SAN DIEGO, DAY 3: Marvel Press Conference News

Marvel's editor in chief, Joey Quesada, was joined by Axel Alonso, Stuart Moore, Bob Greenberger and Tom Breevort for a standing-room-only press conference at today's San Diego Comic Con.

Kicking things off, Quesada remarked that Bill Jemas absence was due to the fact that he didn't actually exist, but was in fact a fictitious character they all created to catch heat for the rest of Marvel.

Quesada was quick to kick the Press Conference off with the announcement that Bryan Hitch would join Marvel on a future title that he would announce at a later time. Quesada proclaimed that Hitch's book would "change comics as we've seen them to this point."

Highlights of the Conference included mention of a new Domino mini-series by Brian Stelfreeze in November, an upcoming Tangled Web arc by Greg Rucka and artist Eduardo Risso from 100 Bullets, Jim Starlin's return to a new Warlock book called Infinity Abyss, and the plans to reprint Moebius' Silver Surfer stories in a trade paperback early next year.

The Conference was suddenly interrupted when Kevin Smith took the stage (to thunderous applause) to plead with Joe Quesada to let him return to Marvel.

Quesada agreed, but only if he would "take back all that DC stuff." To which Kevin responded, "You're just lucky I didn't do a Hawkman book."

After a brief time of bantering back and forth, Quesada agreed and allowed members of the Conference to call out potential books for Kevin to work on.

When titles like Spider-Ham and Power Pack were thrown out, Kevin finally revealed that his next project for Marvel would be "a chick book." Namely, The Black Cat.

The book is promised to ship in the next six months, and Smith commented that it would not be a reinvention of the character, but a fresh look at a forgotten character, adding quickly that it would be "more than a chick book."

Smith and Quesada exchanged a hug and Quesada made a point to state that, in his mind, "the new Marvel started with Kevin's first issue of Daredevil. Kevin could've stayed in Hollywood, but he loved comics enough to enter the comics world and write a great book."

After Smith's departure, the Press Conference continued with the announcement of a new Howard The Duck book by Steve Gerber and Phil Winslade, which brought a roomful of chuckles when the cover, which features Howard as a mouse, rather than a duck, was shown. Howard, who as a mouse is on the cover saying "Don't Ask", looked very perturbed to be represented as a rodent. The quirky change was explained as a dispute between Marvel and Disney which restricted them from representing Howard as a Donald lookalike, so Steve Gerber decided to make him a mouse and let Howard deal with his new change in species in the pages of his book.

Other than the standard run-down of future solicitations for September, October and November, Joe Q. and company made the following announcements of interest:

  • Stan Lee will return to Marvel to pen the movie adaption of Spiderman: The Movie with artistic chores handled by none other than Alan Davis.
  • Starting with Iron Man issue 50, a new team featuring artist Michael Ryan (Cable) and writer, Mike Grell (Jon Sable) will debut as part of Marvel's commitment to "fixing" its core titles and improving quality and readership numbers.
  • Amazing Spider-Man issue 35 will feature a major event that will change the book in a very major way. Writer J. Michael Stracyzinski has a big surprise up his sleeve!
  • Big changes to Thor in issue 40 will be "so big" that Marvel refused to say any more. Hinting that September's big death might be Thor, Stuart Moore quipped that this would be "the issue where Captain America dies."
  • Famed Japanese artist Yoshitako Amano will paint a Wolverine/Elektra novel written by Greg Rucka as part of a Marvel's fifth week Manga promotion in January. Quesada hinted that if the Manga week was successful he might consider publishing a Marvel Manga imprint.
  • The JLA/Avengers book will feature an appearance by Marvel's Imperial Guard.
  • Quesada commented that the rumored sex scene between the main character in Bendis new MAX title, Alias and Luke Cage was deemed too controversial and has been changed. "It now features a sex scene with The Hulk. Luke Cage and The Hulk!" After a few minutes of laughter, Quesada admitted that it was all a joke.

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