Releasing teaser shots of the changes coming to Spider-Man (and the greater Spider-family) as well as the first announcement of the "Daredevil: Reborn" story following "Shadowland", there was no lack of excitement during Marvel's "Your Friendly Neighborhood...Shadowland" panel at Fan Expo Canada. Senior Editor Steve Wacker, Senior Vice President - Creator & Content Development C.B. Cebulksi, and Manager of Sales and Communications (and the leading voice in Marvel's Fan Expo panels so far) Arune Singh were joined on the panel by "Amazing Spider-Man" artists Paolo Rivera and Paul Azaceta.
Diving into the big changes happening to Spidey in the coming months, particularly the upcoming "Origin of the Species" and the current "One Moment in Time" arc. Wacker is excited about the future of New York's favorite web-slinger. With part 4 of OMIT hitting shelves next week, Wacker spoke to how continuity-heavy the arc really was, encapsulating not only the controversial events of "One More Day" but also going as far back as 1987's iconic wedding of Peter and MJ.
Following OMIT, Spider-Man will be thrown into the "Origin of the Species" story; which Wacker and Azaceta are extremely excited about. Originally planning to call the arc "Sinister 666", fans can expect numerous appearances from Spidey's rogues gallery as Wacker said they "throw everyone we can at Spider-Man." Azaceta promised the likes of Freak, Rhino, and Electro will be returning to make Peter Parker's life just that much more difficult in the arc.
With the "Brand New Day" era coming to a close with "Amazing Spider-Man #647", Wacker couldn't be happier about his editorial run on the book. Returning to a twice-monthly publishing schedule, the Marvel Senior Editor assured fans that they'll still be getting plenty of wall-crawler action; with a monthly total of 30 pages of story in each issue, meaning that there will be only six pages less than in the thrice-monthly series currently on shelves.
"We'll have done over 16% of the entire run of 'Amazing Spider-Man'...I'm more proud of this book than anything I've ever worked on before," said Wacker.
Issue #647 will be a giant-sized issue complete with a number of backup stories from the greater Spider-Man creative team. The panelists described the issue as a celebration and proper sendoff to the team.
While the big changes to Peter Parker will undoubtedly resonate in the upcoming "Big Time" era (set for November) the post-BND era will not only see a protagonist who isn't completely down on his luck, but also readers can expect a lot more interactions with other characters within the Marvel Universe.
After showing some teasers of a new Scorpion as well as another taste of the previously released image of Spider-Man in the Fantastic Four uniform and an intriguing radioactive green costume, there's little doubt that the future of Spidey will be an interesting one.
Also, in related spider-family news, an all-new "Spider-Girl" series will be coming out in November; written by Paul Tobin with art by Clayton Henry. The panel hinted that Spider-Girl-Anya Corazon, formerly AraÃ±a, and not the MU 2 Mayday Parker-will run into a very important character from the Marvel U that fans wouldn't expect, which will have ramifications for Corazon.
The status of Norman Osborne will be explained in the upcoming mini-series simply titled, "Osborne." Another November release, the teaser showed the smirking Osborne behind bars with a Green Goblin tattoo on his neck.
"This is a really nasty, angry book. It's Osborne in jail against some of the most vicious villains in the Marvel Universe -- some of which you've never seen before. It really puts Norman in his element," said Wacker.
Even more in web-slinger news, October will see the release of a "Carnage" mini-series featuring a return of the symbiotic red menace. Teaming up Spider-Man and Iron Man to stop the iconic Marvel villain.
Moving to the second portion of the panel with the Hell's Kitchen-centered arc, "Shadowland", there were promises of big announcements. Singh didn't disappoint with the first mention of the upcoming "Daredevil: Reborn" mini-series, launching in January. Singh couldn't divulge much more about who or what the series will feature, but did confirm that current "Daredevil" scribe Andy Diggle will be writing.
"Words like 'reborn' or 'disassembled' we don't use lightly," said Singh.
While many of Marvel's street-wise heroes are in the midst of "Shadowland" right now and the news that the current "Daredevil" series will come to an end with issue #512, a grinning Wacker simply said that he expects mail when it's all said and done.
Mentioning a replacement for Matt Murdock as the new "Man Without Fear", Wacker and Cebulski again made particular reference to cajun X-Man Gambit as an interesting choice.
"It feels like it's time for a Gambit book. I love the character, I love the visual -- Gambit has been on my mind a lot lately," said Wacker.
The fallout of the current Hell's Kitchen story will be examined more closely in "Shadowland: After the Fall." Looking at the life of Matt Murdock and his Daredevil persona, the issue promises to examine some of the weight that will be behind him in the wake of "Shadowland."
Referring to the aforementioned announcement of the "Daredevil: Reborn" story, Singh hinted that there will be a Daredevil in the Marvel Universe but whether or not it's Matt Murdock behind the mask remains to be seen.
Turning to the audience for questions, Wacker was asked about his role in killing one of the most infamous villains in the Marvel Universe, Bullseye. As a central figure throughout "Dark Reign," one reader was shocked to see the assassin killed so quickly after being built up over the past year.
"He's so heinous... I couldn't logic a reason anymore why Matt Murdock doesn't take this guy out... that relationship is so complex, and Matt Murdock is a very different character that it's something I can accept."