Welcome to the first fan question-and-answer session CUP O’ JOE at CBR! This is the first of many, where Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada will answer questions posed by you, the readers, in CBR’s Marvel Universe forum.
Of course, Q&As aren’t all you’ll find here at CUP O’ JOE, and you should check the minisite regularly because we’re updating it almost every day with great features like Joe’s discussion of the cancellation of “Captain Britain & MI13” and event fatigue, as well as the latest CoJ poll and the latest CUP O’ DOODLES.
CUP O’JOE will be back on Monday and Tuesday with even more fan questions and perhaps some new doodles as well, but for now, check out this candid session with Joe, where he addresses some of CBR readers’ concerns about long-delayed projects, fan-favorite characters and more.
CUP O’ Joe is Executive Produced by Jonah Weiland and Produed by Kiel Phegley.
Kiel Phegley: Elayis asks a question that I’ve been wondering about myself. “About a year ago, Marvel announced a Marvel Illustrated series, an adaption of Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Electric Ant,’ written by David Mack with art by Pascal Alixe. Since Comic-Con of ’08, there have been no new announcements on the series. Is it still in production? Any idea of a release date if it is?”
Joe Quesada: Yes, Elayis, we’re still working on it. As to a projected release date, we’re hoping to make an announcement about it sometime very soon. Along with David Mack, we’ve been working closely with the Philip K. Dick Estate to bring this story to life and keeping it as much in line as is possible with the author’s original vision. Pascal Alixe has also been hard at work trying to find just the right art style for this story. And just because you asked nicely, here’s a sneak peak at some of his beautiful art.
Kiel Phegley: Omega Alpha wants to know: “Is ‘Astonishing X-men’ #30 really coming out this month? And when is #31 being released?”
Joe Quesada: Omega Alpha, yes it is really coming out this month, and issue #31 will be out in October.
Kiel Phegley: A follow up from the same reader: “And what’s Millar up to after ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Old Man Logan?'”
Joe Quesada: Mark has a very interesting methodology when it comes to his future projects. He always has a very detailed road map of what it is that he wants to do and it usually extends out about two to three years into the future. As of my last conversation with Mark, once he completed this current run of Marvel work-for-hire assignments, he was going back to do another round of his fantastic creator-owned projects. Also keep in mind that Mark is knee-deep in his “Kick-Ass” movie, so I’m sure that will eat up a lot of his time. But I suspect that when he’s done with all those things, fans can anticipate him coming back for some more Marvel mayhem.
Actually, quite recently I tried selling Mark on a few fun ideas. He really wanted to do them, but he’s just booked so tight that there just weren’t enough hours in the day. But you can be sure that I’ll always be whispering sweet temptations in the wee man’s ear.
Kiel Phegley: This builds a bit on some of the last reader’s comments, but a guy called Comicbookfan wants to know, “Joe, what are you guys doing to get ‘Astonishing X-Men’ on a monthly schedule?”
Joe Quesada: Well, one of the things we did was that we got Phil Jimenez coming on board. While I can’t promise that we’ll be getting the book back on a monthly title right away, having Phil on board will be a big help.
Kiel Phegley: Reader Stephen Sanders asks, “Hey Joe, will Dr. Strange continue with the New Avengers or possibly his own series after the current arc in ‘New Avengers?’ I would think the interest in Dr. Strange is pretty high considering the latest ‘New Avengers’ being the #1 comic in May.”
Joe Quesada: Stephen, keep your eyes to the sky for the answer… actually, just keep your eye on Philadelphia this weekend for some Doc Strange announcements. We’ve got big, big plans for the Sorcerer Supreme. So stand by and see what we do. It’s going to be interesting and completely unexpected. I think it’s going to shine a whole new light on the Sorcerer Supreme thing.
Kiel Phegley: Three questions from chickrockguitar. Let’s go one at a time, starting with: “X-23 has a big following here on CBR, will we be seeing a much wanted third mini any time soon? Come on! We know Kyle, Yost and Choi are up for it!”
