With more slideshow problems from their Windows PC, the panel — which somewhat ended up as the Bendis show featuring McCann and Rosemann — started off with questions.
“No, we do not know when ;Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk; will come out,” Rosemann.
Bendis said, “The effects of ‘Ultimatum’ will effect the book … there will be a change in tone, because the cast of the book will be different, and I think you guys will like it.”
“A trap is that one universe has to be dominant,” Bendis said of the difference with DC’s multiverse. “Lesson learned, I think.” He also said that he wasn’t in favor of a 616 crossover. “It would sell, but then what?” Bendis believed that some readers would get short changed.
Bendis announced the “Ultimate Spider-Man Annual,” which will focus on Peter and MJ’s “physical relationship. It was the hardest sell I ever had. I just thought that remembering my glory years of 15 and 16 that it’s an important issue. Not having dealt with it felt false to me. It’s gonna be drawn by David La Fuente.” The book is double sized and will release in October. There will also be brand new villains and characters from the 60s “Spider-Man” cartoon.
October will also see the return of Power Princess in the Ultimate universe.
“‘Ultimate Team Up,’ except for the Skrull issue, was all canon …” Bendis began.
“But I was in that issue!” Rosemann protested.
The slide show kicked in at 3:15, with images of “Captain America’s butt,” Magneto and Hulk by Gabriel del Otto. An “origin of Cap” sequence was shown with screaming and ripped pants.
“Years ago when me and Mark were first hired, we flew out to New York and just thought about ‘why is this book being published, what does the Ultimate Universe mean?’ We figured it all out. Marvel was born of nuclear paranoia, and we all thought that really doesn’t resonate so much with us today. What are we scared of today? Genetic paranoia. You read Drudge Report, and tomatoes are tainted and guys are giving birth. We came up with all these connections and ties, and we’ll hint and touch on things, and show it all when it’s necessary. You need to know a couple of these things to know the emotional impact of ‘Ultimatum.’ Connections you didn’t know about Nick Fury and Captain America, between the Hulk and Spider-Man. In issue #2, it’s mostly the origin of Captain America. You’ll also see the debut of Ultimate Watcher.”
They talked briefly about how Spider-Man’s getting more enmeshed in things, with an invention of his father being wanted by the Ultimates. “Some of the best face acting in comics,” Bendis said of Immonen’s work on “Ultimate Spider-Man.”
“When it does happen, it happens to all of the books,” Bendis said of “Ultimatum.” “The month that ‘Ultimatum’ ships, it happens in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ and not everybody’s walking away.”
Bendis’ favorite “USM” villain? “I think Doc Ock is a lot more fun to write … actually, I’m gonna change my mind. The Norman stuff, I got to show you visually how crazy he is.”
McCann took this time to make his regular Dazzler plug, but Rosemann tried to dodge the question of “Namor, Mole Man and the Inhumans” in “Ultimate Fantastic Four.” “I can definitely say one of them is going to appear soon, and sooner than you think …” Rosemann said.
“He doesn’t know,” McCann quipped.
“What do you do when a universe is this old?” Bendis noted, talking about how the Kree-Skrull war happened around this time in history for the 616 universe. “We started relating it to disasters we felt in our lives. I’m very proud they kept that line tight. You get horny and greedy and wanna stick Ultimate on every pitch you hear, and Joe stuck to their guns.”
“Morbius is coming back in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man,'” Bendis agreed. “Morbius yes, Ghost Rider no.” He also praised the openness of editorial to his ideas, answering a question about editorial dictates. “I can’t believe they’re letting me write Spider-Man. My mom’s the only one who appreciates it, watching me every day, ‘Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man.'”
“Editing the Ultimate books, and every day there’s pages from Stuart [Immonen]. Stuart drew all kinds of body types. We have an Ultimate Beetle coming up, he looks awesome. Mostly editing, we put a dash between ‘Spider’ and ‘Man,’ we fix Bendis’ punctuation, but we step aside. We get the book to market, we make sure characters are wearing the same color shirt, and get out of the way.”
“I worked at McDonalds, I did the biscuit bake, the fries. At one point, I thought I was gonna be insane. My doll of a manager said, ‘Brian, there’s always a place for you at McDonalds. It haunts me to this day. Any time I feel an inkling of hackery or laziness, ‘There’s always a place for you at McDonalds.”
Bendis noted that Favreau said aloud that he was representing the Ultimate Universe and had Millar, Bendis and the “Ultimates Brain Trust” dress him down on what he’s done wrong. “I talked about this online, the Sam Jackson bit at the end, I got a call from Kevin Feige about it. ‘We actually have nothing for him to say. Do you have a few minutes to jot down something for him to say?’ They used my stuff. Five years ago, none of this stuff was going on, integration of the comic book brains and movie brains. Even in my creator owned world, the walls are falling down. They’re getting over the ‘just stealing from us left and right’ and now going to us. Joe always said, ‘you wanna know what’s gonna be a hit movie? Look at the top ten comics now.’ But the worse line of dialogue I wrote for Sam Jackson was ‘get that mother****in’ armor off your mother****in’ a$$.'”
“There’s lessons to be learned from admirable failures. It’s Regis Philbin on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.’ As comics historians, we learned those lessons. Then sometimes we make the same mistakes and go ‘oh yeah … don’t do that …'”
A fan pointed out that Peter had dated a “ghost” (Kitty), a vampire (Gwen had an issue) and a werewolf (MJ got furry) and wondered if Peter could date a Frankenstein monster (Ultimate She-Hulk?). “I didn’t notice I did that,” Bendis said. “That’s gonna haunt me …”
“I said, ‘Ew, Venom!’ Like everything I say out loud, I ultimately regret them and they haunt me,” Bendis said of his comments on Venom. “Let’s think about why people did like Venom. I challenged myself, same way with the clone saga. For writing exercise, you really have to think about what is appealing. I’m sorry I said that.”
“The last issue of ‘Ultimate Iron Man’ is being drawn as we speak,”
“They both come out late,” McCann said of comparisons between Ultimate titles and DC’s All Star line.
“If I write, ‘I’m the godd***ned Spider-Man,’ then it is …” Bendis responded.
Will there be downtime from the crossover deluge? “If I wrote a comic about how much Ultimate Daredevil liked a sandwich, would that interest you?” Bendis asked.
“I can’t see this bologna,” Rosemann said, “but it is so good!” No Hawk-Owl and Woody either, despite a fan proclaiming his enjoyment of them.
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