Marvel Press Conference: "Civil War" Updates On The X-Men, Runaways & Young Avengers

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With the shocking events of "Civil War" #2, saying that fans are excited about the rest of the event would be an understatement, and Marvel Comics wisely scheduled a press conference today to discuss two "Civl War" tie-in limited series: "X-Men" and "Young Avengers & Runaways." The conference has wrapped up, but you can also view some of the new art released by Marvel Comics. You can also check out our recent interview with writer Zeb Wells, where he discussed "Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways." Wells was in attendance today, along with "Civil War: X-Men" writer David Hine (who recently spoke to CBR about "Spawn"), Communications Assistant Manager Jim McCann, Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Associate Editor Nick Lowe and Senior Editor Mike Marts. So what did CBR News learn about the future of "Civil War?" Whose side are you on? Read and find out. And then discuss the story on CBR's Civil War Forum.

Wells began by explained how Tom Brevoort asked him to become involved in the big event, taking time to "bone up" on "Young Avengers" and "Runaways." "It's probably good for me to piggyback Vaughn and Heinberg's fame," laughed Wells, noting the writers of each series' popularity and skill in defining the character. Hine said his series will be "great" and feels honored to be working on a group of characters such as the X-Men, specifically the original X-Men team that will be featured in the series.

Then came the questions, with a disclaimer regarding huge changes in the Young Avengers and Runaways in both their books, and the inability to name the full team lineups.

"They're still alive," laughed Wells when asked what it was like to work on some teams other than the New Warriors. He feels that the Runaways and Young Avengers are very interesting to contrast, where the former wants nothing to do with the adult world and the latter desperately wants to be part of it.

Hine mentioned that some mutants, such as Cable, were ones initially planned to be in the series and he'd have liked to see Cable go up against his father, Cyclops. He said it was tough to make his mark on the characters, with so many other creators involved, and his own lack of knowledge of some recent history, which he quickly made up for with some intense reading. His own series-"District X" and "X-Men: The 198"- helped ease him into the mutant world and prepare him for this pr0ject. He's received positive fan response, which is always reassuring.

"It's definitely the most intimidating thing I've ever written," said Wells of his new project, since the Young Avengers and Runaways have been so defined by writers in their own books. He praised Brian Vaughan's ability to play on words and turn a phrase in "Runaways," as well Allan Heinberg's tight plotting in "Young Avengers." As per the events of "Civil War" #2, the Young Avengers will still be underground, and YES, the team will meet the Runaways.

Since the X-Men have dealt with the problem of superhero registration before, there's some concern as to the redundancy of the team dealing with this registration issue again. Hine said this is a unique situation, as they team was offered sanctuary by the Xavier Institute, which became someone constraining for some, and we'll finally see the legal situation of the mutants debated, perhaps making the Institute a prison for some mutants. Some mutants will be broken out of this "jail" and will be forced to get off the fence in regards to "Civil War," revealed Hine, and the mutants must now become part of the conflict. "Civil War" #3 also features a key scene with Tony Stark and Emma Frost debating the finer points of mutant involvement with the divisions in the superhero community.

Starting in February/March of 2007, expect to see a new "Young Avengers" series, likely starting with a new issue #1. This break will allow Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung to get ahead on the issues, since they're both very busy men. Issue #12 of the current series ends the "first season."

Expect to see lots of "Civil War" coverage in all the major news outlets, from BBC to the New York Times, with requests coming all the time. "Civil War" was the number one clicked news story on Yahoo.Com and Marvel believes the attention will grow, driving more customers into comic book stores.

The ramifications of Spider-Man's "Civil War" #2 revelation will be felt through a lot of comics, from "Frontline" to "Amazing Spider-Man," and we'll see the actual questions asked by the press. This issue will be explored quite a great deal and Marvel isn't panicking over the mixed fan reaction: they've had a plan all along, they're sticking to it, and think fans will quite enjoy the story.

The issues in "Civil War" are quite politically charged and could be seen as an allegory to current events in Iraq, so writers are walking a fine line. Wells said that he's worked towards keeping the ambiguity front and center, so the books don't espouse any one point of view too greatly, or become too partisan. Hine said his point of view has evolved as he's written the series and praised "Civil War" scribe Mark Millar for presenting such a nuanced conflict.

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