MARVEL T&A: Back To The Fans Again

2011 may have started out with some shifts in management over at Marvel Comics, but that doesn't mean the year still can hold some good, old fashioned T&A!

Back again here on CBR, Marvel's newly-instated Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso bring you an open and honest Q&A for the column we call MARVEL T&A! Hosted as part of CBR's dedicated CUP O' JOE site featuring interviews with Marvel CCO Joe Quesada, T&A brings you your weekly dose of Marvel publishing news, previews and predictions.

Each week, the CBR News Team grills the duo on everything Marvel Comics. And this week Tom and Axel kick off the 2011 installments of the column by digging into reader mail with an all-fan question Q&A! Below, they field your queries about the state of several key franchises like "Daredevil," confirm some of the faces about to be shocked by the incoming "Fear Itself" event, clarify the future of Marvel Cosmic and talk about all the changes taking shape at Marvel as a result of Axel's recent promotion to E-i-C! Read on!

Kiel Phegley: All right, guys! After a week of a few big changes on your end, we're back to do an all-intensive, all-fan Q&A for this week with one quick exception. Axel, I know you said in our interview that as E-i-C you wanted to start by talking to the staff internally about all their roles, but I was wondering: in terms of the production of the books and creation of the stories, what was your first official act of business? Was there something immediately you wanted to convey about the line under your purview?

Brevoort: It's now lower-case t, upper-case A.

Axel [Laughs] First order of business? Divesting myself of my titles -- my babies -- and doing interviews. I was not prepared for the public relations aspect of the job. And yes, I've started to huddle with DG [David Gabriel], Mike Pasciullo and C.B. [Cebulski] to get their expertise on the market and meet with editors to discuss my goals for the next few months, which will hopefully help them do their jobs most effectively.

Solid. On to fan questions, I thought there'd be no better way to start this week than with a few queries from some of our most frequent questioners including Spidey616! Always observing what's going on in the Marvel solicits, he asked, "Andy Diggle recently said his run on DD would be ending after Reborn, so I'm curious if there's a new creative team in place for the character?"

Brevoort: In order to answer you, Spidey, I think it best to turn the floor over to those Men Without Shame, Stephen Wacker and Bill Rosemann:

Stephen Wacker: Andy ends his thrill-a-minute Daredevil run at the end of "DD: Reborn," so that's where our focus is now. After that, we plan to work through the long, hot summer figuring whose hands to place Matt Murdock into next. It won't be an easy act to follow, that's for sure. And after the outstanding work that Andy and artists Davide Gianfelice are doing right now, there may not even be a need for more Daredevil for a while.

Bill Rosemann: But if you have a case of Hell's Kitchen Itch, then take a monthly dose of "Black Panther: The Man Without Fear" -- by the acclaimed team of David Liss and Francesco Francavilla! T'Challa isn't running around in those red devil tights, but he is showing that the people of Matt's neighborhood are never without a two-fisted guardian.

In addition, Spidey616 caught the following bit, asking: "With Zeb Wells leaving the "New Mutants" title with issue #21, will there be a new ongoing writer after Mike Carey's "Age of X" tie-in issues?"

Axel That announcement will be made in the next few weeks, Spidey616, and you will get all tingly when it does.

Comicbookfan is back this week with the following: "You guys had a brilliant series called 'District X' a while back that was kicking butt until it was drawn into the House Of M and then it just vanished. Is there any future for that series in the current Marvel landscape?"

<Axel There aren't any plans right now, but never say never.

In any event, that question reminded me of a topic we've discussed here in the past that I like to roll back to when I can: the idea of restarting certain Marvel franchises that have been out of the spotlight for a while. With the moves in editorial of late, is there any chance you guys have found some languishing concepts to put on the fast track? Any clue to what they are?

Brevoort: The previously-mentioned Andy Diggle has a great pitch he's finalizing that reimagines and reinvigorates a number of surprising names from Marvel's past -- but I've said too much already!

We had a number of folks on the boards bring up "Fear Itself" of late in terms of who would get involved. I'll start with babybro who asked after a message board perrenial, saying, "Just wondering, Will we see Blue Marvel appear during the next 'Fear' Event?"

