After Marvel's Manager of Sales Communications, CBR alumnus Arune Singh, and the house "Geek Squad" solved some technical difficulties a special edition of "Stanley" Cup O' Joe kicked off Saturday at the Fan Expo in Toronto, Ontario.
But before getting into any major announcements, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada shared the story that he emailed Jon Stewart within 10 seconds of seeing "The Daily Show" host react to news that his guest, "Project Runway" star Tim Gunn, would appear in "Models, Inc." #1.
"I'm a huge fan of 'The Daily Show' and a huge fan of Colbert and those guys. And anytime we can offer an opportunity for a guy to be in a book, even for a small cameo, I'd love to do it," explained Quesada. "We'd love to have Jon Stewart in a Marvel comic. Believe me, I heard it and I was typing as quickly as I could to get the email off."
Quesada then announced a new series spinning out of Greg Pak's "World War Hulk" saga.
"World War Hulks: Alpha" - featuring a lineup of The Leader, Dr. Doom, M.O.D.O.K., Red Ghost, Egghead, Wizard and Mad Thinker - launches in December and will be written by Jeff Parker and illustrated Paul Pelletier.
"It will feature a group called the Intelligentsia. You had the Illuminati made up of some of the smartest heroes on Earth, you had the Cabal, which was some of the deadliest villains on Earth, so now the smartest villains, or at least the villains that think they're the smartest, are going to get together," explained Singh.
"It's written by Jeff Parker and 'World War Hulk: Gamma' is written by Jeph Loeb and it's all leading up to 'World War Hulks,' this big Hulk event that's coming into 2010. If you like Red Hulk, if you like Green Hulk, if you like Skaar, if you the She-Hulks, they're all here."
Other big news that garnered a huge positive reaction from those in the audience was that . After a one-month hiatus the book will return in December with a special 200th issue. Peter David will stay on as the writer.
"The last solicitation was #50. We took a month off and now, 'X-Factor' #200," said Quesada. "So yes, the book is around, folks. They're you go."
He also announced Kaine, the Jackal's first failed attempt at cloning Peter Parker in the iconic nineties storyline 'Clone Saga,' will return to Marvel U. in "Amazing Spider-Man" #608. The book launches a new arc by Marc Guggenheim entitled, 'Who was Ben Reilly?'
The final formal announcement was five new "What If?" projects:
"What If The Skrulls Won?"
"What If Gwen Stacy Survived The House of M?"
"What If the Heroes Lost World War Hulk?"
"What If Daredevil Died & Was Resurrected By The Hand?"
"What if Jean Grey Had Returned Instead of Colossus?"
In what rapidly became a Q&A with Quesada, Singh and Marvel writer and talent scout C.B. Cebulski, fans in attendance learned the following:
Marvel is thoroughly developing its publishing plan for the recently acquired Marvelman. "We want to make sure we handle it the right way," said Quesada.
Who or what Red Hulk is will be revealed soon by writer Jeph Loeb. "You will know who Red Hulk is. It's coming," said Quesada.
Sentry will be heavily featured in the near future. "There is a lot of Sentry action coming up real soon. You may not like it, but there is," said Quesada.
Nick Fury fans should not miss "Dark Reign: The List - Secret Warriors" #1 by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Ed McGuinness. "It has one of the coolest Nick Fury moments of all time," said Singh.
There are plans for a 'very, very big' "Young Avengers" story that will be told in an eight-issue miniseries, likely next year. "Allan Heinberg is writing it. So stay tuned. We're waiting for all the stories to be written and drawn. And Jimmy Cheung is the artist on it. This is Allan's definitive 'Young Avengers' arc," said Quesada. "Once that's done, you'll see more Young Avengers, possibly in their own title. I can't wait for the story to come out."
Writer Dan Slott's long-rumored "Reckoning War" is not currently on the table as a possible event project for Marvel. "He's been dropping little hints in all the books he writes about this big event he'd like to do someday but nothing's set in stone. He's never approached anybody about it. He loves to talk about it at cons to get fans built up but there's nothing official about 'Reckoning War,' in any shape or form, at this time," said Cebulski.
There are "big plans" for Ghost Rider, Iron Fist and all the other street level Marvel heroes but nothing to announce just yet.
There are also plans for Iceman, and fans of the long-standing X-Men member should check out "X-Men Origins: Iceman" #1 by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Phil Noto as it may serve as a potential prelude for things to come.