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Spider-Man 3 Blue Embossed Wastebasket (MAY PRE-ORDER)


PHILADELPHIA -- Wizard World Philadelphia guest of honor Brian Michael Bendis took center stage on Saturday morning for his own panel, which included a few announcements.

Bendis was accompanied by editor Tom Brevoort, artist Alex Maleev and marketing's Jim McCann.

Following are highlights:

* Bendis opened the panel showing Alex Maleev's art from the ongoing Halo: Uprising series. He said it was the first time the art was shown and that it could not be reproduced online on in print.

"It's half-computer and half-drawn by hands," Maleev said, adding that Halo takes him twice as long per page as he needed for Daredevil.

Maleev said he went to great lengths to make his art faithful to the game.

"I'm very excited about this and I think it's Alex's best work," Bendis said. "It's very cool to be writing hard-core science fiction."

* Bendis said hehas re-signed his exclusive contract with Marvel. "It's a multi-year, multi-faceted deal," Bendis said.

* Bendis talked about the ending of New Avengers #31, which revealed that Elektra was a Skrull. He said the point was that something has happened in the Marvel Universe.

"And the argument will be, 'Is it an isolated incident? Or have we been at war didn't know it?'" Bendis said.

He added that supsicions are raised because there have been suspect behavior and actions in the Marvel Universe.

* The Skrull story will be connected with the events of Annihilation. "It's not a situation where they want Earth, but they need Earth and religiously believe it to be theirs," Bendis said, adding he always knew the plans of Annihilation and it dovetails perfectly into his story.

* Asked about comparisons to Battlestar Galactica, Bendis noted that the Skrulls have been around long before the television series and that he turned in his plans for New Avengers before the SciFi series began.

* What about Jessica's baby? "This is a good question," Bendis said. "The point of that page is whether it's a Skrull baby or Jessica's a Skrull or Luke's a Skrull, is that any living thing could be a Skrull."

Bendis said that if last year's theme was "Whose side are you on?," this year theme is "Who do you trust?"

* Bendis said the new information will be played out for the next few months, leading to a bigger thing. "The bigger thing's going to involve a lot more characters and that will be for next year," Bendis said. "A lot of Kree and Skrull characters will be affected."

* Bendis said there might be "sleeper cell Skrulls."

* Bendis said that his new exclusive contract allows him the time to do an expansive story. He said if readers go back to previous issues, they might find hints that they didn't see before.

* Bendis said that "anybody with a wobbily resurrection is very suspect" of being a Skrull.

* Asked about Hulking and Captain Marvel, Bendis said to look at New Avengers: Illuminati #4 and next year for involvement of such characaters.

* The Skrull story will pour into Mighty Avengers "very quickly."

* Mark Bagley is drawing a Mighty Avengers arc. "A symbiote virus hits New York City," Bendis said.

* Bendis said having Stuart Immonen replace Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man was "one of the hardest and best decisions" Marvel has made.

* In Ultimate Spider-Man, "The Talk" is a story where Aunt May and Peter have the long talke because Aunt May has discovered his identity. "The genie has not been put back in a bottle and the relationship will have change," Bendis said.

"Death of a Goblin" is next. "You won't believe what happens at the end," Bendis said.

* After "Death of a Goblin," there will be a story teaming Spider-Man with Iceman and Firestar. "I always wanted to Ultimate Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends," Bendis said.

"Firestar is someone in the book who's already existing. Poor MJ -- she's not MJ."

* Ultimate Origin is a new mini-series, described by Bendis as "a long-promised telling of what made the Ultimate Universe the Ulitmate Universe."

Origins for characters such as Nick Fury, the Hulk, Captain America and more will be told. "The suprirses will be who knew each other from when and how," Bendis said.

The art is by Butch Guice, with covers by Simone Bianchi.

"There is information in this story you'll need for a Jeph Loeb story next year," Bendis said. "I promise you, you're going to find out everytihing."

* Bendis said he and Maleev are doing four double-sized issues for Halo, but will move on to Spider-Woman and a creator-owned project for Icon.

* Asked about Luke Cage, Brevoort said there will be a MAX mini-series "that's kind of fun, kick of wacky" and there have been discussions for an ongoing, but Marvel is trying to find the right creators.

Bendis said Cage will have "a lot of face time" in Avengers.

* Asked about a Daredevil/Batman crossover, Bendis said, "There's no good reason why it can't be done financially or creative and it's a damn shame it can't be done."

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