'Next Big Thing' - Hickman and Ribic on ULTIMATES - LIVE!

Update, 3:30 p.m.: Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Esad Ribic are the creative team of the August-debuting ongoing series Ultimate Comics: Ultimates, as revealed in Monday's press call.

The series picks up after the July miniseries Ultimate Fallout, co-written by Hickman with Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Spencer. Hickman commented that the series serves as a "bridge" to a "massive rebranding and rebuilding" of the Ultimate Universe.

The first arc will be titled "The Republic is Burning," and feature several familiar characters to the world of Ultimates — but not Captain America, whose absence will be a significant plot point.

"Our cast is going to be a lot of the guys that we know and love," Hickman said. "Certainly Nick Fury, and Iron Man, and Thor, as well as some other really interesting characters, like Spider-Woman, and Hulk, and other people to be named."

Though this is the first Ultimates series to be a proper ongoing, Hickman said he's not coming into the project with quite the same level of master plan as he did with Fantastic Four or Secret Warriors, though he's planned out at least the first year.

"I'm not coming into this with a Fantastic Four or Secret Warriors kind of structure, where I know an endpoint, because that's not really the goal here. The goal here is to create a monthly Ultimates 'event book,'" Hickman said, adding that the book may ship slightly more frequently than 12 issues a year.

Beyond the established characters, Hickman is looking to bring both completely new characters and previously unseen Ultimate versions of mainstream Marvel characters into the mix.

More details on the series can be found by clicking the Cover it Live box below.

Original Story: There are a lot of unanswered questions about what'll be happening in Marvel's Ultimate Universe after the current "Death of Spider-Man" storyline wraps up — things like, what creators will be working on the books? What will the lineup of titles be? And oh yeah, who's that new Spider-Man that Marvel debuted last month?

In an effort to shed some insight on at least some of those questions, Marvel's holding a week of press conferences with the comic book press, discussing the future of the Ultimate Universe. The first one starts today at 3 p.m. eastern, and though we don't yet know who is going to be on the line, the image sent over by Marvel is the cover of July's Ultimate Fallout #1 — an issue co-written by Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer.

Newsarama will be on the line, providing live coverage in the box below. And until things get started, feel free to read our speculative piece regarding what the post-"Death of Spider-Man" world might look like.

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