Marvel Comics’ second panel of the New York Comic Con began with Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada thanking God for the end of the Civil War. The panelists introduced themselves: Marvel’s Assistant Manager of Sales Communication Jim McCann, “Civil War: The Initiative” writer Dan Slott, “Omega Flight” writer Michael Avon Oeming, and editor of “Ms. Marvel” and “Nova”, Bill Rosemann.
The panel began with a slideshow of upcoming events. “New Avengers: the Initiative” with Brian Michael Bendis. According to McCann, the one-shot will set up the landscape of the immediate post-“Civil War” world.
Interior art was shown by Alex Maleev from the Bendis-written “Civil War: The Confession” featured Iron Man and, according to Quesada, a “very angry Steve Rogers.”
“Civil War: the Initiative” interior artist Stefano Caselli, is now exclusive to Marvel. Covers will be by Jim Cheung. Slott says Stefano is “so happy” to be a part of Marvel.
Slott discusses more of the central plot of the series, saying that every single Marvel hero who registered is part of the army. “The cast is HUGE,” he said, “Everyone gets one line.”
Slides of “Black Panther” were shown. With the title character and his wife Storm now revealed to be a part of the Fantastic Four, McCann says the book and “Fantastic Four” will be connected, “but not essential.” He said that Reggie Hudlin and Dwayne McDuffie are coordinating.
Slott talked about “She-Hulk”, whose title character now works for SHIELD busting Hulk’s bad guys in his absence. Slott says that issue #18 leads into Hulk #106, and right into the “World War Hulk” prologue. However, he says, each issue will still be self contained.
An Adi Granov “Nova” cover is revealed, featuring the title character fighting with Penance. Editor Bill Rosemann talked a bit about the overall plot of the Annihilation followup. He said that issue #1 is stand alone and the title character is now the last Nova. Rosemann said that Nova is “like an ER doctor, pressed to the edge,” and “convinced he needs to take a break.” Nova hears satellite transmissions that refer to the events in Civil War. Rosemann said Nova seeks out the New Warriors and meets up with the Thunderbolts and team member Penance, who is formerly Speedball. Rosemann rated Nova as an A-list hero: “Nova could go toe- to toe with Hulk right now.”
Over in “Iron Man”, Quesada was straightforward: “Tony takes over and cleans shop.” McCann announced that Rob Tellatore is the new penciller as of issue #15
Rosemann chimes in on “Ms. Marvel”. He says the cool thing about Ms. Marvel is “She doesn’t just want to be a hero, she wants to be the best of the best.” Rosemann said he and series writer Brian Reed looked at how she could be the best of the best. In issue 13 she says she’ll join Tony Stark’s “Mighty Avengers”, but wants to know what can she get out of it. Rosemann says Ms. Marvel’s attitude is “I’ll be on your team if you give me access to SHIELD technology and agents.”
“Mighty Avengers” will feature lots of Avengers-style action. McCann says there’ll be lots of Ares.
Over in “New Avengers”, McCann said “there’s something brewing in ‘New Avengers.'” Quesada quipped “I think it’s just gas.”
Michael Oeming said “Omega Flight” is an interesting idea Millar had earlier in “Civil War” planning. One good thing for him is that “the characters we have are pretty blank slates.” Expect character moments in the book. “There’ll be lots of superhero fighting, stuff blows up, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t have characters you can care about.”
The cover to “New Warriors” was shown. The series will be written by Kevin Grevioux with art by Paco Medina. The panel hinted that the character shown on the cover “might be someone we know!”
Some Olivier Coipiel “Thor” images were shown from the July-debuting series.
Another Marvel exclusive-“Legion of Superheroes” and “Empire” artist Barry Kitson. His first project will be “Champions” with Matt Fraction. The image shown featured Tony Stark in white silhouette with the other heroes in shadow.
The slide show ended and the question and answer session began.
Now that there’s an army of superheroes, how will over countries respond?
“New Avengers: the Initiative,” according to Dan Slott. Quesada pointed out Canada’s super-team Omega Flight as another example.
Will we see all 50 states’ lineups? “Civil War: The Initiative #2” Slott said. He then made a surprise announcement-expect another “Great Lakes Avengers” one shot cowritten by Fabian and Slott. The team’s name will also change again, this time to “GLI” for Great Lakes Initiative.
Is the natural progression of the Marvel Universe really a superhero army?
“Yes,” said Slott.
“There’s also a resistance,” McCann interjected.
The panel began a brief discussion on the state of the Marvel Universe. As far as the seeming loss of civil liberties in the MU, “Welcome to the real world,” Oeming said. “What gives all this a cool layer is it means something,” Rosemann said. McCann said there’s a solid plan for what’s happening.
Quesada talked about the fact that the Marvel Universe takes place in the real world and how, since the Marvel Universe’s inception in the 60s, it’s been a reflection of the real world. According to Quesada, “when Marvel is at it’s best is when there’s an underlying metaphor that people feel strongly about.”
