Baltimore Comic-Con: Mondo Marvel

It was a small panel with a packed audience Saturday afternoon at the Baltimore Comicon. Marvel editor Tom Brevoort and writer/editor CB Cebulski opened the panel. "We're here without a slide show, without a lot of notice and no announcements." Brevoort asked the crowd how they're feeling about the Marvel books and got a good reaction from the audience. Before opening to questions CB offered an update on a frequent panel target "Ultimate Hulk versus Wolverine." Writer Damon Lindelof is done with scripts for issues 3 and 4, but owes two more. Cebulski had no idea about "Daredevil: the Target."

What's the status on Alpha Flight and Omega Flight? Brevoort said the limited series was well received, now editor John Barber will develop something further. An announcement is coming soon. Meanwhile, look for Weapon Omega in "Marvel Comics Presents" in a story by Rich Koslowski and Andrea Divito.

Any plans to do other "Fairy Tale" books? Cebulski said to expect an "Avengers Fairy Tales" with a Peter Pan story starring Captain America, a Wizard of Oz story, the Vision as Pinocchio, and Alice in Wonderland.

What's the status of "The Loners?" Cebulski said it's still a mini, but expect a ten page Loners short story coming in a Marvel holiday special. Meanwhile, Cebulski's got an idea for more Loners and is coming up with a pitch.

Will the real Elektra pop up? Breevort said it's a good question. "Got to wait a while until 'Secret Invasion.'"

A fan continued questions on "Secret Invasion," a new mini-series to come in 2008, and asked if Tony Stark was still a redeemable character. Brevoort says it's ultimately a personal decision. "I think Iron Man's a more fascinating character. The thing that's always made Tony Stark special is that he's a guy who, when he believes in what he's doing, will go against everyone else. What makes him heroic is that he does it, he carry that weight for the greater good." Brevoort says Tony Stark is the only character in the Marvel Universe who is definitely not a Skrull. Look for much more on "Secret Invasion" Monday here on CBR.

When can we expect more "Young Avengers?" Brevoort said to expect more of a wait for series two. He did announce a new five issue miniseries starting in January called "Young Avengers Presents" with different writers featuring stories by Ed Brubaker, Brian Reed, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and others.

Is Wolverine now indestructible? "Not the Wolverine I know and love," Cebulski said, and added that Marc Guggenheim's current arc addresses Logan's healing factor.

Earlier in the panel "The Order" artist Barry Kitson appeared and sat in on the panel. CB asked him about working off "The Order" writer Matt Fractions' scripts. According to Kitson, "The funny thing about Matt's scripts are that he rewrites them after I've drawn them. I try to guess which page he's going to rewrite and I don't draw that one." Kitson adds that Fraction is open to his ideas, "In fact it was my idea to put the jetpack on the bear in issue one."

A very enthusiastic Falcon fan said he's glad that Falcon is playing a prominent role in the current "Captain America" series. He asked if there were any plans for Falcon's 40th anniversary in 2009? Brevoort said it's a little early for 2009, but he'd keep it in mind.

Any plans for Wraith and Nova to continue with their series? Yes, "Nova" in particular will continue. Four issues will tie in as a "Conquest" lead-up, encountering a new sector of space. Brevoort said that assuming all goes well, there's plans for other stuff to come out after Conquest.

Any more from Ultimate Misty Knight? Warren Ellis, who originated that version of the character, is doing "Ultimate Hulk/Ultimate Iron Man" so Brevoort said he may use her. It was pointed out that she is fair game in the Ultimate universe and open for use by Brian Michael Bendis. Cebulski pulled out his cell phone and dialed Bendis up, leaving him a voicemail asking if he's planning on using Misty Knight.

Through "Messiah Complex" will the X-Men be more cohesive? "Yes," Brevoort said. "In the sense that it's the first multi-title X-Men storyline in years, setting them up for what comes after that."

Cebulski talked the talent search he's conducting. Marvel is looking for pencilers only, and they're guaranteeing twelve people jobs. The search will run for six months from Baltimore until January and culminate in a party at New York Comicon. To enter, Cebulski says artists should head to his blog site at http://chesterquest.blogspot.com.

