As Friday afternoon rolled around at Comic-Con International 2013, Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada took the stage at Marvel Comics‘ Cup O’Joe panel to answer all questions about the Marvel Universe in comics, television, movies and more. Alongside Quesada were Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, senior editors Nick Lowe and Steve Wacker, talent scout C.B. Cebulski, fan-favorite artist Skottie Young and scribes Brian Michael Bendis, Rick Remender and Sam Humphries.
Traditionally a Q&A panel, Cup ‘O Joe kicked things off with CCO Joe Quesada explaining the premise behind the panel — showing some artwork and giving fans the chance to talk to some of the people in charge of one of the biggest comics publishers in the world.
After introducing the panel, Bendis expounded on Angela’s appearance in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“It is Angela’s first proper appearance in the Marvel Universe. We’ll discover what she’s doing here and what her secret connections to the Marvel Universe could possibly be,” said Bendis. “Which means Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the galaxy, versus Angela.” Bendis described artist Sara Pichelli as “the biggest Gaiman fan on the planet,” and that she really stepped up her game.
The “Infinity’ tie-in of “Guardians of the Galaxy” will also be drawn by Francesco Francavilla to give Pichelli a quick break.
Wacker showed some covers from Young’s “Li’l Marvel” covers, as Quesada praised his work.
“Speaking of things we’re really, really proud of,” Quesada said as the “Hawkeye” logo hit the screen.
“The book’s up for a couple Eisner, some Harvey nominations — and we owe it all to the readers,” said Wacker. “I know Matt and David go crazy from the reaction from you guys.”
A teaser for Matt Fraction and Joe Madureira’s “Inhuman” was next, with Lowe describing the book as “the next huge franchise for the Marvel Universe.”
“You’re going to see characters you’ve seen before, but you’ll see them in ways you’ve never seen them,” said Lowe. “A new kind of superhero and super character is going to come out of this.” Lowe couldn’t say much about the book because the ending comes out of “Infinity.” The hooded character in the teaser below’s name is “Inferno.”
“Revolutionary War,” bringing back the Marvel UK characters, was up next. Written by Andy Lanning and “various superstar artists,” are coming back to the Marvel U, which will start in January 2014.
“Young Avengers” was a quick topic of conversation, and Lowe stated Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie would be teaming up with Becky Cloonan, Joe Quinones, Ming Doyle, Christian Ward, Emma Vieceli and more for an arc called “After Party.”
Quesada quickly announced “Origin II,” which will be written by Kieron Gillen and Adam Kubert, debuting November 2013.
The panel opened it up to questions, and the fans did not disappoint, with a long line. The first question had to do with how much Hollywood plays into what happens in publishing. “If you look at our movies, so much in our movies is affected by what we do in publishing,” said Quesada. “Same thing with animation. At Marvel, everything we do feeds into everything else.”
Marvel puts out a lot of product, and one fan wondered whether the publisher worried about marginalizing itself due to the vast number of titles out there. “Ultimately, we’re not trying to oversaturate the market,” said Quesada. “It’s very democratic for us. You guys decide what we’re put out. You vote with your dollars and you vote with your feet. … There’s a reason there are so many titles in a particular family. We’re not trying to drown you in titles, we’re trying to provide titles for you to enjoy.”
“We try to give you options in one family of characters,” said Alonso. “We strive to give you options and diversity.”
A fan of Bendis’ recent X-Men work took the microphone, wondering how big a role Cloak and Dagger will have in the Ultimate Universe given their recent appearance in “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.”
“An hour ago, we announced ‘Cataclysm,’ a big Ultimate event,” said Bendis. “Cloak and Dagger are front and center.” Bendis also stated it was “so exciting to create a Cloak and Dagger from scratch.”
Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited was a topic of question, as a fan wondered why some issues were available and some were not. “I don’t think it’s rights for most of it, it’s getting our hands on the files,” said Lowe, who called up Ben Morse from Marvel Digital.
“We have obviously gone a long way to refining it,” said Morse. “We are committed to filling all those holes. More often, it’s just that we haven’t gotten there yet [if you don’t see it].”
