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MALIBU COMICS' 'PROTECTORS NO. 5' TO FEATURE DEMISE OF SUPER-HERO 'NIGHT MASK'

 Unique Comic Book to be Printed With Force Beam' Hole
 Through Entire Issue
 LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Representing one of the most ambitious releases in the history of Malibu Comics, the much- anticipated new edition of the highly successful "Protectors" comic book line will feature the death of the series' "Night Mask" super- hero, it was revealed today by Scott Rosenberg, president of Malibu Comics. Reflecting the method by which the character perishes, "Protectors No. 5" will be printed with a special "force beam" hole through the entire publication, a first in the annals of the comic book publishing industry.
 Available this week at newsstands, comic book retail stores and other specialty outlets nationwide, "Night Mask" -- one of a group of super-heroes working as the "Protectors" for the U.S. government -- is lured into a trap by the team's arch enemy, Mr. Monday. At the end of the issue, "Night Mask" is killed by a "force beam" as his father -- once "Masked Marvel," a crime-fighter in an actual 1940s comic book of the same name -- looks on helplessly via a closed- circuit television which has been set up by his son's murderer.
 Although visually unprecedented by virtue of its front to back cover "force beam" hole, the new issue of "Protectors" is particularly noteworthy for actually marking the death of a comic book character at the height of his popularity. Moreover, and apparently unlike the recent "death" of Superman (announced after the current "Protectors" storyline was determined), the demise of "Night Mask" does not allow for the possibility of the character's resurrection in future issues.
 Written by R.A. Jones, illustrated by Thomas Derenick and edited by Roland Mann, "Protectors" was launched as a limited "mini-series" last August but soon expanded to a regular comic book series by popular demand. The full-color line has already spawned several off- shoot publications concerning individual members of the "Protectors" team and will be featured both in its own toy line with Toy Company of America (TCA) and as part of a new line of just-announced Malibu Comics trading cards in association with Skybox.
 "Protectors" revolves around the adventures of a group of super- heroes enlisted by the government with a mandate not to kill but to nevertheless stop Earth's most heinous villain, the metallic-suited Mr. Monday, who is equipped with a special helmet able to project deadly "force beams."
 Unlike his "Protectors" counterparts, "Night Mask" (a.k.a. Richard Reinhart) does not possess supra-normal powers and therefore finds himself vulnerable to the diabolical Mr. Monday in the forthcoming issue.
 Malibu Comics, a division of the multimedia Malibu Comics Entertainment, is a privately held company based in Westlake Village, Calif., which has rapidly evolved into one of the largest and most successful comic book publishers in North America. In addition to publishing a variety of super-hero-based comics, the company is also responsible for popular titles spanning such areas as humor, science fiction, film and television adaption, horror and fantasy.
 Most recently, Malibu Comics scored a coup by securing the comic book publication rights for the new Paramount Television series, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," which premiered last month in syndication.
 -0- 2/1/93 R
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Copies of "Protectors" are available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Peter Berk of The Lippin Group/LA, 213-965-1990, or Mitch Zamarin of The Lippin Group/NY, 212-986-7080, both for Malibu Comics/


CO: Malibu Comics ST: California IN: PUB SU:

MS-LS -- LA011 -- 5511 02/11/93 08:17 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1993
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