Welcome to CBR’s coverage of Wizard World Philly. Friday morning’s first panel is Mondo Marvel, and CBR is bringing you the latest announcements live. On the panel are editor Tom Brevoort, “Cable” writer Duane Swierczynski, C.B. Cebulski, Sales Coordinator Arune Singh, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Brian Reed, Greg Pak, and Dan Slott. A gallery of art shown at the panel can be found below.
The first slide was July’s X-Men storyline, “Manifest Destiny,” starting in “Uncanny” #500. Singh said another X-Men miniseries coming up will detail the team’s move to San Francisco.
The following slides showed the first “Deadpool” cover, followed by a cover by new “Wolverine: Origins” artist Mike Deodato. CBR has interviews with Deodato talking “Wolverine: Origins as well as Daniel Way discussing his plans with artist Paco Medina for “Deadpool.”
Swierczynski said the “King Sized Cable Spectacular” would follow Bishop chasing “the baby he wants to kill.”
Greg Pak talked about “Magneto: Testament,” an origin story about Magneto’s childhood during the Holocaust. The first issue ships in September. Art is by Carmine DiGiandomenico. Look for more on this Saturday morning on CBR.
|Joe Quesada at the Podium|
“Age of the Sentry” by Jeff Parker, Nick Dragota, and Paul Tobin also ships in September.
Quesada then opened the floor to questions.
Tom Brevoort said he will give away a copy of “Secret Invasion” #3 on Sunday, a week before its release.
Brevoort then got a call on his cell phone. “They hate Spider-man, you’re doing great!” he said, to Steve Wacker. He then joked to Quesada that he’s got the new Speedball design.
“There’s going to be a ‘Son of Hulk’ lavender,” Pak joked about whether there would be a separate “Skaar: Son of Hulk” tying in to the Red Hulk.
One fan tore into every aspect of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s “Fantastic Four,” and asked whether it could get back to normal. Quesada said that “things are cyclical,” and Brevoort simply said that the new logo “isn’t going anywhere” during Millar and Hitch’s run.
“What Mark and Bryan are really trying to do is tap into that old school vibe,” Quesada said. “If the Marvel Universe was just starting today, and Stan Lee was hiring modern-day designers and typographers, what would it look like?” He also said the team were trying to recapture the classic spirit of adventure.
Fan: “Do we foresee a time in the future when Iron Man might not show up in every book?”
“Last year at this time it was Wolverine, so we stopped having Wolverine in every book. Now Iron Man’s really, really popular,” Quesada said, again noting that these things go in cycles.
|Tom Brevoort, Duane Swierczynski and C.B. Cebulski at WW Philly, 2008|
“Why is Dazzler in every book?” Reed jokingly grumbled.
Fan: “When are you changing Spider-man back to when it was good?” Slott offered, “Earlier this month.”
Quesada asked what made the comic better for him before “One More Day.” The fan suggested that he was mostly upset about the undoing of previous continuity, particularly the unmasking in “Civil War.”
“I just want to address this particular thing about Mary Jane and Spider-man getting divorced. …. It’s the ultimate white flag, the ultimate quitting between Peter and Mary Jane.” He said this would affect portrayals of future relationships for Peter, and that this was “always off the table” for Spider-man’s character.
Quesada said that “significant landmark storylines” always involve drastic change, and that these changes are a matter of storytelling. “If we told the same stories over and over, you’d buy your comics from a different comic book company.”
Another fan complimented the new paparazzi angle on Peter Parker’s photography career. Slott said all of the “Amazing” team independently thought of this angle, which blew his mind.
After a compliment on Spider-man’s new direction, Quesada admitted that Mephisto may not have been “the most graceful way to do it,” but that there was no real good way.
Quesada also said that variant covers do not make Marvel more money on a single issue than regular covers, since scarcity prices are determined by retailers.
“Mary Jane is not a Skrull,” Brevoort said, when asked. Quesada replied, “I was just going to tease him!”
Any chance for a Slingers title? “You might see a Slingers super-skrull,” Slott said.
Ultimate universe after “Origins?” “There’s a huge upheaval,” Quesada said, “there’s a huge secret to the Ultimate Universe. When that’s revealed it will change the foundations of many many characters… when that happens all hell breaks loose.” It does not sound like the Ultimate Universe is going away, as has been rumored.
