November 5, 2011

Comic Con Panel: Marvel Ultimates, part one

I am a die-hard, longtime Marvel fan in general. So it comes as no surprise that this year at NY Comic Con, I tried to attend as many of the Marvel panels as I could.  And one of my favorites was the Marvel Ultimates Panel.
    The panel was a discussion and outline of the future of some of the comics in the new Ultimates Universe. On the panel were 
  • Axel Alonso. Former editor at DC comics, current editor at Marvel Comics.
  • Saba Amana, editor of Marvel Ultimate Comics
  • Sara Pichelli, illustrator of the Ultimate Spider-man.
  • Esad Fubic, artist and illustrator
  • C.B. Cebulski, Senior Vice President of Creative & Creator Development
  • Arune Singh, Director of Communications

To my great delight, one of the first topics they spoke about was the new Ultimate Spider-man series.  I've been reading the first few issues and didn't know what to expect.  I actually enjoy it a lot- it's very well written and I'm excited to see where they take Miles in the future.
On the panel, they spoke about Miles representing a great inner innocence and strength.  (Spoiler, in 4 he is going to be wearing the costume for the first time!)   Miles is different from Peter Parker, they are two separate people wearing the mask!

Sara Pichelli talked for a bit, prefacing her comments with an adorable, "I sound smarter in Italian but, I have to speak English."  I was super happy when they began to talk about Miles' look and costume design.  She showed some of her original character designs and sketches for Miles Morales.  She had some pretty funky hairstyles being tried out there- including Miles in cornrows!- but ultimately decided that they would cause problems under the costume.  She talked about her life drawing process, saying that she noticed interesting faces or bodies or the way that people moved.  She draws inspiration from people she knows or sees in her life, and practices facial expressions in the mirror!  The panel agreed that, for Miles' new costume, "black and red was a natural response.  It pays homage to Peter Parker but is very much distinctly Miles' own costume."  Sara also said, of the differences in costume, "I think Peter Parker was more comfortable [as a superhero].  Miles Morales is just a kid. If I were in his position, I'd be less relaxed [than Peter]. Often I look at myself in the mirror for expressions. If I was a child, how would I look while I jumped [from the top of a building]? That's why Miles has pads on his elbows and knees."

The question of Peter Parker's death in the Ultimates universe was a big topic of discussion between the fans and the panel.  It was asked many times whether Peter would be coming back, why they killed him off, etc., but a lot of support was actually shown by the fans towards Miles. Axel had this to say: "We didn't kill Peter easily.  It hurt no one more than Brian to do it but it was necessary and beautiful.  We're peeling back the mask to reveal a different face.   That's what superhero comics are all about....and Peter has had fans of all races and the end of the day, Miles transcends race."

They also showed some sneak peeks of what the future holds for this comic.  Some of Peter's friends and family will be reacting to the new Spider-man.  Sana Amanat said, "Expect there to be a lot of amazing things happening in the next couple of issues.  You'll see who he's gonna become and you'll love it."  I have complete faith in the Marvel team, and I'm excited to read Ultimate Spider-man issue 4 and beyond!

Are you a comic fan? What do you think of the Miles Morales becoming the new Spider-Man?


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