Joe Quesada: I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it, chickrockguitar. She’s a character who sort of leaped into popularity out of the mind of Craig Kyle who did a wonderful job with the character. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a third and a fourth series of “X-23.” Her popularity seems to be growing daily and when that happens, it’s tough to keep artist and writers away from a character.
Kiel Phegley: Almost a tie-in question: “Any chance of an ‘NYX’ Vol. 3 with X-23?”
Joe Quesada: You know, I don’t know right now. But I do think the concept of “NYX” is pretty cool, if I do say so myself. [laughs] Again, it’s one of those things where when the timing is right and we feel the market desires it, we’ll do it again.
Kiel Phegley: chickrockguitar’s third question hits a theme we got from a few readers: “Any chance we’ll see the X-kids (Hellion, Surge, Elixir, Anole, Pixie, Mercury, Rocklside, Dust etc) in thier own book again soon? We all miss New X-Men!”
Joe Quesada: You’ll be seeing a lot of those kids in “X-Men: Legacy” starting in October, along with Rogue (who’s becoming the book’s focus character). Since she has control of her powers now (WHAT? YOU DIDN’T READ “X-MEN LEGACY” #224?!?!?) her new role will be tied rather closely to the kids.
Kiel Phegley: We got a lot of questions from Spidey616…
Joe Quesada: Oh, Spidey616! My old buddy! [laughs] I know this guy, he’s my favorite column stalker.
Kiel Phegley: He left multiple posts with multiple questions for you, and we’re trying to take a look at as many as we can, starting with “Great to see Paul Jenkins back writing for Marvel again with ‘Son of Hulk’ soon. I was curious if he has any other projects or if he still has plans for Hickey, Speedball’s former cellmate, from his Civil War Frontline mini? Seems like only yesterday.”
Joe Quesada: Currently there are no plans for “Frontline” right now. We’ve been working with Paul on a number of different concepts -Â one that I’m looking most forward to is actually a Marvel Knights project which I think is really, really sweet. So keep your eyes open for it.
Kiel Phegley: “Any Omega Flight plans especially now that the team has lost quite a few members?”
Joe Quesada: No plans at the moment, sorry Omega Flight fans.
Jonah Weiland: One thing I can tell you about Alpha Flight and Omega Flight is that whenever we’ve done previews of those books on CBR, the response is disproportionately huge. It’s like we previewed an X-Book. It’s a very curious thing. Maybe our site is just full of a crapload of Canadians or something.
Joe Quesada: It’s remarkable how that stuff happens with respect to fan demand and certain ideas or concepts. Every once in a while, there will be a significant amount of interest for a particular book, character or group of characters and then if we publish that book, that interest doesn’t manifest itself in sales or at least in a proportionate amount when compared to the vocal demand. I think that there are certain characters and teams where the idea of them is much more attractive than the reality. Or, the onus could simply be on us, maybe we’re just not executing properly.
I remember, long before I was EIC, there were certain characters like that, Nick Fury, Namor or even Silver Surfer. When they showed up in a title I was always blown away and wanted to see them in their own book. But given their own solo title, they seemed to lack that certain something. Now, this isn’t an absolute of course, but there are just certain characters that are stronger in supporting or cameo roles than ongoing.
But I’m also a guy that doesn’t believe you can’t buck tradition or a trend, so we’ll keep plugging away at this stuff because sometimes its just a matter of finding the right creators to turn something that was never consider a mainstream concept into a huge hit.
So, in short, how does this vocal demand not translate into actual sales? I have no idea, but I’ll take the blame and just say that perhaps we haven’t found the right hook for these types of projects.
Kiel Phegley: Spidey’s next question is one we got from a few folks: “Does Kevin Grevioux have future plans for his Adam: The Blue Marvel creation and/or will we be seeing the character appear again soon in the Marvel U?”
