NYCC: Gillen, Remender, Aaron and Waid are Avengers NOW!

Marvel's "Join the ReEvolution" panel at New York Comic Con found Director of Communications Arune Singh, Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso  "Young Avengers" writer Kieron Gillen, editors Mark Paniccia and Nick Lowe, the prolific Mark Waid, "Uncanny Avengers" writer Rick Remender, "Thor: God of Thunder" scribe Jason Aaron, and executive editor Tom Brevoort are on hand to i tease what's coming up in Marvel NOW! and answer fan questions.

After introductions, Gillen began by talking about "Iron Man." "Matt [Fraction] has had a definitive take on the corporate superhero," Gillen said, so he's taking a different direction. "Tony Stark has a crisis of faith," the writer said, and that will propel the series. "I think it's good," he concluded. Paniccia, the editor, added that he was excited at the idea of Stark's new modular armory, which can build armor on the fly to help Iron Man confront any threat.

Aaron said that "Thor: God of Thunder" will strip down his supporting cast, but will see Thor at several stages in his life-"Young Thor, Present Thor, and Future King Thor"-along with "drunken Thor" and others, Aaron said.

Esad Ribic is "a guy who can literally draw anything I can think of," Aaron said of his "Thor" artist. "It's a pity I have to cover it up with my words."

Brevoort added that the epic saga of "God of Thunder" would allow readers to see "a young rambunctious dude, a guy in the prime of his life, and a guy who's been around the block and lived a whole lot" all confronting the same threat but with different stakes. In the third-issue's cover, Aaron pointed out that the one-eyed, one-armed character is not Odin but Thor, and that he wears the arm of the Destoryer into battle.

Remender said that, while Brubaker's run on "Captain America" had a number of World War II adventures, the new series would focus on "how this 98-pound weakling who refused to not go fight the Nazis became this courageous person" and "earned the right to become Captain America." Plus, scifi stuff. The first story is "Dimension Z" and looks to make Arnim Zola an A-list villain. "We'll get to see a story I don't think we've seen before in 'Captain America' as he's a prisoner of Dimension Z."

Waid said "Indestructible Hulk" is "so much fun to write." As to how he came onto the project, "the call went out from Marvel and they said, 'who do we know with anger management issues?'" Waid said that the pitch he gave was remarkably similar to Mark Ruffalo's depiction of the character in the "Avengers" film, which at the time had not been released. "People talk of him in the same breath as Tony Stark and Reed Richards in terms of genius," Waid said of his take on the character. "But looking back on 'AVX,' Banner had almost no effect-Hulk did. He doesn't want his tombstone to read 'Hulk Smash.'" Waid added that "as Hulk destroys, Banner builds." He will form a partnership with S.H.I.E.L.D. to realize his goals. With that agency's reservations, Hulk tells them, "Don't think of Hulk as a bomb--think of him as a cannon." This, Waid said, would allow them to point Hulk where things need smashing. Also, Hulk knows a secret of S.H.I.E.L.D. "that makes his dealings with them much easier."

"What excites me about Marvel NOW!," Alonso said, "is that everybody's coming in with a bold new plan." He directed creators to "stage a hostile takeover of the run that came before," citing Waid's "Daredevil" as the take that "finally came out from Frank Miller's shadow."

Next up for discussion was "Fantastic Four" by Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley. "Matt's kind of bringing the focus back to the core of the family," Brevoort said. He added that an event in the first issue made Reed realize he had lost focus. "As we'll also discover in the first issue, there's a real reason he's doing this, too." The team will be gone "for a year their time, but in the Marvel Universe it's only like four minutes-and that doesn't work out very well."

That lead into "FF" by Matt Fraction and Mike and Laura Allred. "Odds are that 'FF' is your new favorite book," Brevoort said. "Knowing that they're going off and will be away for four minutes," Brevoort said, Reed recruits replacements. "A lot can happen in four minutes-the Big Bang took less than four minutes." The replacements-again, for four minutes-are Ant Man, She Hulk, Medusa, and Miss Thing. "They have to step up and do what only the Fantastic Four can do," Brevoort sai,d, and become the target "of every villain and malcontent with a grudge." Hickman's Future Foundation characters and concepts will also remain.

"I always assumed Thunderbolt Ross had something to do with Thunderbolts," Singh said, moving on to the next title, which now features Ross as the Red Hulk.

"You've got five characters united by one thing-they will kill you," Alonso said, noting a similarity to "Uncanny X-Force." "Yes, we're aware it's unlikely Frank [Castle, the Punisher] would ever join a team, but there's a reason for it that we address in the first issue."

Singh next opened the floor to questions, listing "dating advice" as something fans could ask about-leading into the first question.

"I don't need dating advice," the fan began, prompting Brevoort to joke, "Are you sure?" The fan shot back, "Let's compare physiques." Indeed, the fan was in pretty good shape. He asked when Bendis' "Ultron War" would see print, which Brevoort promised before the end of 2013.

Scott Lang is Ant Man in "FF," Brevoort said in response to another question, while Waid said that whether Banner would remember his exploits as Hulk would depend on how angry he gets.

As to Hulk's vocabulary, Waid said it's "a point of contention around the office." "We don't want Cookie Monster Hulk, but we don't want super-eloquent Hulk either." Waid said that Hulk won't say much out loud, but "will hit as hard with his words as his fists." Like the movie, too, Hulk is not "Lou Ferrigno lumbering across the screen" but is super-fast like Ruffalo's Avenger.

Asked about female-lead series, Alonso and Brevoort both said they are editing series that they're not yet ready to announce. He said he wants to build series that will last, and there's a third series that may be on the horizon with a strong female lead.

Brevoort added there are dozens of Avengers and that there may be more women on the team than at first appears. "At launch we're focusing on the most popular characters," which are largely the founders and the heroes from the movie.

Singh noted that he considered Remender's "Uncanny X-Force" Psylocke's book and that Brian Wood's "X-Men" team is all women except for Colossus.

"We're going to have a kick-ass girl book we're going to put in the top ten, if not the top five, coming real soon," Alonso said.

"The original 'Young Avengers' was fundamentally about being 16," Gillen said when asked how old the characters are at this point. "Mine is about being 18," meaning that they are navigating the adult world. But, he said, not all characters are eighteen, with Loki being "about 14." He also said that "Wiccan will realize he's being kind of a bad boyfriend," and this will play a role in the opening arcs.

Waid said that "Indestructible Hulk" will not incorporate elements of "Planet Hulk," but that it would play on the idea that "you don't always know what Hulk's coming out of the box," as what sort of Hulk emerges can depend on the factors that brought out the rage.

Asked whether Gillen writing "brainy" characters and Aaron writing "brawn" had to do with their glasses and beard, respectively, Gillen said that "I had a Jason-esque beard about a year before coming to Marvel. If I kept it, it could have turned the X-Office into ZZ Top."

A fan dressed as Matt Murdock gave Mark Waid a t-shirt that read "I AM NOT DAREDEVIL."

Asked where Hank Pym would turn up, Waid said, "I love Hank Pym. I looooooove Hank Pym." Pym will appear more in "Daredevil," as well as "Secret Avengers."

Regarding the relationship between Hulk and Red Hulk, "Banner has a certain view about all these other Hulks running around," Waid said.

Brevoort said "you'll see a lot" of the "Defenders" characters. "More news to come."

Batman's Latest Issue Includes a Subtle Homage to Frank Miller's Daredevil

More in Comics