Following our earlier coverage of the first half of Friday's "Cup o' Joe" panel at Wizard World Chicago, things settled down a little in the second half and got more down-to-business after the Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira announcements. The highlights include:
- The loudest applause came when it was announced that X-Factor will be making a return to comics in November with "X-Factor" #1. Peter David is writing with Ryan Sook on art. The book will primarily come from the pages of Madrox. "For those that don't know, [Madrox] is still a private detective, business is booming these days so he's hired on some extra help."
- A Joe Madureira cover for "House of M" (pictured to the right) was unveiled, displaying Spider-Man, Hulk and Wolverine. No, Loeb did not go on to say what his and Madureira's project was, but he later hinted that it probably had something to do with one of the characters on the cover displayed. Attendees were supposed to get a print of the cover that they could get autographed by the duo at the Marvel booth, but the posters were delivered to the downtown Chicago Hyatt rather than the Hyatt O'Hare. As fans emptied the Eisner room, they could get a hole punched in their convention pass to serve as a voucher for the posters later.
- Loeb was asked what would happen to his book, "Supergirl," over at DC. He side-stepped the question a bit, but did say that "...the guys at Marvel are being extremely generous in terms of what I have to still do. The guys at DC are being extremely generous on making all that stuff work... the only thing that I can promise -- and I will keep this promise -- is that I will not leave an unmade bed."
- Loeb later said that he would be exclusive with Marvel as of Sept. 1st. He said further news would be withheld until the new issue of "Wizard" comes out in two weeks.
- Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen will release "Next Wave" in January. The cast of characters includes Captain Marvel (the Monica Rambeaux version), Boom-Boom from X-Force, Aaron Stack, aka the Machine Man, Alison Bloodstone, child of the original Bloodstone and a character known as "The Captain." Associate Editor Nick Lowe called it, "the funniest, most out-of-this-world bizarre book." In the book, the group is hired by Highest Anti-Terrorism (H.A.T., pronounced "hate") to fight terrorism. Later they find out that H.A.T are the terrorists.
- A fan asked if the Marvel Max line was intentionally being cut back. Quesada stated that there was never a set number of books they wanted to keep in the Max line, and that the number would fluctuate based on the stories writers wanted to tell.
- Madureira was asked if he'd ever finish "Battle Chasers." The artist seemed disappointed that it never finished, but is content to let the book toil for now. "It's one of those things that I think about every once in a while, and not having finished it bums me out... I would love to do it at some point, but it would be very far out." Where has the artist been in the interim? Working in the video game industry as an art director, Madureira said. Most of the work he's done in the past couple years will probably never be seen, he said, unless it gets collected into an art book. But he did say he believes he's learned some "new tricks" while he was away.