Any more plans for another Baron Zemo mini? No plans, according to Brevoort, "but when he's picked up again, it'll be in his new status quo."

Expect Eric O'Grady (from "Irredeemable Antman") to move over to "Avengers: the Initiative."

Is Jessica Jones' baby a Skrull? "We never said that," said Brevoort.

"Newuniversal" is not cancelled, but instead it's technically "on hiatus" as Warren Ellis works on other titles. There'll be more as Warren catches up.

Is Mike Turner going to do the "Ultimate Wolverine" series? Cebulski said Turner's health is better - because of changes in the Ultimate universe through "Ultimatum," the Wolverine series might not happen, but something else will.

An audience member asked why Dr. Strange wasn't involved in "Mystic Arcana." Cebulski explained that Strange was left out because of his involvement in "World War Hulk" and "New Avengers" and because editor Mark Paniccia wanted to involve the lesser-known magic characters.

How do you have a "Captain America" book without Cap? "So far, so good," Brevoort said. Expect big announcements on the future of Cap in the next two or three weeks.

Any possible Dr. Strange ongoing? "No plans, you'll see him around other places," Brevoort said. "We like Doc and it's really hard even with a good creative team." Brevoort added that he really liked the "Dr. Strange: The Oath" mini, but that even then the sales were only so-so.

When does the Breakworld story in "Astonishing X-Men" take place? Brevoort said issues #23, #24 and a giant sized "Astonishing" that will tie it up and place the story. When asked he wouldn't rule out the possibility of Skrulls

Will there be more news on the "X-Men Disassembled" teaser released earlier in the week? "Yeah, the X-Men titles are being discontinued," Brevoort joked. "It's an Avengers world now." For more on the future of the X-Men, look for news from the retailers conference on Monday.

Any truth to the rumors about a weekly series? "We don't do books weekly, we do them strongly," Brevoort said. "We don't count down, we count up the sales." He clarified the structure of the Spider-Man relaunch, explaining that the "Spidey brain trust" met in December of last year. Each writer will start with a three issue arc, then afterwards it'll depend on the length and breadth of each story.

What's the future of the Avengers after World War Hulk - like it is now, building up to the Skrull invasion. Venom bomb and the invasion of another country in Mighty, the Hood in New. "Secret Invasion" will spill most directly into the three Avengers stories

Brevoort was asked when Steve Rogers would come back. He said he can't tell anyone that Rogers will "never ever ever, ever, ever come back," but that "he's on the bottom of the sea. Namor checks on his body - checks to see if there's any bubbles coming out of his mouth, they poke him with a stick every so often."

Will Spider-Man's life improve? Brevoort said the phrase "Brand New Day" will speak to the tone of the stories. "Cap, meanwhile, isn't getting any better. Actually decomposing aroud the edges." Brevoort explained that Captain America was killed because of the potential for stories and the same thought processes are behind what they do with Spider-Man.

Brevort said JMS has plans for more "Book of Lost Souls," but he's just busy with his other comic and movie commitments. The panel explained that Icon books by nature are easier to put to the side. Meanwhile, Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. are doing a book called "Kickass" through Icon.

Any plans for the 2099 universe? Brevoort pointed out that Spidey 2099 has been appearing in "Exiles." He said it's possible when getting through the classics line of trades, and that sooner or later they may get around to using those characters.

A passionate fan asked, "Will we see a Shang Chi series and can Adam Warren work on it?" Cebulski and Brevoort agreed that Adam Warren can work at Marvel anytime. Shang Chi, meanwhile, will be part of "Deadly Hands" after World War Hulk.

At this point, Brian Michael Bendis called Cebulski back regarding whether he had plans for Misty Knight. Cebulski held the phone up to the mic and the audience could clearly hear Bendis yelling "NO!" CB added that Bendis said Jessica Jones is better.

Marvel's first audiobook will be "Runaways Saga" which was read by a professional voice actress. It'll be available as an MP3 for download on Marvel's Web site.

Cebulski finished the panel with an announcement: the teaser trailer for "Iron Man" will premiere on the MTV reality show "The Hills." Brevoort added, "but it will be attached to good shows, too."

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