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Friday, November 4, 2005


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ultimates artist Bryan Hitch said he has extended his exclusive agreement with Marvel Comics through 2009.

Hitch appeared at Marvel's panel Friday at Wizard World Texas, along with editor Nick Lowe and artist Steve McNiven.

"I have a whole list of projects I've planned," Hitch said.

His first project will be on a grand scale and will be set in the Marvel Universe. "I'll have one year's lead time," Hitch said.

In other news from the panel:

* Mike Deodato Jr. is the new artist for the New Avengers, starting with #17.

* McNiven said he has a project lined up following his run on New Avengers, but he wasn't at liberty to provide details. "I would like to be on a title for more than 3-4 issues," he said.

* Lowe said Nextwave, the series by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen, will be ongoing, contrary to previous published reports.

"It will continue as long as Warren wants it to," said Lowe, who said he has already received scripts through #9.

Look for Fin Fang Foom to appear in the book. "He's wearing the purple underpants we all know and love," Lowe said.

* Astonishing X-Men will resume in February.

* The second Ultimate Iron Man mini-series is tentatively targeted for June.

* The third volume of Ultimates -- by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira -- will start about a year after the events of the second volume. "There's going to be a gap after where we leave to give Jeph some space," Hitch said. "We're going to leave a great deal of destruction."

* Lowe on Hawkeye: "I can't say what the future of Hawkeye will be, but (Brian) Bendis will likely be handling it."

* Lowe said Spider-Girl has been doing well in digest sales at book stores and that the title is "pretty safe."

* Lowe said there are plans for another Defenders series by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire.

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