Welcome to CBR’s live coverage of Marvel Comics’ Mondo Marvel panel at New York Comic Con, celebrating the publisher’s 70th anniversary. Panelists included Brian Bendis, Joe Quesada, Jim McCann, Tom Breevort, Chris Eliopoulos, Fred Van Lente, Frank Tieri, Greg Pak, Steve Wacker, Dan Slott, Joe Kelly, Phil Jimenez and more.
Tom Breevort announced “The Marvels Project” by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Beginning in June, the project explores the origins of the Marvel Universe. “It’s sort of like Ultimate Origins for the Marvel Universe.” It’s eight issues, and will focus mainly on Golden Age heroes. Nick Fury will star.
Also announced was “Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers,” miniseries written by Chris Eliopoulos, which got quite a reaction from the crowd. Ed Guerra draws. It stars Lockjaw, a new Frog Thor, Lockeed, Red Wing, Needles — who will be known as Hairball — and zabu and Aunt May’s dog.
Frank Tieri announced he is writing “Punisher Noir.” “It’s basically the Punisher killing a crapload of people — only in the 1920s. But when you get passed all the killings and maimings and stabbings and nipples-cutting-off, private parts being blown off — despite all that, it’s really a story about a father and son.
Greg Pak announced “Planet Skaar!” begins in May. “Skaar is finally going to come to Earth. He will slash straight to the heart of the Marvel Universe. Big things are going to happen.” The project begins with a May-shipping “Planet Skaar” prologue. The series begins in earnest in “Skaar” #11, although Pak suggest readers begin with the imminent Silver Surfer arc. Ron Lim will draw the Surfer arc, “Skaar” #8-10. It’s called “Silver Savage.”
The members of the Spidey braintrust talked about “American Son,” by Joe Kelly and Phil Jimenez. It’s an Osborn-centric arc, part of Dark Reign. “It’s a really big, crazy story,” Kelly said. “The father-son dynamic really explodes with Norman and Harry, with Peter caught in the middle.”
Jimenez added, “It’s everything that i look forward to in a Spider-Man comic. It’s got crazy amounts of action. It’s one of the most fun things I’ve had to draw in years.”
“American Son” leads into “Amazing” #600, featuring the return of Doctor Octopus. For the rest of the year, the classic Spidey villains will come back, leading into a 2010-story called “The Sinister 666.”
Next up was “Amazing Spider-Man: The Short Halloween” one-shot with art by Kevin Maguire and written by “SNL” players Bill Hader and Seth Meyers, who entered the panel to thunderous applause. Marvel approached the pair during the writers strike.
Quesada then turned the floor over to the fans for questions.
– What do you guys have planned for the Avengers? Bendis: “Both of my Avengers books will be dealing with Dark Reign from different points of view. Some deal with it well, some deal with it terribly.” Additionally, the search for the new Sorcerer Supreme begins soon.
Slott: You will see how the Mighty Avengers are seen abroad. You’re going to see some very Dark Reign-centric characters interact with the team. Issue #23 will reveal the secret behind why the Scarlet Witch is back.
– Will Hader and Meyers’ Spider-Man book be funny? “No, it’s incredibly serious,” they joked.
– What’s going on with the Loners? CB Cebulski: They are in “War of Kings: Darkhawk” and we will see more of them as the year progresses.
– Any plans to bring Adam Extreme back? No.
– Any plans for the Invaders beyond Avengers/Invaders? Yes. But too early to talk about.
– What’s up with Ben Reilly? Wacker: “You have to convince my boss you want to see Ben Reilly, then we will do everything we can to make it happen.”
– Why did you guys decide to make Juggernaut a villain again? A three-part Spidey/Juggernaut story by Roger Stern and Lee Weeks is in production.
– Quesada noted that Meyers and Hader got their script in on time.
– What’s up with Speedball? You’ll see more of him in “Avengers: The Initiative.” And his cat is in “The Pet Avengers.”
– Will the Immortal Weapons get their own book? Quesada: There is definitely something in the works.
– Will you bring back X-Statix? When Milligan is ready, that’s when you’ll see that.
