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MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2006


LOS ANGELES -- New series featuring The Punisher and a new Ant-Man were announced Saturday at Marvel Comics' Civil War panel at Wizard World Los Angeles.

The Punisher War Journal, written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Ariel Olivetti, will launch in August. The series will not take the place of the continuing MAX Punisher book, but will take place firmly in the Marvel Universe.

"It's going to be pretty intense," Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said.

The Irredeemable Ant-Man begins in August, from Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester and Ande Park.

"He's the most dislikeable hero in the history of comics," Quesada said.

In other highlights from the panel:

* Zeb Wells will be writing Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways, a four-issue mini-series drawn by Stefano Caselli. Quesada said that New Avengers writer Allan Heinberg and Runaways writer Brian K. Vaughan will consult on the series.

* Bendis said Alex Maleev's art for New Avengers: Illuminati "looks like a European graphic novel."

* She-Hulk will be torn over Civil War, with the Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk sides of personality different over the registration isue.

* Quicksilver returns in X-Factor #8-9.

* Civil War: Frontline with ship twice a month over five months.

* Quesada said that Civil War will have a body count, and then editor Tom Brevoort added, "We'll be doing worse things to characters than killing them."

* Brian Michael Bendis said that Civil War will ravage the New Avengers. "Someone wins and someone loses," he said. "This isn't a thing where they hug at the end."

* Brevoort said that Daredevil will play a role in Civil War, and Bendis added he will appear in New Avengers.

* Iron Man #13-14 will tie into Civil War as the title catches up with events in the Marvel Universe.

* Bendis said Nick Fury's return is imminent. "The reason he's gone underground is a big part of what's going on in the Marvel Universe," Bendis said.

* Quesada said there are plans for Heroes for Hire after Civil War.

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