A fan asked quickly about a number of questions involving “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and whether some of the philosophical questions involving Earth’s place in the universe would get answered. “Even though these characters have been around for as long as the Marvel Universe is around, we’re literally on issue four of reintroducing them to you guys,” said Bendis. “Beyond that, there are so many characters we haven’t introduced you to yet that will be Guardians. There are all these things that we haven’t answered yet. We have a huge landscape with which we can tell stories.”
Quesada stated that while there are currently characters from “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the Marvel Universe, an in-continuity comic was currently a long-shot. “I think the fact that we have a new Nick Fury and an Agent Coulson in the Marvel Universe should tell you something — I hope we get there, but we don’t have any current plans,” said Quesada.
In terms of Hollywood films, Bendis is the only writer on the Marvel Creative Committee. Quesada is also on the committee, but they bring different creative talent onboard depending on the project — Matt Fraction on “Iron Man 2,” Ed Brubaker for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” etc.
“Imagine the angriest, longest message board fight you’ve ever had, it’s every creative meeting,” said Bendis.
Remender got asked about the current dissonance between members of the Uncanny Avengers, to which Remender stated these were two disparate corners of the Marvel Universe. “It shouldn’t work, and the drama that comes into that and the ensuing consequences are going to be reflective of their inability to get along and be heroic,” he said.
Alonso quickly discussed the idea behind “Savage Wolverine,” saying it was “a breath of fresh air” due to the book’s ability to tell a number of different types of Wolverine stories.
The Editor-in-Chief said there weren’t any plans for a new “Punisher MAX.” “There aren’t plans for ‘Punisher MAX’ immediately, but definitely somewhere down the road,” said Alonso. “We have plans to firm him up in the Marvel Universe.”
A young Nick Fury fan asked about possible newer developments for his favorite character, specifically referencing some details about his origin. “We have plans for Nick Fury,” said Alonso. “We definitely have some plans, it’s a good year to be a Nick Fury fan.”
One Wolverine fan asked whether there would be a more “sneak-first, ask questions later” type of Avengers team involving the best there is. “It’s going to come down to an ideological conflict,” said Remender. “[Some Avengers] have a particular ideology and are overlooking a lot of the things that Logan does. … I don’t see that changing. You’ve seen Steve [Rogers] splinter the team when he found out what happened in ‘X-Force’ and what X-Force did. That ideological divide is what I’m exploring in the current story arc and it asks whether Wolverine should even be with the Avengers.”
A self-proclaimed “convert from the other company” took the microphone to ask about whether Remender intended to go back to tell stories about young Steve Rogers. “I have a lot of story to tell with Steve back from that era. It became clear to me that if I ever wanted him to get out of that Dimension Z story, I couldn’t tell both at the same time,” Remender said. “So we will see more of those stories. You get to see Steve as a young kid.”
Brian Wood’s “X-Men” is very popular, and a fan of the all-female team asked whether there were plans for more all-lady teams in the future, which Quesada confirmed.
Quesada also stated that viewers can expect more minority superheroes in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The rights to “Daredevil” recently reverted back to Marvel Studios, and a fan asked about whether Marvel had plans to bring him into a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. “We’re trying to air it out,” said Quesada, to laughs. “We love Daredevil, and we’re really excited. We just got the property back. Will there be something with Daredevil down the road? I would love it. But we just got it back. It’s way too soon to guess what’s going to happen with the character.”
Both Alonso and Wacker teased possible solo Avengers series coming down the line, possibly in the same vein as “Hawkeye.”
Remender teased the possibility of a Thor/Sentry rematch in the pages of “Uncanny Avengers.” “What we’re dealing with right now with the Horsemen of Death are all characters who have context with our team and were chosen by the Apocalypse Twins,” said Remender. “Where the Sentry was involves the White Hot Room and corners of the Marvel Universe that I have a lot of fun with. The long and the short is the way I’m approaching it is taking everything that’s been done and viewing that through the lens of a David Lynch film. … There’s a very large story and you can possibly see a rematch around issue #10.”
One of the final lightning round questions asked about, of course, “The Runaways.” Cebulski said there would be appearances by individuals, but not all together.