Marvel held it’s traditional “no holds barred” panel between fans and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada on Saturday in Room 6BCF, and fans turned up to talk with him and the creators of some of Marvel’s hottest comics to talk about what’s in store for your favorite heroes.
On hand, Axel Alonso – Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Tom Brevoort – Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing, C.B. Cebulski – Marvel’s Vice President of International Business Development & Brand Management, as well as writers, Charles Soule (Star Wars: Lando, Daredevil), Cullen Bunn (Moon Knight, Magneto), Kieron Gillen (Star Wars: Darth Vader) and Greg Pak (Totally Awesome Hulk). Avengers’ scribe Mark Waid was expected but didn’t show.
If it’s a Marvel Comic, it’s up for discussion at a Cup O’ Joe panel, and with writers on hand for 2 of the 3 Star Wars titles set in the post A New Hope(Episode IV) era, it seems a good place to start. The first official crossover (between the two ongoing series Star Wars and Star Wars Darth Vader) is called Vader Down. “There’s kind a of big ‘Star Wars’ movie coming out this year,” Gillen told the crowd on hand “so we thought we should do something big. … Darth Vader facing off against a Rebellion army by himself.” The event, written by Gillen, and Star Wars writer Jason Aaron, with art by series artists Mike Deodato and Salvador Larroca puts Vader behind Rebel lines, isolated from the Imperial Fleet, and taking on the entire Rebellion to get back.
Attention then turned to Charles Soule and his Lando miniseries (issue 1 having just hit stands this week), saying he was very gratified by fan response to the title’s first issue. “I have been very gratified with the response,” Soule said. “He’s very smooth, he’s a gambler, he likes the ladies, he’s a good pilot.” Soule discussed how little we really know about the scoundrel, before he encounter Han and Leia at Cloud City. “He’s such a great character. He’s so much fun to work with. You can almost here Billy Dee Williams say some of these great lines, and hopefully we conveyed that in the book.“
Since Mark Waid missed the panel, Marvel EiC Brevoort took the time to talk about what’s coming up in S.H.I.E.L.D. S.H.I.E.L.D. #8 will introduce Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse) to the series as “he and Melinda May go on a mission that’s very personal, particularly to Bobbi,” Brevoort said. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” #9, is a 50th anniversary issue. S.H.I.E.L.D. first appeared in Strange Tales #135, in 1965. It featuring two never-before published pages, “The Man Called Death” penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Jim Steranko, back in the 1960’s and will be in comic shops August 19.
Brevoort then told fans about the “smaller, more focused Avengers team that will debut in Mark Waid’s upcoming All-New, All-Different Avengers (with art chores split between Mahmud Asrar and Adam Kubert). “What we were trying to get to was an Avengers team that felt a bit more about the Chris Claremont, John Byrne X-Men that features big adventures, but these real close character moments. It’s an Avengers crew that’s more reflective of the world around us than maybe you’re used”. Avengers #0 will be released in October, and will kick off all the Avengers titles coming after Secret Wars.
Up next Greg Pak returns to the Hulk, but it’s a new Hulk, but who is the new Green Goliath? “Let the speculation begin.” Pak chimed, “When the book comes out, the big mystery is not ‘who is the Hulk.’ We’re going to tell you on Page 1. The mystery is, ‘Where is Banner? What happened to Banner?‘ It was the new status quo that got the writer to return to the character that he wrote for over 5 years. “I had an amazing time writing Hulk stories for Marvel for about five-and-a-half years,” Pak said. “I had a tremendous run, working with Mark Paniccia, my editor. I thought I was done — but then they pulled me back in. I got a call, and Mark said three magic words that I cannot reveal here, and there was no way I could say no.”
Once the panel was done discussing their projects, Quesada and Alonso shared snippets about other upcoming projects
- Marvel’s reprints of Miracleman, by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham has been scheduled to start September 2.
- A new volume of Guardians of the Galaxy from Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti. The new team features Rocket Raccoon as leader, a new female Star Lord, and the Thing on the team will debut on Oct. 7. – “It’s all top secret,” Alonso told the crowd.
- A new Star-Lord series by Sam Humphries and Javier Garron is taking a year one approach to Peter Quill.
- There is a new Drax series, featuring the writing team of Cullen Bunn and wrestler CM Punk. Bunn told fans “Whenever you work with a co-writer, there’s always a potential for arguments, and I think Marvel wanted someone who could physically stand up to CM Punk, so I was the man for the job,” Bunn said (which got some laughs.) The series will depict Drax on his mission to kill Thanos, coming across
Q: Will the different genres seen during Secret Wars will lead to more creative exploration after the event?
A: (Brevoort) “Yes, even going into Secret Wars, our creators really grabbed with both hands the idea of doing books that are kind of off the beaten path, and after Secret Wars, we’ll see creators continue that”
Q: How are X-Men rosters for different books were picked?
A: Gillen and Aaron used to have thumb wars for specific characters, (kidding) “it actually comes down to who works best on which book.”
Q Will Marvel publish any more omnibus editions of the older Timely comics?
A: (Brevoort) “if the demand is there, Marvel will do it, because, of course, they like money.”
Q: The next fan thanked Marvel for the increase of Latino characters, specifically Miles Morales.
A: “Only the beginning, and we mean that genuinely” Brevoort said.
Q: (the same fan) “When will we see a Jedi knight in the Guardians of the Galaxy?”
A: “No comment” Alonso answered.
Q: When will we see Hank Pym or Janet Van Dyne next?
A: (Brevoort) given what happened at the end of the Avengers: Rage of Ultron graphic novel, it’s only a matter of time before (Hank) shows up again. “There will be more with Janet, as well, she actually makes an appearance in the ‘Ant-Man Annual,“
Q: Is there achance Marvel could do a Batman’66 style series based on the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno Incredible Hulk TVseries?
A: (Alonso) there are no plan… they’re focused on the future.
Q: Which elements of the Ultimate Universe might show up in the new Marvel universe?
A (Brevoort) Miles Morales may not be the only element of the Ultimate Universe making the transition to the new Marvel Universe. “We want to take the best of [the Ultimate Universe], and fold it into the best of the Marvel Universe,”
Q: A Star Wars fan discovering comics through the new Marvel series asked about the challenge of telling stories set in between movies, and how things in the comics may alter the impact of sequences from the film
A: Everything is planned with Lucasfilm. “We work very closely with the Lucasfilm story group,” Alonso said, citing their meetings in San Francisco two or three times a year. Gillen said he’s been asked “if it’s a problem that he knows where the story will end?” – “That’s not a problem, that’s a major advantage,” he said. “Any time you make a decision that doesn’t feel right, we can self-correct. We have a very strong magnetic north.”
The Panel ended with all Quesada deliving on his twitter promise, showing all of the footage from all 6 takes of the fight scene at the end of Neflix’s Daredevil series, episode 2, the infamous hallway scene.