New York Comic-Con 2008

NYCC '08: Make Mine Marvel Panel Report

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By Marc Strom The "Make Mine Marvel" panel, hosted by X-editor supreme Nick Lowe at New York Comic-Con last Saturday, saw a quartet of talented heavy-weights grace the stage to talk about their work past, present and future...as well as announce Marvel's adaptation of "Ender's Game" coming your way this fall!

Jonthan Lethem pontificates

Lowe opened by introducing famed novelist, and writer of the limited series OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN, Jonathan Lethem to the stage. Lethem commented that he wanted to make the new OMEGA series ten-issues as an "ironic homage" to the original series, which was cancelled after only that many issues.

Artwork from OMEGA by Gary Panter

The author was first attracted to Omega during his youth, when "Omega is Coming" adds began appearing in the backs of Marvel's books at the time, and the fact that Omega was a "morbid, anti-hero super hero" made him seem all the more new to the young writer. When looking for artists for the series, Lethem searched for someone capable of drawing super heroes in a very human way. Farel Dalrymple fit the bill perfectly with his ability to draw very human characters and seamlessly drop in more fantastic elements. He also commended the artist as being "brilliant with cityscapes."

Duane Swierczynski's no criminal

The next guest was another novelist and nascent comics writer, Duane Swierczynski. Though the author works mostly in crime fiction, he admits he's never stolen anything in his life, jokingly calling his books "wish fulfillment." Writing CABLE came about after Swierczynski had done a series of one-shots for series editor Axel Alonso as a sort of unofficial "try out." Swierczynski says he's had fun redefining the character and really distilling him down to his essence given his somewhat convoluted back story. As for what fans can expect as the series continues, Swierczynski promised that the baby Cable's protecting will grow older as the series progresses, eventually gaining a mind of her own as children are wont to do.

Cable and his new ward

The writer also revealed that CABLE #6 will bring readers back to the present, with a look at how Cyclops has dealt with his decision to send mutant kind's last hope into the future with Cable during the heat of battle. A fan of IMMORTAL IRON FIST since the first issue, the prospect of following fan-favorite team of Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker on IMMORTAL IRON FIST is daunting to Swierczynski…however, he was unable to disclose too many details of his first arc, for fear that Fraction would send a KGB sniper after him for spoiling the previous writer's last issue.

Bryan Hitch: International Man of Mystery

To break the pattern, Lowe brought up to the dais FANTASTIC FOUR and ULTIMATES artist Bryan Hitch. Speaking in his suave English accent, Hitch discussed his breakthrough work on THE AUTHORITY and how it led to what he refers to as the beginning of his actual career. A little while later, he received a call from Joe Quesada, telling him "the lunatics are running the asylum, and you should come and party." Quesada put Hitch in contact with writer Mark Millar, and from there the ULTIMATES was born.

A pencilled page from FANTASTIC FOUR #556

The creative team knew exactly how they wanted to end the first volume of ULTIMATES along with all the beats to hit on the way planned out in an initial hour-long phone conversation. Hitch says working on FANTASTIC FOUR is the most fun he's ever had, as well as the fastest he's worked yet. Later on, the artist emphasized that everything that happens in FANTASTIC FOUR happens for a reason The final panelist was yet another novelist, Orson Scott Card, there to talk about his work on ULTIMATE IRON MAN and announce Marvel's adaptations of "Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow" beginning this fall.

Orson Scott Card brings "Ender's Game" to Marvel

Card credits Lowe with getting him into comics in the first place, since the author hadn't read any since his childhood in the '50s. When Lowe first approached him about writing for Marvel, the author was uncertain until the editor explained that Card could essentially create an all-new origin for Iron Man from the ground up, something which appealed to the science-fiction since he initially thought Iron Man was "one of the stupidest characters" he'd ever read.

ENDER'S GAME preview art by Pasqual Ferry

The real news, though, was the coming adaptation of two of his most famous novels, "Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow" beginning this fall. It was announced that Card would oversee the adaptations, with Jake Black acting as creative consultant and Chris (NEW X-MEN) Yost writing the scripts for "Ender's Game." Pasqual Ferry, Card's collaborator on ULTIMATE IRON MAN II, will draw the "Ender's Game" adaptation. So that's it from our end, True Believers! Be sure to keep your browsers set to Marvel.com as we bring you the latest news and updates live from the floor of New York Comic-Con!

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