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So I found out a day after everyone else that the Marvel Anime serials I devised will air on G4 television in the US during 2011. These serials are being made by Madhouse in Japan, for the south east Asian television market, so the G4 airings will either be dubbed or subtitled.

Here’s the original press release about the Marvel Anime serials.

The way it worked is that I devised four serials for Marvel Anime – IRON MAN, WOLVERINE, X-MEN and BLADE. Which means that I came up with 12-episode stories for each property. For the most part, I used pre-existing stories as adaptation material — the WOLVERINE story, for instance, takes the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller WOLVERINE miniseries from the early 80s as its basic spine. Weirdly, Matt Fraction and I were working parallel at one point, and it turns out that, without talking to each other about it, I’ve sort of mirrored “Stark Resilient” in the IRON MAN anime.

I then wrote outlines for each episode of each serial. These outlines were then turned into scripts by Madhouse’s writers, and then made into animation by Madhouse’s directors and animators. Because I knew the process in advance, the outlines were really just plot, pacing and colour. I imagine and expect that I’ve been seriously rewritten in places by the actual writers, which is fine and all part of the process.

As I say, these were commissioned and created specifically for the south east Asian market. But it’s nice that they’ll get some form of English-language airing too.

Here’s G4’s announcement.

And here’s the IRON MAN trailer.

EDITED TO ADD: Deadline has a few more details.

Published in Work


  1. causti causti

    I gotta ask: did you come up with the idea for the crappy moe love interest and evil villain organization setup, or was that Madhouse? Not that I’m judging; this was written for a Japanese audience and those are two basic components for Japanese superhero stories.

  2. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    I have to say, I’m not entirely sure what you’re talking about. Love interest? Moe?

  3. Preston Preston

    Warren Ellis never comes up with anything crappy.

  4. causti causti

    Kinda talking out of my ass here.

    There have been reports from one site that saw the first episode that said there is some female reporter love interest who fits the role of the weak-willed female lead that is common in anime.

    That, and the site also mentioned that Scorpio of the Zodiac gang showed up in the first episode, which makes me wonder if Zodiac is the big evil organization that will serve as the antagonist.

    Seriously, I’ve noticed Japanese superheroes rarely fight individual antagonists, they always have to fight an organization. That thing always bothered me. I’d hate to see that happen to Iron Man.

  5. Hanzo Hanzo

    Moe is basically hyper cute usually female characters for those not in the know when it comes to anime tropes, though i wouldnt say the females in the trailers ive seen are moe since madhouse dont do that stuff. They are a decent anime company who make mature(ish) series that usually end up being used as inspiration for crappy US stuff down the line.

  6. J. J.

    Warren Ellis writing moe love interest would involve heads exploding seconds after the nosebleeds start.

  7. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    Well, yeah, you’re kind of talking out of your arse there. There is a female reporter, but she’s far from weak OR a love interest OR the only female in the cast. There IS a Zodiac connection and an evil organisation set-up of sorts… but, you know, this is Iron Man. Evil organisations are kind of the go-to if you want to produce an essential Marvel Comics Iron Man experience for a new(ish) audience.

    Preston: I come up with lots of things that are crappy. Ask around.

    Hanzo: I’m well aware of Madhouse’s output. PAPRIKA and PARANOIA AGENT are two of my favourite anime pieces of the last few years.

  8. causti causti

    Thanks boss, should have known better than to think you’d do anything like that.

    I was only worried since you said you were only doing the outline and that Madhouse was in charge of the actual production.

    I forgot that Iron Man’s common foes include HYDRA and AIM.

    On a side note: Deadpool is apparently the new Wolverine, does that mean he’s going to be showing up in one of these series?

  9. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    Well, I did only do the outlines, so who knows, maybe I’ve been completely rewritten.

    No Deadpool in any of the serials.

  10. isdtr isdtr

    A good example of what the so called moe is: (Warning for horrible soul destroying bullshit, please notice the target audience for this is single males in their twenties).

  11. causti causti

    Last bit: were you given guidelines for the stories to make them accessible to Japanese audiences or were you given a good deal of control?

    I was surprised when I found out that these were origin series and set in an already established universe.

  12. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    Someone is giving you really bad information. What origin stories?

  13. causti causti

    Typo. “Weren’t.” Big difference there. Sorry.

  14. Preston Preston

    I don’t believe you Mr. Ellis or your imaginary nay-sayers.

  15. Aaron Aaron

    So, it’s awesome to hear that you used the Miller Wolverine storyline as a base. Any word on how much of that we’ll be getting?
    Also, After seeing the first footage of the Iron Man anime (and LOVING it) and seeing the new footage and feeling a bit “meh” about the whole thing….
    What’s the word on the Wolverine art-style/footage?
    I thought the pretty-boy, skinny, super-mullet Wolverine fighting weird Oni-Demon-things was ridiculous.
    I’ve heard that they’ll be a drastic change in the art style for that series.
    Any news to report to us fans?

    Also, any updates on Blade or X-Men?

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