Welcome to CBR’s live coverage of Marvel’s Cup O’ Joe panel at New York Comic Con, featuring C.B. Cebulski Dan Buckley, Brian Michael Bendis, Jim McCann and Joe Quesada.
Quesada greeted the New York crowd to thunderous applause. He explained that as a fan, he had little access to the business end of things, and created the Cup O’ Joe panel to give Marvel readers an opportunity to ask questions on any topic they like.
Quesada first ran down some of the recent Marvel signees and projects: Dale Eaglesham and Gabrielle Del’Otto have signed with the publisher, and two new Halo series are on the way — one to be written by Peter David, and the other by Fred Van Lente. Additionally, Damon Lindelof and Leinil Yu’s final issue of “Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine” is being drawn right now, and will feature the debut of Ultimate She-Hulk.
Quesada then announced that Marvel is canceling “Ultimate Spider-Man,” to which Bendis responded, “No! No! We are done, professionally, man!”
Quesada then clarified that the entire Ultimate line will be cancelled, sent off with a number of “Requiem” specials, and re-launched as Ultimate Comics.
There will be an “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” written by Bendis with artwork by David LaFuente. “David’s an amazing artist,” said Bendis. “He did the Hellcat book this year. This is his first time going to series and he’s awesome. After the events of Ultimatum, there will be a bit of a time-jump, there will be a new cast of characters. Maybe a new person in the costume. All the questions will be answered in issue #1.”
“LeFuente is the next big artistic breakout talent,” Quesada said.
Quesada showed a slide from “Ultimate Avengers” artwork by Carlos Pacheco.
The Ultimate Requiem for Spider-Man features new material by artists Mark Bagley and Stuart Immonen.
Quesada then turned the floor over to fans for questions.
– What’s up with Jessica Jones? Bendis and Michael Gaydos are prepping an “Alias” miniseries for next year. She will be part of the “New Avengers” cast but not an Avenger.
– What’s up with Spider-Man’s origin as detailed in “Ultimate Origins?” Did the Hulk kill Spider-Man’s parents? “Peter’s life is much more involved with the Marvel Universe than even he knew,” Bendis said, clarifying that the Parkers were not killed by rocks. “The only person who knew this was Nick Fury, who is [consequently] more fatherly to Peter, while he’s more dickish to everybody else.”
– Will there come a time when Normon Osborn will try in earnest to figure out who Spider-Man is? Dan Slott appeared to answer the question. “In ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #516, people will be dealing with the fact that they really should know. Keep an eye out for Joe Kelly’s arc. ‘American Son,’ which will deal with a lot of Osborn stuff.”
– There will be four comics in the new Ultimate Comics line. “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” #1 will be the first, just as “Ultimate Spider-Man” #1 was the first book of the original Ultimate line.
– Are there any plans to use the world of “Old Man Logan” in other books? Quesada said Miller wants to “whore the hell out of it,” but we don’t yet know exactly when.
– What’s the difference between a $2.99 book and a $3.99 book? Are you charging more for Bendis books because you know they’re going to sell? Dan Buckley: Those are hard decisions. We’ve been struggling with pricing for about three to four years. Yes, things have been costing more across the last year — for us also. When you’re looking at the line, you try to see how to keep a bottom line and still give people what they enjoy. There’s only four titles that got moved. We have to look at the stories we put into it and make sure they’ve got the value you guys want. Some things have to carry a lot of the titles that are out there. One of the things that happen a lot in this industry is usually people drive the price up on books that don’t sell as well, and that often leads to the deaths of those titles very quickly. It’s a balane of economics, of value, of what you guys demand. That’s how we get there. It’s not a straight forward formula, I’m not going to act like it is. We don’t want the whole line at $3.99 because then we’d be down to about forty titles. I wish I could give you a more straight answer but it’s really [complicated].
– A girl in a Black Cat costume asked when she can expect to see her own comic? McCann: We’re defiinitely talking about your return. Come to the Mondo Marvel panel tomorrow, where a lot of the Spidey braintrust will be.
– “Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes” was 16 pages for $3.99. What’s up with that? Buckley: That was wrong. We fully admit it. You will not see that again.
– How will Normon Osborn being in charge affect Pete Wisdom’s team? McCann: In the upcoming arc of “Captain Britain and MI13,” you will see Dr. Doom and Dracula on the moon. You will see some Dark Reign action happening there.
