer
Chris Yost

Volume Three:
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson and Writer
Chris Yost
• Astonishing X-Men: Gifted – The Motion Comic, Episode 1
*Special features subject to change


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In a partnership that will echo through the cosmos, Lucasfilm, THQ Wireless, and Dark Horse Comics will release Star Wars™ comics to the iPhone mobile platform for the first time ever!

The selection of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Vol. 1 – Shipyards of Doom, Star Wars: Empire Vol. 1 – Betrayal and Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 1 – Broken represents three of the most important time periods in the history of the Star Wars galaxy. The three collections will span the time between the Clone Wars era, the Classic era and the distant future.

Star Wars: Empire Vol. 1 – Betrayal is set just weeks before the events of the original film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and follows a faction of disgruntled Imperial Officers attempting to overthrow Emperor Palpatine. But the plot is complicated by the emergence of the bounty hunter Boba Fett and by the loyalty of Darth Vader to his dark master. Betrayal will be released in four chapters, written by Scott Allie and drawn by Brian Horton.

Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 1 – Broken takes place more than a century after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and focuses on a fifth-generation Skywalker named Cade, a rogue Jedi and bounty hunter who travels the galaxy living by his own code. Broken will be released in two parts, written by John Ostrander and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Vol. 1 – Shipyard of Doom is based on the wildly popular animated series from Lucasfilm Animation and highlights events from the epic time period when Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Padawan Ahsoka Tano struggled to maintain order and peace in a war-torn galaxy. Shipyards of Doom will be release in its entirety, written by Henry Gilroy, and drawn by the Fillbach Brothers.

Working together with Lucasfilm and THQ Wireless, Dark Horse Senior Editor Randy Stradley and Senior Web Designer Mike Denning carefully reformatted each panel and page to maximize the visual grandeur while staying true to the original comic books. All parties involved ensured that the material would transition to the new medium in the best format possible, delicately considering every word balloon and background image.

Dark Horse President Mike Richardson is delighted with the new program, stating, “Lucasfilm has been a proud and longstanding partner of ours, and I’m equally excited to be working with the wonderful people at THQ Wireless on this program. The stories of The Clone Wars, Legacy, and Empire embody some of the best comics in the Star Wars universe that Dark Horse has ever released. I think it’s wonderful that these key tales will be available to fans everywhere in a new and accessible way.”

Adam Comiskey, Vice President THQ Wireless commented, “Bringing a selection of some of the finest comic books to the iPhone mobile platform is an exciting chapter in our relationship with Lucasfilm. Our partnership with Dark Horse means that for the first time, Star Wars Fans will be able to use their iPhone to view a fantastic line up of comics.”

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DVD News: Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz discusses Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz successfully adapts another classic DC Comics graphic novel to film with Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Justice League: The New Frontier writer brings Jeph Loeb comic to life in all-new DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movie for distribution Sept. 29

Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz guides another classic DC Comics graphic novel to animated glory with the September 29 Warner Home Video release of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

Berkowitz brought Darwyn Cooke’s landmark Justice League: The New Frontier from pages to screen in 2008, and this year he’s converted the words of Jeph Loeb into a summer popcorn-style blockbuster with the crafting of the script for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation will present the all-new Superman/Batman: Public Enemies in a Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def edition, a special edition 2-disc DVD, and a single disc DVD. Warner Home Video will distribute the action-packed movie, which will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download on Sept. 29.

In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, United States President Lex Luthor uses the oncoming trajectory of a Kryptonite asteroid to frame Superman and declare a $1 billion bounty on the heads of the Man of Steel and his “partner in crime,” Batman. Heroes and villains alike launch a relentless pursuit of Superman and Batman, who must unite – and recruit help – to stave off the action-packed onslaught, stop the
asteroid, and uncover Luthor’s devious plot to take command of far more than North America.

Berkowitz has been actively writing for 30 years, focusing his efforts on animated properties for the past dozen years. His animated credits range from Superman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League, The Batman and Legion of Super Heroes, with stops on shows like Static Shock, Batman Beyond and Spider-Man along the way. Prior to moving into the animated realm, Berkowitz garnered
credits writing episodes of T.J. Hooker and the latter-day versions of Dragnet and Adam 12.

Berkowitz pushed the keyboard aside to discuss the differences between his film and Loeb’s initial take on the tale, the importance of great voice actors and a fine director, reaching into the DC vault for his childhood memories, the little things Alan Burnett does to make a big impact, and the ideal writing environment. Read on … Stan Berkowitz is speaking.

Why was this story right for you?

