Marvel Comics held their Mondo Marvel panel Saturday afternoon at WonderCon, featuring writers Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, Joe Casey, and Rick Remender, artist Ron Lim, and editors Axel Alonso and Mark Paniccia.
Paniccia began the panel with a trailer of Stephen King’s “The Stand” and a “Marvel Hotline” video of Marc Guggenheim discussing the fallout of Spider-Man’s arrest and the Menace reveal in “Amazing Spider-Man.” This was followed by a video of animated toys featuring MODOK berating a lackie. This was a preview of the new “Marvel: What the…?” video series. Finally, another “Marvel Hotline” found writer Jeff Parker discussing “Agents of Atlas.”
Alonso began by discussing the new Black Panther. “T’challa’s in bad shape, and a new Black Panther takes over,” he said. The second issue arrives Wednesday.
Next, Brubaker discussed the “Marvels Project,” which he is writing, with Steve Epting on art. He described it as an espionage take on the early Marvel Universe, leading up to to Pearl Harbor.
Fraction briefly talked about “Invincible Iron Man,” recapping the current “World’s Most Wanted” storyline, which sees Tony Stark erasing his brain to keep his secrets away from Norman Osborn.
“Punisher” came up next, which Remender described as a “Guy Fawkes-style campaign” against Osborn, though Frank Castle does still get to kill people “in more unique and fun ways.”
“If you’re a real bonafide supervillain, you’re going to look at a guy like Norman Osborn and say, man, f-you,” Casey said in announcing his upcoming project, “Dark Reign: Zodiac,” which will be drawn by Nathan Fox. “It’s the harshest thing I’ve written in a while. The story starts off with 100 H.A.M.M.E.R. agents, tortured and slaughtered, hanging from the ceiling like meat.” He said there are ties to previous incarnations of Zodiac. “In the first issue, you’ll see all their heads in a sack.”
“Uncanny X-Men First Class,” a new all-ages series, will be written by Scott Grey and take place in the Byrne/Claremont era. (Check back with CBR later today for an interview with series writer Scott Gray.)
Paniccia then opened the floor to questions, though suggested fans wait until tomorrow for X-Men questions since more announcements will be made at the Sunday panel.
Casey that Joe Kelly is writing an “Amazing Spider-Man” arc dealing with Dark Reign, after being asked why Peter doesn’t seem affected that his greatest enemy is now running the world.
Paniccia said “Jeph Loeb is dropping clues” about who the Red Hulk is. “There’s going to be special issue #600 that goes a long way toward that-it won’t be the reveal, but it’ll get you closer.” The editor said the reveal would occur around the end of Loeb’s run, probably around #20.
“What Ifs” will be mainly event-driven, Paniccia said, but was not sure what, if any, titles were currently planned.
Fraction said that Leinil Yu is obsessed with Howard the Duck and likes to sneak him into the background of panels when he worked with Brian Michael Bendis on “New Avengers,” “but now that Leinil’s not working on anything with Brian, the chances of Howard appearances have decreased about 8000 percent.”
Alonso said that “‘Runaways’ will be in good hands,” but could not comment on who would take over the series after Terry Moore’s departure.
The “clever, strategizing” Hulk persona will be seen again “sometime around November,” Paniccia said. He also noted that there is a reason for the character’s memory loss, and “Jeph Loeb will be exploring tapping into Hulk’s different personas.”
One fan asked if the creators found themselves being restricted by developments in the movies. “There’s been no pressure to make the Iron Man book like the Iron Man movie at all,” Fraction said. “The film is the film, and it exists in its own kind of universe. My job in that book is to make it accessible to people who have been reading since the beginning, but also for people like my dad, who came in with the movie.”
“The goal for ‘Invincible Iron Man’ and Jason Aaron’s ‘Wolverine Weapon X’ is to make a book with those characters that is accessible for people who only know them from the movies,” Alonso agreed.
Will the cosmic universe expand after “War of Kings?” “We’re going to be doing a ‘Skaar Son of Hulk’ ‘War of Kings’ tie in story. Bill [Roseman, editor] is meticulously expanding the cosmic universe-keep your eyes and ears open for more coming up on that.”
On whether Brubaker had any say in Brian Bendis’ including the new Captain America in “New Avengers,” the writer said “I’ve kind of been begging him to do that.” He indicated this was always the plan post-“Secret Invasion” but that his only request of Bendis was that Cap “doesn’t shoot everybody just because he has a gun.”
On the differences between Frank Castle and the hero of Remender’s “Fear Agent,” the writer said that the Punisher is “very boiled down, there’s very little humanity left,” whereas Heath Huston is “an alcoholic, bleeding wound.”
Iceman will play a bigger role in the X-Men titles, but not outside of the X-books, Fraction said in response to a multi-part question.
Fraction looked at his iPhone to say that Bendis texted a question: “Why are comics so expensive?”
With that, the panel dispersed.