Marvel Comics kicked off New York Comic Con 2013 in style, bringing the Amazing X-Men and Marvel Universe panel to the Big Apple, with panelists set to answer everything from “Battle of the Atom” to the upcoming new X-Men series “Amazing X-Men.” Panelists include Marvel Senior Editor Nick Lowe, “X-Factor” writer Peter David, “Deadpool” scribe Gerry Duggan, writer of “Cable & X-Force” and “Avengers Arena” Dennis Hopeless, “Astonishing X-Men’s” Marjorie Liu, “Thunderbolts” writer Charles Soule, “X-Men Legacy” writer Simon Spurrier, “X-Men” writer Brian Wood as well as editors Jeanine Schaefer, Daniel Ketchum and Jordan D. White.
The panel kicked off with Lowe, who served as moderator, saying Marvel just sent the last chapter of “Battle of the Atom” to the printer. “It’s super fun to work on this crazy insane crossover,” said Lowe, who said the panel was also to give fans an idea of the X-Books moving forward — including the November-releasing “Amazing X-Men.”
“This story is crazy,” said Lowe. “it goes through all space/dimension insanity, but it is one of the most swashbuckling, dangerous adventures the X-Men have been on in a long time. Every arc is going to be an event, Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness are in this for the long haul. [Ed] often tells me this is the book he’s been waiting to draw his whole life. He’s been bugging me about drawing Nightcrawler for years now.”
Included in “Battle of the Atom” is “X-Men” by Brian Wood, who will be joined by Terry and Rachel Dodson in a new arc. “This is the Lady Deathstrike arc,” said Wood. “I’m not going to say why she looks like she does, because you’ll find out.” Wood will also be adding Monet to his roster. “I think she was probably on my original list when we first started talking about this book. I wrote her when I wrote ‘Generation X’ a long time ago and she was always something I liked. Pairing her off with Jubilee makes for wisecracks and a lot of attitude.” The arc will also set up some other things that aren’t ready to announce yet.
The next arc of “Wolverine and the X-Men” will spin out of “Battle of the Atom,” and one of the upcoming covers shows Wolverine cutting through the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo and other with Wolverine and Cyclops battling amongst Sentinels. Meanwhile, “All-New X-Men” following “Battle of the Atom” will be the book that is “most impacted” by the crossover. “We’re going to have some big ‘All-New X-Men’ news for you at the end of the panel, but one character we’ll tell you who is joining the book is X-23.”
“Nick doesn’t mind spoiling ‘Avengers Arena’ with that cover,” joked Hopeless.
“Uncanny X-Men” was up next, and will continue to keep its current cast — though “Uncanny X-Men” #14 will deal specifically with the consequences of “Battle of the Atom.” “It’s a very Benjamin and Emma Frost-centric issue,” said Lowe. Issue #15.INH will be a tie-in to “Inhumanity” and what the release of the Terrigen Mists mean to mutants. The issue will also feature a new character debut that will, according to Lowe, “see fans throwing things at Brian Michael Bendis.”
“Savage Wolverine” is current in an arc by Jock with the next by Phil Jimenez, and the series will continue the trend of one-arc stories from various creators with something to say about Wolverine. “You’re never going to see Wolverine like this again,” said Schaefer of Jock’s arc. “With issue #12 and #13, Phil Jimenez is coming in to do an arc with Wolverine coming to Madripoor. He’ll run into some old faces, some old friends, some old enemies — you’ll never read a Wolverine story like this again.”
The end of Paul Cornell and Alan Davis’ “Wolverine” arc, “Killable,” hits in December. “It’s the end of our huge Wolverine event,” said Schaefer. “Wolverine has lost his healing factor, and Sabretooth [is behind it]. Will he get his healing factor back? Will he not? I know what you guys think because I read the Internet. But pick it up, I promise you that you will not see the end coming.”
Spurrier’s “X-Men Legacy” was up next, and Spurrier first thanked the audience for their support of the series. “Over those twenty episodes, which have been remarkably well-reviewed, I feel as though he’s become an important and awesome character. I’ve fallen in love with him and all his secondary character,” said Spurrier. “I think it’s really interesting — it’s not like any of the other books that Marvel’s putting out. It’s now building to a big, climactic moment that we’ve been building to for a long time. I was hoping to announce something else today, but circumstances has conspired against us.”
Gerry Duggan was on-hand to discuss his current run on “Deadpool” with co-writer Brian Posehn, saying the Merc with a Mouth is “in trouble, but has some friends.” “We’re wrapping up our first year of publishing, and we’re having fun even though Wade is stuck in North Korea. He’s got Wolverine and Captain America to help him out of a real jam,” said Duggan. “We’re playing a long game. We are plotted a long ways out and there’s going to be some real consequences out of 19 that change Deadpool. I know you hear that on panels a lot, but it’s true. His life is changing.” “Deadpool” #19 will be Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire’s final issue. Issue #20 will be another inventory issue with art by Scott Koblish. “If you have any love for some KIrby Krackle, don’t miss ‘Deadpool’ #20.”
“Thrilling Adventure Hour” writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker with Evan Shaner on art will take on “Deadpool Annual” #1. “It’ll answer a question people have had since the beginning of the new series, which is, ‘What happened to Deadpool’s white caption boxes?'” said White.