– “Powers” will relaunch with a new #1. Benis and Oeming are stockpiling six or seven issues before soliciting. “We were embarrassed by the shipping schedule,” Bendis confessed.
– “Newuniversal” was running into the same problem. It will be re-solicited when more issues are in the can. Same for “The Twelve.”
– Who’s the new writer of “Runaways” after Terry Moore? Can’t announce it yet.
– More “NYX?” McCann: Let’s see how many of the NYX kids are left after “No Way Home.”
– The first issue of the new “New Mutants” series will come with three covers; one by Bob McLeod, one by Alex Ross and one by Adam Kubert.
– Why is the “Hulk” book always late? Buckley: We would prefer books to be monthly, but one of the balancing acts we do run into in publishing is keeping the creative teams fans like on the books. Sometimes we don’t hit the mark. But we do our best. I apologize.
– Is Ultimate Nick Fury coming back? Wait and see.
– Are we going to see Baron Zemo anywhere in Dark Reign? Maybe.
– Why of all people is Hank Pym leading an Avengers team? Slott: Because he’s the greatest superhero EVER.
– Can The Watcher have his own series? Buckley: Where he just watches? I’d make that $3.99 and put that out every week.
– is Skarr going to end up “knocking up that red chick?” McCann: Skarr will not be involved in knocking up anybody.
– Are we going to find out what happened to the Sentry in Secret Invasion? Read “Dark Avengers” #3.
– What’s up with Echo? Read the upcoming Spider-Woman series.
– Will the Noir books become a new line? Depends on sales. A new one will be announced at the Mondo Marvel panel tomorrow.
– Will the Demon Council from “X-Infernus” play a bigger role in the Marvel Universe? Cebulski: That’s going to be addressed in a bunch of different places in the Marvel Universe.
– How many new Wolverine comics will there be? Thirty.
– Will there be a break in “Runaways” when Terry Moore leaves? No, the next creative team will take over the next month.
– What’s Stuart Immonen doing next? He’s moving over to New Avengers starting with issue #55. “Stuart is a deadline maniac. The book will never ship late. I love him dearly,” said Bendis. As for outgoing artist Billy Tan, McCann promised he will be on something big, but that it can’t be announced yet.
– Will Ben Reilly be back? No immediate plans.
– Why do some books reboot with the same numbering, like Hercules and Dark Wolverine? Buckley: We thought we’d have a stronger sales position.
– Is there room for a publisher like Marvel to sponsor a program for comics studies in colleges? Buckley said it’s up to universities to decide what sort of curriculum they want to implement, but that Marvel is very cooperative with colleges who want access to the editorial staff for lectures and consulting and so forth.
– Will Joe Kelly and Christopher Priest’s runs on “Deadpool” be collected? Buckley: You’ve probably noticed a lack of ’90s comics in trade paperback. We’ve had some trouble with digital files. We are spending a lot of time re-archiving and re-coloring 1990s comics. We will probably get to [Deadpool] soon.
– Will there be more MODOK soon? Marvel has “great plans” for MODOK. There will be “a MODOK thing” on Marvel.com on Wednesday, and he will appear in “Astonishing Tales.”
– What’s up with Kitty Pryde floating in space? Will there be a resolution? Buckley: It will be dealt with. “She’s like Haley’s Comet,” McCann added. “She’ll show up every eighty-eight years.”
– Is the “Daredevil: End of Days” project still alive? Bendis said the first issue is done and the second issue is underway. When more issues are completed, it will be solicited. The project is illustrated by David Mack, Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz, and will be a “valentine to the Daredevil mythos.”
– Is the “Marvel Indie Anthology” project still alive? Cebulski: We’ll have news about that in the very near future. It’s looking fantastic.
– Ultimate Pyro — did I miss something? He went from being on the team to being a villain. Quesada: That’s a Jeph Loeb question.
– Any plans for Silver Surfer to get his own series? No current plans.
– When is “Halo: Uprising” #4 coming out? Bendis said there’s no ship date, but it’s finished. Buckley apologized for the lateness.
– What’s the status quo of the Fantastic Four going forward? Quesada: [New writer Jonathan] Hickman wants to bring it back to the roots of the FF, but with a wild, frantic flavor.
That concluded the panel.