Welcome to CBR’s live coverage of Marvel Comics’ Cup O Joe panel at Comic-Con International 2008. Check back here every few minutes for updates directly from the discussion panel in San Diego with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Assistant Manager of Sales Communications Jim McCann, CB Cebulski, Orson Scott Card, Eric Shanower, Reggie Hudlin, Danny Miki and Jeph Loeb.
Quesada opened the panel by introducing the panelists and showing Pascal Ferry artwork from Marvel’s upcoming adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game,” then Skottie Young artwork from Eric Shanower’s “Oz” project.
Quesada then announced that artist Danny Miki has signed an exclusive contract with the publisher, as has artist Khoi Pham. Artist Paolo Rivera has also renewed with the publisher.
Next year is Marvel Comics’ 70th anniversary. “It’s been a hell of a ride,” Quesada said. “I’ve only been here for eight years, but it’s seemed like 70.”
Quesada then took a moment to honor the late Michael Turner. “We suffered a tremendous loss when Mike died,” Quesada said, explaining the Inkwell fund to benefit the victims of hurricaine Katrina was resurrected to raise money for Turner’s favorite charities. Turner’s family and friends support the charity. The fund can be found at http://www.inkwellrelief.com.
Jeph Loeb reminded the San Diego crowd that a tribute to Michael Turner would be hosted on Sunday, with members of the comics professionals still in town sharing stories and praise for Turner.
Quesada then turned the floor over to attendees for questions.
Why did Aaron Simms work on development for the Hulk as opposed to Sal Buscema or John Romita? Do you have any input on character development for films? Q: “I hate answering questions for Marvel Studios because I tend to be incorrect or I just spin a plate and BS you.”
McCann indicated that the “Incredible Hulk” filmmakers did look at classic materials during character development for the film.
Will there be any new Dark Tower material after “The Long Road Home?” Q: “Yes.” Quesada went on to discuss the number of novelists Marvel is working with. Card said that an “Ender’s Game” film has been in development hell for years, but that the comic book is “frankly a lot better than anything that’s been proposed for a film version.” The writer added, “Everything that comes out of [Ferry’s] pen is beautiful,” and that he specifically requested the comic book version feature no narration; that writer Chris Yost take advantage of the comic medium and depict Endger’s Game’s famous narrations visually.
A fan dressed as Deadpool introduced himself as Wade Wilson and asked how the Deadpool movie is shaping up? Q: “Based on your body shape, not too good.” McCann added that Deadpool would be in the Wolverine movie.
Can Dr. Doom appear in any other Marvel movies? Q: “Currently Dr. Doom is in the world of Fox. That’s a question for our West Coast guys.”
Have you planned to make Secret Invasion movies and so forth? Q: “In my world I would love to eventually see something like Civil War or Secret Invasion, but who knows at this point? The way Marvel West is working side-by-side with Marvel Publishing, you can’t discount any of that stuff.”
Any spoilers for longterm plans for the Hulk? Jeph Loeb: “We’re going to do more and if you don’t know, we will be coming to the end of our first arc. There’s going to be a lot of talk about the fight between the Red Hulk and Thor. Then the rematch between the Red Hulk and Green Hulk — which will dfinitely have a conclusion to it. Then Frank CHo and Art Adams will split the book — half will be green, half red. For those of you who are fans of Superman/Batman, what I tried to do is put the best artists for the right arcs. McGuinness will be coming back [to Hulk] to do some cool stuff. We’re having a great time, both characters will exist for a long time.”
Loeb added that in the back of future issues, readers can find one-page Mini-Hulk comics written by his 17-year-old daughter.
What happened to Ultimate Daredevil? Q: “There were never plans to do an Ultimate Daredevil ongoing. We often said we wouldn’t do that.”
Do you plan to feature more of Marvel’s mystical characters? Q: “I think Paul Cornell’s doing a great job with Captain Britain. He and I met to talk about magic and the logic of magic in the Marvel Universe. We’re talking about it.”
Will we be seeing the Stark-tech Spider-Man suit in the future? Q: “They’re in The Initiative. By the way when I designed that suit, everybody HATED it. Now everybody wants it back!”
With the state of the economy, prices are going up. How is that Marvel have kept their prices relatively stable? Are we going to be seeing an increase? Q: “I don’t make those kinds of decisions. We want to hold the line as long as we possibly can, but the world keeps spinning and unfortunately prices are going up everywhere. Sometiems you’re able to hold longer, sometimes you’re not. Honestly, I don’t have the answer for you.”
Quesada then rolled a clip of Black Panther artwork, animation and other material regarding the BET Black Panther animated series, including interviews with Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan. The series begins with an attempted invasion of Wakanda. The clips also featured Captain America fighting Black Panther and Cap losing. The series, which is quite faithful to the artwork of John Romita, Jr., debuts in February in prime time. The San Diego crowd definitely liked what they saw.
Can we see more cosmic books and characters? Q: “You should come to the Secret Invasion panel. But it’s totally in your hands, if you like the cosmic stuff, we’ll give you more of it. I never thought it would get this far, I’m not a huge cosmic fan, but that doesn’t mean we can’t publish it.”
What happened to Marvel Universe Online? Q: “Unfortunately, the Marvel guy who handles video games couldn’t make it in from New York. I honestly don’t know.”
What was the inspiration behind brining Illiana back? Cebulski: “Her death was always a tragedy. I don’t know why they thought about bringing her back, but the fan demand was there. She’s the dark child now, we’re going to bring her back to the Marvel Universe proper in Ex-Infernus.”
After Secret Invasion, are you going to be doing more big events? Q: “With the big stories — we’ll have a little bit of a break after Secret Invasion. BUt there’s stuff that definitely happens behind the scenes that leads into cool stuff we have coming up. But it’s too early to talk about it.”
Is “X-Men: The Last Stand” the last X-Men movie? Q: “X-Men is i the purview of our partners at Fox. That’s not my world. But we do have a Wolverine movie coming out.”
“The Wizard of Oz was written in 1900, so Marvel Illustrated is adapting the book. Last year Marvel came to me and asked if I wanted to write the script, I said great, I don’t have to draw it! Skottie Young’s artwork is not derivative of any other vision of the Wizard of Oz we’ve seen before. Coming into the project I was a little nervous because I have a very specific vision of what Oz looks like, but Young’s artwork is so full of life. It is so colorful and the lighting effects are wonderful. The character designs are new. I’m very pleased and I hope you all are too.” The project will be eight issues beginning in December.
Is Speedball returning? Q: “He is returning in the Marvel Universe — not in the Ape Universe!”
Will the Bob Gale Daredevil stories ever be released in trade paperback? Q: “Not yet — but maybe.”
Any plans to do anythign else with Genext? McCann: “A sequel has been approved.”
Will Peter and Mary Jane be together again? Q: “I’m not discounting that. If you’re asking if they’re going to be married — probably not.”
Will we ever see any more politically-tinged stories like Civil War? Q: “You never know. We don’t sit here and say, this year we’re going to go political. It’s just a matter of what goes on in the writers’ room. There are undertones in Secret Invasion that are relevant to what’s going on in the modern world. Because the Marvel Universe exists in the real world, our best stories reflect what’s going on whether politically or socially.”
“I particularly have some plans,” Hudlin said. “Especially after Obama wins the presidency.”
A girl in a Dazzler outfit was brought on stage to hug McCann, perhaps the most vocal Dazzler fan alive. “I was wondering if you’re going to have any more Dazzler stories?” she said.
McCann: “You’re in Uncanny X-Men!”
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