Hopeless’ “Cable and X-Force” and Sam Humphries’ “Uncanny X-Force” will cross over in an event called “Vendetta.”
“We knew when we had two X-Force titles that it would be cool to have one X-Force running into the other X-Force,” said Ketchum. The four-issue crossover will take place over two issues of each series beginning in January. The villain in the crossover will be Stryfe.
Another X-Book coming down the line is “Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe.” “Doctor McNinja” creator Christopher Hastings will take on the luckiest X-Man in a series that sees Longshot save the Marvel U in a way that only he can. “Longshot does not have a mullet in this comic,” said White,” but we decided it said a lot about his character that he would have that hairstyle, so we gave him a trendy modern hairstyle.”
Marjorie Liu’s “Astonishing X-Men” recently wrapped, and both Liu and Jeanine Schaefer discussed the run. “It was a great pleasure and honor to write the book,” said Liu. “My goal setting out was to make the X-Men feel like real people and make the [characters] feel as real as possible. I had so much fun writing this book.”
Moving on, Lowe began announcing the upcoming All-New Marvel NOW! slate. First up was Charles Soule’s previously-announced “She-Hulk” book. “It’s a thrill to be writing She-Hulk,” said Soule. “I’ve been an attorney for a really long time and I still practice law, so the idea of writing an attorney character was really appealing to me. I run my own practice, so I want to take experiences in that and apply them to She-Hulk’s life. It’s going to be a series with Jennifer Walters, who is a strong character … in ways that make her really appealing to write. She’s put in a position where she really decides she has something to prove to herself and the world around her. The premise we’ve come up with allows her to interact with all different corners — secret corners and the highest levels of the Marvel Universe. The idea she could meet anybody in the Marvel Universe is really great.”
Soule’s All-New Marvel NOW! “Sinners” teaser was up next, and it signals a “huge change” in “Thunderbolts,” showing a cover with Ghost Rider on the cover. “The main reason Ghost Rider is joining Thunderbolts is because I like dudes with flaming skulls,” said Soule. “The other reason is that he fits the tone. While Johnny Blaze is a good guy at heart, he’s the spirit of vengeance and terrible things happen around him. Putting him on the team is a natural fit. The reason he’s on the team is because the team has a huge problem they thing Johnny can solve. The title of the arc is ‘No Mercy.’ If you’ve been reading ‘Thunderbolts,’ there’s a character named Mercy. [That title] might have more than one meaning.”
Bendis’ “Trial” and “Judgement” teasers were up next — and Lowe revealed “The Trial of Jean Grey,” which sees “All-New X-Men” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” will cross over. Lowe confirmed the All-New X-Men will still be around following “Battle of the Atom.” The arc will be six parts and three issues each in both “All-New X-Men” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” “In ‘AvX,’ the Phoenix was a big part of it. When the universe learns there’s a Jean Grey, they come to Earth, they take Jean Grey by force back to Shandalar and she goes on trial,” said Lowe. “The Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t like people getting too close to Earth. They take it upon themselves to [team-up] with the All-New X-Men to get Jean Grey.” There are also some secret characters that Lowe isn’t ready to reveal, but the All-New X-Men have connections in space. Stuart Immonen and Sara Pichelli will draw the crossover.
Next, the panel revealed “All-New X-Factor” by Peter David, which got some huge applause from the assembled audience. “First off, I want to say thank you all for coming,” said David. “My work tends to be rooted in the real world, except for occasional battles about hell. I was looking at the real world and corporate present is just omnipresent. … I was also fascinated by Google. Google came out of nowhere and not only invented a brand new word, but is into so many other things — they’re looking at space travel, they’re looking at curing cancer. I thought about it and I said, ‘Why wouldn’t a corporation get into superheroes?’ That hasn’t really happened where a corporation says, ‘Superheroing is something we want to embark on.’ I wound up creating Serval Incorporated.”
Serval created the biggest search engine in the Marvel Internet. Mostly, they help people, but CEO and president Harrison Snow bought the name “X-Factor” off of Jamie Madrox, and brought Polaris onto the team in “X-Factor” #260. The two other members showing up in the first issue will be Quicksilver and Gambit. “It’ll be fun for me, because I’ve never written Gambit,” said David. “There will be two other members of the team. It’s a fascinating endeavor and very different stories from what I was telling before.”
With the panel opening up for questions, and David’s first questioner asked him about his plans for Quicksilver in “All-New X-Men.”
“Quicksilver’s interesting because Gambit doesn’t trust him any further than he can throw him,” said David. “And he has reason to. … A lot of what I’m focusing on is his relationship with Polaris. She’s his half-sister. I thought it would be interesting to play with that, while at the same time Gambit says, ‘You can’t trust him.'”
Other tidbits that came to light are that the secret of the Bamfs will come to light during Jason Aaron’s “Amazing X-Men.” There are plans for Juggernaut from a “writer not in this room.” Liu said her next project will be “probably a novel” — she just turned in her nineteenth novel. Finally, Lowe confirmed there are plans for Jamie Madrox.
After the rapid-fire panel session, the Amazing X-Men and Marvel Universe panel wrapped.