Welcome once again to CBR’s live coverage of Wizard World Philadelphia. Next up on this rainy Saturday afternoon is Cup O’ Joe, Joe Quesada’s regularly scheduled forum on the convention circuit. Joining Quesada are CB Cebulski, Tom Brevoort, Sales Coordinator Arune Singh, and Fred Van Lente.
September will see Marvel Zombies 3 by Fred Van Lente and Kev Walker. It’s “an in-continuity story in which the zombies invade the MU and members of the Initiative must stop them.”
The next slide announced “MAX expands with Devil Slayer.”
Stephen King’s the Stand Comes to Marvel in September, adapted by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins. “Mr King’s hands are firmly entrenched in the Stand,” Quesada said. He did not reveal how many issues. Singh announced a dual launch for the Stand and a new Dark Tower series.
Also in September, Ed Brubaker introduces Lady Bullseye in “Daredevil,” in a story Quesada describes as “an opus.”
Quesada then opened the floor to questions.
Asked why “Runaways” was relaunched, Quesada said that a new number one always brings new attention to a series.
When is Steve Rogers coming back? “How do we know he’s not back?”
Quesada credited Axel Alonso with placing Black Panther in the middle of every Marvel event, and said that he was “blown away” by Reggie Hudlin’s animation project with the character.
Howard Chaykin is writing a new “Squadron Supreme” story, which includes a “demented twist” according to Quesada.
Issue #3 of “Halo Uprising” is complete and approved by licensor Bungie, Cebulski said. Quesada explained that the licensor is understandably protective of the property.
Quesada said scripts are in for “Ultimate Wolverine/Hulk” except for the last issue, Quesada said, but Leinel Yu is busy with other projects right now.
“When we got a really good pitch for [the cosmic character], we said hey, go for it,” Quesada said. He explained that, like his feelings for the New Warriors, cosmic stories never clicked for him but this doesn’t affect his publishing decisions.
Quesada addressed rumors about an Ultimate book’s cancellation, saying that this would imply that a series was underperforming, which no Ultimate books are. “There will be changes in the Ultimate Universe,” he said.
The EIC again addressed Spider-Man and Mary Jane’s continuity. “We haven’t changed the history of Peter and Mary Jane, except that something happened on their wedding day and they didn’t get married. We’re going to tell this story,” he said. “I’ve seen it, and it’s a darn good story.”
He also said that there was an as-yet undisclosed amount of time that passed between Peter and MJ’s kiss and the party shown at the end of “One More Day.” Quesada said that, again, this story will be told.
Next question: “Are Marvel and DC going to be arch rivals for all eternity?” “I don’t know if there’s going to be war, per se,” Quesada said, “but there are two things, there are oil and water, there are Coke and Pepsi, there are… name brand and generic,” he joked, to loud laughs and groans.
Quesada addressed a question about Kirby reprints and Marvel’s royalty guidelines. “I won’t speak publicly about Marvel’s internal business, but something that should tell you, we are involved in business with the Kirby Estate, with Lisa Kirby,” he said, suggesting that they found the arrangement agreeable.
Baron Zemo “is probably going to show up again when you least expect him,” Brevoort said. “So don’t expect him, and there he’ll be.”
The EIC reiterated that he wants to keep Ultimate, Icon, and Knights lines small to keep quality high.
Mark Guggenheim and Leinil Yu’s Punisher one-shot was delayed by Yu’s other projects, Cebulski said.
Is Nick Fury back for good? “Nick Fury is back for good or for evil,” Brevoort said.
“Hulk” issues #7-9 will be “tag teams between Art Adams and Frank Cho,” Cebulski said. Quesada added that he would love to see Adams do more Marvel books.
Will “Incredible Hercules” return to “Incredible Hulk?” “Not if I can help it,” Van Lente said.
“It just so happens that Sam Jackson is a huge comics fan,” Quesada said about the Ultimate Nick Fury’s appearance and Samuel L Jackson’s appearance in the “Iron Man” movie. He said the actor approached Marvel Studios about doing the cameo.
In response to a fan’s question, Cebulski recapped yesterday’s announcement that a “Deadpool” ongoing starts in November, written by Daniel Way with art by Paco Medina.
“Female Bucky is in the Marvel Universe proper, at the end of Onslaught Reborn, and there has been talk of plans for her in some of our creative summits,” Cebulski said.
One fan complimented Quesada on the editor’s weight loss and asked how he did it. “I went to a nutritionist, who didn’t believe in any fad diets, so it’s nutrition and I exercised five days a week. I put on all that weight during my time at Marvel, so I wanted to get back down to the weight I was before I walked through the door.”
He described digital comics as “another vehicle to get our comics out there” rather than a replacement for physical books.
“The reason you don’t see a comic in a supermarket, beside ‘Archie, ‘is that it is extremely expensive to get your book displayed unless it’s an impulse buy, like ‘Archie,” Quesada said.
Roger Stern will be writing a Spider-Man story, but probably not in the regular “Amazing” series in the Brand New Day Cycle. “It will probably be off to the side,” Brevoort said, adding that “Spider-Man Family” will become “Amazing Spider-Man Family,” and that Stern’s story may appear there.
Quesada explained that earlier Marvel movies done by Sony did not heavily involve the rest of Marvel’s publishing and creative talent. “Now that we have our own studio, we’re much more involved.” He pointed to the upcoming “Runaways” feature, which series creator Brian K. Vaughn is writing, and Adi Granov doing designs for the “Iron Man” film, “which never would have happened, unless it was by happenstance.”
The African-American character Director Kooning from “Iron Man” was named after a historical figure, Brevoort said, and not intended as a racial slur.
“I’m very sensitive to these kind of things,” Quesada added, and said that Marvel has a reputation for being “ahead of the curve” in terms of integrity regarding racial and sexuality issues.
“For the duration of the twelve issues” of the Twelve, Brevoort said, “they’ll be confined to those issues. But those left standing will be available to appear in the Marvel Universe.”
Who’s the strongest between Thor, Hulk, and Sentry? “You may be seeing an answer to that next year,” Quesada said.
Any plans for the Crew? “No plans for the Crew as a unit, but you’ll see Brody showing up in Iron Man: Director of SHIELD,” and more appearing elsewhere, Brevoort said.
“If Dan Slott has his way, I’m sure you’ll see every team in the Initiative,” Quesada said. Brevoort revealed there are 27 teams currently established and that the Florida team would debut in “Marvel Zombies 3.”
Quesada explained that “there will always be late comics because they are produced by human beings,” noting that there have always been missed deadlines but in the past publishers would reprint old stories. “I don’t think you as fans today would be very happy with that,” he said. Brevoort also said that the first issue of 1964’s “Daredevil” was late, costing Marvel significant money in press time, but fans didn’t know this because it was the first issue.
“We more or less know” who is taking over “Thunderbolts” after Chris Gage’s issue, Brevoort said, “but no, we’re not ready to tell you yet.”
The first issue of the long-announced sequel to “Marvels” will be out in October, “if all goes to plan,” Brevoort said.
The panel ended with the HERO Initiative raffle, which Singh said had raised over $1500.The winner received a solid gold Iron Man phone.
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