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Decimation: Conference Call

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Thursday, The House of Ideas invited various internet comic sites and retailers to take part in a conference call for Marvel’s next big event, Decimation. Present for the call were Ed Brubaker (writer of the upcoming X-Men: Deadly Genesis), Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Editor Mike Marts, Editor Mark Paniccia, Editor Tom Brevoort, Director of Sales David Gabriel, Director of Marketing John Dokes, Manager of Sales Forecasting and Planning Shannon Monahan, and Marketing Coordinator Jim McCann.

*Spoiler warning*

Like most Marvel conferences calls, Joe Quesada kicked it off by giving listeners a quick rundown of what we can expect from the event. He explained that the last few words said by the Scarlet Witch in House of M #7 are pivotal to the next 5 or 6 years of Marvel’s stories. The words she said: “No more mutants.” Quesada claims that from this point on the writers can move forward to create stories with more meaning and residual risks. Why? Because the mutant population has been reduced 95%.

MC John Dokes then asked Ed Brubaker to talk about X-Men: Deadly Genesis. Brubaker explained that the story deals with the X-Men finding themselves in a world where the mutant population has been drastically reduced. He expressed that the Marvel universe will look more like it did in the 1960’s, where there weren’t mutants around every corner. Readers will see in this story that the government will once again begin to change the way they look at mutants. Brubaker went on to explain that the X-Men’s situation is more tenuous than before House of M. Deadly Genesis ties into the end of House of M and “explores the ramifications of two giant events colliding into one another.”

Joe Quesada chimed in to say that in the story we’ll see a deep dark secret that Proffessor Xavier’s been hiding for years. Brubaker went on to explain that the tone of the series is that of a ghost or mystery story, with more build-up than most X-Men comics. It’s more character-driven with a horror feel. Readers will also see the X-Men go up against a new villain that comes straight from the pages of House of M. Brubaker said this new villain will be a major foe that sticks around for a long time, similar to Magneto.

Quesada said one thing Marvel hopes to accomplish is to improve the quality of X-books. Phoenix: Endsong was the example he gave. Joe was so certain that Deadly Genesis would be an instant classic; he even bet his EIC job on it to everyone on the phone.

One of the editors remarked that a key issue to the new events would be the House of M: Day After one shot. The issue will set up the X-books for the next few months. And it picks up right where House of M #8 left off. In The Day After we will also see the reintroduction of the Sentinels.

Quesada went on to express his interest in “putting the genie back in the bottle” in respect to the mutant issue at Marvel. He says they’re trying to make their stories matter more by cutting down on mutants, adding that the thing that makes mutants appealing is that they are a minority, and fans can often relate to that aspect. The EIC is also putting a strict rule on Marvel creating no more new mutants. “What you see is what you get,” he said. He feels that House of M was a great way for them to reduce the mutant population significantly without bringing about mass carnage.

When questioned on their fear of fans getting bored with giant event comics, Quesada said it’s an intricate process and they’re very careful to not push the readers away. They don’t make it important for readers to buy every book involved and try to keep it manageable at all times.

One concern with Deadly Genesis was about lateness due to Trevor Hairsine art. Marvel assure listeners that Hairsine was working diligently on the series and it would be very much on time. Marvel responded to the fate of Layla Miller by saying that more will be revealed of her origin in the pages of X-Factor. They also claim it’s darker than what’s explained in House of M. District X and Nightcrawler are two titles that will be cancelled as a result of the events that take place in House of M.

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Big changes coming out of Marvel after House of M, as promised. It definitely sounds like they’re trying to pull in readers that aren’t usually X-Men fans. But will all the readers that made House of M such a hit stick around for another huge Marvel event? Only time will tell. But for now, make mine Marvel.

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