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Thursday, February 9, 2006


Marvel Comics on Thursday staged a telephone news conference for its upcoming Annihilation event. Featured guests were editor Andy Schmidt and writer Keith Giffen.

Here's a rundown of the highlights:

* Annihilation: Prologue, a 48-page book on March 15, kicks off the event, followed by four four-issue mini-series featuring Silver Surfer, Super Krull, Nova and Ronan the Accuser. Then, in August, comes the six-issue Annihilation mini-series.

Giffen is writing Prologue, Silver Surfer and Annihilation.

* Schmidt on why Annihilation happened: "Basically this all started with a conversation with Joe Quesada and Dan Buckley and Keith Giffen about the cosmic characters from the 70s and trying to reinvent them, not change them wildly, but dust them off, bring them to the forefront and make them cool again."

* Giffen said he was an easy sell on the series. "When Andy first approached me, I was for it," he said. "I always loved the Marvel cosmic characters, and when they said why they were doing it, to show that the characters were so cool, I was sold."

* Giffen said you'll be seeing a lot of characters and that every time he thinks he's finalized a list, Schmidt calls with another character.

* Schmidt said the idea is to make Annihilation reader friendly. "The idea is not to confuse readers or make them buy every book we publish," Schmidt said. "I did everything I could to make every mini-series separate, hoping this will be a reader friendly event and have a lot of ccol stuff for old0time fans such as Keith and myself."

* Giffen said there will be "sweeping change" that affects any Marvel character that will leave Earth.

* Giffen said his goal was to introduce characters in the first issue as if the reader was seeing them for the first time.

* Why the four specific characters for the mini-series? "A lot of it has to do with pesonal taste," Schimdt said. "Super Skrull has been cool for a long time, and he needed the time to shine on his own. There's were also story choices and we wanted to bring new things to mix. Super Skrull and Ronan, while they have been around for a long time, they haven't been cosmic players."

* Asked how Annihilation wll differ from other character, Giffen said, "These characters are sill pretty fresh. In a way, it's still virign territory."

* Giffen said the Silver Surfer mini-series will point the character into a new direction. "There will be major changes to the character's status quo," he said. "I'm not a big fan of a guy who has that kind of cosmic and is laying on his board whining. That's boring." He said he likes the idea of a proactive, dangerous Silver Surfer.

* There will be an Annihilation: Prologue Sketch Variant Edition.

* Giffen: "Keep your eye on Gamora."

* Annihilation will not tie into Civil War.

* Giffen: "This is about how the war effects people involved. This is not death without after-effect."

* Click on the thumbnails above for larger images.

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