Marvel Comics web-slinging hero has had a huge year in the general culture from his first Oscar win to a current hit summer film. But the focus was solely on the comics for the annual Spider-Man panel at Comic-Con International 2019 in San Diego on Friday afternoon, and the publisher was ready to beat the drum for a number of new series and stories tying into the core Amazing title.
The panel was led by executive editor Nick Lowe and assistant editor Kathleen Wisneski, and writers Nick Spencer (Amazing), Tom Taylor (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), Seanan McGuire (Ghost-Spider) and Frank Tieri (Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool, Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors) came ready to talk as Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski also stepped up onto the stage.
Spencer is launching his next year on Amazing Spider-Man with issue #26 after a 60-page milestone issue, but the mystery villain Kindred behind the whole story has lots of more reveals. First up in the issue drawn by Kev Walker is action with the The Sinister Syndicate – an all-female villain team featuring Beetle, Lady Octopus, Scorpia, Trapster and the new Electro who are all coming for Boomerang from Spencer's run on Superior Foes of Spider-Man.
Later in the year, issues #30 and 31 will tie into Absolute Carnage, and Norman Osborn will play a major role in the book for the first time since the relaunch. Spencer said he was excited to bring the once Green Goblin, once Red Goblin into the mix, but Kindred will loom in that story as well.
Lastly for the book, Miguel O'Hara – the Spider-Man of 2099 – will return to action in the present day in an incoming issue drawn by Pat Gleason.
Leah Williams and Carlose Gomez will launch a new The Amazing Mary Jane series, which picks up on the character's decision in Spencer's book to return to her acting career. So along the way, of course she will cross paths with former Hollywood effects man Mysterio. Wisneski said that this is the version of Mary Jane fans love – a smart, sassy hero in her own right.
Cebulski explained the pitch of Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle – a "round robin" comic where each writer starts a story, complicates things and then hands off the narrative to another scribe. Jonathan Hickman started it, and Spencer said that the book has been a fun challenge as each new writer tried to put the next in an impossible position. The series features an all-star team in writing and art. "We knew this thing was going to be nuts because they drew the order of writers out of a hat, and Hickman got the first chapter," Spencer laughed.
Novelist McGuire spoke about her new Ghost Spider series, which returns Gwen Stacey to the 616 universe where she can again go to school, be a teenager and fight many classic Spider-Man villains. "We're still going to be spending time in her home dimension with the Mary Janes and Man-Wolf causing some trouble," she promised longtime fans of the series. The new series will also feature the Jackal with art by Takeshi Miyazawa.
Lowe teased that an incoming issue of the best-selling Black Cat series will feature a date between the heroine and Spider-Man's best friend The Human Torch.
Tieri's Absolute Carnage tie-in came up, and the writer said this will serve as a continuation of what he started in the prequel to the event, Cult of Carnage. John Jameson has been impacted by Carnage, and the Ravencroft Institution, his team will meet Demagoblin – a female version of the Demogoblin character from the '90s Maximum Carnage event. The series will also draw in supporting characters from that past event as well as faces from Spider-Man's world like Morbius, Cloak and Dagger, Firestar and Deadlock.
Tieri is also working on the Absolute Carnage Vs. Deadpool, and the writer called the latter character Spider-Man's worst friend. But...Wade Wilson may just be the #1 prize Carnage needs to win this war.
Issue #9 of Friendly Neighborhood draws the Marvel Universe into Spidey's world in a new way. "This is going to tell the backstory for the character The Rumor, who is our 90-year-old superhero, and so of course it involves Captain America back in the '40s," Taylor said. Then coming up in issues #10 and 11 are Mary Jane-focused stories with covers by Andrew Robinson.
A new six-issue mini series was announced, which is Spider-Verse, written by Jed McKay with contributions from Juan Frigeri, James Harren, Arthur Adams, Stuart Immonen, Stacey Lee and more under a cover by Wendell Dalit who worked on the Into The Spider-Verse movie. The series focuses on Miles Morales traveling through different universes in the Spider-Verse with plenty of contributions from Spidey writers and artists past. Cebulski said he wanted to incorporate the #SpiderSona hashtag that people created to show their version of Spider-Man. Fans who created cool versions will be tapped by Marvel to see their take become part of the Marvel U. "Soon, you're going to have your showcase," he said as Lowe said they put an intern on the job of hunting out #SpiderSona's for a week.
Lowe revealed that he's been in contact with JJ Abrams about working for Marvel for years. He tried to get the director to write for the company since Abrams was working on Alias for ABC. He sent boxes of Marvel books to Abrams and his son Henry for years since then until finally the family team came up with an idea, and the series was pitched to Lowe at a Times Square coffee shop. The editor promised the series has a huge over-arching mystery revolving around the new villain Cadavaress, but like many Abrams projects, they want to reveal almost nothing about it until the book arrives in September. But some new stuff from the book will be shown at tomorrow's Next Big Thing panel.
In the Q&A, the panel was asked about which Marvel Comics #1000 story they were most excited for. Lowe cited the Joe Hill/Mike Allred story, and then the editor blew the fact that the Gaiman/Buckingham page teased at the last panel is in fact focused on Miracleman. Cebulski then one-upped him by teasing a brand new character would be revealed in the issue.