CCI: Secret Invasion

Welcome to CBR's live coverage of Marvel Comics' Secret Invasion panel at Comic-Con International. Check back here every few minutes for more updates directly from the floor in San Diego with loads of panelists including Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Assistant Manager of Sales Communications Jim McCann, Joe Pokaski, Christos Gage, Ivan Brandon, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Chris Yost, Daniel Way, Nick Lowe, CB Cebulski, Peter David and Brian Reed.

Quesada began the panel with a slide show featuring the cover and interior artwork from next month's "Secret Invasion" #5 before announcing the new "Thunderbolts" team of writer Andy Diggle and artist Roberto De La Torre.

The ominous "Who will rule?" teasers were finally revealed to be in anticipation of a new storyline called "War of Kings," which spins out of events of "Secret Invasion' and concerns Black Bolt, whose visage was displayed on screen. "Secret Invasion: Inhumans" writer Joe Pokaski remarked, "Black Bolt will be pretty pissed off." The Winter event will also concern Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl.

Quesada then opened the floor to audience questions.

What happened to the people who were replaced by skrulls and where are they? Quesada: "All will be revealed. Keep reading."

McCann added, "Who says they're alive?"

Will we see more of the Hood? Q: "You can expect a lot."

Regarding the ceaseless invocations of the phrase "he loves you" in Secret Invasion, Quesada advised fans to "Keep reading. He loves you."

What happens to those who've been revealed as skrulls? Will they continue on as characters in the Marvel universe? Q: "Keep reading." The panel also mentioned that Spider-Woman will be starring in a new ongoing series -- but would not say exactly who will be wearing the costume.

A fan who identified himself as Bob took the floor to admonish Brian Michael Bendis for not showing up, saying he looked like a "punk" for remaining at home while his Marvel colleagues travelled from far distances. Quesada put in a call to Bendis that would be returned later in the hour.

How far ahead do you plan stories? Q: "Marvel holds what we call creative summits. We like to be locked and loaded for about 12 months ahead, with the bigger brush strokes for two or three years in the future."

Is the Spider-Man who crashed in the Savage Land the real Peter Parker, which would make the Parker who made a deal with Mephisto a skrull and we can have our beloved Spidey back? This inspired a lively back and forth with Quesada, who took the position that Spider-Man is an inherently funny character and a "loveable loser," while the fan appeared to represent a philosophy by which it was appropriate for Peter Parker to grow older and more sophisticated and even live in a penthouse. Quesada also said the holes in post-One More Day continuity would be filled within the next 12-14 months.

Which creators besides Bendis knew their characters were skrulls? Brian Reed said that Dan Slott knew Hank Pym was a skrull almost since the beginning of The Initiative.

Does Norman Osborn know Harry is alive and will that be addressed? Q: "Yes, of course he knows he's alive. There is a Norman/Harry connection coming up. But when we started Brand New Day, we didn't want Spider-Man to crossover into the bigger Marvel Universe. We wanted to introduce new characters and new villains But now we're starting to bring in the old villains. You're going to see those guys in full force, and we're going to deal with the Harry situation."

Will the Infinity Gems be seen any time soon? Reed: "The Infinity Gems are some of my favorite pieces of Marvel lore, I would love to do something with that in the future. There's not time yet."

Will Cable and Deadpool reunite? Daniel Way: "I can't answer that."

At that point Bendis returned Quesada's call and took questions from the audience via speakerphone, but not before allowing the fan named Bob to ask the writer where he was. 'I'm at Alan Moore's house," Bendis laughed.

Were you thinking of Secret Invasion as early as Alias? Bendis: "No. Any skrull references were coincidences."

Why did you decide to make the Beyonder an Inhuman? Bendis: "That was Brian Reed's idea."

Why did you sell out Powers?" Bendis: SCREW YOU!

When are we going to find out about the skrull in House of M? Bendis: "New Avengers #45. Jimmy Cheung draws it."

Bendis thanked the crowd for reading, his collaborators for collaborating, and promised a "super" ending to Secret Invasion.

Why is Marvel so much better than DC Comics? Quesada answered by giving the fan a Stark Industries flash drive. "The real answer is talent. And we have guys that are actively out there not just making sure the talent is happy, but also scouting new talent. Greg Pak is a great example. He started in 2000 and now he's one of the biggest names in the industry. And on the other hand we have veterans like Peter David who does amazing work."

"I've been working as a writer in comics for 20 years now," said David, "and I've never been happier than I am now. I'm middle-aged and I've never felt more vital and creative than I do now."

What's going to happen with Deadpool? Way: "Deadpool's going on a mission for someone I can't talk about for something I can't talk about. At the end of the first three issues, he does something that puts him on everyone's radar. There are a lot of people that are going to be looking for him. It's Deadpool running rampant through the Marvel Universe."

Is there a chance the Scorpion will show up in Incredible Hercules? Pak: "Yes."

Are there plans to explain Layla Miller's origin and get her back in the mainstream Marvel Universe? David: "I have no desire to give a lengthy exposition about her backstory. But yes, Layla will be back in X-Factor."

What's going on with Dr. Strange? What role will he play in coming events? McCann: "Dr. Strange is out there. When when we see him, you will know it."

Will Scarlet Witch play a role in Secret Invasion? Q: "No. We have plans for Scarlet Witch, and they're not here."

The proprietor of a new Dayton, Ohio comics store called Fearless Readers asked if Marvel had any plans for Hawkeye. Q: "Probably kill him again!"

Is Captain America really dead? Q: "He's pretty dead."

Any chance of the mutant Young Avengers appearing in the X-Men books? Lowe: "You aren't going to see them much in the X-titles but you will see the Young Avengers around."

If a de-powered mutant is also a skrull, is it possible the mutant they replaced may still have their powers? Lowe: That is possible. I mean, it's not going to happen but it's possible."

McCann closed the panel by revealing "Skrullmageddon" and "Skrullduggery" were aborted titles for Secret Invasion.

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