I love the political aspect of it. In the comic book that Jeph Loeb wrote, it was assumed that everyone knew the backstory to how Luthor got elected President. But we needed the movie to show an audience, who might not be familiar with the comics, exactly what would have to happen for Luthor to be elected. I sort of envisioned Luthor ascending to the Presidency somewhere around 2012. I didn't quite predict the
catastrophe we'd be seeing in 2008. But I figured that something bad would happen, and then Democrats would be elected in 2008, they wouldn’t be able to solve the problem and, in 2012, a tough, Ross Perot-style third party bid would be the one who'd be elected.

It was kind of fun for me to envision the political atmosphere that would have to take place in order for that to happen. And I also had a wonderful time going with Jeph's depiction of Luthor's descent into insanity – always keeping in mind that Clancy Brown would be enacting the dialogue. It was just great to write that.

Superman/Batman: Pubic Enemies follows Justice League: The New Frontier as your second DC Universe film adaptation of a classic DC Comics graphic novel/com series. Are there specific challenges to adapting a well-known story?

Each adaptation is different, and presents different challenges. In New Frontier, the challenge was compressing all the material into a coherent 75-minute story. In Public Enemies, the challenge was making the thematic concerns concrete because the comic author had the luxury of a narrator to talk about the themes. And when we did the screenplay, we had to show the themes in action, having things happen to illustrate those themes.

For Public Enemies, there was also the issue of credibility. We were concerned that if a person who vaguely knows Superman and Batman grabs this off the shelf and sees Lex Luthor as President, he might think, “hey, what's going on here?” It might just put them off, or make them think this was an alternate world story. And that’s not how it’s advertised. The other credibility issue is that in the comic, Luthor
believes that the meteor is coming to Earth because of Superman. As a reader, I could not get past the fact that the public buys Luthor's explanation. I didn't believe an audience watching this as an animated production would buy Luthor's explanation. So Alan (Burnett) and Bruce (Timm) and I had to figure out an alternate way for Luthor to frame Superman. I think it worked very well.

What makes Lex Luthor such a great villain?

I think anytime you do a story, you have to ask yourself, “What does the villain want?” And the more complex the villain, the more unusual a thing it is that he wants – and, thus, the better the story will be. In Luthor's case, he's like Salieri to Superman's Mozart. Salieri would have been the era's greatest composer had it not been for Mozart, and Salieri knows this. In the same vein, Luthor would have been the leading light of our generation except for Superman, and there's nothing that he can do about it. He's cast into the shadows, and that's why he has that pathological hatred of Superman.

You've written Batman, and you've written Superman. Now you’ve gotten to write them together? What’s that dynamic like to combine them and use that chemistry to bring out the personalities?

Well, Batman and Superman are opposites. Superman has always been presented as the character from the light, the daytime; Batman from the nighttime. They have decidedly different outlooks. Superman is the ultimate kid from Kansas, who had a real healthy upbringing. Batman is the tormented orphan. In a way, Superman's outlook is too sunny, and Batman’s is too dark. The two of them work against each other, trying to temper each other's attitude.

Superman wants to cheer up Batman to a certain extent, and Batman wants to make Superman aware that there is a darker world under what Superman normally sees. It’s fun to create banter between them. It was also fun to adapt the banter that was in the graphic novel, and we used a lot of it. Jeph’s words were so good, we just pulled dialogue directly from the pages of the novel.

Are you thinking of the cast’s voices when you're writing and, if so, does that help you write?

I’m definitely thinking of the actors' voices. Not to denigrate Superman and Batman, but this is Luthor's story. Luthor has more dialogue than either Batman or Superman. And frankly, I actually gave him even more dialogue in those long speeches because I was hoping Clancy Brown would get the part, which he did. It’s so pleasurable to
watch – and hear – Clancy do those Luthor lines, to watch Clancy's descent into madness. It just brought me back to the days when I got into this medium in the first place. Suddenly, I was just a 13-year-old with a movie camera having fun with my friends and doing these little movies. It had that same visceral pleasure for me. Tim (Daly) and Kevin (Conroy) are sensational, too – those were also the voices I had in mind while I was writing. But this really is Clancy's vehicle this time.

Do you remember your first experience with Superman and with Batman?

