Baltimore Comic-Con kicked off its second day with the Marvel Panel – a discussion of the all-new, all-different universe that Marvel Comics plans to reveal post-“Secret Wars.” The panel featured Greg Pak, Frank Cho, Charles Soule and Frank Tieri, who were delighted to talk all things Marvel.
The panel kicked off with the question of how big a reboot “Secret Wars” and Battle World really was. Right away, Soule made the correction that the event was not a reboot and it especially wasn’t a reset. “All continuity that happened before Secret Wars still counts. However, what we all wanted is that all new books are accessible to new readers just like it was intended all along.” He then talked about the upcoming run on “Daredevil” and how he did not watch the Netflix show until he had his take on Daredevil ready for the new book. “His secret identity is back and he’s working at the D.A’s office in Manhattan.” Soule also mentioned giving him a new relationship to explore thanks to the introduction of his new apprentice, Blindspot. What’s more, even though his background starts in Hell’s kitchen, there’s going to be a focus on Chinatown thanks to his relationship with the new character.
Frank Tieri then talked his upcoming “Black Knight” series, comparing what is coming to “Breaking Bad” meets “Game of Thrones.” “Anything and everything can happen,” Tieri stated. “It’s essentially Dane trying to overcome the blade’s influence,” and that the blade is a “necessary addiction.”
Pak and Cho then started talking about the Amadeus Cho-led Hulk series, “The Totally Awesome Hulk.” “Amadeus Cho is the new Hulk,” Pak said as he recreated the call the first time he found out. “Sign me up!” Pak continued by saying, “Amadeus is a cocky kid. Where Bruce hated being the Hulk, he sees it as an opportunity,” and that being the Hulk “is the best thing ever” for Amadeus. “You’re also going to find out how Amadeus got this power in the first place,” added Pak. Bruce Banner was also mentioned in the panel with Pak saying that he loves the character because he wrote him for so many years. “What is interesting about this new status quo is that it opens up very interesting story for Bruce Banner,” Pak said. “What happened to Bruce is a mystery, but the upcoming arc takes his story to another level. You’re going to see what also happened to Bruce in ‘Totally Awesome Hulk.’ There’s definitely some cool stuff in the works.” Cho also recalled when he was called to do ‘Totally Awesome Hulk.’ “I just wanted to work with Greg and the Hulk.” Cho continued that drawing this version of the Hulk is very different from previous versions. “It’s a slippery slope. You can’t go ‘too much’ when you draw Asian characters, especially with the physical characteristics, it almost becomes a stereotype caricature. So I actually use myself, my face as reference a lot. I took a lot of selfies.”
The discussion went back to Soule and his work on “Uncanny Inhumans.” “The Inhumans are all over the Marvel universe right now. Black Bolt and Medusa are trying to manage that and new Inhumans are popping up.” Soule continued by saying that ‘Uncanny Inhumans’ is the flagship title and that it’s the book that follows Black Bolt and Medusa. “Right now Medusa and Black Bolt are broken up. Medusa is also dating Johnny Storm. Where as Black Bolt has an inability to talk, Johnny Storm never shuts up. It’s a fun relationship to write.” The mention of Johnny Storm brought up Crystal Amaquelin, who Johnny used to date; Soule mentioned that Crystal will be the lead in the “All-New Inhumans” book, where she travels the world and looks for the new Inhumans that pop up and that her former relationship with Johnny will make things interesting for herself and Medusa. Kang the Conqueror was also mentioned returning with Black Bolt attempting to get his son back. “Family-style craziness and what length would one go through to get their son back” is the best way to describe it, according to Soule.
Next came the audience questions. The first question was regarding how some runs take more than six issues to wrap up and whether that’s a continuing trend. Soule concluded that he likes to write story arcs that are “satisfying and fun to read,” and if you’re along for the ride, that’s what you get. Pak added, “We’re laying ground work for some huge stuff.”
The next question was regarding a conscious effort for more diversity in general. Pak answered saying that, “Ever since I started working on Marvel, there has always been an effort and there are passionate editors that have been striving for it.” Finally, one member of the crowd asked whether having character film rights controlled by 20th Century Fox is influencing anything in the print line. Soule responded by saying, “I think Marvel loves Mutants, Marvel loves Fantastic Four. Johnny is going be in my book; Ben Grimm is going to be in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ There are a lot of these characters all over the place.”
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