Warren Ellis "Newuniversal" Update

width="127" height="190" alt="" align="right" border="0">The included images are from "Nextwave," Warren Ellis' other new project from Marvel

Via Warren Ellis' "Bad Signal" mailing list, the author sent out another of his regular messages, this time highlighting his new Marvel Comics project, "Newuniversal," reported on by CBR Newsyesterday. The following is an excerpt from that mailer:

"The conference was to talk upNEXTWAVE a bit -- and I just sawthe lettered inked pages, and I'mactually still smiling at the gags,which is rare for me -- and toannounce my own summer 2006project for Marvel. I wantedsomething to fuck around with. Iwanted to keep my foot in thathalf/two-thirds of the overall directmarket that doesn't order my otherwork. And I wanted one of thoseold-style writing challenges that Ihadn't really done before -- takingan old fucked-up franchise andmonkeying around inside it.

"Twenty years ago, Marvel tried tolaunch an entire secondary line ofaction books that straddled thatsometimes-amorphous spacebetween superhero fiction andscience fiction. Despite the presenceof writers like Archie Goodwin andthe young Peter David, it died withintwo or three years. It was under-funded, generic, and really standsout as a failure of nerve andambition. And they called it The NewUniverse.

"In summer 2006, I'm going to belaunching an ongoing title at Marvelcalled newuniversal. No capital N,no capital U. We refer to it in-houseas NU -- and I might have called itNU, if it didn't always suggestnu-metal to me.

width="127" height="190" alt="" align="right" border="0">"The central concept, these days,also looks kind of generic. WildCards did it, RISING STARS did it,etc etc. Something called The WhiteEvent occurs, and afterwards ahandful of people are found to havebeen made superhuman. So far soblah. But, in looking at this stuff ona webpage one night, it occurred tome that that's not what happened.What actually happened was thatthere was this huge astronomicalevent where the skies went whiteall over the world for a minute, andthe aftermath was that the lawsof physics had been changed.

"There's a sf book by a writer calledVernor Vinge where the laws ofphysics are radically differentdepending on which part of thegalaxy you're in. Conventionalphysics' dirty little secret is thatthe speed of light appears tofluctuate.

"There is, as I say, a whole libraryof science fiction aboutsuperhumanity. These are notsuperhero novels. Some lean closerthan others, of course -- Zelaznyand Saberhagen's COILS comes tomind, and SLAN was very clearly aprecedent to the X-Men. Butthere's a lot more that speaks to,if you like, the superhumancondition. Melding that with thenotion that suddenly the laws ofphysics can go and stay slightlynuts... In one six-hour session, Igenerated a bunch of notes abouthow and why this could happen,with some ideas from some oldabandoned projects of mine (fromthe Loose Ideas folder) fittingthemselves into it...

width="127" height="190" alt="" align="right" border="0">"Sure, it's not exactly cut from wholecloth. Like I said, it's a writingchallenge. Blows the cobwebs out abit. Makes you focus on the craft abit. Sometimes it's worth sittingdown and thinking, what *does*make a Marvel character work?(Answer: tragedy.)

"Anyway. That's all for next year.Right now I'm into other stuff,trying to get clear for Xmas. Andtomorrow I buy myself a fewblissful hours to think about newstuff. Something that works in32pp episodes, 128pp stories..."

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