Joe Quesada kicked off the Marvel "Civil War" Panel, on Saturday at Wizard World LA, by introducing his fellow panelists, Mark Guggenheim ("Wolverine"), Associate Editor Nick Lowe, Tom Brevoort, Daniel and Charlie Knauf ("Iron Man"), and the always-irascible Brian Bendis.
For those audience members who didn't know what "Civil War" is, Joe Quesada summed it up:
"Shooting off the events of 'House of M' and 'Decimation,' a horrific incident happens in the Marvel U, which causes the human populace to become very concerned with the fact that not only are there beings that are essentially WMDs but they walk around in masks, unlicensed, and they want an accounting of who these people are like firefighters, policeman, military – all trained, and our heroes are not. The government answers that call and their response is the Superhero Registration Act, where every hero must register their real name and possibly go through training."
The audience was treated to a little slide show with some teases and lots of information. New announcements included:
"Fantastic Four" #538 will be the first "Civil War" tie-in of the series, and "causes a lot of strife" for the team and those around them
"Thunderbolts" are going to be choosing sides in "Civil War," which may result in the villains-made-good hunting down heroes that used to hunt them.
"New Avengers" #21 begins "New Avengers Disassembled," a series of issues that deal with how individual Avengers react to the events of "Civil War." Each issue will be drawn by a different artist. In order, the characters and artists are:
Captain America – Howard Chaykin
Luke Cage – Lenil Yu
Spider Woman – Olivia Copiel
Sentry – Adi Granov
Iron Man – Jimmy Cheung
In addition to the already announced titles, we will see two more from Bendis: "Civil War: Lincoln," and "Civil War: Lee."
"She Hulk" #8 will find She Hulk split between the sides in "Civil War:" Jennifer Walters feels one way and She Hulk favors another.
"X-Factor" #8-9 are both "Civil War," tie-ins and feature the return of Quicksilver, straight from "Son of M."
width="127" height="190" align="right" alt="" border="0">There was also more news on "Civil War: Frontline." This will be a study of "what happens on the sidelines of war using superheroes as archetypes." From two reporters, one for a conservative paper and one for a liberal paper, and is there any common ground? Paul Jenkins writing, and the books will be 32 pages, no ads. Tom Brevoort hints that we will, "See characters we haven't seen in a while, old favorites and hopefully new favorites."
Both Brian K. Vaughan and Allan Heinberg have been working with Zeb Wells for "Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways." We'll see "some punching and kicking and maybe some hugging and kissing as well."
Two new books were announced, spinning out of "Civil War:"
First off, "Punisher War Journal" returns! His MAX series will continue, but this will allow for Punisher stories in the mainstream Marvel Universe, and that he has a "pretty radical role in Civil War." It'll be written by Matt Fraction & Ariel Olivetti. Through it, they'll explore "what life is like in the Civil War and after the Civil War." Fraction spoke to CBR News about the series.
A new Robert Kirkman title was also announced, "The Irredeemable Ant-Man." We'll see an all-new, all-awful Ant-Man, and according to Joe Q., "He's just a loathesome human being, and you'll be rooting for him." CBr spoke to Kirkman and editor Tom Brevoort.
That segued into audience questions.
Quesada one again stressed, "you don't have to read anything but the CW main series to get the whole story."
Xavier will be back in "X-Men: Deadly Genesis" #5.
A vague reference to some event in Wizard being what sparks the Civil War garnered a "possibly" response.
Hulk will be out of the picture for the entirety of "Civil War" on "Planet Hulk." The "New Avengers Illuminati Special" will help fans understand the big picture.
Spider Man is in for a rough, rough ride in "Civil War." He's forged relationships with his New Avenger teammates, but "he's also worked the hardest to guard his secret identity," having seen what happens when he didn't. Once he picks a side, he might be thinking "is this the right thing?" It will have a big effect on him, and by the end of Civil War, we'll see "just how big."
Warren Ellis' "Iron Man" #6, which will wrap up his run, is at the printers and will be out this month. Because of the delays, Charlie and Daniel Knauf's first 6 issues will be a pre-"Civil War" arc. When asked if they would be bringing back some of the old supporting cast, Charlie responded, "we're picking up where #6 leads off, working with the new cast Sal and Maya, and as we go on, we may seed in more people, but we're treating Warren's number one as number one." However, the Crimson Dynamo will appear in #7.
Regarding body count for "Civil War," Brevoort and Quesada stressed that there will be a body count, it's a war after all, and "in some cases we're going to do worse things to characters than kill them."
Gears switched for a second when a fan asked about the ending of Knauf's unfinished HBO series "Carnivale." Charlie didn't want to talk about it, because he has a feeling "it ain't over. But as of now, it's on hold."
Villains will play a unique role in "Civil War," because, as Quesada says, "if the heroes are busy fighting each other..."
After "Civil War" there will still be a "New Avengers" book, bit according to Bendis, "it will be radically different." Quesada added, "in our infinite wisdom we decided to take a best selling book and destroy it."
Even with the recent goings-on in "Daredevil," Matt Murdock will play a part in Civil War, but we'll "see how it works when we get there." Bendis added, "he's in 'New Avengers' too."
Some joking at Hawkeye's expense lead to the revelation that Clint Barton will return this year, but no word on if he'll play a part in "Civil War." However, both Hercules and Black Widow are guaranteed to be in it.
Ronin will not be in "Civil War" proper, but will "be a big part of what happens after."
There will not be an Avengers West Coast after "Civil War," heck, "there might not even be a West Coast!" according to Brevoort.
The only characters intentionally left out of "Civil War" are Hulk and the "Annihilation" characters, because "Hulk is on planet Hulk; characters in Annihilation because they're in space being annihilated." Brevoort also promised an appearance by Prodigy from the Slingers. "Dead," quipped Quesada.
"Iron Man" issues 13-14 will be "Civil War" tie-ins
It was difficult for writers to decide what sides many characters were on. "There was a fistfight between Bendis and Loeb." Quesada joked. "I smacked the shit out of him!" Bendis yelled. "Yeah, he was slapping Loeb was punching."
There is a sex tape of May Parker and Jarvis. Like Pamela and Tommy Lee, "only wrinkly." I pray this is a joke.
The main question about the delineation between hero and villain in question in "Civil War" becomes "what ideal is the person fighting for?" Rather than "who are they fighting?" If they have power but don't want to be a hero, are they a villain? If they don't want to work for the government, are they a villain?
Working with Howard Chaykin was an amazing, but fearful experience for Bendis. But at the end, Chaykin sent Bendis a note that read, "One of the great moments of my comic career."
There is a possibility of some characters finding asylum in non-American nations during "Civil War."Clearing up some confusion, "Runaways" will continue through "Civil War," while "Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways" will take the place of "Young Avengers" while Allan gets back on track for season two.
Nick Fury's return is nigh, and the reason he went underground probably ties into why everything's so screwed up right now.
In a wince-inducing revelation, a fan asked if Wolverine throws down with Nitro, who is responsible not only for the deaths of the New Warriors and countless innocents, but for giving Captain Marvel cancer back in the day. Mark Guggenheim assured the audience, "payback is coming."
Heroes For Hire is an idea being thrown around for a post- "Civil War" series.
Namor is in the "Illiminati Special," and "a big asshole," according to Bendis.