When writer Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar needed some relief from their duties on Ultimate Fantastic Four, they only made one phone call and Warren Ellis was happy to pick up.
Ellis (Planetary) -- with artist Stuart Immonen ( Incredible Hulk, Shockrockets ) -- will take over Ultimate FF with June's issue #7 of the top-selling title. According to Ellis, who's already planned out two arcs for the book, the decision to return to the House of Ideas really came down to helping out his mates.
"Millar and Bendis had found themselves committed to big new things, and something in their schedules had to give," reveals Ellis. "Unfortunately, that thing was Ultimate FF. So Millar gets a hold of me and basically threw himself on my mercy. Which usually doesn't work, but I've known Millar since he was a choirboy, so I let him speak. Mark and Brian were in a hole. I've known them both for years. You don't leave your mates in the lurch. Simple as that."
For the full rundown on Ellis' first two story arcs that focus on Dr. Doom and the Negative Zone (as well as Bendis and Millar's comment about leaving the title) and new series art by Immonen, check out Wizard #150, on sale in comic stores Wednesday, February 25. - by Wizard Staff Writer Mike Cotton, courtesy of Wizard Entertainment
Current co-writer Mark Millar explained on his MillarWorld Message Boards how Ellis came to get this assignment:
Yeah, God Bless That Man. We really were in a tight spot and it happened like this...
I'm way ahead on Spidey and Ultimates and so I pitched Marvel another series. This was accepted in early December and everything was ticking along nicely. Ultimate FF was just a plotting gig and not a huge amount of time, the Millarworld books were all done and, like I said, Spidey and Ultimates were doing great.
My huge mistake, of course, was heading to the Marvel editorial summit with Bendis and we both got talked into taking over two new books which were just too bloody interesting to pass up. We were also both handed two of our favourite artists and the decision was really horrible. A new book each meant we had to drop something, but UFF had launched as Marvel's #1 title and the second issue was still sitting at the number one spot in January's sales charts. If we left after our first arc, we'd be seriously fucking letting everyone down and so we vowed that we would only go if we found a replacement who was actually better at this stuff than we were. Cue Ellis.
I called him up, explained the situation, told him we were in a wonderful, but nightmarish position and asked if he'd help. He thought about it, asked a lot of questions and then agreed to save our arses and our reps. He's a lovely man and my favourite writer and I obviously don't need to tell anyone to pick this up. This book is about to go through the fucking roof.