In what’s become as much a convention staple as Stormtrooper cosplay, Marvel Comics Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada again took the stage at WonderCon in San Francisco for his signature Cup O’ Joe panel to announce new Marvel projects and spar with fans. The panel’s just starting, and CBR News was on hand for the proceedings.
After warming up the crowd with an animated trailer for the incoming “Fear Itself” crossover, Quesada introduced himself to the crowd in lively fashion before going over the rest of the expansive run of panelists including Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb, Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, Talent Coordinator C.B. Cebulski and writers Jason Aaron and Rick Remender.
The action got started with the announcement of “Red Skull Incarnate” by Greg Pak and Serbian artist Mirko Colak and covers by David Aja. Cebulski described the series as “an examination of the Red Skull’s rise to power in World War II.”
Up next came “Hulk Vs. Dracula” by Victor Gischler and Ryan Stegman with covers by Gabrielle Del’Otto. “It’s pretty much what it seems…Dracula and his vampire nation against the Hulk,” Alonso said.
Warren Ellis will be the next writer of “Secret Avengers” after current scribe Nick Spencer. The first issue of his six-issue arc will be drawn by Jamie McKelvie.
During the announcements, Marvel flashed quickly images which read “Vengeance” with various characters standing next to the word. Quesada played coy about the teasers, often pretending they were left in the slide show by accident.
When a fan asked “Where the hell is ‘Runaways’?” Cebulski gave his frequent response that the publisher loves the characters and wants to move forward with them when they can find a way to make the title successful. Loeb then asked the audience whether they thought “Runaways” would work as a TV show to much applause. He went on to discuss the early plans for Marvel on TV with a fan asking after “Ultimate Spider-Man” the animated series, saying that they were hard at work at making the new cartoon distinctive from anything Marvel had done before on the small screen.
A reader stood up to challenge the idea that the Fantastic Four franchise was not as forward thinking as it could be, and Loeb defended Jonathan Hickman’s run as introducing plenty of “new” into the Marvel U. Quesada followed up by asking the fan, “So what you’re asking is if ‘FF’ will be taking the lead on stories for the entire Marvel Universe? Yeah…not right now” to laughter.
Asked about how his working life as an artist might be going in terms of whether he could work on comics for home, Quesada explained that he did some work from home, but the chances of him returning to comics full time would wait until “Marvel has achieved total world domination.” Loeb said that when Quesada found the time to draw a full series, he’d find the time to write it.
Someone stepped up to the mic to beat the frequent drum of why books like “Thor The Mighty Avenger” fail with Quesada responding that Marvel was not in the business of publishing comics that don’t make money. “I understand that for every book that gets cancelled, there are fans out there who absolutely love it…but there’s not enough,” he said. Cebulski noted that Chris Samnee had more work at Marvel in the pipeline that may serve as soothing the pain of “Mighty Avenger” fans.
A “Venom” fan asked Remender about the possible return of original symbiote carrier Eddie Brock, and the writer reiterated what he said at the X-Men panel and how Brock would work his way into the book at some point, but that Flash Thompson would be in the suit and rolling solo for the first arc to establish his persona in the role.
A young lady who’s interacted with Quesada in the past said that she was sorry she couldn’t find a wedding dress to wear to the show to follow Quesada around crying to berate him about “One More Day.” She then asked her actual questions -Â a query about the future of the MAX version of Bullseye. Aaron explained that while no solo series were in the works for the character, he had not officially been established as dead in the pages of “PunisherMAX” so a future appearance was not out of the cards.
A fan wanted to know if there was any word the panel could share on the status of the “Avengers” movie. “It’s way too earlier to talk about a movie coming out next year,” Quesada said. “But it’s directed by Joss Whedon. Thor, Cap, Iron Man and the Hulk will be in the movie…the only thing I can say is that for anyone who was at the [San Diego panel for the film] but it was like a rock concert. I’ve never seen anything like that for a movie that was over a year away from filming.”
“I’ve read the screenplay, and it’s everything you’d want of a Marvel movie. Joss gets Marvel and Marvel fans, and it’s all there. The question is, how do you get it on film and contain it?” the CCO added. “When I saw the stuff we’re working on for ‘Avengers,’ it’s beyond anything we’ve done before.”
The frequent question of whether Cosmic Marvel would continue came up. “Marvel has not forgotten it…there are things we can not speak of,” Quesada said. “I think DnA did a tremendous job bringing that [corner of the Marvel U] back from nothing.”
Quesada related his first experience with Marvel saying that his father bought him the famed “drug issue” of “Amazing Spider-Man” which was highly publicized at the time because of Stan Lee’s choice to push forward with the anti-drug story. Quesada said it must have worked because “I never became addicted to drugs.” Loeb also spoke on his first comic -Â an issue of “Sub-Mariner” featuring Captain Mar-Vell which he found at a local drug store and whose footnote reference to Iron Man kept him going strong. Other firsts including “Secret Wars” #2 (Remender) and “Uncanny X-Men” #121 featuring “Alpha Flight” (Cebulski).
Responding to an earlier question about the status of the character Echo from “New Avengers,” Cebulski read a text from Brian Michael Bendis saying that any fans of the character should look to he and Alex Maleev’s incoming “Moon Knight” series where the character will play a major role.