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FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2006


PHILADELPHIA -- Greg Pak is following up X-Men: Phoenix -- Endsong with another mini-series, X-Men: Phoenix -- Warsong, it was announced Friday at Marvel's X-Men panel at Wizard World Philadelphia.

The five-issue mini-series will launch in September and feature art by Top Cow's Tyler Kirkham.

Pak said the story "is not going to be another Jean Grey resurrection."

"It's too early for her to come back in terms of her character and the Phoenix force," Pak said.

"What was going on in the last page of Phoenix -- Endsong, you're going to find out."

Pak said fans of the Grant Morrison X-Men run should enjoy the mini-series.

"We're going to get into soeme pretty dark corners," Pak said.

The story will involve the Stepford Cuckoos from Morrison's run as a tiny fragment of the Phoenix approaches the group.

Marc Silvestri will provide covers for the mini-series.

Look for comments from Kirkham soon here in The Continuum.

In other highlights from the panel, which at times strayed from the X-Men theme:

* Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada on Joss Whedon's current story arc in Astonishing X-Men: "By the end of this arc, he will redefine Kitty Pryde."

He noted the series is definitely in continuity but "walks between the raindrops" of current events.

* Quesada said X-Men #190 sports his "favorite cover of the year."

* C.B. Cebulski, writer of X-Men: Fairy Tales: "I was really nervous about how it would be received, but the reaction has been fantastic."

* X-Men: First Class is an eight-issue mini-series by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz that chronicles the early days of the X-Men.

Covers for the series are by Marko Djurdjevic, a video-game designer whose work Quesada was introduced to through fans online. "He's a terrific artist," Quesada said.

* Quesada said there have been discussions regarding de-powered mutants. "Some of the younger ones are quite popular," he said. "We're considering our options, but are not quite there yet."

* Quesada said he enjoyed X-Men: The Last Stand. "I went into it expecting nothing and got quite a fun rollercoaster ride," he said.

* Top Cow's Mike Choi will be drawing a new X-23 mini-series, written by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle. The story will bridge the gap between Weapon X and NYX.

* Quesada said that New X-Men -- by Yost, Kyle and Paco Medina -- is a book deserving of a wider readership. He said that the title will become more important in the X-Men universe.

Above are two pages from New X-Men #27 and the cover to New X-Men #28.

* Tony Bedard will continue as writer of Exiles in Claremont's place. Marvel displayed the cover to September's Exiles #76.

* Juan Doe provided the cover for the first issue of Civil War: X-Men. Above is a two-page spread from the first issue.

* Quesada said Damon Lindelof has some down time from his duties on ABC's Lost and is "feverishly" writing Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk.

* Chris Claremont's GeNext is on the back burner while he recovers from recent heart trouble. Quesada said that Mike Marts recently visited Claremont, who is mending well and will stage a slow return.

* Cable will be involved in X-Men, but editor John Barber said that Cable/Deadpool will continue and keep its current tone.

* Barber said that idea of Ultimate Deadpool returning "has been broguht up."

* Quesada was asked if he would like to see Marvel do a weekly comic like DC's 52.

"It's possible, but I don't see any reason to do it right now," he said. "It's got to be story-driven. Our game plan is our game plan, and if DC wants to do a weekly book, God bless 'em."

Added editor Tom Brevoort: "It's not an experiment if we do what the other guys do."

* Quesada said Wolverine: Origins will be tying back into the regular Wolverine series.

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