SDCC: Spider-Man Panel with Alonso, Zdarsky and More

Marvel's final panel of this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego was "Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends" -- not related to the '80s cartoon, but a focus on the current Spider-Man books and many related series. On the panel: "Silk" writer Robbie Thompson, "Howard the Duck" writer Chip Zdarsky, Marvel editor Wil Moss, Marvel Director of Content and Character Development Sana Amanat and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.

The panel picked up with October's new "Amazing Spider-Man" #1 from Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli, which sees a new status quo for Peter Parker, as the head of the internationally successful Parker Industries. "Peter Parker has gone global," Amanat told the crowd, with a "cockier attitude." "In Peter Parker's world, when he gets cockier, he also messes up at the same time." Amanat said the book will also see the return of Norman Osborn (yet a "different" Norman Osborn, she said) and that Peter's "relationship with women will still be complicated." In fact, the book will feature a "special guest star" that Amanat declined to divulge -- "a female character who will be an important part of Peter's life."

Turning to "Spider-Man," Amanat filled the crowd in on the premise of Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli's new series. "Miles Morales is going to be the local, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," Amanat said. "It's the classic Peter Parker paradigm, but told through the lens of Miles Morales." Alonso pointed out that he's very happy to see how Miles Morales being embraced, and to see Spider-Man being "a guy with a name with so many vowels, like myself."

A new "Spider-Man 2099" #1, with Peter David and Will Sliney returning to the series, is scheduled for release on Oct. 14 "He has a new badass suit," Amanat said, further explaining that Spider-Man 2099 will be going back and forth from the present to the future, "trying to do his due diligence," and also working at Parker Industries.

Amanat talked the upcoming new volume of "Spider-Woman" from Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez, saying, "Now she will deal with the biggest challenge yet -- motherhood." "Spider-Gwen" will see the introduction of that character's version of Norman Osborn.

Announcement time: The '90s "Deadpool" team of Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness are reuniting for "Spider-Man/Deadpool," with Kelly joining the panel to talk about it. "This has been a really long time in the making," Kelly said. "People throughout the years have said, 'Hey, would you like to do more Deadpool?' I've been a little bit busy, it's been hard to get back to that character. But Nick [Lowe] called me up and said he had an offer I couldn't refuse: Spider-Man, Deadpool, Ed McGuinness."

"Deadpool really, really loves Spider-Man, and Spider-Man can't stand Deadpool," Amanat said. "They have a complicated relationship," Kelly added.

Thompson talked "Venom: Spaceknight," which he's writing, with Ariel Olivetti drawing. Described as what Venom does when he's not within the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thompson dubbed the series as "a second chance for Flash [Thompson] and the suit," and said the book will include some "familiar Marvel-adjacent peoples."

"This is a chance for him to be a hero," Thompson said. He's been through a really tough time."

"Carnage," by Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins, is also on the way. Amanat described it as "'Tomb of Dracula' meets Carnage." Amanat also briefly talked Mike Costa and David Baldeon's "Web Warriors." "There are going to be lots of Spider-Men on this team, and women," Amanat said, including, most importantly in her estimation, Spider-Ham.

Zdarsky talked the new volume of "Howard the Duck" launching in the fall, with he and artist Joe Quinones remaining on the book. "Be prepared for a lot of hats," Zdarsky said. "I haven't really thought it through past that. Howard's going to shop for more trousers, because he legally has to wear trousers."

"I'm not a good writer," Zdarsky continued. "I set up him as a private investigator, but the next book doesn't have him as a private investigator at all." Zdarsky said "Howard the Duck" will cross over with "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl," in a story that will feature Kraven the Hunter, driving a "Kra-Van."

Alonso teased a bit of Sean Ryan and Cory Smith's run on "Nova," saying it'll involve Sam Alexander's father. "Drax," co-written by Cullen Bunn and former WWE Champion/current UFC fighter CM Punk, was also showcased, with Alonso saying that Punk is a big fan of Bunn's work.

"Silk" also returns with a new #1 this fall and continuing creative team of Thompson and Stacey Lee, with the eyebrow-raising tagline of "The Sinister Silk." "It's not what you think," Thompson said. "It's going to be a lot of fun." Thompson also thanked the fans for their support of the newly introduced character.

