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Mark Bagley has announced he is departing as artist of Marvel Comics' Ultimate Spider-Man, but writer Brian Michael Bendis said he has no intentions to leave the book.

"It's an amazing job, and I'm not leaving," Bendis said during a Marvel press conference on Thursday in conjunction with Ultimate Spider-Man's upcoming 100th issue. "They'll pry it from my cold, dead hands."

Although Bagley will still be around for nearly a year, Bendis indicated that his replacement has already been chosen in discussing his plans for the title.

"When we announce who the artist is, it's definitely not an attempt to imitate Mark. That would be insulting to Mark," Bendis said. "We've found someone who can do the workload and do it well."

Bendis would not elaborate on who the artist is.

Following the current "Clone Saga," Bendis said there will be a lot of fallout, so he can't be too specific about upcoming events.

He did say a story will follow the end of Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2, where Daredevil and Moon Knight talk about taking out the Kingpin. "It's sort of a Marvel Knights-y gathering of heroes," he said, adding that it will lock the Ultimate Spider-Man video game more into the comic book.

In other highlights from the call:

* Asked what character he would like most to do an Ultimate version of, Bendis said, "Jessica Jones." He said in the original Alias series he had Jessica and Peter Parker as high-school classmates and he feels that's something he could still explore.

* Bendis said he will be introducing original costumed characters in upcoming months.

* Upcoming stories will likely be contained within the Ultimate Spider-Man titles, Bendis said, noting readers will probably appreciate that after Marvel's Civil War event.

* Bendis said that "Clone Saga" will touch upon previous storypoints and will be rewarding for longtime readers, but will stand on its own for new readers.

Although it won't match the seemingly never-ending Marvel Universe version of the story, Bendis said that "Clone Saga" will be Ultimate Spider-Man's longest arc by two issues.

* Scarlet Spider won't be showing up in "Clone Saga." Bendis said he's enjoyed the online speculation about where the story is going.

* Kitty Pryde will not be disappearing from Peter Parker's world. "Absolutely not," Bendis said. "Why make it easy for Peter?"

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