Being the first post-summer show, the Baltimore Comic-Con is at a bit of a disadvantage as it lands after the mega-shows of the summer and before the big retailer meetings of the fall. What this means is that while both of "the big two" establish a presence in Baltimore (an increasingly large presence as the show grows), for the most part, the appearances represent an opportunity for fans to put questions directly to their staffs rather than a wealth of exclusive announcements. Or at least such was the case at today's Mondo Marvel presentation, helmed by Tom Brevoort, C.B. Cebulski and Barry Kitson ... I await my esteemed colleague Chris Dooley's report on the DC Nation panel to see if the same holds true across the aisle, as it were.

There were only a pair of exclusive announcements in the Marvel panel. The first was word that Young Avengers will be returning in January in the form of an ongoing series by a rotating cast of creators, with the first four-issue arc focusing on Patriot being written by Ed Brubaker. The second announcement was that Runaways Saga is to become Marvel's first audio book, with Cebulski explaining that voice actors provided dramatic readings for each of the characters, and saying, "I believe it's going to be an .mp3 available on"

Replying to a fan's question regarding the rumor of a weekly Amazing Spider-Man publishing schedule, Cebulski explained that the book will be published three times a month starting in December employing a team of writers ("the Spidey brain trust") and artists. Taking a shot across the bow of the Distinguished Competition, Cebulski continued, "as Tom likes to say, 'we don't do our books weekly, we do them strongly,'" prompting Brevoort himself to chime in with, "we don't count down, we count up ... in sales." Ouch.

Spider-Man Fairy Tales #4 coverReferring to Mike and Laura Allred's Cinderella story in Spider-Man Fairy Tales #4, out this Wednesday, Cebulski enthusiastically said, "it's fantastic ... and I don't say that about all of them." I freely admit that I mention this purely because I heart Mike and Laura Allred.

I somehow managed to miss the announcement (presumably made in Chicago) that Warren Ellis is writing an Ultimate Hulk/Iron Man crossover, with Cary Nord providing the art. Sign me up. Speaking of Ellis, Cebulski confirmed that there will indeed be more Newuniversal as soon as the schedules of the creators permit, going on record predicting "I would say next year."

Speaking of returning series, it was also confirmed that J. Michael Straczynski has plans for more of The Book of Lost Souls. And speaking of the Icon line, Cebulski also promised, "there are going to be a couple of new titles announced very soon."

In response to a question early in the panel regarding any potential future appearances of Misty Knight in the Ultimate Universe, Cebulski took out his cell phone and called Brian Michael Bendis from the stage, leaving a message explaining that he was on a panel and the question had been raised, and to call back if Bendis got the message within the hour. With impeccable timing, Cebulski's phone rang with mere minutes left in the panel and upon looking at the phone, he announced to the crowd, "Brian Michael Bendis." After answering, he said, "let me see if the mic will pick you up" and held the phone to the microphone for Bendis to answer the question. The mic did indeed pick up his pointedly stated answer: "no!"