CBR’s coverage of Comic-Con International in San Diego continues with the Mondo Marvel panel. On hand for the panel were Marvel SVP – Creator and Content Development C.B. Cebulski; Arune Singh, Manager of Sales Communications; and writers Jeph Loeb, Brian Michael Bendis, Jim McCann, Dan Abnett, and Andy Lanning, and editors Mark Paniccia, Tom Brennan, and Michael Horwitz.
Cebulski began the panel by announcing several series: “Loki” for October by Roberto Sacasa and Sebastian Fiumara; “Captain America and the Korvac Saga” by Ben McCool; “Captain America: Hail Hydra” in January by Brian Clevinger; “Captain America: Fighting Avenger,” an all ages series retelling his origin and new series; and Mark Waid returning to Captain America with “Captain America: Man Out of Time” which Singh described as being about “After Captain America’s defrosted, how does he react to the world?”
Then, two new Ultimate series came up, led by “Ultimate Thor” in October by Jonathan Hickman and Carlos Pacheco. “It’s patented Hickman madness,” Paniccia said.
“Ultimate Doom” launches in December, by Brian Michael Bendis, completing his “Ultimate Enemy” trilogy.
Next up was “Strange Tales II” for next year, and Abnett and Landing on “Iron Man/Thor,” launching in November. “It’s a great opportunity to pair up characters who are the epitome of mystical legendry and the character who is the epitome of technology,” Abnett said.
“And we will be introducing Iron Raccoon,” Lanning joked.
“Who is the new Man without Fear?” Apparently, it’s Nova, as the teaser image and panelists made no attempt to hide his identity.
“Power Man and Iron Fist” launches in January by Fred Van Lente and Wellinton Alves, which will feature the new Power Man in the titular role.
Cebulski then introduced “Rocket Raccoon and Groot” featuring a cover by Mike Mignola and written by Abnett and Lanning with interior art by Tim Green. Lanning said he couldn’t say much about the series without revealing details of the “Thanos Imperative,” but would say “Groot will refer to himself as Groot, and Rocket will fire some unfeasibly large cannons.
The prize for good questions at this panel will be “Pieces of Groot,” with a certificate of authenticity. Yes, these are simply sticks.
Cebulski then opened the floor to questions.
Asked whether “Secret Avengers” takes place before or after “Thanos Imperative,” Abnett said, “They’re sort of side by side-[Nova] is commuting between one event and another.”
Abnett said that he enjoys using some of the more obscure cosmic characters, especially in a team setting. He would not directly answer the question about which heroes in particular he’d like to work with next, with Lanning concurring. Lanning added, though, “who would have thought only a couple years ago that we’d have a ‘Rocket Raccoon and Groot’ miniseries?”
Next question, will Sentry stay dead? “He’s always dead in my book,” Bendis said.
The origin will of Nowhere will be revealed “the first chance we get to tell it,” Abnett said.
As to whether “Guardians of the Galaxy” will relaunch after “Thanos Imperative,” Lanning said, “They’re like Ross and Rachel at the moment-they’re taking a break.” Plus, he added, if there was a new series that would confirm they survive, which he’s not eager to do in the midst of the cosmic event.
“Shadowland” and the “Power Man and Iron Fist” miniseries will “give a good indication of where [Iron Fist] is going,” Singh said when asked about a solo “Iron Fist” relaunch.
Michael Horwitz said he’s excited about editing the upcoming ‘Daughters of the Shadow” miniseries, when the panel was asked which characters surprised them with their popularity or deserved more attention. McCann said, “I’m just happy Mockingbird is back.” Cebulski offered Cloak and Dagger, while Bendis suggested Killraven would be moving into current modern continuity.
Asked about more “Nextwave,” Cebulski said, “Warren knows our door’s open whenever he wants to return to these characters.”
After praising Tom DeFalco, Brennan confirmed that “Spider-Girl: The End” will be Mayday Parker’s swansong for a while, as Araña becomes Spider-Girl in the new series. “You never know, though, she keeps coming back.”
Should Teddy from “Young Avengers” become Captain Marvel? “Alan [Heinberg] does everything purposefully, and there is a plan,” Singh said, directing readers to the current “Children’s Crusade” miniseries.
Loeb said there would be a huge announcement Friday at 8:15 pm regarding Marvel and anime, and first scenes from the Iron Man Anime will be shown.
One fan was upset about Red Hulk, “I followed that book for two years and I have no idea what happened!” he said. “Did you mean for it to go down like that?” “Yes, that was what we intended,” Loeb said, adding that the creators always try to tell the best stories they can.
“I understand Galactus has to eat planets all the time, but why?” Abnett spun an answer about Galactus being a necessary force in the universe, but ended with, “I don’t know where this is coming from, I’m just making it up.”
“Those of you who are wondering where the mustache goes, I could answer that,” Loeb joked, “but I’ll throw this back to you: when the Thing goes back to Ben Grimm, why does he have a full head of hair?”
Asked about another crossover between Marvel and DC, Cebulski said, “Go to a DC panel tomorrow, tell them Marvel said yes, what’s your answer?”
When a fan asked about organizing various character appearances and events, Bendis talked about their editorial retreats. “We don’t write in a vacuum,” he said. “If Spider-Man’s going to be trapped under a mattress for several months, that’s going to have to be reflected somewhere.” Bendis added that micro-continuity has never fully matched up, including in classic comics, but the writers do take the big picture into account.
The same fan was upset that the final four issues of “The Twelve” haven’t been released, despite promises from Joe Quesada and Joe Michael Straczynski, and asked why the comic was now years late. “You should ask Joe Michael Straczynski that question,” Loeb said. “You should ask him.”
Asked about divvying up Avengers teams, Bendis said that he always knew there would be a Cap, Thor, and Iron Man series, and the others spun from there. Then, “you make yourself Luke Cage and say, who would I want on my team?”
Next came the lightning round of questions, though as things would happen the name didn’t fit.
When will Spider-Man and MJ get back together? “Read ‘One Moment in Time,'” Singh said, which begins this week in “Amazing” #638
Lanning asked, “Who would be interested in a ‘Cosmic Avengers’ book?” Lots of applause.
Will there still be an ongoing cosmic title after “Thanos Imperative?” “Stay tuned,” McCann said.
When asked about the character, Bendis said “you will see [Rom] Space Knight show up in a future Avengers story.”
More Blue Marvel after “Age of Heroes?” “Everybody likes Blue Marvel, but you’ve got to buy the book,” Singh said.
Future plans for Squirrel Girl? “Ask Dan Slott,” Singh said. “He loves talking about her.”
“Illuminati will show up in Avengers #7,” Bendis said, “they will be outed to the world for doing something even worse than they did last time.”
Will more horror characters come back? Several: “Yes.”
“Satana will be showing up in the upcoming ‘Women of Marvel’ digital miniseries,” Horwitz said.
Loeb said “Captain America: White” should be finished in time for the movie, and he and the artist recognize that there have been delays.
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