WC12: Marvel's Talk to the Hat

After a week of teasers including "Captain Marvel" and "X-Treme X-Men," Marvel Comics brought a diverse slate of announcements to WonderCon 2012 for Marvel Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort's inaugural "Talk to the Hat" panel, which promised answers to the intriguing images showcased earlier last week. "Daredevil" writer Mark Waid, Marvel Director of Communications Arune Singh and Head of Marvel Animation Jeph Loeb joined Brevoort to speak on the latest Marvel projects for the coming year.

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After introducing the panel, Brevoort hit the ground running with announcements, beginning with "Captain Marvel" #1, featuring Carol Danvers graduating to the real Captain Marvel title written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Dexter Soy.

"It's a little bit of an outgrowth from the pages of 'AvX,'" said Brevoort.

"X-Treme X-Men" spins out of Greg Pak's "Astonishing X-Men" run, and features writing by Pak with art by Stephen Segovia.

"Greg specifically wanted me to tell you Dazzler is at the center of this book," said Brevoort.

Brevoort's next announcement glazed over the current plans for Marvel Infinite Comics and plans to bundle a code with the print copy of "Avengers vs. X-Men" #1.

Brevoort's next announcement glazed over the current plans for Marvel Infinite Comics and plans to bundle a code with the print copy of "Avengers vs. X-Men" #1. After a song and dance between Loeb and Brevoort ("Ladies and gentlemen, the comedy team of Abbott and Abbott," Waid joked.), it was made clear the digital extras would come bundled completely free of charge to readers who buy "Avengers vs. X-Men" #1.

Marvel AR was the next promotion up, where readers can get additional augmented reality content embedded in the pages of certain marked comics. The app is available April 2.

Much like the Cup o' Joe panels of the past, the panel opened it up to questions from the audience for all things Marvel.

The first question had to do with live-action Marvel TV series. "All I can tell you is that we're in development," said Loeb. "We're working very toward bringing the Hulk back to television. We have in development another show which is 'The Punisher' and the first show we put into development, 'AKA Jessica Jones' which you guys know as 'Alias.'"

One of the questions had to do with Jeph Loeb's "Avengers X-Sanction" series and Cable's flashforwards in the pages of the series. "I think your answers will be handsomely rewarded when you read 'Avengers X-Sanction' #4," said Loeb.

Brevoort also teased plans to help expand plans for the cosmic side of Marvel. "There are big huge massive plans for Marvel's cosmic side, some of which you'll see before the year is out, some of which you'll see in 2013," he said. "There are some things percolating in other titles that I don't want to point you to yet. ... We're ready to dive in all the way up to our eyebrows and make it a centerpiece in the Marvel Universe in a big way."

"We just announced here for the first time that Marvel has opened their doors to a brand new animation studios in Glendale," said Loeb of new animation developments.

A young man asked about the panel's favorite characters, leading to a hilarious exchange between Loeb and Waid.

"I would pick Mark Waid's Daredevil and he could beat anybody," said Loeb. "Go ahead. Top that."

"I would pick Mark Waid's Daredevil, too," said Waid as everyone laughed.

"I would pick Tom Brevoort's 'Fantastic Force' because Tom is great in everything that he does," said Singh.

"My favorite character is the Thing and he would always win," said Brevoort.

The next question asked specifically about a new collaboration between Loeb and Tim Sale. "Believe it or not, Timmy and I are still working on 'Captain America: White,'" said Loeb. "We've just got ten more pages. It's taken so long that everyone at Marvel is waiting until we have it all in house. ... Hopefully someday, there's going to be a 'Captain America 2' and it'll be out for that."

Loeb reaffirmed the Marvel Universe on Disney XD premiere would contain both parts of the "Ultimate Spider-Man" two-part pilot on its April 1 premiere.

"AvX" was the topic of the next question, asking about the groupings of heroes. "It'll be a mix and match," said Brevoort. "Characters will be put into play as the story requires them to. Wolverine's alliances are going to be tested, the Beast, Storm -- it might be guys like Luke Cage or Hawkeye or Ms. Marvel might be divisive in the way they're mixing it up with the X-Men."

