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THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2006

MARVEL PRESS CONFERENCE: TOM DEFALCO

Despite the pending cancellation of Spider-Girl, there will be more digest collections of the book as well as new Spider-Man Family projects.

The announcements came during Marvel Comics' latest telephone press conference, featuring Tom DeFalco, writer of Spider-Girl and the upcoming Last Planet Standing mini-series featuring the MC2 Uuniverse.

Following are highlights:

* Spider-Girl #100, threated with cancellation numerous times, is scheduled to be the series finale. "We may finally, possibly be drawing to an end," DeFalco. "Since I've faced the end so many time, I don't believe it."

DeFalco said the book was originally meant to run 12 issues, but he kept getting requests for six more issues. "Our 'six mores' are going to finally run out with issue 100," he said.

* DeFalco said that Last Hero Standing sold twice Spider-Girl numbers, leading to another big MC2 event, Last Planet Standing.

"We knocked together a bunch of ideas," DeFalco said. "There hasn't been a really exciting cosmic story in Marvel for years, so we decided to do something that would knock peoples' socks off. Of course, we didn't know about Annihilation at the time."

* DeFalco said the story will deal with the evolution of Galactus and the sacrifices necessary for him to move on to the next level. "In this case, it's the whole universe," DeFalco said.

* The final five pages of the mini-series aren't decided yet, DeFalco said. "We can one or two ways," he said. "This universe can't live without Spider-Girl; life simply is not as much fun. So I'm betting on a happy ending."

* Spider-Girl really can't exist in the Marvel Universe, DeFalco said. He said that putting May Parker in the Marvel U would be a "fish out of water" story with a "closed door at the end."

* Personal situations with the creators bogged down Last Hero Standing, DeFalco said, and left artist Pat Olliffe unimpressed with his art. He vowed to do better for Last Planet Standing.

"I don't know how he did it, but this is so head and shoulder above what he has done," DeFalco said.

Spider-Girl has been a creative dream assignment, DeFalco said. "Nobody has interfered with us," he said. "Our editors have alway been so supportive and allow me and the team to do what we want, unless it's really, totally stupid."

* David Gabriel said Marvel plans on continuing its MC2 digests, with A-Next in August and Fantastic Five late this year or early next.

He also noted that the Spider-Man Family one-shot did "surprisingly well" and another is planned for August, with more after that. The 25th anniversary of a Spider-Man event will be the feature story of the next one.

* Asked if he has written the story he planned when he knew Spider-Girl would be done, DeFalco said, "Once I write that story, I'm done, so I have no comment on that."

* DeFalco said part of Spider-Girl's longevity, despite being an all-ages books, was that "we looked like a regular Marvel comic."



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