An audience member brings up Captain America’s fate at the end of “Civil War”. Quesada said that what Cap saw when he was tackled by the man on the street was really important. “This is a case,” Quesada said, “where the government said ‘the people want this-and the majority of the people in the Marvel Universe want this.’ Tony Stark realized this, but Cap did not realize this.”
A question was raised about the solicitation copy of the “Fallen Son” one-shots referring to the death of a hero. “Gotta read the book!” Quesada said.
Ares- is there going to be a point where it’s shown why he’s joining Mighty Avengers? The panel said that in issue #1, Ares becomes the star of the book. Expect Mighy Avengers to be a “fun book,” according to McCann, who also joked that the book would feature the team forming, fighting in the first issue, and it would be written by Bendis.
Oeming mentions that there’ll also be a followup to the “Ares” miniseries eventually.
With all the hero-on-hero action, what about the villains of the Marvel universe?
Quesada says a villain thing is “brewing-a whole new underworld.” He said the, “bigger thing” is about two years away
Slapstick – how prominent will he be in the Initiative? A major player? All Slott would offer was to watch for issue one of “Civil War: the Initiative.”
“Civil War” artist Steve McNiven arrived a little late. Quesada thanked him publicly for the “amazing job” he did on Civil War.
Who’s in the Initiative teams in New Jersey and Delaware? “Nobody’s in Delaware,” Quesada joked. Slott said that the miniseries will show glimpses of the teams every now and then. Slott illustrated the reason for the slow reveals: “What if you’re a fan of Gargoyle,” he said, “and you find out he’s in New Hampshire. Great, he’s in New Hampshire!”
“We’re trying to get swamp thing for New Jersey,” Quesada said.
Gravity’s status? “Keep reading Marvel books.”
With Mandarin returning to Marvel books, should we expect some sort of Kim Jong Il type leader? The panel said to expect a very definitive version of Mandarin in “Iron Man.”
Slott mentioned a couple of new character due to be introduced in the Initiative. One is Kimono, a college student who worked with Curt Conners and stole some of his Lizard serum.
What about Jarvis’ role in the Marvel Universe? “Mighty Avengers #1,” said McCann,
“And maybe Delaware.” Quesada added.
Will Spider-woman’s friendship with Ms. Marvel be further explored, since they’re now on separate teams? Rosemann says that it’s interesting that they’re on two different Avengers teams. Look for a very key scene in “New Avengers: the Initiative.” Spider-Woman “definitely” has a big role coming up in the future.
Joe is asked about Joss Whedon’s role in the ending of “Civil War.” Quesada nearly tells the story, then stops himself. “You’ll learn that story in a month,” he said, because of a dangling plotline that’ll be used somewhere else. Look for it as part of a video podcast on Marvel.com. Quesada added that when Whedon entered the Civil War conference and ended the stalemate on how to end the event, “he [McCann] actually urinated himself.” “Maybe a little drool,” said McCann.
Which state is getting NFL Superpro? “Dallas, Texas,” Quesada said. McCann pointed out that Marvel doesn’t own or possess the license for NFL Superpro.
A question for Michael Oeming-what is the definitive take on USAgent? “He’s Ted Nugent,” Oeming said. “Ted Nugent is a complete jerk, but I’ve watched enough of his crazy shows, and underneath he cares about people.”
How might the superhero draft be like the New Universe draft in the 1980s?
“More people are reading,” he said. “And Pittsburgh does not blow up.”
Where does the registration leave the X-Men? The panel stated that the X-Men are registered by defacto because of the 198.
Will they have to participate in the Initiative? “Keep reading.” Slott said to expect a mystery X-character in Initiative #3
Political corruption in the Initiative? “Tony will keep an eye on it.”
An audience member questioned why the pro-reg side won? Slott said its “very endemic of comic fans,” because the reader empathizes with the characters. Quesada reinforced that in the real world of the Marvel Universe, the pro-reg side makes a lot of sense. Quesada said that one important reason Iron Man spearheaded the registration drive is because names would have to be given, and the only person he would trust with secret identities would be himself.
Since one major theme of “Thunderbolts” has been redemption, is it possible to do something of the sort with Bullseye or Osborne or Venom without watering down their characters? Quesada said that the book will be exploring some of those themes and that he’s dying to talk about it.
A pro-reg reader asked about continuity in the Initiative. Rosemann said that there’s a constant attempt to keep things cohesive, but that they “may goof up sometimes.” Slott mentioned that issue 21 of She-Hulk will solve 90% of all Marvel continuity problems.
Expect more on Iron Man as a war profiteer.
Deadpool will be in the GLI-Slott calls the one-shot a “Deadpool Summer Fun Spectacular.”
Expect resolution with the SHIELD conspiracy in New Avengers.
Will we see more of the Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye? Quesada can’t say.
Expect a fun announcement on the writer of Mary Jane Loves Spider-man.
Originally, Maria Hill seemed to advocate the idea of Tony being the head of SHIELD-is there a change in her character now after the coffee incident in Civil War #7? Quesada said “there may be a reason Tony acting like that.”