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Goodbye G4 TV, hello Esquire Network

G4 TV, the cable channel that until recently aired the comics-friendly Attack of the Show!, will be rebranded April 22 as Esquire Network.

Today’s official announcement comes less than two months after NBCUniversal and Esquire magazine owner Hearst Corporation closed a deal to move the focus of the network away from young male gamers to “today’s modern men.” G4 pulled the plug in December on its flagship series Attack of the Show! and X-Play, leaving the channel without any original studio programming.

Debuting with the launch of G4 in 2005, Attack of the Show! featured Blair Butler’s “Fresh Ink” segments, which featured comic reviews and occasional publishing announcements from Marvel. The series also broadcast live each year from Comic-Con International.

According to this morning’s announcement, “Esquire Network will expand on G4’s foundation of games, gear and gadgets to reflect the broad range of interests, passions and aspirations that define men today.” While the new channel will tackle gaming and technology, like its namesake magazine, program categories also will include entertainment, travel, food, fashion, women and more with a mixture of scripted and unscripted series, and movies and specials.

Among the shows on the lineup are original series Knife Fight, hosted by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall and executive produced by Drew Barrymore, and The Getaway, executive produced by Anthony Bordain, the return of American Ninja Warrior, and syndicated runs of NBC’s Parks and Recreation and Starz’s Party Down.

Graphicly to post free comics on G4’s Fresh Ink

Blair Butler reviews a stack of new comics every Friday on G4TV.com’s Fresh Ink Online, and now Graphicly is getting in on the act by providing one of those comics each week, for free, in an embedded comics reader.

They are starting with a demo of Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, but it’s not the whole comic, just a 5-page preview. Let’s hope the publishers aren’t too stingy with this and are willing to put up whole issues, as that would make the feature a lot more worthwhile.

Dubs, not subs! First look at Iron Man anime

We got to see the first episode of the Iron Man anime at New York Comic Con, but it was subtitled, not dubbed. Now Marvel has posted a clip of the dubbed version on their website, so you can hear for yourself what the voice actor playing Tony Stark sounds like.

The anime will start running on the G4 network on July 29.

Invincible Iron Man #25 to feature new character, Hammer Industries

G4’s Blair Butler shares some Iron Man comic news in the latest edition of Fresh Ink, which unfortunately stops playing about 45 seconds in … and right when she’s talking about the big news. The video is working now!

What she does reveal, however, is that a new character named Detroit Steel will be introduced in Invincible Iron Man #25, just as Hammer Industries returns to the comic. (Hammer Industries will play a role in the second Iron Man film). The company is now run by Justine Hammer, Justin Hammer’s daughter, who you may remember was under the Crimson Cowl hood in Thunderbolts some years back. I think Justin Hammer was last seen being shot into space in a block of ice, in the Bad Blood mini-series … although maybe he made a return and I just missed it.

Here’s the video:

What is Jonathan Hickman’s new Marvel project?

Jonathan Hickman's new series at Marvel

Jonathan Hickman's new series at Marvel

Marvel.com has posted a teaser image for a new project by writer Jonathan Hickman, the details of which will be revealed today on G4‘s Attack of the Show. It comes on at 7 p.m. Eastern, so set your Tivos.

Update: the cover shown above is by Gerald Parel.

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Bendis: Dark Reign-ending Siege starts in December

Siege: The Cabal

Siege: The Cabal

In an extensive interview with Attack of the Show‘s Blair Butler, Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis confirms that Marvel’s “Dark Reign” storyline will come to an end with a “big Marvel event” called Siege. It starts in December with a one-shot called Siege: The Cabal, which is followed in January by a four-issue Siege series.

Michael Lark will draw the Cabal one-shot, while Olivier Coipel will draw Siege. Both are written by Bendis. He says the storyline will bring a “seismic shift” in the Avengers titles on the level of what happened in Avengers: Disassembled and will reunite Thor, Iron Man and Captain America.

Siege was just one of several subjects Butler asked Bendis about; he also talked about Powers, various Marvel films, Fortune & Glory‘s 10th anniversary edition and much more. Check out the second part of the interview below (he talks about Siege at the very end) and go here to find the first half.

Also be sure to check out Dave Richards’ interview with Bendis on Dark Avengers over on the main CBR site.

Five things a movie fan should do in San Diego

Iron Man 2 principal shooting wraps

Jon Favreau

Between panels, autographs, world premieres, sneak previews, merchandise, booths and meeting other fans, the San Diego Comic Con offers a full plate for the movie fan. Here are six things — a small sampling, really — for the movie fan to do at the con:

1. Check out some clips from Iron Man 2: I haven’t seen any announcements about who exactly will be at the Iron Man 2 panel yet, but no doubt with principal photography finished up, a few of the folks involved probably have an opening in their schedule. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke or any of the other cast members show up for the con. And no doubt they’ll bring something cool to show the audience. (4-5 p.m. Saturday, Hall H).

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Top Cow’s third pilot season to feature Kirkman/Silvestri creations

On G4’s Attack of the Show yesterday, Blair Butler announced that Top Cow’s bringing back their Pilot Season competition, where they throw five comics into the octagon and let them battle it out (via fan voting) to see which two will go on to become mini-series. The twist this time around is that all five of them will be co-created by Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri, as detailed in this video:

No word on when the third Pilot Season competition starts. Last year’s winners were Twilight Guardian by writer Troy Hickman and artist Reza, and Genius by writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman and artist Afua Richardson.

Kathryn Immonen, Sara Pichelli to take over Runaways [Update]

Runaways #11

Runaways #11

To make its latest creative-team announcement, Marvel Comics turned to television — specifically, G4’s Attack of the Show.

In yesterday’s episode, host Blair Butler announced that writer Kathryn Immonen (Patsy Walker: Helcat) and artist Sara Pichelli (NYX) will pick up Runaways after Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos end their run in April. David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-Man) will provide the covers.

Butler showed glimpses of art from the premiere issue and teased, “Marvel promises that one Runaway will die in the new story arc, and one might live again.”

Presumably the new team debuts with Issue 11, whose creative lineup and content is listed as “classified” in the solicitations for June.

You can watch Butler’s “Fresh Ink” segment after the break.

Update: Lafuente posts links on Twitter to his covers for issues 11 and 12.

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