CUP O' Q&A: Crossovers & Cancelations Collide

We're back on the mic with a brand new installment of a little something we like to call CUP O' Q&A! 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, the CUP O' Q&A feature leads the pack 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!

In an all-fan continuation of last week's outing, Joe responds to queries over whether or not readers will ever see another Marvel/DC Comics crossover, addresses new ideas for how to save struggling books like "Captain Britain and MI-13" and calls upon "Invincible Iron Man" writer Matt Fraction to help explain the rebooting of Tony Stark.

CUP O' JOE is Executive Produced by Jonah Weiland and Produced by Kiel Phegley.

Kiel Phegley: All right, Joe...let's jump into some fan questions! Board member Deathpool was wondering something that a fan actually asked Geoff Johns about over the weekend at ECCC, asking, "With the management changes happening over at DC, would that make crossovers between the two companies possible again? I understand if it's too soon for something like that, but I can't be the only one who misses the occasional crossover."

Johns seemed to balk at the idea while promotions like Marvel's infamous "ring cover swap" program were going on, but what say you? Would you be open to getting new crossovers off the ground in 2010?

Joe Quesada: I'm open to any good idea from anyone, Deathpool, that's about as to the point as I can make it.However, let me say this is the first I've heard of any possible Marvel/DC crossovers. But, here's the thing I don't understand, if that were to happen some day, I wouldn't expect our Distinguished Competition to just lie down in a detente like malaise. So, would DC expect us to just stop trying to kick their asses in every possible way because we were suddenly doing a crossover. Or should we just stop competing completely in order to make these crossovers happen?

Kiel Phegley: Frisky Dingo was the first of many guys to bring up different issues surrounding canceled books when he said, "Joe thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I was recently disappointed to hear the news that the 'Spider-Woman' title is coming to an end Bendis said it wasn't a matter of sales or interest but seemed to indicate it was because of Maleev leaving the book. Why not just continue on with another artist? Or even if Bendis was too busy, just an all-new creative team? I know Jessica Drew is one of Bendis' favorite characters but surely another writer could also do her justice. It's disheartening to see the title ending so soon considering how long fans of the character have waited to see her solo adventures. What was your rationale for ending the title prematurely?"

Joe Quesada: Well, Frisky Dingo, what Bendis said is true, Alex needs a break as the Spider-Woman comic and motion comic took a lot out of him. Add to this that Bendis only wants to do the book with Alex and that's a double whammy. See, the thing is that a title like Spider-Woman without an extremely marketable team on it in this rough economy is just going to get canceled anyway. So what would be the point of that? It's best in our minds to either wait for Brian and Alex to return to the book or to find just the right team with just the right take and move on it then.

Kiel Phegley: Following along, pblimp360 brought the board discussion back to the frequent topic of sales and cancelations, saying, "What's up Joe? This is my first time ever writing to you...Or anyone for that matter. My question is about cancellation. In particular, the rumored cancellation of some of the best books Marvel as a whole has to offer: 'Nova' and 'The Guardians of the Galaxy.' After reading the interview from DnA and Rosemann, we were informed that 'Nova' and the 'GotG' would be going on a hiatus while the 'Thanos Imperative' mini was going, setting up the no doubt soon to be excellent next cosmic event. The issue is in Rosemann's words about cash strapped fans, and led many to your words about voting with our wallets, as well as the patterns that led to the cancellation of 'The Immortal Iron Fist' and 'Ghost Rider.' Set up an event and see how well that sells, to determine if the books should continue. I understand that it's a business to make money, but the nature of this business is also to please fans. And canceling out on "Nova" or the "GotG" would be a slap to the fans faces who have stuck by you all and mostly DnA all this time.

I'm asking you, is this mini set up to determine DnA's future with "Nova" and the "GotG," and is this Marvel's official model on continuing any sales plagued book?"

Joe Quesada: There's no official model for saving sales plagued book, pblimp360, and in this case the sales on both of these books were not the main factors in what's going on and what lies ahead in their futures. You need to read "Thanos Initiative" and then stick around for some surprises towards the end of the year (or perhaps 2011). But, what I can say is that regardless of what may have in the immediate future, we have some huge plans for the world of Marvel Cosmic. Trust me on this one, I wish I could say more, but it's big, big BIG. It may just not seem that way at first blush, but there is a plan.

BWA-HA HA- - ah, you get the picture.

Kiel Phegley: Kid Impulse asks "I'm a fan from overseas, England to be exact, and for no real reason, I started thinking about comics cancellations today. I've heard it said before that overseas sales aren't counted in the overall sales figures, at least the ones we see online. From what I gather, they aren't counted when it comes to reviewing a series viability in today's market.