Brevoort:: I have to tell you honestly, babybro, the Blue Marvel was the center of more discussion concerning an aspect of "Fear Itself" #1 than any other character. But that said, it doesn't look likely right this second that he's going to play a major role. Still, if the opportunity presents itself, we'll look to find a way to give him a moment to shine during it.

Tracks is back wondering after two characters. First up: "How prominent will Dracula be in the Fear Itself Event?"

Brevoort: Reasonably prominent.

Axel What side is he on? It might surprise you.

Following up with more characters from the recent "Curse of the Mutants" story, Tracks asked, "Can Blade be confirmed to be a part of 'Fear Itself?'"

Brevoort: I'm not sure that we're ready to confirm Blade in anything just yet, Tracks. Sorry.

Axel Yep. It's a possible -- but not a foregone -- conclusion that he'll stick close to Dracula.

Nova2814.1 was wondering about a much anticipated series for the cosmic fans, saying "I'm eagerly looking forward to the 'Annihilators' miniseries, but the page count stated in the March 2011 solicits has left me a little worried. Can you confirm that each issue of the mini will have 44 story pages? The solicits state the overall page count is 48 pages. As this normally includes ads, I want to be sure that I'm getting two full-length stories before asking my comic shop to order it."

Brevoort: Back to editor Bill Rosemann for this one:

Bill Rosemann: Each issue of "Annihilators" will feature 42 pulse-pounding pages of chaotic cosmic action! Each of the four-issues will kick off with a full-length 20-page Annihilators chapter by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Tan Eng Huat, then follow that up with a full-length 22-page Rocket Raccoon & Groot chapter by DnA and Timothy Green II. The universe's most powerful team, plus a talking raccoon and walking tree...how can you miss it?

Iron Maiden had a question about some art that, well, I couldn't figure whether it'd seen the light of day or not. He said, "A year or two ago, I remember seeing a page of work done by Alan Davis on Tom Brevoort's blog at Marvel that was supposed to be for an FF annual he was working on. I think Doctor Strange was featured on the page also. Now that we are getting closer to the body bag FF issue, will this annual ever see print or has it been shelved?"

Brevoort: I answered this for you on my always-exciting Formspring page just the other day, Maiden! But in case you missed it, here's that answer again:

No, it and its follow-ups are still being worked on. When we release them, we'll just back-date the story however many months or years are necessary to make it all work.

Shifting to the X-Universe for a minute, the appropriately-named nate-grey asked "When is Nate Grey going to appear in an X-book? I've been picking up the new X-Men series based on the fact that he was in the promotional images, but he has yet to appear. All I've heard is that he's coming soon and keep your eyes peeled. Can you at least say when and which direction/book to look out for? If you tell me that, I will run out and buy it, I promise!"

Axel I'm going to turn this over to new X-Men Group Editor and newly crowned Senior Editor, Nick Lowe.

Nick The next era of Nate Grey is nigh! The waiting is almost over!

motteditor wanted to know, "Any upcoming work from Tim Seeley? His Ant-Man and Wasp mini was fantastic. I'd love to see him get a chance to follow that mini up."

Brevoort: Tim's been staying in contact with us, mott, but I don't think he's working on anything for us at the moment.

With the entire editorial team gearing up for the next big retreat in February, I was wondering if you guys could talk about what your goals are in terms of both the big story stuff on tap and in terms of the kinds of projects and new ideas you're looking to get rolling heading into the rest of 2011?

Brevoort: It's time for Axel's world and my world to collide in a spectacularly massive way. (Hopefully, I'll survive it!)

Axel "Fear Itself" sets up some interesting options for the future of the Marvel Universe, one of which has been simmering for a while. I definitely want to explore all the options -- without fear. [Laughs] I also want to spend some time discussing publishing initiatives of the non-Spandex variety. And, of course, I hope to use my superior speed and athleticism to offset Tom's size and strength advantage. It should be interesting.

Thanks guys, and as a special bonus, we'll share a special fan-shot video of the newest followe of T&A - none other than pop star extraordinaire, Emii, as she sports a T&A pin during a recent show!

Have some questions for Marvel T&A? Please visit the CUP O' Q&A thread in CBR's Marvel Universe forum. It's now the dedicated thread for all connections between Board Members and the Marvel staff that CBR will pull questions for next week's installment of our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer column! Do it to it!

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