width="227" height="190" alt="" align="right" border="0">Marvel's Civil War panel at Wizard World Philadelphia did not provide much information about events in upcoming "Civil War" stories. Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada refused to "drop bombs." Instead, he discussed some of the philosophies behind "Civil War" and comics in general. Heroes fighting heroes, brother fighting brother, friends suddenly finding themselves on opposing sides; all of these things make for dramatic stories.
Present at the panel were Marvel publisher Dan Buckley, Senior Editor Tom Brevoort, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and a late-arriving Billy Tucci. They began with a slide show premiering art from upcoming "Civil War"-related books. Even here, spoilage was kept to a minimum. Pages from the upcoming "Runaways/Young Avengers crossover" had some panels removed and marked "Classified." This was to avoid revealing which Runaways would be involved, and not, as Palmiotti claimed, because of all the topless scenes.
"Civil War" is, at heart, an attempt to recapture the early days of Marvel, when heroes didn't know each other so well, and didn't necessarily trust each other or even get along. Part of the Marvel philosophy, claimed Quesada, is to fix things within the context of a story, rather than simply claiming things never happened. "House of M" was another example of this philosophy in action. There were simply too many mutants, and they'd long since ceased to be special. After "House of M," mutants are a tiny minority again.
The subject of retroactive continuity led inevitably to the issue of Spider-Man's marriage, a topic which ate up far too much of a panel supposedly evoted to "Civil War." The problem, explained Quesada, is that there are no stories you can do with a married Peter Parker that you can't do with a single Peter. On the other hand, there are a lot of stories you can do with a single Peter that simply can't be done with a married one. For that reason, writers and editors wish the marriage would go away, but that leads to problems as well. A divorce would change the characters in ways that would be undesirable. Killing off Mary Jane would destroy a vibrant and well-loved character. And of course, simply declaring that the marriage had never happened would be bad writing.
The marriage occurred because circulation of Stan Lee's newspaper strip was dropping, and stan needed a publicity stunt. He hit on the idea of a Spider-Man wedding. At that time, Marvel's editor-in-chief was Jim Shooter, who didn't want the strip to "scoop" the comic book. Shooter therefore ordered a wedding for the comic book Peter and Mary Jane as well. We've been stuck with it ever since.
The most interesting character appearing in "Civil War," according to Quesada, is Tony Stark. He's doing what he thinks is right, taking personal risks and making sacrifices to do it. That's the definition of a hero, even if you don't agree with what he is doing. His actions in Civil War will define the character for a long time to come.
Amidst the discussion, some questions were answered. Doctor Strange's role in "Civil War" will be revealed in "Civil War" #3. The role of the Marvel villains will be seen in "Civil War" #5. Moon Knight won't have a role in "Civil War," although the war will affect events in his book. While roles for Nick Fury and Iron Fist were hinted, no details were forthcoming. There will be a New Avengers after the war, but no one whould comment on its potential membership. Given that Avengers mainstays Iron Man and Captain America are on opposite sides, a membership shakeup seems likely.
"Cable/Deadpool" will interact heavily with Civil War, as will the new "Heroes for Hire," as the latter will present the civilian's view of the war, as only one of the Heroes for Hire has actual super powers. Humbug can control insects, which, according to Bill Tucci, makes him extremely powerful. "Imagine him unleashing every cockroach in Philadelphia on this room! Or black flies, that can eat you! I'd like to see Magneto stop that!"
Before all of that, though, comes "Civil War" #2, the ending of which, according to Brevoort, will drop our jaws to the floor. "The internet will be aflame!"