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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There's turning out to be quite a bit of 'X' so far in Yanick Paquette's exclusive contract with Marvel Comics.

Following his run on the four-issue Civil War: X-Men series, Paquette is now drawing in the Ultimate Universe -- but staying with the X-Men.

With artist Ben Oliver having a baby, Paquette chipped in on Ultimate X-Men #77 and he will be drawing a two-issue story -- and covers -- for Ultimate X-Men #79 and #80.

"Something happens at the end of the 'Cable' arc and these two issues are the after-effect," Paquette said, taking a brief respite from sketches at his table at Mid-Ohio-Con on Saturday.

In fact, the story, which begins in February, is called "Aftermath."

"It's a slow story and something of a challenge in that everybody isn't in costume," Paquette said. "I'm trying to draw it as entertainingly as possible. Robert Kirkman wrote an excellent script."

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"After the devastating events of the previous few issues, the X-Men must deal with their loss and move forward...but is everything as it seems? And how will the X-Men's foes react to their emerging status quo? Who lives? Who leaves? And what is...the Shadow King?"

Paquette has already completed his fill-in work on Ultimate X-Men #77. In addition to dipping his toes in the Ultimate waters, he said he had another challenge. "Reference wise, you have to be very close to the other art," he said.

After working with such writers as Alan Moore (Terra Obscura) and Grant Morrison (Seven Soldiers: The Bulleteer) at DC Comics, Paquette was announced as a Marvel exclusive in March, raising a few eyebrows with a three-year deal.

It's true that Paquette was an X-Men reader as a youth. And he voiced his affection for the characters when Marvel announced his exclusivity.

But ask Paquette why he decided to go to Marvel, he's as direct as a blast from Cyclops.

"I'm trying to establish credibility," he said. "To go out there and make my name, so that my name will sell a book.

"If Civil War: X-Men was drawn by a monkey, it would have sold. This is what I needed to do. I worked with some great writers and some great inkers at DC, but I need that extra something, that spark.

"And what's better than X-Men?"

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