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Sunday, August 10, 2003


ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Salvador Larroca, the new artist of Uncanny X-Men, has signed a four-year exclusive with Marvel Comics, it was announced Saturday at the X-Men panel at Wizard World Chicago.

"I always felt like the company was family," Larroca said. "I wanted the chance to show readers my version of the characters that I love."

Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada praised Larroca's work ethic and his prolific output. He said he hopes to get 12 issues of Uncanny X-Men a year from Larroca and perhaps some additional outside projects occasionally.

Larroca said he will be inked by Danny Miki on Uncanny. "I love his stuff when he inks," Larroca said. "I'm trying for a different look."

One of the new artist's first stories will deal with Angel.

In other news from the panel:

* The Storm graphic novel by Chris Claremont and Igor Kordey will now run as four 40-page stories in X-Treme X-Men in January.

* Mark Robinson, a discovery at Wizard World Philadelphia, will draw New Mutants #5-6. Carlo Barbeiri will be the regular artist beginning with #7.

* Quesada re-emphasized that color will be coming back into the X-Men costumes. He asked the crowd if Wolverine should wear a mask, and the result was pretty close to a 50/50 split.

* Quesada said he isn't in a rush to replace DC exclusive Greg Rucka as Wolverine writer because he has more than a year's worth of Rucka stories coming. Similarly, Quesada said there won't be an immediate announcement on the replacement of Grant Morrison as writer of New X-Men.

"We have big X-Men plans," Quesada said. "But it's way too early to announce."

* Quesada said there will be "significant changes" in the world of mutants.

* Mr. Sinister will return in Weapon X #14. Quesada said to look for several big X-Men villains to return, possibly Apocalypse.

* Paul Jenkins is writing Wolverine: The End, a six-issue series that begins in November. Jenkins said that the series will quickly deal with the Sabretooth/Wolverine relationship. He also said there will be a second Origin series.

* Mystique will be traveling to South Africa for the next arc in her title, writer Brian K. Vaughan said.

* Ron Garney is drawing the two-issue "Trial of Juggernaut" story arc in Uncanny X-Men as Juggernaut faces the repercussions of past transgressions. Austen said Juggernaut will not return to his former levels of power.

* Quesada said that NYX shows young mutants outside the Academy environment. "These are kids who slipped by the wayside and have to form their own family," Quesada said. "They really don't have any adult figures. In NYX, these kids find themselves."

* Austen said he might explore the relationship with between Cyclops and Havok once Morrison's run on New X-Men is over. He also said that Stacy X is "pretty much gone" and there are plans "being discussed" about Blink.

* Look for more X-Men ties in X-Statix, and the team to face off against another established Marvel group. The original X-Force also will be showing up.

* Editor Marc Sumerak said that the new Cable/Deadpool series was a way to "get these two characters back on stage." He said that writer Fabian Nicieza has found an "interesting way" to get the two disparate characters together. Marvel also released Rob Liefield's cover to Cable/Deadpool #1.

* Sumerak said to look out for revelations concerning Maverick and Agent Zero in Weapon X and that Chamber will be "popping up somewhere."

* Editor C.B. Cebulski said some of Capcom's artists will be working in the X-Men Universe.

* Austen said there are no plans to put Xavier back in his wheelchair or deal with the third Summers brother issue.

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