'Captain Britain and MI:13' was said to have excellent sales over here, I believe it was regularly the number one trade and the singles sold well also. Knowing that all these sales aren't counted towards the decision to cancel the book, it leaves me to think, and I mean this with no disrespect, what's the point of me paying for the comic in the first place? I could read it in the shop, or download it, still get the great story, and have as much impact towards supporting the book as I would if I paid for it. We're told to 'vote with out wallets' but it seems my vote isn't counted.

My question is really, will this change? Will Marvel, an international company, with an international fanbase, ever count international sales when it comes to looking at how well a series is doing?"

Joe Quesada: This isn't quite accurate, Kid Impulse. Of course Marvel values our international comics sales as much as our national ones, there's absolutely no such thing as "those sales don't count." You're mixing up market share with our sales analysis of titles. Those are two separate beasts. International sales are not factored into Diamond Comics Market Share analysis, since it's a US chart but we certainly do. So, yes, your dollars do effect our decision making in a significant way, it may just not seem that way as people put way too much emphasis strictly on the numbers from Diamond. When we make publishing decisions, we take everything into account, it would be foolish not to.

Kiel Phegley: I know that a lot of the connection UK fans have to the Captain Britain series comes from there being a long run of British characters back when Marvel UK still existed. And while that wing no longer exists, in recent years Marvel has teamed with other publishing partners for original superhero stories in places like India and France. Do you think that if a local concern would co-publish with Marvel, there's a chance the you guys would again make comics for a specific international market like Great Britain in the future?

Joe Quesada: Sure thing, when a great idea or story presents itself, and there's a great partner for it, we'll go out and do it. I don't think we specifically said let's make a Captain Britain comic for the UK (not that this is a bad idea) and the Marvel world is changing in incredible ways on a daily as I think is pretty evident, so who knows what may be possible.

Kiel Phegley: To wrap on some current Marvel events, mindcrime came up with a question that fits his handle pretty well: "My Question concerns Tony Stark and the recent "rebooting" of his mind in Invincible Iron Man #24. His mind has been reset to before Civil War, so he remembers nothing from before Civil War to present day. So my question is...WHY? There's alot of readers in various comic forums i chat on that are very dissapointed this happened....They feel like your giving Tony an "out" on all the things that happened. Now it seems if Steve or Thor are mad at him over certain issues, Tony can just say he's sorry and he doesn't remember doing "Whatever" it was. Can i get your reasoning behind doing this? Just so you know, I'm a HUGE Iron Man fan, and even I'm mystified as to why this was done.. "

Joe Quesada: You know what, mindcrime, it's been a while since I bothered one of our creators for a COJ answer, so let me introduce to you, the one and only Matty Fraction!

Matt Fraction: Heyah - first off, thanks for reading and taking the time to drop a line. And second... well, don't be disappointed yet. I haven't told my story. And if you've come with Salva and me this far... just come with us a little further along. If you've enjoyed the book at all... trust us some. Why on earth... after everything we've done to Tony... would we just give him an easy out?

See, the answer to "Why?" is because I think it makes for some great drama. It's another kink, another complication, another conflict for Tony to deal with on the road to recovery. If you've been reading the book to date I think you'll agree that nothing-- absolutely nothing-- comes easy to Tony on our watch, so I can promise you there's no "out" here. There's no undo, no reset. This just makes it all worse for him, in a way, but more on that in the months to come.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this isn't the first time Tony's come to with no recollection of what he's done, only to find people are angry at him and he doesn't know why. Now usually there'd be empty bottles of booze around him when he came to, but you get the idea. What I'm saying is, it doesn't matter if Tony remembers what's happened anymore than if he'd forgotten transgressions committed in a blackout drunk. Everybody ELSE remembers what happened. Damage was still done. It all still happened. "Sorry" and a shrug doesn't cut it now anymore than it would've four years ago and, as the guy that's writing it all, I'm telling you sorry WON'T cut it. Again: there is no out here. Trust us and keep reading.

Part of wanting to do this is purely selfish-- I came in towards the end of Tony's time as king of the hill and didn't get to write him in the real heat of the post-Civil War moment. I wanted to prolong the tension even more among the other super-folk and get to write the fights I didn't get to write the first time around. There's more stuff coming up that I don't want to ruin but we're not done with anything yet, not by a long shot. We haven't even scratched the surface of what Tony Stark, post traumatic brain injury, means. Over these last two years, Salva and I took away absolutely everything we could from Tony Stark, including now the sanctity of his own mind, to see what was left of the hero when he hit rock bottom. Now we start the process of rebuilding. And like everything else in "Invincible Iron Man," it's gonna get rough.

Have some questions for Joe Quesada? Please visit the CUP O' Q&A thread in CBR's Marvel Universe forum. It is from this dedicated thread that CBR's staff will pull questions for our next week's massive return to our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer session with Joe! Do it to it!

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