NYCC: MARVEL - THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSE PANEL
Marvel Comics held their last major comic book panel of the weekend (and of the con overall), focusing on their Ultimate Universe, and we were there.
Panelists included host Joe Quesada, along with Brian Bendis, editor John Barber, and Mark Bagley.
Right of the bat, it was announced that the team from the Ultimate FF/X-Men specials - writer Mike Carey and artist Pascual Ferry - will be the new regular Ultimate Fantastic Four creative team following Mark Millar and Greg Land, beginning with issue #33.
Marvel showed several character designs from Ferry that will be used in their run…
Joe Quesada then announced that the Ultimate Annuals will return in 2006, with Brian Bendis adding that Mark Brooks will return to illustrate the Ultimate Spider-Man Annual, and will deal with the fallout of the "Warriors" arc.
The story will also feature Ultimate Daredevil, Punisher, and Moon Knight, as a corrupt Jean DeWolff puts Spidey in middle of a war between them.
Moon Knight writer Charlie Huston will write the Ultimates Annual, Quesada announced, though he did not give any further information about the story.
Ben Oliver will be doing art for the Ultimate X-Men edition.
Images were shown of upcoming Leinil Yu covers from Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine..."Yes, Wolverine does put himself back together after that first issue," Quesada noted.
After images were shown from upcoming issues of Ultimate X-Men and Spider-Man (below), the brief slide show ended and the panel moved right into Q&A...
"Never!" was Bendis' response when a member if the audience asked when Robert Kirkman will begin writing Ultimate Spider-Man. Although Mark Bagley, sitting beside Bendis quickly tossed in, "Robert? I'm dying to work with him!"
Quesada again reiterated that the Ultimate Universe will remain small - something he feels which only requires a minimal investment a month to get the entire Universe. After saying that, Quesada did add that there is a crossover coming between the titles later this year.
Later, Quesada said that Marvel gets great Ultimate pitches all the time, and they have to avoid the temptation to produce more series. He compared it to the early 90’s when every success was milked to death.
Quesada talked about Marvel Knights, and how the line was initially a huge success and Marvel Management (at the time) decided to stick a Knights logo on a Moon Knight series that had already been completed. Quesada & Palmiotti fought against it, marketing also sided with them, and they were able to keep the line under their control and, thus, special.
Asked what actually does carry over, continuity wise from Ultimate Team-Up, Bendis said that most is in continuity, noting the Hulk/Fury elements in particular, but that certain issues and small moments may not fit because they were still sketching out the feeling of the Ultimate Universe.
The Fantastic Four issue, he noted, was a total joke, should not be taken seriously, and is obviously an exception to that rule.
"90% of it is continuity," he concluded.
Ultimate Deadpool is a departure and complete reinvention of the “616” version, Bendis said, asking fans to open their minds to a reinterpretation of the character when he appears in Ultimate Spider-Man.
"I'll hear from you all online about it," he joked.
The Deadpool story arc will also have lots of X-Men appearances and content.
Ultimate Spider-Man #97 begins the “Ultimate Clone Saga” which runs through issue #104. While the arc will feature Kitty and Mary Jane prominently, Bendis said it will also feature versions of the Ultimate Scorpion and Ultimate Spider-Woman.
There are no immediate plan for Ultimate Ghost Rider.
Ultimate Gwen's death was done to show Peter that he has to protect his loved ones from the consequences of his life.
Bendis: “This is dangerous and somebody is going to get hurt” and forced Peter to question how involved he should be with MJ.
The aforementioned Ultimate crossover will play into Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira's Ultimates 3, specifically, Quesada said, in regards to the team members who make it onto the squad.
Asked how long Joe Madureira is signed on for the Ultimates 3, Quesada said that he has already started on the series, is on board for the run of the book, and while not much could be said, the Editor-in-Chief added that summer time will have announcements about how the series will work ("length and texture"), and will be the time for previewing artwork.
Asked about how Spider-Man relates to the Ultimates storyline, Bendis said that the decision was made to allow Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch to tell their story and then have Peter respond to it in regards to the new places the Ultimates characters end due to events in their own series.
That said, Bendis added that Spider-Man will interact more with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four shortly, due to Peter dating Kitty, and the coming Clone Saga storyline.
In regards to a return of the Ultimate Venom, Bagley revealed that Ultimate Venom originally had the Spider-symbol on this costume, but that Bendis disagreed with that.
Bendis said Venom will return, but that the story in Ultimate Spider-Man videogame was the Venom story for the year, and the team plans to let that story have some breathing room before he returns in the comic.
Asked about Mike Carey's Fantastic Four, Quesada declined to mention details, but rather pointed to the art, and suggested that things will be getting more cosmic.
When asked, Quesada said that Bryan Singer's Ultimate X-Men is still in the works, however, there's no timetable for a release.
When running down what Ultimate characters they would like to see, Marvel’s Jim McCann said that he'd like to see an Ultimate Cloak and Dagger. Bendis added that Candy Bowen (a.k.a. Dagger) does go to Peter Parker's high school.
"And is something of a slut, from what I understand," McCann quipped.
"Ah, Jim reads the fine print," Bendis fired back.
Bendis planning more to play up more high school elements of Ultimate Spider-Man. He talked about seeing a high school kid carrying a fake baby around for the week, and he loved that idea.
Finally, Bendis revealed that Ultimate Spider-Man #13 remains his favorite issue, and it really showed Marvel's support of him and of the series. He didn’t think that they’d go for having an entire issue take place in one room.
Bagley said that storytelling is about the emotion more than the minutiae of the detail. He didn’t break into comics until he was 27 and has “banged hammers” in past jobs, so he appreciates doing comics so much more. He said that delayed books hurt the readers’ enjoyment of the stories, so he considers it his job to keep the momentum going for the fans.
End of updated report...
More NYCC Coverage:
NYCC: DC/McFarlane Team for Batman/Spawn
NYCC: Marvel's Civil War - Whose Side Are You On Panel
NYCC: DC's Crisis Counseling - 52 Pick-up Panel
NYCC: DCU - Better Than Ever Panel
NYCC: Marvel's X-Men X-Changes Panel
NYCC: Joe Quesada's Cup 'O Joe Panel
NYCC: Vertigo Announces 3 New Projects
NYCC: Jim Lee Spotlight
NYCC: State of the Industry Panel
NYCC: Jim Lee on DC's MMO
NYCC: Tamora Pierce Signs with Marvel
NYCC: Mondo Marvel Panel
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