While most Americans were planning on helping themselves to an extra portion of dinner at the Thanksgiving holiday approached last week, some New York City area thieves were helping themselves to some art at Marvel Comics.

Marvel issued a press release on the situation on Tuesday:

"On the evening of November 20, 2000, after Marvel Comics closed its doors, there was a break-in and numerous pieces of original artwork were stolen. Wilson Ramos, Jr., head of Marvel Art Returns, has begun cataloging the artwork and has compiled a list (see attached) of what is known to have been stolen so far.

"A Police Report has been filed and an investigation is underway. Marvel Comics is pursuing a wide variety of venues to notify the public of the theft, including various Internet web-sites, newsgroups, CBG, Wizard magazines, and others in an attempt to get this information to the artists, collectors and dealers. The more people that know, the harder it will be for the person(s) responsible to market the stolen artwork.

"If you, or anyone you know is offered the artwork listed, or any portion, thereof please contact Mr. Robert Grosser at (201) 684-9400. Any help in recovering the artwork would be greatly appreciated by the staff of Marvel Comics.

"Please pass this information on to as many fans, collectors, dealers, professionals, and local comic retailers as possible. On behalf of the staff at Marvel Comics, as well as the artists listed, we'd like to thank you for your attention and assistance."

At press time, the list of stolen artwork includes:

  • "X-Men" Chromium cover #1 by John Dell
  • Sabertooth pin-up by Travis Charest
  • Twelve pages from "Marvel Shadows and Light" by Steve Ditko
  • Six pages from "Spider-Man Team Up" #14 and five pages from "Creatures on the Loose" #26 by W. Howard
  • The cover to "Savage Hulk" #1 by Simon Bizley

  • Two pages from "Thor" #31 by Scott Hanna
  • The cover to "Peter Parker, Spider-Man" #20 by Mark Buckingham
  • Five pages from "Marvel: The Lost Generation" #4 by John Byrne
  • Two pages from "Web Spinners" #5 by Keith Giffen
  • The cover to "Thor" #24, five pages from "Avengers" #35 and three pages from "Amazing Spider-Man" #24 by John Romita, Jr.
  • The covers to "X-Force" #97, 98 and 100 by Jim Cheung
  • A page from "Strange Tales" #61 by Bernard Bailey
  • Two pages from "Captain Marvel" #1 by Frank Bolle
  • Two page of X-Men hologram art by Greg Capullo
  • The cover to "Spider-Man Unlimited" #16 by Tony Daniel
  • Three pages from "Marvel Shadows and Light" #1 by Rodolfo Damaggio
  • Two pages from "Captain America" #24 by Jesse Delperdang
  • The cover to "Classic X-Men" #5 by Gary Frank
  • Four pages from "Marvel Super-Heroes" #19 by Sid Greene
  • A one page promo art piece for "Alpha Flight" #16 by Bryan Hitch
  • A page from "Marvel Premiere" #19 by Frank Robbins
  • The cover to "Captain America Sol." #2 by Joe Simon
  • The cover to "Marvel Universe" #6 by Bruce Timm
  • The cover to "Crypt of Shadows" #16 by John Vanpooton


[Spider-Man]While less dramatic than the forthcoming changes to their X-Men family of books, Marvel Comics is tweaking their Spider-Man titles next spring, with a new writer, new artists and a new monthly title.

The company's press conference yesterday had originally been scheduled for last Wednesday, but was bumped for the Thanksgiving holiday. The big news of that press conference -- the cancellation of various X-books -- was announced via their Web site in any case. As a result, Wednesday's meeting was much more of a grab-bag affair, concentrating on the Spider-Man books.

Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada did make some announcements about the creative line-ups on the Spider-books as of the spring: Artist John Romita, Jr. will remain on "Amazing Spider-Man" as the interior artist after a two issue hiatus. Art chores in issues #28 and 29 will be handled by Joe Bennett, Lee Weeks and Charlie Adlard. A cover artist for "Amazing" will be announced later. New writer J. Michael Straczynski will be coming on board in April.

Over on "Peter Parker: Spider-Man," Humberto Ramos will be the new series cover artist.

The title for the third Spider-Man monthly -- described as a "series of miniseries" -- is still open to debate at this time, but a creative team on the first story has been decided upon: Garth Ennis will write, John McCrea will handle interiors and Glen Fabry will do covers on the story arc.

Next year's annuals will be more closely tied to the action in the monthly books, will typically be written by the monthly's writer, and their prices will likely be dropped a dollar to $2.99.

Finally, the conventional wisdom that Peter Parker's dead wife, Mary Jane, is both alive and coming back may be premature: According to Quesada, her return is "up in the air."


[X-Men: The Hidden Years #14]Next spring, Marvel Comics is planning on clearing out their X-closets and putting a number of their monthly X-Men books out on the curb.

Even before Marvel confirmed the rumors last week, artist and writer John Byrne had let it be known that his title, "X-Men: Hidden Years," was getting the axe.

There's now going to be a brief reprieve, he said.

"Editor Lysa Hawkins went to bat for us and convinced the Powers That Be at Marvel to allow us to complete the storyline in progress," Byrne told the Comic Wire on Monday. That gives him time to wrap up the series, turning what had been a regular issue into the ending of the series instead.

The changes required entail "the deletion of a single new sub-plot, basically. With a 'special issue' planned for #25, I was already clearing up the dangling threads in order to not have to put the readers on hold through the month #25 came out. #23 and #24 were planned as stand-alone stories."

Of course, it won't be long before the prolific Byrne's work is seen on the stands again.

"Several things are in the pipeline," he said. "I am set to do one of the ['Just Imagine Stan Lee …' comics] at DC, plus a couple of issues of 'Orion,' with Walt Simonson. Then, 'Generations 2' has been green-lighted (same length and format as [the earlier DC Comics miniseries] 'Generations'), and a couple of other things are in negotiation.'


Before Stuart Moore settles into the House of Ideas, he's taking a spin around the galaxy.

As we told you in the November 13 edition of the Comic Wire, Moore, the new editor of Marvel Comics' Marvel Knights line, is the writer for PennyFarthing Press' "Zendra" miniseries.

The six issue "Zendra" series originated with artists Martin Montiel and J. C. Buelna, and is a star-spanning coming of age story.

"Zendra" #1 is scheduled to be in stores in February.

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