Amanat talked the upcoming "Daredevil" run by Charles Soule and Ron Garney, which she's editing. "Mark [Waid] has brought Daredevil to a place where he can no longer deny the fact that being close to him creates danger," Amanat said. "This new story is very much about Daredevil turning things around a bit. He's got a new costume, he's back in Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil will be a District Attorney. Simultaneously, we'll be bringing a new sidekick character, Samuel Chung. He will be based out of Chinatown. We'll be revealing a bit more about his origin, and what his relationship with Daredevil is. A beautifully told, stunning book."

"This book is going to head first into noir, which is something 'Daredevil' hasn't done in a while," Alonso said. Alonso also pointed out that Charles Soule is a practicing attorney, so expect a degree of authenticity to Matt Murdock's legal dealings.

Moving to fan questions, an audience member said he "had some concerns" about Miles Morales moving to the mainstream Marvel Universe, with a worry that the character may lose what makes him special. "We have it covered," Alonso said. "We knew 'Secret Wars' was going to be the magical piece that allowed him to move to the Marvel Universe." "Nobody cares about that character more than Brian [Bendis]," Moss said, adding that Bendis wouldn't have done it if the story didn't retain what makes Miles special.

A fan asked how Spider-Man can be in so many comics stories at once. Alonso said he thinks Spider-Man is actually in less comics than he used to be, and Moss said that his busy schedule is something that will be addressed in the new "Uncanny Avengers" #1.

Zdarsky said upcoming "Howard the Duck" issues will have "a lot of outer space stuff," with Rocket and the rest of the Guardians returning.

Do Ultimate Peter Parker or Ultimate Mary Jane have a future? "The Ultimate Universe is gone, man," Alonso said. "Ultimate Peter Parker died a long time ago."

Who's the straight man in "Spider-Man/Deadpool"? "Neither one of them is the straight man all the time," Kelly said. "It's really fluid." Kelly said one of the challenges of the book is showcasing each character's very different sense of humor. "I just want to mess with your heads as much as possible," he said. "That's the goal."

A fan asked about a "Spidey" book teased at a retailer presentation during the convention. Amanat disclosed that it's an all-ages series about Spider-Man in high school, written by Robbie Thompson.

"It's called 'Spidey,'" Thompson said. "It's an all-ages book. When Nick [Lowe] called me up about this, I was so, so excited. I think the tagline is, 'Before He was Amazing, He Was Spectacular.' This is Peter Parker as a teenager. They're all standalone stories. These are designed to be in the classic Marvel mold; every issue is a first issue. I think we all have this memory of Peter being in high school for like seven decades, but it actually wasn't that long. These are those stories." Thompson likened it to '90s series "Untold Tales of Spider-Man."

The fan asked if the series took place in the mainstream Marvel continuity. "I believe so," Amanat answered. Alonso said that Marvel has responded to a demand for more all-ages content, and called the series "entry-level" Spider-Man stories that are "for everybody." He also stressed the importance of the series being contemporary, not "creaky and cobweb-y."

What's the status of Mary Jane after "Renew Your Vows"? "Finish 'Renew Your Vows,'" Alonso said. Moss added that Mary Jane will pop up in an "unexpected, fun place" after "Secret Wars."

A fan asked for "Spiderpool" fans on Tumblr about how Spider-Man and Deadpool's relationship will be explored in the new "Spider-Man/Deadpool" series. "You'll see this relationship evolve in a very interesting way," Kelly said, "Certainly in the first arc we've got planned out. There's a lot of love -- there's a lot of Deadpool love."

Humberto Ramos, who joined the panel in progress and is leaving the Spider-Man books to draw "Extraordinary X-Men," thanked Alonso for the opportunity to draw "Amazing Spider-Man" for many years. "You'll be back," Alonso said. "It's inevitable that Humberto will draw Spider-Man again."

"I'll be back on Spider-Man at some point, but for the time being, I wanted to say thanks to you guys," Ramos told the crowd, bringing the panel to a close.

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Justin Ponsor
Justin Ponsor, Marvel Comics Colorist, Passes Away

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