Marvel Comics Prepped For April/May <b><i>X</i></b>-Citement! -

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Marvel Comics Prepped For April/May X-Citement!

By Rob M. Worley     January 22, 2003

X-Men 2is due in theaters May 2nd and Marvel is poised to capitalize on the excitementgenerated by the event in a way they failed to when the first movie came round. The comic publisher held a conference call on Tuesday to discuss plans surrounding the movie event.

"A fewyears ago when X-Men came out, we really dropped the ball with theX-Men product and what we were offering," Marvel EIC Joe Quesada told thepress. "What [potential new customers] got in the comics was completelydifferent from what they saw on the screen."

Marvel president Bill Jemas added, "What I can say about the movie team, including Tom DeSanto, BryanSinger and Avi Arad is that they've been great with respect to getting useverything that we needed to cover up the comic books shops with a good, solidmovie adaptation."

Plans to rectifythe situation includes three tie-in books, a blitz on the regular X-Men books andseveral other projects.

Two movie prequel book will be published, one putting the spotlight on Wolverine while the other focuses on Nightcrawler. "Theseare two titles that tie in directly to tangential story lines that are createdin the movie. They answer questions that weren't answered in the movie."

The Wolverinebook will be written by Brian Vaughn with art by Tom Mandrake. Nightcrawler iswritten by Chuck Austen with art by Karl Kerschl. Both books will sportphoto covers.

An adaptation of the movie itself is set to be written by Chuck Austen with art by Patrick Zircher. Allthree movie tie-ins are 48 pages and carry a $3.50 cover price. As withDaredevil there will be a trade paperback also out in April.

In the month precedingthe release of the movie, both "Uncanny X-Men" and "NewX-Men" will ship two issues each, both starting a new story arc to makethem good jumping-on points.

Also in April,"Extreme X-Men" will ship as a single issue story.

Marvel alsoplans to put Chris Claremont's classic graphic novel God Loves Man Killsback into print. That book introduced the character of Stryker, who is the mainvillain in the movie. The reprint will carry a low price of $4.99.

Then in May,Marvel will publish Claremont's all-new sequel to God Loves Man Kills.The story will appear in the pages of "Extreme X-Men".

Volume II of theMarvel Encyclopedia will focuse completely on X-Men and bereleased around the movie. "This will be an exhaustive guide," editorDavid Bogart told the press, "in terms the research on the characters whoare included".

X-Fan founder/editor Eric Moreels was named as a primary contributor to the volume. The hardcoverbook is said to have background and biographies on 350 characters as well astechnical specs of mansion and black bird. It'll carry the same price and pagecount as Volume I the Marvel encyclopedia.

The publisheralso hinted that the release of future volumes of the Marvel Encyclopedia willbe coordinated with the slate of upcoming movies.

Marvel also announcedthat Mark Millar and Adam Kubert will wrap up their run on "UltimateX-Men" with issue #33. "Ultimate Spider-Man" writer Brian MichaelBendis takes over the scripting chores there for a six issue stint. David Finchprovides the art. Issues 33 and 34 of the book will both be published in May.

A new MiniMarvels special is also slated for March of this year by Chris Giarrusso.The book will contain two stories, one focusing on Wolverine and the X-Men andanother focusing on Spider-Man.


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