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Marvel Comics on Tuesday staged a press conference for its 2011 publishing stunt, Fear Itself.

Following are highlights:

* Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada took the stage first and introduced a trailer for Fear Itself. Quesada said the creative team will be Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen.

"In the world of fear, the line between hero and villain is going to be pretty blurred," Quesada said.

* Fraction was then introduced, and in a video, discussed the project. "The Marvel heroes vs. the God of Fear, and the more you fear him, the stronger he gets," Fraction said, noting it was a world-ending event threatening the Marvel Universe. "We are going to be busting the doors down with the biggest story we've ever told."

* Quesada then introduced editor Tom Brevoort.

"Fear Itself is a story we've building up to for quite some time," Brevoort said, noting that the story will be comparable to Secret Invasion in size and scope and as ambitious as Civil War.

Fear Iself will be seven issues starting in April. In March, Ed Brubaker and Scott Eaton are doing an unnamed Fear Itself prologue that will invovle Captain America, Namor and the Invaders, along with the Red Skull.

There is a secret act that happened in the Marvel Universe that once uncovered, will change everything," Brevoort said, that something that has been secret for hundreds of years will be cast free.

* Stressing Fear Itelf as an "extinction-level" event, editor Axel Alonso noted there will be a core story but there will be shadings of the story elsewhere, with major involvement with Dracula and the X-Men.

* Brevoort said some of the dominoes for the event have already been put in face.

* Transitioning from the Heroic Age, Brevoort said that Marvel characters have always battled the darkness around them. "This is just a major challenge that these characters have to face," he said.

"The stakes have to be high for a Marvel hero."

* Brevoort declined to talk about Fantastic Four, only to say that whatever characters remain will be involved in Fear Itself.

* Alonso said that a number of relastionships that have been developed in the X-Men line for the past year will pay off.

* Brevoort said Immonen will be leaving New Avengers to concentrate on Fear Itself.

* Brevoort said that the first issue will be "about 45 pages long" and he anticipates that other issues will cost $3.99. He also said he anticipated the final issue to be extra sized.

* Asked about a Steve Rogers image as Captain America, Brevoort said the image "could mean anything." Brevoort said if readers are counting Bucky out, "you might be counting your chickens a little early."

Brevoort said he anticipates a similar number of tie-in books to Fear Itself as there were for Secret Invasion. None was announced.

* Wade VonGrawbadger is inking and Laura Martin coloring Fear Itself.

Brevoort said that Fear Itself will change the Marvel Universe in "a subtle but meaningful way."

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