Wizard World Philly: "Cup O' Joe" Report

Joe Quesada's take-all-comers Cup O' Joe panel made its regular appearance at Wizard World Philly on Saturday, and while the breaking news was limited, the fan/pro interaction these panels have become famous for was not. Joining Quesada were Tom Brevoort, Bill Rosemann, Jim McCann and CB Cebulski.

The panel began by recapping the upcoming developments with Spider-Man which were covered in detail at Friday's One More Day panel. The first new project announced was the upcoming "House of M: Avengers" miniseries. Readers may be puzzled as to how the miniseries can take place in a world that was wiped out by the Scarlet Witch in "House of M" #8, but it was explained that this story will be set in the House of M's distant past and will focus on Luke Cage and his band of resistance fighters.

Readers had been promised that the X-Men were the next franchise due for a major event and the Cup of Joe panel did not disappoint, revealing that event to be the forthcoming "Messiah Complex" storyline. The event will kick off in a one-shot by Ed Brubaker and Marc Silvestri, and rather than launching into a miniseries as with the "Civil War" and "World War Hulk" crossover, this event will be told throughout the four main X-books; Brubaker's "Uncanny

X-Men," Mike Carey's "X-Men," Peter David's "X-Factor" and Craig Kyle and Chris Yost's "New X-Men." The cover shown prominently features longtime X-Men villain Mister Sinister and, as can be expected, major developments for the X-Men universe were promised. For more on "Messiah Complex," don't miss CBR's interview with editor Nick Lowe.

The final announcement of the panel got the biggest reaction from the crowd; Quesada announced that Peter David, best known for his 12 year run on "The Incredible Hulk," would be guiding the future adventures of the Hulk's cousin, better known as She-Hulk. The crowd went wild at the news and it was explained that with outgoing writer Dan Slott moving over to his top-secret (at least until San Diego) project, they could not think of a better choice than David, who besides having the Hulk connection, is known for stories that combine humor, pathos, and action, a combination that Slott had made a hallmark of the "She-Hulk" series. Don't miss our interview with Peter David for more on his plans for "She-Hulk."

With that, the panel was opened to the Q&A. One fan asked if writer Ann Nocenti would return to Marvel anytime soon and Quesada responded by saying that they have talked with her, but nothing firm has come of it. He also expressed admiration for her "Daredevil" run, high praise given that Daredevil is Quesada's signature character.

about the return of Adam Warlock, Bill Rosemann explained that Warlock is such a significant figure on the Marvel tapestry, that he tends to overshadow any story he is in, hence they've kept him on the sidelines during the recent "Annihilation" cosmic event. But Rosemann did say that they are keeping him in mind and will bring him in when the time is right.

Asked about forthcoming projects in the Ultimate line, Quesada admitted there wasn't much new to announc, but did make reference to the upcoming "Ultimate Origins" miniseries, which is meant to have some major revelations about the background of the Ultimate Universe. One fan asked if "Ultimate Origins" would finally explain why the Ultimate Fantastic Four's debut in their own book seemingly conflicted with their appearance in Bendis' "Ultimate Marvel Team-Up" series, to which Quesada, tongue-in-cheek, replied "Ask Bendis. I'd like to know, too."

A "Wolverine" miniseries by Brian Vaughan and Eduardo Risso was also mentioned, but Quesada did say that for the most part, Vaughan seems content to work on his creator-owned projects and the television show "Lost" for the time being. Regarding the lost Lee/Kirby issue of Fantastic Four, Brevoort mentioned he'd been working on just this past week, and was trepidatious, noting how announcing expected dates has caused problems in the past, but tentatively said he expected it to be finished in November. A question about more New Universe projects was raised, but the panel only had the forthcoming "DP7" trade to report, though that prompted a discussion by several panelists of their love for that series.

The panel ended with a lengthy discussion of the portrayals of women in comics and the effect it has on female readership, prompted by the recent "Heroes for Hire" cover controversy. One particularly outspoken female fan expressed frustration with what she saw as ongoing demeaning portrayals. Quesada stated that Marvel has some of the strongest and most respected female characters in comics and, having a daughter himself, he would never allow anything to go through that proved undermining to the gender as a whole. He pointed to titles such as "Ms. Marvel," "She-Hulk" and "Spider-Girl" as examples of where Marvel wants to go with its female characters. The discussion became so intense that the panel ran about 15 minutes overtime and, as people exited, Quesada reminded them to attend the Brian Bendis panel that followed.

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