Cebulski said the new “Deadpool” series will be “very faithful to the Deadpool we’ve seen.”
More Zombie or art themed books? “We have some announcements either today or tomorrow that will make you happy,” Singh said.
“Right now we’re getting into ‘Secret Invasion’ on three fronts,” Slott said of “The Initiative,” teasing that 3-D Man will feature prominently and Taskmaster will come out of the event as a very intriguing character.
Allan Heinberg is working on something “Young Avengers” related. Brevoort said that, “I don’t want to promise you anything right now,” and said he understands frustrations about delays. “We want to get all our ducks in a row.”
Quesada said that some long-promised storylines, like “Ultimate Origins,” are rescheduled so as not to “collide” with other events or major arcs. Other times, there are “creative delays.”
The EIC also said the the Ultimate secret will define “this which makes Ultimate, Ultimate. It’s a clear demarkation” from the regular Marvel U.
To Pak: What drew you to the Hercules character? The writer then praised co-writer Fred van Lente, and said that editor Mark Paniccia had challenged Pak to “make Hercules cool” in “Planet Hulk.” Herc grew on him during the story arc, to the degree that he and van Lente pitched a Renegades series, which was turned down because there were too many team books.
“But Hercules is one of the most popular character’s ever!” Pak said.
Swierczynski will continue departing writer Matt Fraction’s device of showing past Iron Fists in the title.
What about a “Loners” ongoing? “We have plans for the characters,” Cebulski said, but noted that there were no plans for an ongoing at this time.
Will Sentry ever be “more bad ass?” “The thing with the Sentry is, he’s so all powerful, but he’s also got agoraphobia and [these other problems]. If you take that away, he could solve all the problems of the Marvel Universe just by snapping his fingers,” Quesada said.
Quesada said that Joss Whedon has no Marvel projects just now, as he’s busy with new TV series “The Dollhouse.”
“Ultimate Ultimatum” happens “as a result of the people knowing the secret from ‘Ultimate Origin,'” Quesada said.
“When I started as editor-in-chief eight years ago, we did 40 super hero books and that’s all we did,” Quesada said, noting that now Marvel published creator-owned and more unusual projects like “The Twelve,” “Criminal,” and “1985.”
“We’re probably going to revisit” Alpha Flight, Quesada said, “sometime soon.” “We’re trying to find the thing that makes them different, and it can’t just be that they’re the Canadian superheroes.”
“Gravity will be in the ‘Initiative’ one-shot” coming up, Slott said. Quesada joked that “anyone who has a question about obscure or second tier characters, just assume Dan’s using them in ‘The Initiative.”
Asked about his early creation “Ash,” Quesada said he wasn’t sure but he thought Jimmy Palmioti might be writing a new “Ash” miniseries for Dynamite.
Brevoort: “‘Iron Fist’ will be about the only Marvel book without a ‘Secret Invasion’ tie-in.”
“‘Marvel Adventures Spider-Man’ is our number one subscription title,” Quesada revealed, in response to a question about the young readers line’s viability.
Life for Ms. Marvel: “It gets worse,” Reed said. “It’s my job to throw Carol under a bus, then a bus, and a bus, and a bus.” He said the Ms. Marvel will at one point be the only super hero in New York against an army of Skrulls.
“Captain Britain and MI-13” is an ongoing rather than miniseries, Brevoort confirmed.
Fred van Lente joined the panel in the final minutes, to much teasing.
July’s “Hellcat” series stars Alaska’s one-member Initiative team, Cebulski said. Slott added that Hawai’i will get its own team in an upcoming issue of the “Initiative.” Look for more on “Hellcat” next week on CBR.
“The expansion of Icon will be slow,” Quesada said about the creator-owned imprint. “We want to keep to 3-4 titles a month.”
After surviving a nuclear explosion, is there anything Wolverine can’t do? “He can’t smoke anymore,” Slott joked. “He also doesn’t get new powers whenever the problem can be solved by those powers,” Reed added.
Singh said to pay attention to the house ads that say “It’s all connected” in relation to Ultimatum, because “it really is all connected.”