WC12: Marvel's "Amazing Spider-Man" Panel

A raft of creators and staff from Marvel Comics swung into the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim Friday afternoon for the publisher's "Amazing Spider-Man" panel. Series artist Humberto Ramos joined Executive Editor and SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort and Director of Communications, Publishing & Digital Media Arune Singh for the discussion of all things Spider-Man.

The panel started by talking about the soon to launch "Ends of the Earth" storyline which sees Doc Ock return to the series written by Dan Slott as well as a new Spider-Armor. "It's always exciting to get scripts from them because I have no idea what's going to happen," Ramos laughed. "I was really, really happy to be working on a character like Silver Sable. I've never drawn here ever. There's also Black Widow, and the Sinister Six are always fun to draw."

"Just to be on this book and with Spider-Man is a dream come true," the artist added, saying that "Amazing" is the comic that got him into the medium. "I feel flattered [when fans tell me the run is the best ever] but I know there have been so many great runs...for a guy who likes comic books and grew up reading them, and then broke in because he wanted to draw this specific character

Brevoort told the story of how he and Ramos first met, noting that he gave the artist a portfolio review when he was an unknown in San Diego years ago. At the time, one of the Marvel staffers told Ramos he had no shot. "My first interview ever trying to break into comics was with Tom," he said. "You were great. You told me only good things and said I wasn't ready, but you pointed me towards how I could fix my mistakes...now when people are kind enough to show me their work, I've learned from Tom - and from that other guy - that I can't tell people whether they have enough talent or not to break in. I tell them 'It's up to you.' I can give them my personal opinions on things, but it really is up to you guys."

The editor noted that years later when he started working with Ramos on "Spectacular Spider-Man," the artist told Brevoort how he had been his first reviewer, and all Tom could think was "What did I do that day?!?"

The panel then revealed that Dan Slott, Ty Templeton and Matt Clark will team-up for "Ends of the Earth" tie-in issues of "Avenging Spider-Man" starting with issue #8.

Slott and other regular "Amazing" artist Giuseppe Camuncoli will team up for a Lizard story called "No Going Back" which Singh said would be more than an arc to tie in to the incoming "Amazing Spider-Man" film but part of Slott's overall plan for the series. That story starts in June.

The teaser for the incoming Brian Bendis story "Spider-Men" was shown. "You can guess what that might be from the logos, but we really can't say anymore right now," Singh said to polite boos from the audience. One fan called out "How many Spider-Men will there be?" to which Singh only said, "That's a great question!"

Kraven will appear upcoming issues of "Scarlet Spider," and meanwhile with issue #17 of "Venom," Cullen Bunn joins Rick Remender as co-writer.

In April, readers will get a crossover between "Avenging Spider-Man." "Punisher" and "Daredevil" called "The Omega Effect" which deals with the fact that Frank Castle has the info-laden Omega Drive holding secrets of many denizens of the Marvel U. "Punisher" artist Marco Checchetto will draw the entire three-part series with variant covers by Adi Granov.

With June's "Daredevil" #14, Khoi Pham joins Mark Waid for a story exploring the fallout from "Omega Effect" which will also include an appearance by Doctor Doom.

Singh then announced the new July four-issue mini series "Space: Punisher" by Frank Tieri and Mark Texiera. "It's the Punisher...in space!" he declared, noting that the book reimagines the entire Marvel U as a a galactic crime saga where amongst other twists, there will be a giant Hulk who's like "The Moby Dick of space" along with plenty of other wild twists on classic characters.

Opening up the floor to fan questions, someone asked whether Spider-Man will play a role in the incoming "AvX" event. "Spider-Man will be appearing in 'Avengers Vs. X-Men.' He'll play a fairly significant role in that storyline, but it won't impact [any of his regular titles]" Brevoort said, noting that only Avengers and X-Men books will directly tie in and that "Spider-Man readers are safe!" He didn't rule out the possibility that fallout from the crossover would work its way into "Amazing" eventually.

"Carnage" Editor Tom Brennan was Tweeting at the panelists, prompting Brevoort to reveal the next phase for the Spidey villain on his own. "No lie, no fooling, we are going to be doing 'Minimum Carnage,'" he said.

Brevoort spoke to the many new costumes coming into the series at Slott and Ramos' hands, saying that while the classic red and blue suit keeps him warm, "Spidey's been trying to leverage his brains and scientific knowhow as well as his Spider powers to become a better Spider-Man...will he continue to adapt and evolve and come up with more new suits? Probably." He noted that not every idea Peter Parker has can fit into every suit, which is why he continues to switch up and that the armor in "Ends of the Earth" is made specifically to fight against the Sinister Six.

For Spider-Man's 50th Anniversary, Brevoort said that Marvel had many plans that will be seen by the time the anniversary officially hits in August including "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 and the "Spider-Men" story. "For the 51st anniversary, we've got nothing!" he joked.

In a discussion about the differences between the incoming "Ultimate Spider-Man" cartoon and the ongoing "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" series, Singh joked with a fan who wanted to know if a resurrection for the comic version of Peter Parker was in store that "If that was happening, we wouldn't just tell you here." He added, "There's big stuff coming up for Miles Morales and big stuff in store for people who may have been called Spider-Man, but we can't say anything more beyond that yet."

Ramos teased an expansive 50th Anniversary cover of "Amazing" by flashing a penciled image on his phone to the audience, though it was tough to make out exactly what it was. Brevoort said, "It pretty much shows Spider-Man through the 50 years...Humberto channeled all the classic artists into one image."

The artist joked that Venom was "a pain in the butt" to draw because he liked to fill in all the blacks on his pages himself, and giving the character depth and form becomes harder and harder the more you have to draw him.

When asked whether Stan Lee would participate in the 50th Anniversary comics celebration, Brevoort said there were plans, but he didn't want to steal Editor Steve Wacker's thunder in announcing it just yet.

Writer Dan Slott was rung up on Bervoort's cell phone for some hard-of-hearing Q&A where he revealed that his personal favorite Spider-Man story was "The Death of Captain Stacey" which was the first comic that made him cry. Ramos then asked him, "Dan, am I going to have a new script to draw on Monday?" Slott replied that he'd already sent it over.

Asked whether he would reunited Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the series, Slott said, "Expect the monkey's paw. You will get what you want, but not the way you want it!"

Stay tuned for more from WonderCon 2012 all weekend on CBR!

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