Marvel’s Civil War panel at Wizard World Philadelphia did not provide much
information about events in upcoming “Civil War” stories. Marvel
editor-in-chief Joe Quesada refused to “drop bombs.” Instead, he discussed
some of the philosophies behind “Civil War” and comics in general. Heroes
fighting heroes, brother fighting brother, friends suddenly finding
themselves on opposing sides; all of these things make for dramatic stories.
Present at the panel were Marvel publisher Dan Buckley, Senior Editor Tom
Brevoort, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and a late-arriving Billy Tucci.
They began with a slide show premiering art from upcoming “Civil War”-related
books. Even here, spoilage was kept to a minimum. Pages from the upcoming
“Runaways/Young Avengers crossover” had some panels removed and marked
“Classified.” This was to avoid revealing which Runaways would be involved,
and not, as Palmiotti claimed, because of all the topless scenes.
“Civil War” is, at heart, an attempt to recapture the early days of Marvel,
when heroes didn’t know each other so well, and didn’t necessarily trust
each other or even get along. Part of the Marvel philosophy, claimed
Quesada, is to fix things within the context of a story, rather than simply
claiming things never happened. “House of M” was another example of this philosophy in action.
There were simply too many mutants, and they’d long since ceased to be
special. After “House of M,” mutants are a tiny minority again.
The subject of retroactive continuity led inevitably to the issue of
Spider-Man’s marriage, a topic which ate up far too much of a panel
supposedly evoted to “Civil War.” The problem, explained Quesada, is that
there are no stories you can do with a married Peter Parker that you can’t
do with a single Peter. On the other hand, there are a lot of stories you
can do with a single Peter that simply can’t be done with a married one. For
that reason, writers and editors wish the marriage would go away, but that
leads to problems as well. A divorce would change the characters in ways
that would be undesirable. Killing off Mary Jane would destroy a vibrant and
well-loved character. And of course, simply declaring that the marriage had
never happened would be bad writing.
The marriage occurred because circulation of Stan Lee’s newspaper strip was
dropping, and stan needed a publicity stunt. He hit on the idea of a
Spider-Man wedding. At that time, Marvel’s editor-in-chief was Jim Shooter,
who didn’t want the strip to “scoop” the comic book. Shooter therefore
ordered a wedding for the comic book Peter and Mary Jane as well. We’ve been
stuck with it ever since.
The most interesting character appearing in “Civil War,” according to Quesada,
is Tony Stark. He’s doing what he thinks is right, taking personal risks and
making sacrifices to do it. That’s the definition of a hero, even if you
don’t agree with what he is doing. His actions in Civil War will define the
character for a long time to come.
Amidst the discussion, some questions were answered. Doctor Strange’s role
in “Civil War” will be revealed in “Civil War” #3. The role of the Marvel
villains will be seen in “Civil War” #5. Moon Knight won’t have a role in
“Civil War,” although the war will affect events in his book. While roles for
Nick Fury and Iron Fist were hinted, no details were forthcoming. There will
be a New Avengers after the war, but no one whould comment on its potential
membership. Given that Avengers mainstays Iron Man and Captain America are
on opposite sides, a membership shakeup seems likely.
“Cable/Deadpool” will interact heavily with Civil War, as will the new “Heroes for Hire,” as the latter will present the civilian’s view of the war, as only one of the
Heroes for Hire has actual super powers. Humbug can control insects, which,
according to Bill Tucci, makes him extremely powerful. “Imagine him
unleashing every cockroach in Philadelphia on this room! Or black flies,
that can eat you! I’d like to see Magneto stop that!”
Before all of that, though, comes “Civil War” #2, the ending of which,
according to Brevoort, will drop our jaws to the floor. “The internet will
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