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(Originally posted by Beyonder in another thread)

In a conference call held today with members of the comics press, Marvel revealed some secrets of its Epic launch title, the 6-issue mini-series Trouble, and the rest of the Epic line. In attendance were Marvel Comics President & COO Bill Jemas, Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Trouble writer Mark Millar, series editor Axel Alonso, and Marketing Communications Manager Mike Doran.

Trouble will introduce four teenagers - May and Mary, and Richard and Ben - who, having enjoyed an idyllic summer of love and romance, must now face the consequences of their actions. The story will tastefully address sex, teen pregnancy, and other real-life issues that one wouldn't expect to find in a "romance comic". However, providing readers with the unexpected is an Epic tradition, and series writer Mark Millar has stated that the aim of Trouble is to "produce a story that's going to have people talking for the next 10 years."

Jemas began by explaining the origins of Trouble, saying that as the series was being developed as a story it went under the original title of Parents and focused on the baby and the origin of Spider-Man. But now, May and Mary are the heroes, not Spider-Man.

As was the case with Origin and the story of Wolverine, Marvel wanted to tell this part of the Spider-Man story before the movies did. Jemas said that he hopes readers will consider Trouble to be the origin of Spider-Man.

Because the future of the story depends so much on how well it's received, there can be trouble caused for business partners and retailers. It isn't necessarily an Ultimate Spider-Man or an Origin. So Marvel will change its overprint policy when it comes to Trouble. Not only that, but an alternate cover will be readied to see mass print should the story be especially successful and require more printing.

An old fortune-teller, Mrs. Grey, is the only reference to classic continuity; the story plans to stand on its own, as opposed to the Ultimate books which touch on classic milestones. Aside from names, don't count on in-jokes.

Trouble will hopefully be a good read as much for 9-year olds as for adults. When asked about the adult themes, Millar responded that he had fond memories of Stan Lee's drug issues, setting a precedent for serious content.

To get the word out about Trouble, a house ad will appear in all July books. Reviews will start appearing next week at a lot of online resources. On June 25, Wizard will cover Trouble, and some writers who normally cover Marvel books in the mainstream will be talking about it as well.

As much as Marvel seems to be moving in the same direction as the TokyoPop Japanese books, it is not a reaction to the Japanese market; the stories would deserve to be told whether or not Japan existed.

The graphic novel collection will be heavily pushed in bookstores, but as of now the single issues are essentially reserved for comic book stores.

Trouble targets female readers to a degree, and that will continue as a trend in a fashion. Sentinel and Runaways have female appeal, as will 15 Love, described as a meeting of Anna Kournikova and Millie the Model.

When asked about timeline vagueries and how the book would fit in with what's come before, Millar responded that Aunt May is perceived to have grown up in the twenties, but Peter Parker has only been Spider-Man for about ten years. As the books continue, the times grow less developed, and so the only time issue to remember is that this story ends nine months before Peter Parker is born.

The book's surprises have not yet been ruined, so don't think you know the whole story yet. May finds herself in trouble, and this takes place about nine months pre-Peter. But there's still a lot unknown. "The book still has a beginning, middle, and end that we haven't talked about," said Doran.

The aforementioned alternate cover will possibly sold under the reprint title Trouble #1: The Second Chances Edition, will be the work of artist Frank Cho. It will be released based on allowing every reader to pick up the book who missed it the first time.

Millar talked about his own experience with female readership, saying that this is the first of his books his wife was able to read from the first page to the last. Books that are exclusively romantic might not appeal to all regular comic fans, but do have their market.

As with other projects such as Origin and Ultimate Spider-Man, this began as a "nutshell idea" with Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada, and was brought around to writers after being developed somewhat between them.

Asked about the Epic imprint as a home for Trouble, Millar explained that it didn't quite fit in with normal Marvel books, and as it is may not become the actual origin of Spider-Man. But there isn't any adult content, and so the Max mature line doesn't fit either - the experimental Epic imprint seemed about right.
Apparently this is a debate that is still waging on some web sites I looked at. Now from what I have read Marvel has been so loose and vague on if this book is or is not within continuity. So I hope that article may help some.
-Eternally Seeking
I do like the idea behind this concept. Did they ever release this as a trade? If so I might pick it up. I think at the time when I saw it in the comic shop I thought it was a teeny book due to the covers, as I hadn't taken much notice of any articles on it.

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