Here we go again with another jam-packed installment of CUP O' JOE! Exclusively here at CBR, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada opens up the minds of the Marvelous, revealing the ins and outs of everything from comics to animation and beyond!
Driven by a regular string of responses to the biggest questions submitted on the CBR message boards for our CUP O' Q&A feature, we present loads of CUP O' JOE content across our mini-site from the latest installments of Joe's regular interviews with the CBR staff, CUP O' DOODLES sketch fests, polls, videos and more!
This week, CBR and the fans team up to tease out answers on the biggest Marvel events set to hit in 2010! With a string of big announcements having just hit at the Baltimore Comic-Con and Retailer Summit and another all-star Marvel creative summit just wrapped for the future of the Avengers line, there was plenty to dig into about the next spin around the sun in the Marvel U, and we cover everything from how events like "Siege" and "Second Coming" will or won't affect the monthly titles of the Avengers and the X-Men but also which characters may be making a bigger splash in stories like "DoomWar." And that's not even getting into our exclusive look at art from "X-Men: A Girl Named Hope," "Strange," and "Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural!" Read on!
CUP O' JOE is Executive Produced by Jonah Weiland and Produced by Kiel Phegley.
Kiel Phegley: So, speaking of summits, you guys just wrapped a crazy week of work with an Avengers-themed summit at the Marvel offices in New York. This is the second "family" summit you guys have done over the past few months, after the Hulk summit we discussed a while back. What can you tell us about who was in town and what the focus of this particular story session was?
Joe Quesada: For this particular summit, it was a bunch of us from editorial, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Christos Gage. The obvious focus was where the Avengers family of books are going and what are they leading us to, as this particular family of characters is pretty vast and affects a lot, if not most of, the Marvel U.
Kiel Phegley: With guys like Fraction and Brubaker in attendance, it would seem that part of the plan for this meeting would be to see how books like "Captain America" and "Invincible Iron Man" will affect Bendis' Avengers titles over the next year. How will the solo series tie in to what happens in "Siege" and its aftermath?
Joe Quesada: Absolutely. There's a lot of coordination involved when you're working with a shared universe, and while we sometimes miss a beat here and there, it's not for lack of trying. Our creators work tirelessly to try to get this stuff as right as humanly possible. From what I gathered at this latest summit, countless hours are spent discussing this stuff [while] slaving over a hot Xbox and the latest game. I may have to get a system just to find out what these guys are talking about.
Kiel Phegley: The flip side of that question seems to be, what exactly does the oncoming "Siege" hold for the Avengers family of titles? There's been talk out there of a book rumored to be called "Avengers Academy" which may replace "Avengers: The Initiative," and it seems that if the Dark Reign is ending, there'd be less of a need for "Dark Avengers." Can we expect some of these titles to be cancelled or replaced in the coming year?
Joe Quesada: What you can expect is the unexpected and a whole new landscape for the world of Avengers or what's left of them.
Kiel Phegley: Like I said before, I think one of the defining elements of summits like these can be the moments where writers bring their own ideas to the group and change the "game plan" of the Marvel U in certain ways. Was there anyone in this particular meetup who killed in the pitch process and had an idea that caught on with everyone?
Joe Quesada: Everyone was firing on all cylinders, so it's tough to single out one creator. The most fun for me is when we all walk into the room with specific ideas, [and] by the time we're an hour into the summit, everything gets thrown on its ear by a single idea or concept and now everyone has a whole new direction that their books are going in, and all for the better. I think we ended up calling this particular three days, the O'Henry Summit because we kept tossing out twist after twist that took the stories into some cool and unexpected areas.
Kiel Phegley: With each new summit, it always seems some new projects get dreamt up. Any hint as to what new books we might be seeing as a result of this week's work?
Joe Quesada: Nope. We have lots of new stuff, but there is nothing that I could possibly tell you that wouldn't be a spoiler.
Kiel Phegley: The boards have been seeing a lot of traffic since the announcements at the Retailer Summit and that comes with a lot of questions. One of the most prominent discussions has revolved around the mystery character Norman Osborn has used to keep the Cabal in line and who that could be, with board member Monty_Cristo echoing a lot of people with, "I keep saying it and people keep ignoring me. Osborn's in power because of Spider-man's deal with Mephisto. I thought it was a no-brainer," while others have started to expect Marvelman to pop up during "Siege." Between the devil and the big blue Brit, how close are fans to guessing the shadowy figure, and what role will that character play in "Siege?"
Joe Quesada: It's actually Squirrel Girl, sorry to have to spoil it for everyone.
Kiel Phegley: Getting into some specific fan queries about what's coming up in 2010, mindcrime wanted to say, "I have a question about the upcoming 'Siege' story concerning Iron Man. Tom Brevoort said that Tony would more than likely be building a new suit of armor during, or at the end of 'Stark Disassembled,' but in the solicit covers for 'Siege,' you show Tony in his Extremis suit, which he can't operate anymore because he lost Extremis during 'Secret Invasion'....what gives?"
Joe Quesada: Well, mindcrime, why don't we go to the source and ask Tom himself.
Tom Brevoort: I did say that it was pretty likely that you'd see a new suit of armor for Tony after "Stark Disassembled," but I didn't say when after "Stark Disassembled." But you're talking about stories that haven't even begun yet, so it's premature for us to talk too specifically about what may be happening in them; if you still have questions once both "S:D" and "Siege" are done, we'll be happy to answer them then.
Kiel Phegley: User Steven Ghost was connecting the dots between some of the newly announced projects when he asked, "With Doom's role in the Cabal, will 'Siege' and 'DoomWar' have any relation to each other, or will they be completely separate stories?"