Joe Quesada: Marvel’s newest hero and one of our strongest powerhouses, the Blue Marvel, may not have more adventures on the horizon just yet – but rest assured he’s woven into the tapestry of the Marvel Universe. So whether the opportunity arises to bring him out again, or he turns up as a player in other stories, he’s right there in the toy box and you can count on seeing him again.
Kiel Phegley: Another check-in on a long-standing project: “About a year ago a Luke Cage mini by animator Genndy Tartakovsky was announced. Is this project still a go and/or simply delayed due to his storyboarding duties on ‘Iron Man 2’?”
Joe Quesada: “CAGE!” is very much a go. Genndy Tartakovsky’s been a busy bee the past year – working on “Iron Man 2” and creating a new TV show, for starters – so his schedule is admittedly unpredictable. But he’s hugely excited about “CAGE!” and he’s writing and drawing away at a furious pace. Stay tuned for more news soon!
Kiel Phegley: One final from Spidey616 on some of your personal work: “And on the subject of characters returning, any chance of you writing/drawing the Santerians again in a future project or possibly even another creator?”
Joe Quesada: I’ve been promising myself that I’d get back to the Santerians as I have an origin story for NeRo and the team that’s just sitting there waiting to be told, but I have so much on my plate that I have absolutely no idea when I’ll be able to get to it. To be honest, I’ve got so much writing and penciling work on my desk on top of my regular job that I have to be reasonable and honest with myself that it’ll be a couple of years before I can actually get back to the Santerians.
Jonah Weiland: Can you give us a hint as to what you’re working on?
Joe Quesada: Well, I can tell you one. I’m currently working on a six-page story for “Amazing Spider-Man” #600 with a relatively unknown, upstart writer. The second project is a four-issue thing that’s already written but I’m hoping to actually get to draw myself. We’ll see how that goes.
Kiel Phegley: lobsterj has a question about Ultimate Comics. “Once we were told that after ‘Ultimatum,’ there’d be no new miniseries and support books coming out in the Ultimate line, but in September’s solicits, we’re seeing a new Warren Ellis Iron Man mini in the Ultimate U. What gives there?”
Joe Quesada: Lobster, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t remember saying that at all. However, in the event that I’m remembering wrong then my answer is simple, we changed our minds.
Jonah Weiland: Okay, another from Spidey616. We may just need to let him take over the Q&A from this point forward. “Now that the ‘Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk’ mini is completed, revealing the debut of Betty Ross as She-Hulk, will we be seeing this new addition to the Ultimate Universe later again, assuming Ultimate Shulkie makes it through ‘Ultimatum’ alive?”
Joe Quesada: Well, Spidey, you do need to see what happens first. Let’s wait until “Ultimatum” is done and then let’s come back to your question.
Jonah Weiland: And Spidey616 continues, “Also in September, we see a solicit for a ‘Clone Saga’ mini series written by Tom DeFalco and Howard Mackie…what’s the genesis of this project? Does it cover similar ground as the new Claremont X-Men series?”
Joe Quesada: This was actually pitched to me by Tom and Howard. When they originally planned the “Clone Saga,” it was supposed to end much sooner and in a different way than it eventually did. This had to do with a lot of things and none of them about making comics. This was a situation in which Marvel needed revenue very badly. The industry was sinking and a hit like the “Clone Saga” was very tough to come by, so marketing asked Tom and Howard if they could keep the story going longer and yet longer still, long after where they wanted to end it originally. This of course changed their story, but being good soldiers, they did what they had to for the survival of the publishing arm of Marvel. So, the idea with this “Clone Saga” series is to give Tom and Howard the opportunity to tell the end of their story as they intended it.
Outside of the background behind this story, what also made it incredibly interesting for me was that they had detailed notes dating back from those days, with their original story points and notes as to where they had to expand and what they had to change. It was fascinating from a historical perspective of what might have been and it all just blew me away. I’ve encouraged them both to also let us print some of their notes as bonus material, I think longtime Spidey fans would really dig seeing that stuff.
If you’d like to ask Joe Quesada a question, be sure to visit the CBR forums at the link below.