Fans lined up Sunday morning in San Diego for one of Marvel Comics’ final panels of the long Comic-Con Weekend, a focused look at the X-Men. Among the panelists were Jim McCann, Axel Alonso, Ed Brubaker, Mike Carey, Marc Guggenheim, Daniel Way, Peter David, Christopher Yost and CB Cebulski. McAnn began by asking the crowd if they were reading “Endangered Species,” which the crowd obviously were, judging from the applause. Ed Brubaker then explained that everything in “Uncanny” is building towards “Messiah CompleX,” and indicated that more or less every book int he line is or would be soon.
Peter David then explained that in “X-Factor,” the Isolationist, a character first seen in the previous “X-Factor” series drawn by Joe Quesada, comes up with the idea of having mutants declared a legal endangered species with all the protections the law affords such beings. As for Quicksilver coming back, “the answer is yes,” David said, adding that he will be having a smackdown with Layla Miller. “You’ll never guess who wins.”
Christopher Yost and Ed Brubaker briefly discussed “Emperor Vulcan,” which follows up ont he characters Brubaker stranded in space in his year-long Shi’ar arc.
Marc Guggenheim said that in upcoming issues of “Wolverine,” drawn by Howard Chaykin, Wolverine enters the afterlife to fight for his soul. “What happens if Logan doesn’t win that fight? That’s the question that kicks off this arc.” Guggenheim also plans to introduce a new villain to put Wolverine in that near-death state, whose name is Shogun.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing Wolverine get his ass handed to him,” said “Origins” writer Daniel Way of the upcoming storyline featuring Captain America in World War II. Also, another character will be appearing in the book: Deadpool.
“Everyone here pretty much helped come up with the story of what Messiah CompleX would be — except Daniel Way and Marc Guggenheim, you guys get no credit. I was lucky enough to write the first chapter and have it drawn by a superstar artist.
“I think things have been safe for a while,” Brubaker continued, saying that in Messiah CompleX, Marvel is trying to return a sense of excitement and danger to the X-office. “It feels like Marvel in the 60s, where you don’t know what’s going to happen week to week.”
After previewing art from new issues, McCann congratulated Ed Brubaker for winning two Eisner Awards for Best Writer and Best New Series- “Criminal,” and then turned the floor over to the audience for questions.
A fan thanked Mike Carrey for his work with the Rogue character, asking “Is she going to continue to be a badass and not die?”
“I didn’t spend all this time building her up just to have her die. Ther’es certainly more to Rogue’s story,” Carrey said.
“What’s the future of ‘Cable-Deadpool’ now that Cable’s dead?”
“The book is now Deadpool-Wolverine for the forseeable future,” McCann said.
A fan then asked what Iceman’s part in the X-universe would be, and Mike Carey indicated that he would be growing out of his fratboy persona and realizing his potential as a hero.
“Is there going to be another Maddrox limited series?” asked another fan.
“If I can think of another great Maddrox story, I’d just as soon do it in ‘X-Factor,” Peter David said.
Another fan asked if there were plans to bring Gambit back into the X-Men. “There are plans for Gambit to be in the X-Men universe, but we can’t tell you what they are,” the panel responded.
“I am curious,” said a fan, “where did Beast get Mr. Sinister’s phone number?”
“A bathroom stall,” Peter David answered.
Another fan asked if Cable will return in Messiah CompleX. Axel Alonso answered, “I was aghast that Mike Carey killed Cable. We’ll see what happens.”
As to whether Scarlet Witch will return to the X-Books, Brubaker said that other offices have plans for her, but that “her shadow will be felt in Messiah CompleX.”
A fan then asked Brubaker what gives him the most satisfaction, reviving a character like Captain America or writing a creator-owned story like “Criminal.” “With Criminal I might have a little more fun because we can have swearing an nudity, but I don’t flip a switch in my mind or anything like that.”
As to all the events taking place in Marvel’s space books, a fan wondered if they’re connected at all. “We saw a little bit of a ripple effect, but we realized it would be insane if tried to have Annihilation be part of the Shi’ar storyline,” Brubaker said. It would have been impossible.”
A fan praised Peter David for the fights in “X-Factor,” but wanted to know when “the noir” back to the book. “The thing I like about X-Factor is to shake things up, to do a variety of things. The last few issues, the X-Cell storyline, was something I did to — no offense — shut up the people who always say do more fights.
“The storyline I’m embarking upon now with the Isolationist is more in the noir feel. Another thing you may have noticed is that we’re shifting artists quite a bit,” and David creates his stories to suit particular artists. “Now that Pablo’s back for a few issues, the new storyline will have much more of a noir feel to it. Nobody’s committing suicide really soon, but we are seeing more of that kind of tonality in the next few issues.”
A fan asked if Surge will be behaving in a more leader-like fashion, and the panel advised him to check out Messiah CompleX.
“With Messiah CompleX coming up, are we going to see Havok?” asked a fan. He was advised to check out “Emperor Vulcan.”
Another fan wanted to see more Monet, and Peter David said “I intend to do more stuff with Monet. She is a character who is rapidly growing on me, she’s a lot of fun.”
Peter David then likened working in a shared universe with “incredibly talented, very creative people a lot like improv,” explaining that a lot of the best ideas come purely on the fly, based on a colleague’s ideas.
“Are we going to see solo series for any X-Men besides Wolverine?” asked a fan.
“Yes,” McCann said. Big ones.”
A fan asked about Bishop, and Axel Alonso said, “I love Bishop. He’s huge for me. If you’re a Bishop fan, this is a good time.”
“With all the X-teams being pulled into the Messiah CompleX, what about X-Calibur?” asked a fan.
McCann said that X-Calibur will be off doing their own thing during Messiah CompleX, and that there are future plans for the characters.
A fan asked about an X-crossover with Young Avengers, and McCann said they would love to do it, “but Young Avengers are Allan Heinberg’s babies,” and that any activities with those characters will involve Heinberg.
A fan asked if the X-books creative teams will change after Messiah CompleX, and McCann said that it’s too soon to stay for fear of giving away story points.
Check back with CBR News in a few minutes for more live coverage of “X-Men: Endangered Species” at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
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