Marvel Comics has delivered announcements of multiple new projects so far at New York Comic Con 2013, and didn’t stop Saturday afternoon at their “Inhumanity” and All-New Marvel NOW! panel, focusing on their upcoming post-“Infinity” status quo and their current promotional push.
The creators and editors in attendance were “Superior Spider-Man” writer Dan Slott, “Infinity” writer Jonathan Hickman, “Iron Man” writerKieron Gillen, “Captain Marvel” writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, senior editor Mark Paniccia, senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.
Hickman started the panel telling the crowd about the currently unfolding “Infinity” event series, and how it sets the table for “Inhumanity.” “It’s a very important thing for Marvel,” Hickman said. “In ‘Infinity’ proper, we’re going to kick it off the right way.”
“Like all big events, when ‘Infinity’ comes to a close, you’re going to have ripple effects,” Alonso added, saying that the newly activated Inhumans are “here to stay.” “The thing about Inhumans is, they’re very powerful and they pre-date the mutant ,and they pre-date the superhero. The Inhumans are part of our long-term plan. You want to know who they are, because they’re going to matter.”
January 2014’s “Iron Man” #20.INH and “Indestructible Hulk #18.INH” are, as their numbering implies, both “Inhumanity” tie-ins, Brevoort told the crowd.
Next up: Ultimate Universe event “Cataclysm,” which starts with “Ultimate Comics Cataclysm” #0.1. “This is an event that we’ve talked about for a while,” Paniccia said. “It’s a really good story. I understand why we’re doing it.” Paniccia then acted visibly despondent — likely playing on the story’s tease that it might be the end of the Ultimate Universe — and walked off the panel, seemingly convincing a good amount of fans in the crowd.
“That was Ultimate sadness,” Slott quipped.
Alonso on “Inhuman,” debuting in January: “This is about normal people waking up to discover that they’ve got these incredible powers, and are connected to this ancient society that’s kind of weird and strange. And not everyone’s going to like their powers, to put it that way.”
Paniccia rejoined the panel to discuss “All-New Invaders,” also starting in January. Citing series writer James Robinson’s love of Golden Age characters, Paniccia said, “Very organically, a cosmic element came out of this, where the Kree have a device that can control the Asgardians. Back in World War II, Bucky, The Human Torch and Namor stopped it, and they hid the device.” The series is set in the present, using those WWII events as the jumping-off point.
Brevoort asked the crowd what they thought the “Defend” teaser was promoting: It’s “Iron Patriot,” written by Ales Kot and illustrated by Garry Brown, and starting in March 2014. The announcement got a loud reaction. “Rhodey’s been a Secret Avenger, he’s done a lot of global special ops missions, and he gets fed up with it,” Paniccia said. The series is about James Rhodes becoming his own man, away from Iron Man, the editor continued.
Next announcement, tied to the “Overdrive” teaser: “Ghost Rider,” starting in March 2014 from writer Felipe Smith and artist Tradd Moore; getting another warm reaction. Paniccia said there’s not much he can say about the series at this point, but it’s completely different take on the character than what fans have seen before.
Paying off the “Rad!” teaser, it’s, as expected, promoting “Silver Surfer” from Dan Slott and artist Mike Allred, also starting in March 2014. Crowd is pleased. “When I was growing up, the first superhero comic I ever read was ‘The Galactus Trilogy,” Slott said. “Surfer’s like the first Marvel hero I ever met.”
Slott said there’s a “girl involved” in the story, and that he conceived the book with Allred in mind, even though at the time the artist was busy illustrating “FF.” “When we give Mike the first plot, he read it, and said, ‘Did you write this for me?'” Slott said Allred may be the first “Silver Surfer” artist who actually is a surfer.
Silver Surfer’s going to meet a kindred spirit in a woman from Earth, Slott said. “You’re going to find out that the universe is more fun when you see it with someone,” the writer continued.
Moving to audience Q&A, a fan asked if Toro will be in “All-New Invaders.” Robinson has some “pretty cool plans” for the character, Paniccia answered.
An audience member asked Gillen about his process with writing both “Young Avengers” and “Iron Man.” “I’m basically married to [‘Young Avengers’] artist Jamie in that way. We talk every day,” the writer said, and they work in a format similar to the classic “Marvel style.” With “Iron Man,” it’s full script. “You have to write for the artist,” Gillen said.
Paniccia told a fan that “Cataclysm” is less about stopping Galactus, and more “about [the Ultimate characters] coming to terms with the fact that the world is getting destroyed.”
Slott on whether or not “Silver Surfer” will touch on his long-percolating “Reckoning War”: “It is very sci-fi/cosmic, so, yes. There will be some more ‘Reckoning War’ stuff.”
Next question asks how the newly activated Inhumans will know the difference between being an Inhuman or manifesting mutant powers. “It’s kind of difficult to answer without spoiling it,” Alonso replied. “We have a great plan in place. It’s a slowly moving plan. The Inhumans you already know will play a role in helping us understand that history.”
Paniccia told a fan that the new “Ghost Rider” is a pitch he’s been building over years, “sort of subconsciously.”
Plans for the Golden Age Miss America? Not yet, Paniccia said, but Brevoort pointed out that the new version is in “Young Avengers.” Paniccia said in “Iron Patriot,” there will be a character that’s a “big fan” of the new Miss America.
An audience member identifying as a member of the military asked how James Rhodes can get away with making his own decisions, as hinted will be happening in the new “Iron Patriot” series. “There’s a story reason for him doing this, it makes sense,” Paniccia said, and there will be consequences.
A fan asked about the large amount of recent time travel stories at Marvel, and if it’s coming to a head. “Read ‘Superior Spider-Man’ #19, out next week,” Slott answered. Alonso said it’s something that’s discussed at Marvel a lot, and to keep reading.
Next person up asked about characters who don’t seem to be able to sustain ongoing series for long, naming Silver Surfer or Black Panther. “I wanted to do a Silver Surfer ongoing since the moment I arrived at Marvel. but there’s never been a better bedrock to do a Silver Surfer series than now,” Alonso said, because of the current higher profile of cosmic titles at Marvel. There are a lot of fans of those characters at Marvel, Alonso continued, which is why books like the new “Silver Surfer” happen.
Brevoort confirmed to a fan that “All-New Invaders” is happening “right now” in the Marvel Universe, reflecting the current status quos of all the main characters.
Blue Marvel was at the center of the next question, specifically what prompted his inclusion in “Mighty Avengers.” Brevoort said he’s a major part of the book, and told the fan there was a lot of interest around the character within Marvel.
How does Captain America fit in to “All-New Invaders”? “They’re going to invade the Kree homeworld,” Paniccia said. “And you can’t do that without Cap.”
Plans for Cloak & Dagger? Yes, but no more details were given, other than their current role in “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.”
A self-professed huge fan of Carol Danvers asked what she can expect from the character in the future. “Kicking ass and taking names,” DeConnick answered. “Carol sacrificed her identity and her memory in the events of ‘Enemy Within.'” In [‘Captain Marvel’] #17, she’ll find a way to connect to who she was in a “visceral” way. DeConnick told the fan Sunday’s “Superior Spider-Man” panel would be an “awesome place” for a Carol Danvers fan to be.