C2E2: Cup O' Joe

Marvel's Cup O' Joe panel took place Saturday evening at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo , where Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and friends announced creative teams for "Punisher" and "Daredevil" and a new creator-owned book before answering fan questions.

In addition to Quesada, C.B. Cebulski, Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis, and Jeph Loeb appeared on stage. As the panel began late due to the previous running long, Bendis and Loeb threw candy into the crowd to kill time.

Quesada began by remarking that this is his first Cup O' Joe since giving up his Editor-in-Chief role. After introductions, Quesada had Cebulski say a few words about their Marvel Architects banner and announce the artists involved. They are:

  • John Romita Jr.
  • Mike Deodato
  • Stuart Immonen
  • Salvador Larroca
  • Humberto Ramos
  • Mark Bagley

Another banner, "Big Shots," focuses on the new series "Moon Knight" by Bendis and Alex Maleev and "Punisher," for which the creative team had not yet been announced. Quesada then announced "Punisher" team is Greg Rucka and Mark Checchetto. The team for "Daredevil" will be Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Marcos Martin. Waid then joined the panel.

Waid said the challenge of the series is that it's been consistently great. "It's going to stay gritty, and street level, but, with all due respect to the last ten years, it would be nice to finish an issue without feeling like I need a stiff drink," Waid said. There will be a bit more of the "superhero swashbuckler" angle than has been seen recently, Waid said.

Bendis will launch a new title, soon, as well. July will see Bendis and Bagley launch "Brilliant" on the Icon imprint, and this will be Bagley's first creator-owned book. It's about college geniuses "trying to see who can crack the code of superpowers first," but it is not a superhero book, he said.

Quesada then opened the floor to questions.

The first question was about applying for internships at Marvel. Quesada said they "are backlogged," so college students should "apply sooner rather than later because it may be a few years before you get the call." For prospective interns not based in New York and/or willing to travel, Quesada recommended Marvel West as another option.

"Runaways" came up next, as a fan asked whether they might show up in "Moon Knight," as that hero is also based in LA. "I'm not going to touch the Runaways for a while, because I don't want to infect them with my grossness and my Moon Knight-ness," Bendis said.

A younger fan asked whether an in-costume Deadpool would appear in a film soon. Quesada said, "I'll be honest-I don't know. Fox controls the X-Men movies, and even the new X-Men movie, I haven't seen it."

Another fan asked about where certain parts of the "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" game fit into continuity, which Quesada again saying, "I don't know." Then, "From now on, instead of saying 'I don't know,' I'm going to start making stuff up."

At this point, Quesada dramatically grabbed his head and said, "My Spider-sense is tingling." The lights dimmed and footage from the new Ultimate Spider-Man animated series played. The cartoon debuts in 2012 on DXD. Loeb said the footage is "what we refer to as an animated test-we hope the show will look even better than that." Paul Dini wrote the series pilot. "One of the challenges when I came over to Marvel Animation, I sat down with Joe Quesada and said, what is it we can do to bring the Marvel Comics excitement to Marvel Animation?" Their plans involved bringing in Man of Action Studio-Joe Kelly, Joe Casey, Steven T. Seagle, and company-as well as Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Ed McGuinnes, Paolo Rivera, Humberto Ramos, and "a young artist we have a lot of love for, Joe Quesada." The artists were asked "how you see Peter, how you see MJ," and these were considered in the design.

A fan asked about a direct-to-DVD X-Men or Spider-Man cartoon. Loeb said there is another "Thor: Tales of Asgard" cartoon on the way from Lionsgate, but Marvel is considering its options after their partnership runs out, now that Disney has an interest. "Probably next year there will be a very interesting list of properties we can talk about," Loeb said, also citing the Marvel anime series coming up from Madhouse Studios, beginning "Iron Man" (inspired by Warren Ellis) and "Wolverine" followed by "X-Men" and "Blade." Each series will run 12 parts.

Asked about following up Marvel's Year of Women with "a year focused on the big three," Fraction noted that recent solicitations featured ten books with female creators. Cebulski said Hope of the X-Men is a character to watch.

A fan asked whether Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacy would be returning. Quesada immediately said "Nope," but then joked, "read 'Fear Itself.'" Bendis said "Uncle Ben is the All-Father."

There was a question about subscriptions, which often arrive late, and the possibility of offering digital downloads to keep "that Wednesday feeling." Quesada noted that, while the subscription department was outside his purview, "the digital domain is changing by the hour-look, it changed again," and that Marvel is constantly exploring its options.

The same fan asked about an animated "Thor" show, with Loeb saying he believed she was talking about "Tales of Asgard." He added, "I will say that I had nothing to do with your books being late," to which Bendis quipped, "unless she ordered your books."

"Ultimate X" #4 is at the printer, Loeb said, but page #3 went without lettering-Marvel is looking at the best way to get the dialogue that should have been included to fans. Also, Tim Sale has scripts for "Captain America: White," and "if you see J. Scott Campbell, tell him to stop drawing calendars and draw Spider-Man, we'll be good."

"The consequences if your books are late is, you get to be head of TV," Quesada joked.

Cebulski said that there would not be a price decrease for $3.99 titles, as Marvel is keen to be able to keep up the quality of stories and hold onto creators, but that price point for new series and miniseries would always be taken under consideration. Most miniseries will be $2.99.

Talking about death in comics and its potential for cheapening it in light of Manager of Sales David Gabriel once remarking that a character would be killed every other month, Quesada noted that it was all subjective but that creators were always challenged to have a significant story reason for killing heroes and villains. The fan had cited Nightcrawler's death as an example "meaningless" deaths, but confessed he hadn't read Marvel comics in more than a year.

The "Secret Warriors" series has been expanded from 27 issues to 28, and there are plans for the characters after the series ends. Unless, as Bendis joked, "they'll all be killed as part of David Gabriel's mandated bimonthly death count."

A fan asked about the status of "Black Panther, Man Without Fear" in light of the new "Daredevil" series. "That's a good question," Waid said. Cebulski said that will be answered at Sunday's Next Big Thing panel, "but a certain weather-controlling X-Man factors in a big way."

The "Death of Spider-Man" in the Ultimate Universe will resonate throughout the year, with "one whopper after the next, one big ultimate shocker after the next," Bendis said.

Saying he is being misquoted online, Bendis clarified that "I'm not touching the Runaways, I didn't say no one's touching the Runaways." His tone did not suggest that there are in fact plans afoot with other creators.

The panel concluded with footage of the "Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers" animated feature.

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