Wizard World Philadelphia kicked off Friday with the Mondo Marvel panel, hosted by Joe Quesada. Covering a range of forthcoming projects from the House of Ideas, the panel also featured Marvel staffers Tom Brevoort, Bill Rosemann, Jim McCann, and CB Cebulski.
The panel began with a slideshow featuring several of Marvel's upcoming books. Headlining the pack was "Captain America: The Chosen" by Rambo creator David Morrell and "Drax the Destroyer" artist Mitch Breitweiser. Brevoort noted that the project was conceived before Captain America was killed off in issue #25 of his series, and as such, "The Chosen" will take place in Captain America's last days. Travis Charest will be creating covers for the series.
Next, the audience was treated to a preview of the upcoming "Marvel Comics Presents" anthology series, the first of which will feature the work of Marc Guggenheim, Stuart and Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Moore, Rich Koslowski, Clayton Henry, and Dave Wilkins, with a wraparound cover by J. Scott Campbell. Fans of Marvel's Taskmaster will be happy to learn that the Avengers villain appears in preview art for the book.
Bill Rosemann took the microphone to discuss the sequel to the popular "Annihilation" event, "Annihilation: Conquest." New covers were shown for the miniseries, including "Star-Lord" by Keith Giffen and Randy Green, "Quasar" by Christos Gage and Mike Lilly, and "Wraith" by Javier Grillo-Marxauch and Kyle Hotz. The ongoing "Nova" series will also be tying into the event, and the cover shown in the panel featured the cosmic assassin Gamora brandishing the helmeted skull of Nova!
Excitement abounded when it was announced that Rocket Raccoon would be part of the "Star-Lord" miniseries, and the idea of a Rocket Raccoon/Squirrel Girl crossover was bandied about. The "Quasar" series features the new female Quasar, daughter of the original Captain Marvel (who will be returning to the Marvel Universe himself in November). Rosemann noted that there was tremendous fan outcry when the original Quasar, Wendell Vaughn was killed off, and indicated that may have caused them to rethink their plans somewhat.
The "Wraith" miniseries will feature the eponymous new character, but it was hinted that he may have some connections to a character of the past.
Covers were also shown for upcoming books in the Ultimate line, including "Ultimate Fantastic Four," featuring the Ultimate Silver Surfer, by Mike Carey and Pascual Ferry; "Ultimate Power" #7-9 by Jeph Loeb and Greg Land; "Ultimate X-Men" in a storyline titled "Sentinels" by Robert Kirkman and Yanick Paquette; and "Ultimate Spider-Man" by Brian Bendis and new artist Stuart Immonen, featuring the ominously titled "Death of a Goblin" issue.
Next up was "Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin" by Joe Casey and Eric Canete. Brevoort described this as a very accessible story to anyone unfamiliar with the Mandarin, and said the art was going for a retro feel as evidenced by the cover displayed, which was evocative of "The Rocketeer." A new miniseries featuring the hero formerly known as Speedball --now known as Penance-- is in the works and slated to be written by Penance creator Paul Jenkins and drawn by Paul Gulacy.
The cover to "New Avengers" #34 was shown, featuring what seemed to be retro incarnations of various members: Peter Parker in sweater vest and glasses, Wolverine in samurai regalia, and Luke Cage in yellow shirt and tiara. Naturally much discussion was made of the reveal at the end of "New Avengers" #31, with Joe Quesada explaining that the conspiracy slowly unveiling has been in the works for two to three years now, including Brian Bendis' "Secret War" miniseries.
Finally, covers were shown for several other Marvel books including "X-Men: Emperor Vulcan" #1, continuing the story of the long-lost Summers brother and new Emperor of the Shi'ar Galaxy. Also displayed were "Punisher War Journal" #11, featuring the Punisher vs. the Winter Soldier; "Immortal Iron Fist" Annual #1; "Moon Knight" #13,; and "Thor" #3, with the reborn God of Thunder meeting Iron Man.
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