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SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007


By Ernie Estrella

SAN DIEGO --Marvel Comics unveiled its plans for shaking up the Ultimate Universe at a panel at Comic-Con International on Saturday. Attending the panel were Jeph Loeb, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada and David Finch

Here are the highlights: * Ultimate Power #7-9, by Loeb and Greg Land. are very important issues that will begin the drastic change within the Ultimate universe.

* The Loeb/Jeph Madureira Ultimates 3 will launch in Decmeber and will be five issues. After discussing with Quesada, Loeb said a volume does not need to have a set amount of issues or time period. Loeb wants to format Ultimates in five to six issue volumes so that the stories come out more regularly and there are no dead spots waiting to reach a specific number or time.

"By the end of Ultimates 3 you will realize why everything has to end and that end is... Ultimatum," Loeb said.

"Then starting in May 2008 is a six-part story drawn by David Finch that will start in Ultimate FF and cross over into Ultimate X-Men and will bounce back and forth for three months. In Ultimatum you will find out who is giving the ultimatum, what the ultimatum is, and how that pays off. Things will change forever. Expect the unexpected."

* Ultimate Origins, by Brian Michael Bendis and newly exclusive Butch Guice. Bendis said it will explain the beginnings of many Ultimate characters.

"We put a lot of ideas in a box when we were in the early stages of creating the Ultimate universe and referenced them over the past few years but never showed Xavier and Magneto's earliest days, we never showed Cap's origin, Wolverine's origin or the Hulk's origin," he said. "We did hint that the fact that everything is connected.

"In the third issue of Marvel Team-Up #3 where Banner says to to Peter, 'You don't get it, do you? It's all connected.' What we're doing is that we're revealing all to you. Every issue is half full of stuff you didn't know about characters' origins, factoids, and the whole century in how the Ultimate world came to be."

Ultimate Origins will last at least five issues maybe up to seven issues. It takes place modern day and looks to the past to determine the future. Simone Bianchi will do the covers.

* Quesada endorsed Finch one of the best three modern-day pencilers in the business who put out regular work.

* Ultimates Vol. 3 will have two covers that form a large image. One cover has all of the heroes. The other has the new Ultimate Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, including Venom.

* Ultimate Scarlet Witch's mother will be reveal in Ultimates 3 #3.

* Ultimate Spider-Woman will be coming back.

* There are possible plans for Captain Marvel in the Ultimate universe.

* Bryan Hitch and Mark Millar will be announcing their new Marvel project at Wizard World Chicago 2007.

* Quesada will not be doing any ultimate art anytime soon.

* The Ultimate X-Men face the Sentinels in December 2007 and continues the run of Robert Kirkman and Yanick Paquette.

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