At Comic-Con International in San Diego, Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb hosted a panel on Marvel’s current and upcoming features, with new footage from “Ultimate Spider-Man” on display and the world premiere of “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” season 2, episode 1. Loeb announced live-action shows in development including “aka Jessica Jones,” “Hulk,” “Cloak and Dagger,” and “Mockingbird,” as well as an animated “Hulk: Agents of SMASH” headed up by Paul Dini and the complete run of “Astonishing X-Men” done in Marvel Knights Animation style.
“Marvel TV was a brand new idea a year ago,” Loeb began, recounting how he was asked to move from publishing into creating television projects that have “Marvel DNA in them.”
“Really, at the end of the day, the peanut butter side of my head and the chocolate side of my head get to play together, making TV shows based on comics,” he said.
He then introduced the topic of Marvel Live Action. Loeb provided the caveat that any projects shown are “in development,” and may or may not make it to the screen.
The first show concept is “aka Jessica Jones” at ABC, based on Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos’ “Alias,” which Loeb described as a story about “a failed superhero.” “We obviously can’t call it ‘Alias,’ thank you JJ Abrams.” Loeb said the show would feature Carol Danvers and Luke Cage.
“Hulk” was the next project announced, “a brand new take on the character” set in his early years, “before everyone knew his secret,” and focused on the love story between Banner and Betty Ross.
“Cloak and Dagger” for ABC Family was announced next, a story about “two teenagers who discover each other and find their powers both complement and complicate their lives.” The series will be set in post-Katrina New Orleans, prompting a fan near the front to gasp, “Holy Shit!” “You can come to every panel,” Loeb said.
“Mockingbird” is also in development for ABC Family, depicting Bobby Morse as “a Peter Parker Nerd” who is recruited to a secret organization.
Loeb then moved on to animation, thanking fans for their support of “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and “Super Hero Squad.” He then introduced “Ultimate Spider-Man,” which will premiere next year on Disney XD. He showed sketches of Spider-Man and Spider-Ham. Fans cheered when Loeb mentioned that Paul Dini will be writing for the show. He also said “Ben10” creators Man of Action Studios will also contribute, the studio of Joe Casey, Steven T. Seagle, Duncan Rouleau, and others. Bendis will serve as Creative Consultant.
Loeb then played a sizzle for “USM,” with behind-the-scenes footage featuring some of the show’s talent. Stan Lee came up first, grinning “Spider-Man!” The first bit of animation was a split screen of MJ splitting carrots while Spidey fights off bad guys, talking on the phone. Following some action, Peter is shown sewing his costume, looking to the camera and saying, “What?” Spidey fights Venom, and there were several comic-esque visual effects
Drake Bell spoke about playing Spider-Man, “It’s great playing a super-hero who’s so iconic.”
Stan Lee plays Stan the Janitor and will have a recurring role.
Nick Fury is played by Chi McBride and will mentor him into the “Ultimate Spider-Man.”
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. Coulson will also be the principle.
JK SImmons = JJJ, as he is on film, and Stephen Webber is Norman Osborn, “a powerful industrial who a grudge with Spider-Man.”
As the footage ended, Loeb said “everyone who was involved in the casting process chose one person.” Drake Bell then joined Loeb on stage. Bell said he was seeing the sizzle reel for the first time and was overjoyed to see his voice with the character. Loeb then premiered the trailer for the show, as well.
J. Jonah Jameson began with a voice over condemning Spidey, as the web-slinger himself fights Elektro, then Venom, followed by Doctor Doom. He also teams up with Avengers and is chased through the NYC subway by an octopus-like robot.
“Our hope is that it looks different from any Spider-Man show you’ve seen before,” Loeb said once the trailer concluded.
“Being a fan of the comics and something we’ve never had in animation before is Spider-Ham,” Bell said, adding that the snorts were a lot of fun.
Artists contributing the look of the show included Stuart Immonen, Humberto Ramos, and Joe Quesada, who provided drawings of the characters to the animation team. Loeb acknowledged the late Spider-Ham creator Mike Wieringo.
Loeb then moved on to Marvel Knights Animation, which recently produced “Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers.” The complete run Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s “Astonishing X-Men” will be translated to animation, with Cassaday as a consultant on the animation.
Paul Dini then joined Loeb on stage. Asked whether there’s anything he’d like to work on, Dini said, “I’ve always loved the Hulk.” A slide showed “Hulk: Agents of SMASH,” with multi-colored Hulks, as Loeb and Dini bantered about how he’d “come up with this idea just right now.” The series is in development for Disney XD.
Moving on to “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” Loeb invited writer Chris Yost to the stage, though he admitted he was unsure if Yost was in the room. Yost, however, is apparently not in attendance. Loeb then played the first episode of Season 2.
The episode began with a mysterious figure assessing the threat levels of each Avenger, with Hulk garnering an “extreme” rating. The villain is revealed as Doctor Doom.
Johnny Storm and The Thing show up at Avengers mansion to play poker, but when Hulk sees them, he growls “Grimm!” and tackles him out the door.
Janet Van Dyne hangs out with Sue Storm, while Tony Stark chats with Reed Richards. The differences between the pairs are a lot of fun.
Doom’s simultaneous attacks on the Avengers and FF HQs take the heroes from zero to 60 in about three seconds.
The action continues relentlessly, with some very fun moments of humor, but the recap will now conclude to avoid ruining surprises.
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