Joe Quesada: The simple answer, Steven Ghost, is that the story told in "DoomWar" continues the story that began in "Dark Reign," culminating with Dr. Doom's attempted assassination of T'Challa and his role in overthrowing that kingdom. In "DoomWar," some of Marvel's biggest heroes say, "Enough is enough," and team up to take him on. It's two Black Panthers, the X-Men and the FF on one side; Doom and his arsenal on the other. Oh yeah, and throw the lunatic known as Deadpool into the mix, stir and enjoy.
Kiel Phegley: And on the topic of "DoomWar," we had a lot of people happy to see Black Panther at the center of a Marvel event, but a few people were asking about that character's long term team status, including Comicbookfan who asked, "Hey Joe when T'Challa gets better any chance of him joining an Avengers Team? Hopefully Mighty Avengers. I read Geoff Johns' Run on 'Avengers' and he used Panther quite well. So with a Panther watching over Wakanda any chance of T'Challa and Storm spending some time on an Avengers Team?"
Joe Quesada: The idea of T'Challa or Shuri or both joining one of Marvel's elite super-teams is not out of the question. Comicbookfan. "DoomWar," which will see them fight alongside the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, will definitely show both of them the merits of working on a team.
Kiel Phegley: Stephen Sanders moved the topic along to another character who has been known to pop in and out of the Avengers over the years, especially recently, when he asked, "After his mini-series, will Dr. Strange be involved in New Avengers or the next event in 2010?"
Joe Quesada: Hey, there, Stephen Sanders, Strange shows up for a little bit in "New Avengers" #59-60, alongside a roster of other guest stars, including Misty Knight, Daredevil and Doctor Voodoo. So yes, we'll continue to see Strange in concert with the Avengers when applicable. As a matter of fact, there's one storyline that we discussed at the Avengers summit that would virtually require his involvement.
Kiel Phegley: Outside the team books, Marvel has a lot of players that have been on the sidelines for a bit, and multiple readers were hoping for their favorites to see some time in the spotlight come 2010. Starting with one of Stan and Jack's most cosmic heroes, mata-leao was one of a few people wondering, "Any news on the Silver Surfer? i've been waiting for another ongoing or at least another mini. 'Requiem' and 'In Thy Name' were both INCREDIBLE mini's."
Joe Quesada: Well, Mata-leao, while you'll be seeing the Surfer surfacing from time to time in various Marvel titles, there are no current plans for an ongoing. This doesn't mean that you won't see one, it just means you won't see one any time in the immediate future. The Surfer is a tough character and he's had trouble sustaining a monthly ongoing, so we'd like to wait until we have just the right concept before testing the waters again.
Kiel Phegley: On the new character side of things, there have been a few guys on the board waiting very patiently for me to ask after one of Marvel's 2009 hero debuts, including babybro who asked, "What's going on with Blue Marvel? Are you going to place him on a team? Place him in a ongoing or mini? Or keep him in character limbo?"
Joe Quesada: No immediate plans for Adam right this second, Babybro, but we'll get back around to him when the right opportunity presents itself.
Kiel Phegley: The final big Marvel U news out of last week's string of announcements was the future of the X-Franchise, with the upcoming "Girl Named Hope" serial followed by the "Second Coming" event. The feeling folks have been getting from this is that the storyline will wrap some long-running plot threads about the endangered aspects of mutants in the same way "Siege" will wrap a lot of the stuff set in place stretching back to "Avengers Disassembled" and "Civil War." If that's the case, will the X-Universe gain any familiar elements in the wake of the stories? What are the chances we'll be seeing some honest to goodness new mutant characters having their powers activated in 2010?
The correct question might be, "Will there be any mutants left after "Second Coming?" Hope's return to the present will have a cataclysmic effect on the mutant population. She is the future for mutants, but what that future is, well, you'll have to stay tuned to find out. Something big will be waiting for her - something that has been patiently biding its time, ready to snap shut a trap that we can confidently say is the biggest the X-Men have ever faced. Not everyone will make it out alive this time.
Kiel Phegley: With that answer, I'm not sure what to expect on this next one, but many retailers were assuming with the "Second Coming" would hold the return of Jean Grey? Are the teases pointing folks in that direction a red herring, or would you be willing to put Jean back in the mix if the story was right?
Joe Quesada: C'mon, you don't honestly want me to answer that question, do you? And spoil the fun of learning? Let's just say that Hope's got red hair and green eyes and leave it at that.
Kiel Phegley: One concrete thing we can ask about is the status of Craig Kyle and Chris Yost's "X-Force." It appears that the pair will be leaving the book after "Second Coming." Does that mean "X-Force" will end as a series as well? If not, who might be brought on to continue with that team? If yes, what other X-Titles may be leaving us in the next year?
Joe Quesada: "X-Force" is alive and well, and Craig Kyle and Chris Yost are as ensconced in the X-Men Universe as they've ever been, maybe more.Â Their story comes to an end after "Second Coming" but X-Force doesn't die.Â Will other creators have to step into Craig and Chris's shoes?Â Yes.Â Might we shake up the character roster after "Second Coming?"Â We might have to. I mean you can't field a team with dead characters can you?
Kiel Phegley: To wrap this week before we go back to full on fan Q&As next time, I was wondering what you feel the overall shape of Marvel will be in 2010. It feels, from what people there are saying, that things may be going back to a more "classic" mold for a lot of the franchises. Is that a fair assessment, or are we moving towards a different kind of change compared to what readers have been getting over the past five years or so?
Joe Quesada: It will be a different feel from what has been going on these last few years, let's just leave it at that. Hey, I have to sell some funnybooks here!