Easily. The reason I remember this so well is that when I started working on the show Superboy in Florida, I was flown to New York to meet Mike Carlin and Andy Helfer at DC Comics. And we talked for most of the day about the Superboy show and then they just casually mentioned, “Oh, by the way, we happen to have a library here of all the comics that DC has ever done.” Well, I got to go see it. I went into that library and found the very first two comics I'd ever gotten. One of them was an issue of Batman Detective Comics with a character called Garth, and it involved a crossbow being used to kill someone in an empty room. The strings had been held back by a cake of ice. And when the ice melted, the crossbow let go and killed the guy sitting in this deserted room. And the other one was a Superboy Adventure Comics
from August of '58, where Superboy played all the positions on a baseball team, thanks to his super speed. And I remember I'd been sick in the evening, and my father went out and got the medicine for me, and also picked up those two comic books. So it was kind of cool, almost like reaching into a time capsule, because I hadn't seen the comics in over 30 years.

What is your strength in this industry?

I think part of my strength is work habits. One of the lessons I learned from my very first job after film school was from Russ Meyer. He said that from the time you wake up 'til the time you go to sleep, when you’re on a show, the show owns you. You don't own the show. There's no going home at 6:00 at night. I have no idea if there's any creativity involved (he laughs), but I'm fairly certain that the conscientiousness might explain some of the longevity.

Which presents more challenges: writing an original Stan Berkowitz story or adapting someone else's work?

Doing an original presents more challenges. The adaptations are already there – the studio knows they want to do it. In both the case of New Frontier and Public Enemies, I was approached by the studio and asked if I wanted to adapt them. Getting your own thing off the ground is much, much more difficult because even in our little world of animation, the, pre-selling is an important factor. And in both the
case of New Frontier and Public Enemies, you had best-selling comics that the fans already knew.

What's the perfect environment for you to write in?

I like an empty room, and that's all I really need because there are absolutely no distractions. No TV, no internet, just a quiet room. It works for me. And it helps me to work faster. From the day they decided to do Public Enemies until the day that the first draft of the script was ready, it was exactly 60 days – which is really, really fast for a feature-length project.

When I started writing in film school, I'd have the TV on. Now I can't even have music on. It just has to be dead quiet with nobody around, nobody coming to bother me. It’s all about concentration. I can go for about two hours before I need a distraction, then I come back and go for another two hours. If you plan your whole day carefully, you can get in eight hours of work and probably six to seven pages of finished screenplay a day. There are other writers who can do 10 or 12, but they're probably burned out after about a week or two.

Beyond the narrative, are there any other key differences between Jeph Loeb's version and what we'll see in the movie?

I think the largest one involves what Superman is framed for. We just didn’t find it credible that the American public would believe that Superman was somehow drawing the meteor to Earth. We thought we needed something that made a little bit more sense.

My first instinct was to have Superman accused of an attempted murder on Metallo, and then have this whole thing where ultimately Metallo plays a key role by donating his skeleton to be the nose cone of the rocket. That didn’t work, and then Alan (Burnett) suggested having Metallo murdered and framing Superman for that. Then Alan asked the next question and answered it himself. “Why would anybody believe that
Superman had killed Metallo?” And the answer that Alan gave for why people would believe that Superman would kill was that Superman's mind was already being affected by the kryptonite radiation coming from the approaching meteor. Suddenly, the public is afraid that a crazed Superman could just go off the handle and kill anyone. I felt that that was a very effective way of framing Superman.

What’s the influence of Alan Burnett on the DC Universe films?

Alan Burnett has become an uber editor of all of the DCU DVDs, and hopefully that remains his role from now on. I started working for Alan in 1996 and, in my opinion, you could not ask for a better guy in that position. He’s almost always one of the few adults in the room. Inevitably, he'll come up with something that seems really small, but then changes the whole story and makes it work. The radiation effecting Superman’s mind is a perfect example. I never would have thought of that. But then here’s Alan sitting quietly and then saying something that fixes everything. That's what Alan does. His criticisms are always constructive. And you never, never see much ego involved – at least I haven’t in the past 12 years.

What it's like for you to hear your words take life in a recording session?

It’s fun, but it makes you appreciate just how good everyone else involved really is. For starters, Andrea (Romano) makes it look very, very simple, but I urge anyone who thinks it's simple to actually try to direct actors. It’s hard. Very hard. They speak a different language. We were working on an episode of Justice League, and I
happened to get to the recording session early and the only other person there already was the lead villain. We started chatting and, of course, the conversation turned to “How did you see this guy?” So I tell him my concept of the character. I swear to God, it took Andrea an hour of recording time to undo the damage I'd done because I spoke to him from the wrong perspective. An actor wants to know the internal emotional aspect of how the character feels, and I was describing the
character from the outside, as how you would see him.

