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Wednesday, December 13th, Marvel Comics held their bi-weekly conference call to discuss various Marvel-related topics.

Marvel president Bill Jemas, who opened by stating that sales wise, January 2001 would improve upon the numbers for the same time period last year.  He also said that Ultimate X-Men #1 would bow as the number one title for December, headed the conference. 

Other items of note:

·         Plans to make the ‘Ultimate Captain America an African American “it seemed to make more sense that the government might experiment on black soldiers” were scrapped, but Jemas said the creators had ‘a much better idea’ for the Ultimate Cap origin.

·         Asked if Marvel had any plans to work with Alan Moore,Frank Millar, or Stan Lee,  Jemas said the "door is always open" to them, and although Quesada is in contact with those creators on a personal level, there are no current plans.

·         Jemas confirmed the rumor that Brian Azzarello would be coming to work for Marvel.

·         Jemas revealed that they are looking closely at on-line technology such as CD-ROMs, and have spoken with two of the three top e-book distributors about putting out the entire catalog of Marvel books as electronic material, Jemas said he would be surprised if things were not rolling by the end of the first quarter of 2001.

·         A bit more news on the Mature-Readers/Creator owned line. Jemas reported that a good deal of the line will be creator-shared/creator-owned, though he went on to say the Mature Readers line won’t necessarily be all creator-owned. This is an opportunity that allows them to do more adult work than established Marvel properties allow. It would allow them much more creative freedom.

·         On the future of the Ultimate line: The plan is to have four Ultimate books, one a week, but a fifth could be considered depending on factors such as a new Marvel property being developed into a movie.  The Ultimate Magazine, launching on January 16, will be monthly.  The first issue will contain issues one and two of Ultimate Spider-Man, the next will add issue one of Ultimate X-Men.  .

·         Jemas said depending on reader reaction, there could be a second monthly Ultimate Magazine in 2001. With the upcoming ‘Spider-Man Team-up’ title by Brian Michael Bendis, and Mark Millar’s secret fourth Ultimate title, it’s possible two magazines could eventually be published, one featuring Bendis’ stories, the other Millar’s.

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