The aftermath of Marvel Comics‘ currently unfolding event series “Civil War II” was discussed midday Friday at New York Comic Con‘s “Marvel NOW!: Divided We Stand” panel, including “Totally Awesome Hulk” writer Greg Pak, “Occupy Avengers” and “Power Man and Iron Fist” writer David F. Walker, “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” writer Ryan North, “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” co-writer Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos, “Thunderbolts” writer Jim Zub, “New Avengers” and “Ultimates” writer Al Ewing and more.
Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort moderated the panel, and started by briefly discussing the recently launched “Champions” series and the upcoming new “Avengers” volume.
North discussed the “Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe,” saying that the “Marvel Universe kind of had it coming.” January’s “Squirrel Girl” #16 will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the character (who first appeared in January 1992), and feature the return of co-creator Will Murray to the character — writing only his second Squirrel Girl character ever.
“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” co-writer Brandon Montclare (Amy Reeder was scheduled for the panel, but was unable to attend) discussed what’s to come in the book — including confirming Lunella Lafayette’s status as the smartest person on Earth, and a guest appearance from Ironheart/Riri Williams in January’s “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” #15.
As previously announced, Jeremy Lin will guest star in “The Totally Awesome Hulk” #13 and #14. “I’m literally 20 years older than this guy and he’s one of my heroes,” Pak said of Lin. “If you lived in New York City when Linsanity hit, you know he made everyone happier. What he’s meant to me as an Asian-American is incalculable. For a lot of folks like me, he’s our Jackie Robinson. He’s a groundbreaking Asian-American hero in real life. So I got thinking, why don’t I put two of the things I love together — Jeremy Lin with Amadeus Cho as the Hulk in a comic book.”
New arc “Big Apple Throwdown” starts in “Totally Awesome Hulk” #15, starring “a bunch of Marvel characters who happen to be Asian-American,” Pak said. “If you’ve ever wanted to see Jimmy Woo and Shang-Chi fight over the check, this is where you want to go. I’m ridiculously excited about this sucker, too.”
Walker on “Occupy Avengers,” which stars Clint Barton/Hawkeye: “He assisted in Bruce Banner’s suicide, or at least that’s how I write it. He’s trying to find himself and looking for wrongs to right and injustices to correct, the things the Avengers would never take on. The small things and the real things we all deal with.” Red Wolf is the only other cast member announced so far, and the team will travel in a van equipped with artificial intelligence that happens to hate Clint. Walker used the tainted water in Flint, Michigan as an example of the type of threat the team will confront. “All of the member of Occupy Avengers, none of them will have superpowers.”
“Red Wolf is the most obvious and likely person on the team, so that’ll tell you how unlikely the rest of the team is,” Walker told the crowd. “We’re having a lot of fun.”
Walker also discussed the latest in “Power Man and Iron Fist.” “All the classic Luke Cage villains from the ’70s and ’80s who were ridiculous, they’re all back, but they’re not ridiculous any more,” Walker said.
Also coming to “Power Man and Iron Fist”: Alex Wilder from “Runaways.” “We’re eventually going to learn what happened to while he was dead, and everything he learned, because he spent six years in hell,” “He’s a cross between the original Doctor Doom meets Childish Gambino. He’s starting the new Pride. He’s recruiting people, and he’s got a strategy where everybody has to work for him.”
Zub informed the crowd about the current “Thunderbolts” series, and teased an upcoming confrontation between Steve Rogers — who, as we know, is secretly a Hydra agent — and the Winter Soldier. “It’s going to be one for the ages.” Original Thunderbolt Songbird will appear starting in “Thunderbolts” #8, and Zub said it’ll be “tense and difficult” between her and her ex-lover, the former Beetle currently known as MACH-X.
Original “Thunderbolts” creative team Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley will return to the characters in February’s “Thunderbolts” #10, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the book. Busiek and Bagley will do a back-up story in the issue starring Jolt, and according to Zub, it’ll tie into the main story’s narrative in a big way. The issue also starts an arc titled “Rise of the Masters.”
Ewing talked “U.S. Avengers,” which launches following the conclusion of “New Avengers”: “Crazy, hi-fi, spy-fi, all sorts of exciting stuff,” comparing it to “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” or early “S.H.I.E.L.D.” stories. “The first villain will be the Golden Skull from “Ultron Forever.” “He just wants to take over the world and run it as his own personal corporation/fiefdom.”
Ewing acknowledged the obvious fact that he is not an American, though he’s writing “U.S. Avengers.” “It is a way for me to ask myself some questions about patriotism,” Ewing said. “Post-Brexit I’m going through some stuff. The world is in interesting times, let’s put it that way.”
He’s also writing the upcoming “The Ultimates2” (say it as “Ultimates squared”). “The team has to be brought together by Galactus, who recently became a life-bringer. Everything there is has been caged and chain by some superior force outside everything. Over the course of Ultimates2 we’ll find out who or what that is. Things are going to just get bigger and bigger. Alongside that you’ll have the more human emotions.”
The first fan question asked the panel which characters they’d like to see cross over. Walker said he’d like to see a Moon Girl/Alex Wilder story. Pak said he’s talked to Ta-Nehisi Coates about Amadeus Cho meeting the Black Panther.
Will Squirrel Girl have a role in the new “Great Lakes Avengers” series? North said, “short answer is yes, kind of. She has a presence in that book. I don’t want to spoil because it’s not my book to spoil. There is some stuff happening there. I’d love to have the GLA show up in ‘Squirrel Girl.'”
Brevoort told a fan that, regardless of the status of the Hulu series, he thinks it’s inevitable that Marvel will do a new “Runaways” comic book series at some point.
When asked about potential new members of the “Champions” team, Brevoort said Marvel needs to focus on the core characters before adding more.
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