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Marvel Talk
By Brian Jacks


On Tuesday afternoon, Marvel Comics held a phone conference with the press. In attendance were President Bill Jemas, Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada, Managing Editor David Bogart, and newly hired Marketing Man Michael Doran. Oh, yes, and Slush.

Instead of whipping up a boring, minute-by-minute report of the hour-long session, we've compiled only the most interesting tidbits for your reading pleasure. So, without further ado...

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- Gus Beezer: As previously reported, Marvel has recently been sending out teaser images for a new miniseries entitled Gus Beezer. "The House" unveiled additional plans for this title, explaining that it will be an "all-ages" book featuring a young child who lives in the Marvel Universe. Like all children, Marvel said, Gus imagines being a real superhero, but unlike our universe, this kid will actually meet his heroes.

Written by humorist and former Deadpool writer Gail Simone, this title will take the shape of three one-shots: The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer: Starring Spider-Man, ...Starring the Incredible Hulk, and finally ...Starring the X-Men.

All are scheduled to hit store shelves at the end of March.

- Mini-Marvels II: Marvel also announced that the Mini-Marvels will be coming back as a one-shot, with one half of the book focusing on a Spider-Man vs. Venom story, and the other being X-Men-centric. As was the first book, this will be written and drawn by Marvel Bullpen-er Chris Giarusso.

- X-Men Movie Projects: Stating that Marvel "dropped the ball" during the first X-Men film, Joe Quesada outlined plans for an aggressive marketing strategy to coincide with the sequel's upcoming release in May.

Marvel announced that there will indeed be a movie adaptation, to be written by Uncanny scribe Chuck Austin and drawn by Patrick Zircher (New Warriors). Two additional film-related "prequel" books will also be released, one involving Nightcrawler, and the other dealing with Wolverine. The publisher explained that the prequels will tie into questions not answered in the movie. The names Brian K. Vaughn and Tom Mandrake were mentioned in conjunction with this news. Quesada also added that all three X2-related books will contain photo covers.

X-Men Comics: A lot of little news involving the X-comics. As Mark Millar will be off Ultimate X-Men come issue 33, Marvel announced that Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis will be replacing him for a six issue stint, with David Finch on art. Quesada added that Greg Rucka was initially tapped to co-write the issues with Bendis, but that fell by the wayside due to Rucka's hectic schedule.

Marvel officially announced that the Chris Claremont classic story, "God Loves, Man Kills," will be reprinted shortly. This is the story that the X2 film supposedly used as a loose basis for their storyline. The publisher also said that a sequel to "God Loves, Man Kills" is in the works, with Claremont as the writer. No official title has been given to this project as of yet, which will appear in the pages of the X-Treme X-Men.

On the "ship list" side, New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men will each ship two issues in April.

Marvel Encyclopedia: Marvel announced that a new edition of the Marvel Encyclopedia is in the works. While few details are known, it will be in hardcover, and will be researched and co-written by Eric J. Moreels, the man behind Slush partner site, X-Fan. Company president Bill Jemas addressed the question of releasing it on CD-Rom, stating that previous such projects have demonstrated a lack of customer demand in this area. He also mentioned that DVDs are becoming more feasible for such a collection, but anything would be down the road.

Freebies: Marvel also addressed the upcoming Free Comic Book Day 2 event, which coincides with the release of X2. "The House" announced that they will be giving away issues of Ultimate X-Men #1.

Be sure to check back Wednesday afternoon for an in-depth report of Marvel's third press conference.


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