– When are we going to see Jughead vs. Wolverine? “Just sit down.”
– How come at the end of Secret Invasion, all the people who were replaced just came back, and why wasn’t it elaborated on before Dark Reign? Bendis: Because enough is enough.” But, he added, you will see a lot of “what it’s like to return” in the “Spider-Woman” series, as well as in “Avengers: The Reunion.” You will also see what happened on the Skrull world before people were taken.
– Any plans for Toxin or Carnage? Yes for Carnage.
– When are we going to see more of Prowler? You will see Ultimate Prowler in “Ultimate Spider-Man.”
– Will we see Deadpool in any of Joe Kelly’s Spider-Man stories? At the moment, no, but there is an idea for how to do it that they are talking about.
– Are you aware of how amazing Captain Britain and MI13 is? McCann: “YES! It is NOT cancelled!”
– Whose soul did the Avengers meet in hell? McCann: There won’t be a whole issue dedicated to it, but it will be addressed.
– Why are the prices of comics so high? Quesada: “There’s an argument. When you look at the amount of work that goes into a comic book. We tend to ghettoize ourselves. We do everything we can to keep our prices down. But we live under this crucible that comics used to be ten cents. But when you look at the amount of effort and manpower and artistic talent that it goes into it, it really is a miracle that we can produce them for $2.99 and $3.99. There are lots of other places to go for artists and writings to make more money. But the truth of the matter is I remember handing a comic book to an executive who was dumbfounded that we could produce it for $2.99. I think we suffer from that. I’m not saying we should be charging twenty bucks an issue, but we do work really really hard to keep it at $2.99 and $3.99.”
Quesada also said that it’s increasingly challenging to keep the comics medium competitive, as television and film and so forth offer creators a lot more money.
– What’s coming up for Hercules? Issue #126 will tell the origin of Hercules. Pak: “Who is he? What does he think about? What are his favorite colors? We’re also telling the untold tale of whatever happened to Amadeus’ beloved pet coyote.” The Hulk will guest star. Issues #127-128 will be a Dark Reign crossover with the Dark Avengers.
– Part of Bendis’ new contract involves him and Quesada consulting on the Marvel Studios films. The pair recently met with “Thor” director Kenneth Brannagh.
– Any chance of seeing Solo? McCann: “He’s all by himself somewhere, dude.”
– How far ahead was Dark Reign planned? Bendis: “The Cabal was part of the original pitch — what if every hero in the Marvel Universe got to feel what it was like to be Peter Parker? What’s a hero? What’s a criminal? This was part of that pitch. It was the part of the pitch Joe liked the most and he sifted through the Skrull crap to get to it. In a room full of talented writers and editors, it became this grand thing. This year is birthed out of many different minds.”
– What comic book movies and heroes would Meyers and Hader play? They both want to play Iron Man. “Did anybody even like what Robert Downey, Jr. did?” Hader said he’d like to be Iron Fist or Power Man.
– How much longer do we have to put up with the Red Hulk for? Quesada: “As long as you keep buying it, it will be around.”
– Bendis confirmed that Ares and his relationship with his son will be addressed in “Secret Warriors.”
– Reprint edition of the Spidey newspaper strips? There’s been a lot of talk. The real problem is reproducing the copies of the original strips. Sooner or later it will happen.
– More Nextwave? When Ellis and Immonen want to come back.
– What’s up with Ms. Marvel? Carol Danvers is going to New Avengers, and Moonstone will take over the “Ms. Marvel” book.
– Luke Cage miniseries? Marvel Knights one in the works, and he’s always in New Avengers.
– Will Dark Avengers go beyond Dark Reign? Yes.
– Resurrection of Steve Rogers? A crowd vote concluded that Bucky-Cap was more popular.
– Anti-Venom? There’s a Dark Reign Anti-Venom one-shot coming up.
– Defenders news? Defends vs. Offenders in “Hulk.”
– Any other Spidey villains Dan Slott hates? Mephisto.
– Superman/Hulk rematch, who wins? “Hulk!!!”
That concluded the panel.