HeroesCon: Pint O' C.B. Report

The musclebound black man dressed as Captain America sitting in the front row at Marvel's Friday Pint O' C.B. panel at HeroesCon was not Will Smith.

Despite rumors that the movie star would be playing Marvel's signature hero in an upcoming film - and inspiring the return of Captain America in the comic book series - writer Ed Brubaker was clear that it would be Steve Rogers returning in the comic.

"It's something we've been building toward since 'Captain America' #25," Brubaker said of "Captain America: Reborn," which ships July 4. "I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil it."

Mark Waid quickly jumped in with a joke. "Doesn't the title spoil it?"

That exchange started a panel - also featuring Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, C.B. Cebulski and Jeannie Shaffer - that was long on teases and short on details.

Brubaker ducked audience questions on Bucky and hinted at a larger role for the Falcon. One fan wanted to know if Steve Rogers' return would come about from "Hulk punching the walls of reality."

"No, it's Superboy. ... I mean, Captain America Boy!" Brubaker quipped.

After the discussion shifted from "Captain America," the group ran through a slate of projects coming later this year.

Brubaker also is writing "Marvels Project," which he described as a "Right Stuff" for the Marvel Universe. It'll focus in part on little-used characters, explaining their unknown fate.

Rick Remender will write "Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural," which debuts in October.

Mark Waid is writing "Strange," a miniseries that follows Doctor Strange after he's no longer Sorcerer Supreme. An unspecified Boom! Studios alumnus will contribute art. It also comes out in October.

"He knows the magic, but he's no longer connected to the universe," Waid said of the series. "He has to try a lot harder. He's not the dour, grim, tortured guy. He can enjoy himself now. And maybe he'll take on a student."

Moon Knight returns this fall in "Vengeance for Moon Knight," written by Gregg Hurwitz and illustrated by Jerome Opena.

"Star the Slayer" is a new MAXX fantasy series by Daniel Way and Richard Corben that debuts in September.

And Matt Fraction said while he's not returning to "Iron Fist," a series of one-shot comics featuring the immortal weapons. The first will be written by Jason Aaron and feature Fat Cobra. "Now you can hold Jason Aaron's Fat Cobra in your hands," he said.  "It's one of my favorite comics of the last year."

Waid also talked of the future of Peter Parker. In "Amazing Spider-Man" #611, due in November, an event called "The Gauntlet" begins. Waid said after "Brand New Day" the goal was to avoid all the standby villains.

"There's been a big demand for established villains," he said. "We're bringing them back, but we're bringing them back with a plan."

Electro is the first villain to return. "The Gauntlet" features art by Paul Azaceta.

Bendis - who Cebulski introduced as writer of the "soon-to-return 'Powers'" - also spoke of Parker, saying he would address the repercussions of "Brand New Day" and Parker's identity now being a secret, even among his fellow heroes. That will take place in "Amazing Spider-Man" #600 and "New Avengers" #55.

Stuart Immonen also will take over as artist of "New Avengers" with issue 55.

Jonathan Hickman didn't attend the panel, but the others talked up his looming run on "Fantastic Four." "Hickman is going to blow minds," Fraction said. "Dale Eaglesham is drawing it. The art will kill you," said editor Janine Shaffer.

The panel also doled out a little movie news. Cebulski said there will be new direct-to-DVD animated "Wolverine" and "Iron Man" movies released in Japan that reimagine the characters as Japanese heroes. And Bendis and Brubaker both bemoaned the Hollywood process, though they also said there's still hope for movie versions of  "Torso" and "Sleeper."

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