I’ve been blessed in that Andrea is one of the few dialogue directors I’ve worked with since 1996. When you hear an actor – who’s either bad or who’s badly directed – doing your dialogue, you start thinking, “Oh my God, I'm a terrible writer.” And then you hear your words being directed by good director, working with good actors, and you say, “Hey, I'm good. I can write dialogue.” That's the pleasure of being in
a recording session for one of your scripts.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s
official website at

Stan Berkowitz wrote the script for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie, which is set for distribution September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video. (Photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)

U.S. President Lex Luthor claims an oncoming kryptonite meteor has driven Superman mad, leading the Man of Steel to commit murder in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. The DC Universe animated original movie will be distributed September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Bruce Wayne runs calculations in the Batcave, trying to stop an oncoming kryptonite meteor in the next DC Universe animated original movie, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29, 2009.

Silver Banshee is one of the dozens of super villains who try to capture the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie, which is set for distribution September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Superman is forced into one battle after another as both super heroes and super villains alike seek to capture the Man of Steel in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. The DC Universe animated original movie will be distributed September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

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Six Action-Packed Animated Features Come Together for the Very First Time
for an Incredible Price!

Street Date: 10/13/09
Order Date: 9/16/09
DVD SRP: $49.98

Marvel Enterprises and Lionsgate unveil the most exciting new gift of the holiday season with the very first compilation of the mightiest super heroes in the Marvel Universe with the DVD release of the Marvel Animation: 6 Film Gift Set. This complete collection is a must-have for comic fans everywhere as it includes all six of the Marvel full-length animated features currently released on DVD: Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Ultimate Avengers 2, The Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow and Hulk Vs. Each DVD is jam-packed with special features including games, first looks, trivia, concept art, featurettes and more that give fans of all ages intimate behind-the-scenes access to the creation of each film. The Marvel Animation: 6 Film Gift Set is available on DVD on October 13, 2009 for the suggested retail price of $49.98.

With over 4.1 million units sold to date, the compilation is being made available for an incredible price - a 48% savings vs. buying each DVD individually.

Get into the action with The Invincible Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America and more of the mightiest names in the Marvel® universe for this action-packed 6-DVD set of Marvel Animated Features – the first-ever animated full-length movies from Marvel! Bursting with the thrilling stories and animation that stay true to their comic book roots, these six films deliver the ultimate Marvel experience!

* Ultimate Avengers: The Movie: The extraordinary story of six very independent heroes who like it or not, must fight as one to save the world.

* Ultimate Avengers 2: To save humanity, the Earth’s mightiest heroes must join forces with the Black Panther for a rematch of heroic proportions.

* Doctor Strange: After awakening the gift of magic within him, Dr. Stephen Strange – the new Sorcerer Supreme – tests his powers against the most terrifying entity humankind has ever known.

* The Invincible Iron Man: It’s East meets West as a brutal 3,000-year-old dynasty is resurrected. Now Tony Stark must don an armored suit and become Iron Man to stand up against the risen emperor, the Mandarin.

* Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow: The teenage children of the original Avengers join forces with the Incredible Hulk to battle Ultron, the machine that defeated their parents.

* Hulk Vs.: There’s twice the carnage and action as Hulk clashes with two of his greatest adversaries, Wolverine and Thor! Two films included in one epic release: Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor.

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie:
• “Avengers Assemble” featurette
• The Ultimate Voice Talent Search
• What Avenger Are You? DVD-Rom game
• First Look at Ultimate Avengers 2
• Avengers Trivia Track

Ultimate Avengers 2:
• “The Ultimates” featurette
• The Ultimate Gag Reel
• First Look at The Invincible Iron Man
• First Look at Doctor Strange
• What Avenger are You? DVD-Rom game

The Invincible Iron Man:
• Alternate Opening Sequence
• “The Origin of Iron Man” featurette
• The Hall of Iron Man Armor
• Iron Man Concept Art
• A Look at Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange:
• The Best of Marvel Videogame Cinematics
• “Who is Doctor Strange?” featurette
• A First Look at Avengers Reborn
• Doctor Strange Concept Art

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow:
• “Legacy: The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow” featurette
• A First Look at “Hulk Vs. Wolverine”
• A First Look at “Hulk Vs. Thor”
• “Kid Power: Next-Gen Marvel” featurette

Hulk Vs.:
• Hulk Vs Wolverine: Audio Commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
• Hulk Vs Thor: Audio Commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
• “First Look – Wolverine and the X-Men” featurette
• “First Look – Thor: Tales of Asgard” featurette


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