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Friday, August 9, 2003

WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO: ULTIMATE MARVEL PANEL

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- An Ultimate Fantastic Four title, co-written by Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Adam Kubert, will launch in December, it was announced at Marvel's Ultimate Universe panel at Wizard World Chicago on Friday.

The book's launch will be part of a month Marvel is calling "Ultimate Starts." The month will include The Ultimates starting with a new #1 in a second volume, a new arc starting with a double-sized Ultimate Spider-Man #50 and the appearance of the Ultimate versions of Angel, Dazzler, Havok and Forge in Ultimate X-Men #44.

Bendis and Millar said that teaming up on the book has been a challenging - and rewarding process.

"It's an awesome idea to be mixing Mark's story telling and my character moments mixed in," Bendis said.

"It's quite unlike anything we've done separately, but it's been very organic," Millar said.

The first cover and character designs for Ultimate Fantastic Four will be done by The Ultimates artist Bryan Hitch. The book is being inked by Danny Miki and colored by Dave Stewart.

The team's origin won't rely on the space race, but will center around Reed Richards.

"It's not so much a change, as it is a reworking from the ground up," Millar said.

The writers were reluctant to give away any story details, although they confirmed Doctor Doom would be in the book. When asked about Galactus and the Silver Surfer, Millar smiled and said, "Maybe."

In other news from the panel:

* After the story in Ultimate X-Men #44-45, David Mack will co-write the book with Bendis, Mack then takes over as sole writer with #51. David Finch is slated to remain artist.

* Bendis said he has a "pinky pact" with artist Mark Bagley to have longer run on Ultimate Spider-Man that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had on Fantastic Four. "But we'll do it faster," Bagley noted.

* Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said a script for the sixth issue of Ultimate Adventures has been turned in, as has the art for #5.

* Millar said The Ultimates artist Bryan Hitch is "drawing like a madman" on a five-pages per week schedule. He said he hopes to get the title on a five-week schedule for the second volume.

* Millar said the Hulk will be back. "I had an idea for the return of the Hulk, and it was the worst-taste thing," he said. "I told it to Warren Ellis and he said, 'You can't do that.'"

* Quesada was asked about the Ultimate Universe replacing the Marvel Universe. "Right now, both universes seem to coexist," he said. "Right now, I don't see a world where we need to cut one world to serve the other."

* Carnage will make his Ultimate debut in Ultimate Spider-Man. "Carnage is someone you've seen before in an Ultimate book," Bendis said.

* Bendis said Ultimate Spider-Man #53 will feature a "catfight" between the Black Cat and Elektra.

* Millar said he has plans to work with Hitch after their planned 26-issue run of The Ultimates is over. Millar also said he will be working in the Marvel Universe.


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