Announced in Marvel's Next Big Thing Liveblog, Sam Humphries will be joining Jonathan Hickman as co-writer of Ultimate Comics Ultimates as part of a transition that will see him taking over the series as the primary writer.
"It's exciting to be able to come into Marvel on a book like this. You've got Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and all the heavy hitters, but with the leeway to throw them around in ways you can't in the Marvel Universe," Sam Humphries says about the opportunity.
Humphries, known for his self-published works Sacrifice and Our Love Is Real, will begin with Hickman on issue #10 for the start of a new story arc. Luke Ross will come on board as the artist. Hickman promises major ramifications for the Ultimate Universe coming out of the events in issue #9.
Marvel likens this transition to be the same process Hickman originally underwent with Secret Warriors when he co-wrote the first arc with Brian Michael Bendis. The belief is that this apprenticeship method will be a good way to quickly bring new talent into the fold. The implication of this is that Humphries will begin as the sole writer upon the completion of his first arc with Hickman, but the actual issue this change will occur hasn't been stated.
In regard to having said he had years worth of Ultimates stories, Hickman says, "I never planned on leaving Ultimates. I took the Ultimate Thor gig with the understanding I'd be getting Ultimates. When I came to Marvel, Ultimates was the book I wanted more than any other. But...I got a job offer I couldn't refuse, so I'm taking it."
This begs the question of what job offer would make HIckman decide to stop writing the Ultimates so early. What could be better than writing the Ultimate versions of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor?
Hey, isn't there an opening coming up for a more high profile series starring Captain America, Iron Man and Thor? Being vacated by the guy Hickman apprenticed under?