WW Chicago: Mondo Marvel

This article was originally published at 09:03 PT

The Mondo Marvel panel kicked off the Wizard World Chicago panel schedule this morning in Rosemont, Ill. The panel featured Peter David, Tom Brevoort, Brian Reed, C.B. Cebulski, Mike Perkins, Bill Rosemann and Marc Sumerak, with Assistant Manager of Sales Communications Jim McCann moderating the panel.

With a smattering of applause to start off the panel, Brevoort was a little surprised.

"This is not a DC panel--come on, you can cheer louder!"

David immediately asked the fans a favor.

"Someone ask Dan DiDio, ask if the rumors are true," he said. "While he's out on the road, will he be fired and replaced by (recently fired New York Mets manager) Willie Randolph?"

From there, the announcements came quickly.

The writer team of Abnett and Lanning have signed an exclusive deal with Marvel.

Luke Ross has signed an exclusive with Marvel, and his run on "Captain America" begins with #43.

There will be a Storm mini-series called "Storm: Worlds Apart"

There will be a Ghost Rider series pitting Ghost Rider against Ghost Rider - in this case, Johnny Blaze versus Danny Ketch. Story by Jason Aaron, covers by Mark Texeria.

"Wolverine: Manifest Destiny" by Jason Aaron, for readers who enjoyed his "Get Mystique" storyline.

There will be a new slate of "What if?" comics coming out this year. Among the alternate story lines the series will explore are the following:Wolverine/Spider-Man: Back in black - What if Mary Jane had been shot instead of Aunt May?Secret Wars - What if Dr. Doom kept the powers of the Beyonder?World War Hulk - What if Bruce Banner had been in charge of the Hulk's body?Fallen Son - What if Iron Man had been killed instead of Captain America?

House of M - What if Scarlet Witch said "no more super powers?" In this book, readers will see Iron Man as Marvel's only hero, up against all the high-tech villains in the Marvel U.

Runaways/Young Avengers - It's basically 'What if the Runaways became the Young Avengers,' Cebulski said.

From there the floor was opened for a Q&A session. Most of the audience attention was directed at writer Peter David, with the rest of the group getting the occasional question.

A fan asked David if "X-Factor" will soon get back to self-contained stories without the influence of outside characters.

"The She-Hulk crossover happened because you demanded it!" David said. "Well, not you specifically, but since I was writing both books, fans wanted to know, can you have a crossover? I was attracted to the notion - it meant I could go have a retreat with myself and then write the whole thing off as a tax deduction."

David went on to say that "X-Factor" would soon be out of cross-overs.

A fan asked why writers limit themselves on how far in the future time travelers come to visit current-day Marvel Characters. "Why not a million centuries?" the fan asked.

Rosemann said that writers deal with the time frames they're most comfortable with, and it was up to each creator.

David asked the fans how long humanity had been around. With various answers, he asked if there was an anthropologist in the room, then settled on somewhere between 10,000 years and 100,000 years.

"A million years from now? Who the hell knows what humanity will be like? How is the reader supposed to relate? One hundred years, 200 years, 300 years - we can relate with that. We all watched the HBO John Adams special."

Mike Perkins was asked if he had heard any feedback from Stephen King regarding his depiction of the character Fran in "The Stand." He said he had not heard from King directly, but King's people had passed on to him that "that's exactly how he's always seen Fran."

It was asked if "Masters of Kung-Fu" would be collected in a Marvel Essentials volume. Brevoort said there were some hang-ups with the legal copyrights of the Fu Manchu character. "It's just a little more complicated," he said. "But if we got Godzilla out, we can make this happen."

A fan asked if the Great Lakes Initiative was in the works anywhere... and the answer was no. The fan was disappointed, saying they needed something funny.

"You want funny? Read 'Crisis' # 1." McCann said.

Cebulski was asked about a second Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Cebulski said he was asked to write it but declined, and could not say who was in talks to write it, but that the fans would happy. "Parts of it are based on 'Civil War'" Cebulski said.

Davis was asked why he would name Madrox's son "Nathan" - that every Nathan in the Marvel U has met with a horrible fate.

David said Nathan might not be the name of the baby, and that the baby might not even be a boy. "I just did that to make the readers nuts," he said.

David was asked what it was he enjoys about the She-Hulk character.

"She's someone who cares passionately about justice and the system," David said. "And she's so passionate about the system that she doesn't know what to do... In a way, it's about what's going on in this country right now - with our rights being thrown out the window."

Finally, a fan asked if anyone on the panel really believed Mephisto was powerful enough to make the world forget that Peter Parker was Spider-Man?

"Who?" responded McCann.

If Mephisto was powerful enough to make the world forget that Peter Parker was Spider-Man?

"Who?" responded McCann again.

"Ha-ha, very funny," the fan said.

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