Another question asked about the possibility of Cyclops as an analogue for libertarian politics. "All the stories that we tell tend to be reflective of the world around us," said Brevoort. "We want them to bring the issues of the day into the stories they tell ... I don't think Cyclops is specifically being made out to be a libertarian ... he has to make some tough choices to make sure his race survives."

"However, Mark Waid is blind on the days he writes 'Daredevil,'" said Loeb.

One sharp-eyed fan asked about the possibility of the white costumes of characters having some kind of parallel including Iron Fist, Captain Marvel and Dr. Doom. "You know what it is? They are all deeply affected by the movie 'Drive,'" said Waid.

"It wouldn't be the biggest stretch in the world to think they're related," said Brevoort.

Waid related a slew of comics trivia as to why there were no white costumes in the early days of comics. There were very few white costumes due to the horrible paper quality and there was a concern the surrounding colors would bleed over.

In terms of reprints of "Marvelman" issues, "we're working on it," said Brevoort. "We don't want to do it halfway, so we really are taking our time ... but it is our absolute intention to get that material back into print. ... We appreciate your patience, so as soon as we have anything to tell you, we'll let you know."

The topic of focus was the next question, which Loeb fielded. "It's the thing that I am currently working on. I find that if I'm working in animation and I'm thinking about writing the next adventure for Cable, that's going to suffer," he said. "While I was working on 'Hulk' and at the same time working on 'Ultimate X-Men,' it was important the job I was working on was my favorite thing."

In terms of favorite female characters, both Waid and Brevoort selected the Invisible Woman.

A fan dressed as Deadpool asked a question about the possibility of a Deadpool animated series. "Yes," said Loeb. "I can't tell you but there are certainly plans out there to see what that would look like."

Someone asked Waid what he thought of the "Elektra" movie and he paused for a good five seconds before asking his iPhone. "Siri? What do we think of the 'Elektra' movie?" he asked, and he was met with complete silence. After the audience laughed, the audience member was invited up to demo Marvel AR.

A self-professed "big Cable fan" asked about Cable rumors, specifically about a Cable movie. "It would end up being a Fox movie and we would have no idea," said Singh. "I think I agree, a Cable movie would be awesome."

The cosmic questions came up again with a question about Thanos. "Yes, you'll see some more of Thanos within the next six months," said Brevoort.

Hope Summers' parentage will not be revealed in "Avengers vs. X-Men" according to Brevoort. "I don't think so. I don't think we get into the question of Hope's mom in 'Avengers vs. X-Men,'" he said.

"I don't think we're getting 'Exiles' back in the short term, but I think if you check out 'X-Treme X-Men,' you'll find something very similar," said Brevoort.

"Dazzler is the Marvel Universe character in it," said Singh, noting characters from Pak's "Astonishing X-Men" run will also participate. "There is a threat in existence but they have to stop a threat to reality. It's Greg and that crazy 'Planet Hulk' mind of his. If you liked 'Exiles,' you'll like this."

A young man asked about the possibility of another crossover between DC and Marvel. "We've done a bunch of crossovers with DC over the years," he said. "At the moment, it doesn't seem like any company is looking to do any of those." Brevoort noted there would be an omnibus of crossover stories coming out this summer.

Winding down, an audience member asked what it was like to work with Stan Lee. "I can tell you that when you catch 'Ultimate Spider-Man' on DXD, you can catch Stan Lee as Stan the Janitor," said Loeb.

"It's a delight [to work with him]. Stan Lee still has stories to tell and the energy of a 14 year old boy."

"Stan is absolutely and genuinely exactly the way he seems to be when you see him on television or in person," said Brevoort.

The final question had to do with the "AvX" fight the panel was most looking forward to -- the most hilarious answer was Brevoort's.

"I'm looking forward to Brian [Bendis] and Jason [Aaron] going at it."

Stay tuned to CBR News for more WonderCon 2012 coverage.

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