By Ryan Penagos and Jeffrey Harris
Marvel kicked off an insanely busy Saturday at Comic-Con 2007 with the Ultimate Universe panel. Big room, big crowd, big reveals.
The Marvel entourage entered the room at about 10:45, with Brian Michael Bendis, Jim McCann, Jeph Loeb, David Finch and a host of younger folks. Families! Gotta love 'em.
Everybody clocked in at about 10:50 on stage to thunderous applause. Joe Quesada isn't here yet, though.
First up on the to-talk list is Ultimate Spider-Man's "Death of a Goblin." Yes, a Goblin dies. But which one? Lots of Norman Osborn talk! Kitty Pryde post-X-Men has a new costume! That ain't Hellcat! Spidey and Kitty join S.H.I.E.L.D. This is a biiiig arc!
ULTIMATE POWER!!! And appropriately enough, Joe Quesada arrived! Coincidence? I think not!
Jeph's talking about ULTIMATE POWER. Look for the series to have a "wow finish." Seriously. It's going to be ginormous and lead right into a megaton of stuff. It'll really change both the Ultimate and Supreme Power universes.
Now ULTIMATE X-MEN! Sentinels!
ULTIMATES 3!!! December 2007! Believe it. It's gorgeous. The villain cover wowed the whole crowd, since everyone here has seen the hero cover in giant-form at the Marvel booth.
Did we say December? It kicks off in December.
Announcement (kinda)! ULTIMATE ORIGINS by Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice, with covers by Simone Bianchi. Aw, Jeph likened Simone's accent to that of Super Mario Brothers. But he says it with love. Well, I guess showing some beautiful Bianchi art for the first time counts for some announcey goodness.
Brian Michael Bendis
Jeph and Brian are relaying the hows and whys of the formation of the Ultimate Universe. From the start before ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN to how things are ramping back up. ULTIMATE POWER 7-9, ULTIMATE ORIGINS and then…
Oh wait, Butch Guice has signed exclusive with Marvel. YEAH! First art from ORIGINS! I thought it was ORIGIN, not plural. Hm.
Anyway, from ULTIMATE POWER to ORIGINS to ULTIMATES 3.
ULTIMATUM! Loeb and Finch! From ULTIMATE FF to ULTIMATE X-MEN. Back and forth. Big, big, big stuff! "Things will change forever," says Loeb. Deaths will stick, changes can be made, teams can disband and never come back together.
Q: Top 3 artists in the industry?
Leinil Francis Yu, Stuart Immonen, and David Finch for Quesada.
Q: Will we see Ultimate Deadpool again? (from a person dressed as Deadpool, gets a good laugh)
The answer is yes.
Q: For Joe, more books together with Jimmy Palmiotti?
Doing PAINKILLER JANE with Jimmy for Dynamite.
Q: For Bendis, who came up with the Wolverine/Spider-Man body switch idea?
and Jim McCann
It was the artist's idea, and then Bendis thought of a lot of funny jokes which he likes. His young daughter then loved watching FREAKY FRIDAY so he went with the story. Joe Quesada thought it was a good idea.
Jeph Loeb makes a great joke about Hulk's pants and people are worried about Wolverine's ligaments being torn by the HULK.
Q: For Jeph, The line-up for ULTIMATES 3: is that the Ultimates lineup or are they guest stars?
Expect the unexpected, wants to save the surprises. There's no official line-up, they are people who have to deal with a tremendous threat.
Q: Mark and Brian, when will you announce your next project?
Q: Getting Joe Mad to draw ULTIMATES 3, a late artist for a late book?
Jeph says Joe was the artist he needed to tell the story, and he was the artist that redefined X-Men. He found a window for Joe Madeureira to come back and do the story. Everyone worked very hard to get him back. They haven't even started yet so they can't be late.
Q: For Jeph, exploring Thor's Asgardian origins, is he a god or not?
Thor plays a big part, and we will find out more.
Q: For Joe, more SQUADRON SUPREME?
Yes there will be an announcement in the next few months.
A fan expresses great love for ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN which brought him back into comics, and Brian Michael Bendis gets off stage and gives him a $1 bill.
Q: For Brian, will you ever be on Fanboy radio again?
Due to scheduling he can't make it, but he does his own online podcasts. He'll be back on Fanboy Radio and TV again soon.
A woman who used to work at JAY AND SILENT BOB'S SECRET STASH quit because she needed money, Bendis gets off stage and gives a $1 bill.
Q: An Ultimate Kitty mini-series?
She's a permanent fixture in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, she'll be getting a new costume and boyfriend. The next arc after the "Death of the Goblin" will be "Spidey and his Amazing Friends" with Iceman and a new Ultimate Firestar which Kitty will also be featured in.
Q: What about Ultimate Apocalypse?
David Finch, Brian
Michael Bendis and
Loeb hints to start with ULTIMATE ORIGINS, then go with ULTIMATUM and he will have something to talk about.
Q: What goes into some of the costume redesigns, what motivates them?
Joe says it's up to the writers and artists. In the Ultimate Universe they are trying to create more realistic and plausible looking costumes. Loeb says all the costume and prop changes are dealt with, and Scarlet Witch's costume change has to do with her mother.
Q: Kitty and Peter getting together, why?
Bendis says Kitty says she is one of his favorites since she was a nice Jewish girl in the X-Men. He said it was natural flow after MJ and Peter broke up. He had trouble protecting MJ, but he doesn't have to protect Kitty since she is a super hero.
Q: How will it change once Aunt May knows Peter is Spider-Man?
We'll find out in the next arc, and Norman is out there and a real threat.
Q: Persecution on the Hulk after he comes back and joins the ULTIMATES?
David Finch and
Brian Michael Bendis
Look in ULTIMATE POWER and ULTIMATE ORIGINS.
Q: ULTIMATE ORIGINS, are they one-shots or story arcs?
It's a six issue mini-series and self-contained, and deals with the intertwined characters and how they are all connected. Loeb says it's an extremely complicated story of how things happened, not just a series of events. You don't have to know the Ultimate Universe for the last five years to understand it. It's a good jumping on point. Bendis says it takes place in the past and present simultaneously and jumps back and forth.
Q: How will you get Joe Mad to finish his work on time for Jeph?
We are just going to do it. ULTIMATES if famous for it's quality and lateness and we will try to do both.
The person that asks the questions gives Bendis a tip of money for his great job on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN.
Q: Magneto in action before ULTIMATES 3?
Bendis says he shows up in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN in #119 and #120.
Q: For Brian, do you want to bring back Ultimate Spider-Woman?
She's coming back and I have a good plan for her. There was an idea of the female clone of Peter dating Johnny Storm.
Q: Doing anything else with the Ultimate Inhumans and Ultimate Namor?
Yes we will soon.
Q: See more Ultimate Captain Marvel?
He'll also be around soon.
Last person, Javier from Mexico, thanked Bendis for respecting the fans and making so many great comics.