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Marvel Comics on Tuesday staged a telephone press conference with writer Brian Reed, the first of three detailng with the "State of the Initiative."

Following are highlights:

* Reed said Ms. Marvel is taking down threats before the Avengers need to deal with them, using members of the Initiative.

* "Carol has been doing a lot of things that she thinks is right and even the most casual observers are asking, 'What is she doing?'" Reed said.

Reed noted that is coming back on her, i.e. allowing the Puppet Master to kill himself. "We're starting to see cracks in the armor," he said.

* Talking about Captain Marvel, Reed said his take on Civil War was "to get out of Dodge." The mini-series opens up with where he is (France) and what he's been doing.

* Reed said Tony Stark running S.H.I.E.L.D. is "just one more piece of crazy" for Captain Marvel. "Some of his friends are labeled outlaws, some of his friends have been killed," Reed said.

* In terms of the Skrull story, Reed said, "You haven't see anything yet. It's going to get really ugly."

Reed said groundwork for the event has been laid down for some time.

"This makes stuff that goes on during the Kree/Skrull War as amateur hour," he said.

Reed said that all of the writers at Marvel have Skrulls running around in their books and nobody knows it.

* Hulkling will meet Captain Marvel in Young Avengers Presents #2. Reed said the story deals with Teddy getting the chance to talk to his father. "All of his emotions are running wild, and now he's getting this," Reed said.

* Reed said he has not written the new Quasar because she's involved with Annihilation.

* Asked who is the most intriguing character he's dealing with, Reed said Carol is the one with whom he comes up the most ideas. "She just wants to try to be the best," he said.

* Reed said there is a big effort to allow new readers to find the story accessible. He noted that the Super Skrulls is the Alpha Skrull and the new Skrulls are the "Lambourghinis."

* Asked about big events becoming overwhelming for readers, Reed noted only three of his 27 issues of Ms. Marvel have tied into them. "I've tried to do a really good job trying to make sure with every issue that this issue makes sense in and of itself," he said.

* Reed said it's a juggling act dealing with multiple books and he's always thinking ahead.

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