Midday Saturday at Emerald City Comicon, Marvel talent scout C.B. Cebulski led a “Pint O’ C.B.” panel at noon, in the tradition of Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada‘s long-running “Cup O’ Joe” convention Q&As.
Joining Cebulski at the panel: Marvel senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort, “Original Sin” and “Thor: God of Thunder” writer Jason Aaron, “Captain Marvel” writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, “She-Hulk” and “Inhuman” writer Charles Soule, “Ms. Marvel” writer G. Willow Wilson and “Ultimate FF” writer Joshua Hale Fialkov.
Cebulski started the panel by telling the audience he will give Japanese Oreos — with flavors including green tea latte and crÃ¨me brÃ»lee — to folks who ask good questions.
Following introductions, eschewing a presentation component, Cebulski opened the floor to questions from the audience. The first fan up to the mic asked how much “pushback” Marvel received from the new “Ms. Marvel” series.
“There was some,” Wilson answered. “There was a little bit of muttering from the usual suspects.” Wilson said it was less than she expected, and was confident that talk would evaporate once the book debuted.
Next question: What’s up with “Wolverine and the X-Men” supporting character Broo? Aaron said that new series writer Jason Latour wanted to pare down the cast a bit upon taking over the series, but Broo will be back in the book.
Is there a possibility of a Ms. Marvel/Young Avengers team-up? “Well now I want to know the answer to that,” Wilson replied. “I’ll have to say this: Given the fan response to ‘Ms. Marvel,’ the pool of things we’re allowed to pull from have suddenly gotten much bigger. But there are no concrete plans right this second.”
An audience member asked about frequent renumberings. “The short and sweet answer is, because when we do it, you buy them, and when we don’t do that, you don’t buy them as much,” Brevoort answered. “I think it’s a reflection of the world we live in. Certainly the continuity of numbering was shattered years ago at this point.”
“A #1 is an invitation to new readers,” DeConnick added. “The reality of storytelling is that a #1 is a very clear message that this is an easy place for you to join us. The #1s at Marvel don’t negate anything that came before it.” Fialkov joined the discussion to distinguish between restarting with a new #1, and an actual continuity reboot.
“When we get too obsessed with the numbering, it’s like you’re focusing on the container, and not the Coke,” DeConnick said. “Drink the Coke.”
An audience member asked how much Aaron hates Cyclops. “I don’t hate Cyclops. I think it’s always dangerous to confuse a writer’s opinion with the character’s opinion,” Aaron said. “Wolverine doesn’t like Scott Summers, not me. I love Cyclops. If I get to write a Cyclops series one day, that would be awesome. Then I’d get to talk about how much he hates Wolverine.”
Next person up to the microphone expressed his disappointment with Marvel not highlighting atheism in its characters, naming Reed Richards as an example. “Reed technically wouldn’t be an atheist, because he knows about Eternity,” Fialkov answered. Fialkov continued, saying it’s something that’s been discussed in the Ultimate books, specifically with “big purple god” Galactus arriving in “Cataclysm.”
A “She-Hulk” fan asked Soule about the direction of the series. The writer answered that the tone set from the first couple of issues is a strong indicator of the series going forward, and it’ll stick mostly with short story arcs. “There’s something to be said where you just pick up an issue and you dig it, and have a good time,” he said.
Fan in Loki costume: “Why isn’t Marvel jumping on how big Loki is?” Brevoort: “Well, we gave him a book.” The fan was looking for more merchandise, and DeConnick suggested contacting WeLoveFine, who have the license to make Marvel t-shirts.
An audience member inquired about the design process behind Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel outfit. DeConnick said she wasn’t excited by the first couple designs shown to her, and asked if Jamie McKelvie could take a crack at it. “It looks to me that something that would be the dress uniform for the superhero branch of the military, which is appropriate to her character,” she said. “We never refer to it as her costume, we refer to it as her uniform.
“He did Ms. Marvel also,” Wilson added. “He’s kind of the patron saint of good costuming.”
Does the increase of pets in the Marvel Universe mean a return of Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers? “Not necessarily, but there is a Lockjaw story in the first issue of ‘Original Sins,'” Brevoort answered, referring to the tie-in solicited for June 2014.
Does “Captain Marvel” going cosmic and the Starjammers returning in “Cyclops” mean a reunion might be in the works? DeConnick answered that it’s something “Cyclops” Greg Rucka and her have already talked about, though there are no concrete plans yet. “Greg at least already has those cards on the table.”
Chance of a new “Runaways” series? Brevoort pointed out that some of the characters are in “Avengers Undercover.” “Those are all characters that we like, and we like to give exposure too,” Brevoort. “I don’t know if you’ll see a full-on ‘Runaways’ revival anytime soon, but I’m sure we’ll get to it at some point.” Cebulski said when the right pitch and the right time comes along, it’ll happen.
A fan in Captain Marvel cosplay said she was scared off by the T&A in comics, but reenergized by the new designs for characters like Carol Danvers and Ms. Marvel. She also said that She-Hulk’s outfit is a “bathing suit costume that works, because she looks fucking badass in it.” Soule said it was inspired by weightlifting outfits — you get a sense of power out of it, nor prurience.
Status of Darkhawk? “Where he’ll appear after [‘Avengers Arena’] remains to be seen,” Brevoort replied. Also, Monkey King will appear soon in “Avengers World.”
A reader who identified as a “survivor” of the ’90s, said he get concerned when he sees things like an “Age of Ultron” foil cover. “Don’t worry,” Brevoort said. “The thing about those gimmicks is, cool is cool. All that stuff worked because it was cool. It was fun, it was interesting, it got people’s attention. The problem was, it became overdone. It’s a tool to be used in moderation when it makes sense to do so.”
Brevoort cast doubt on a new “West Coast Avengers” series happening anytime soon, because he thinks the concept is “kind of dopey” — do they not respond to emergencies east of the Mississippi? “An Avengers team that’s set up on the west coast? No problem. But I don’t think we’ll call them ‘West Coast Avengers.'” “What about Avengers West Coast?” a fan asked from the audience.
Responding to a request for a comic starring Melinda May from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Brevoort said that now the show is deep into its first season, he wouldn’t be surprised if “you’ll start seeing the S.H.I.E.L.D.’ characters popping up in the Marvel Universe.”
Last question, from a fan in Spider-Woman cosplay: Will there be a “Spider-Woman” series soon? “Let’s just say later in the year, you’ll be very happy,” Cebulski answered.
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