Once again I found myself in the Marvel Comics panel, and once again I had no idea what anyone was talking about. So once again I'm pretty much just transcribing my notes.*
They started out teasing the new Man Without Fear. Possible characters to assume the role include Falcon, Nova, Gambit, the Black Panther, and Craven the Hunter. The answer will be revealed at the end of Shadowland. Hulk 24, out next month, will be the last by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGinnis. It wraps up the Red Hulk saga. There will be a definite ending. Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hartman will be the new creative team. Their first arc is titled "Scorched Earth." Some of the intelligentsia doesn't check in and a doomsday protocol will go into effect. It's a redemptive arc for Red Hulk in which he teams up with Thor, Iron Man, and some other dude. I'm guessing Captain America? Because he's the other guy in the avengers, right? Have I learned? Jeph is busy as the new head of Marvel Television, but he will be working on Ultimate X with Arthur Adams and something with Frank Cho. Also on something "Very contained, very special, very uniquely Ed McGinnis." Hey! It's Avengers 3. And it doesn't just take place in the present. Our own Root Mazer will be very excited when he hears that Orson Scott Card will be writing prequels to Ender's Game telling the story of the Formic Wars. Marvel will be working with Disney to serialize Tron the Betrayal. Those will be out in October. They emphasized their fantastic new relationship with Disney, calling it "the perfect marriage" about 27 times. They'll be working on some stuff with them. They showed us a teaser: a red and yellow yin yang symbol, then flames, then some half yin yang, half eyeball looking thing. no fucking clue what that could be.
Then came the questions. Stephano Casselli has been on and off with Secret Warriors due to some family issues and is now working hard on a new project to be announced tomorrow. You'll be seeing more in November. As the new Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada doesn't have time to draw anything with a definitive deadline anymore, but there are a couple of projects he would like to do on the side. Now my notes say, "2 people in beekeeper costumes asking in character, something about AIM and a cosmic cube and Iron Man and Captain America hoarding technology." The panelists were just like, you know this isn't real, right? The Women of Marvel Initiatives were very successful and turned focus on the female characters. They'll probably do it again in the future. "Green ladies may be coming back into the swing of things soon," announcements next week. The Runaways comic is on hiatus and it's too early for movie news, but Molly and other characters will be turning up in other books. It's too soon to do any new Ghost Rider stuff, and while they have some ideas for the Warriors, it'll be awhile before anything comes to fruition. Post Disney merger Marvel has retained their autonomy and there have been no changes to the day to day creative process. Marvel has a very strong male following that Disney lacks, and the idea is to use Disney's muscle to push Marvel worldwide without changing its DNA. They have created a television division and are revitalizing animation. (Hopefully that means a promotion for Frank Paur!--ed.) Joe says that for most artists crowd scenes are the hardest to draw, and he himself struggles with Colossus. Steve Dylan (Dillon?) refuses to draw horses and subcontracts them when one is required. Another guy hates drawing cars, but I didn't catch who. Okay, I honestly have no idea who this is about, I thought they were saying Hulk at first, but some newish X-Men character (Hoke maybe? I think she wears green?) will be developing an antagonistic big brother relationship with Scott Summers. Or maybe Scott Somers. I don't know. Anyway, she sticks close to Rogue. There will be new Marvel Man stuff, but they're treading very carefully with that and working with the original creator. Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy will be seen again down the road. They'll finish the series and take some time to regroup, but they're considered one of Marvel's "most fertile playgrounds." Red Hulk is joining the Avengers, as mentioned above, Scott Summers (Somers) "Has gone to some places he's going to have a hard time coming back from." Matt Murdoch will have a bit of a shame spiral (I guess that's par for the course for that dude?). The last three items were in response to a question about which characters are most in need of redemption. Then there was a long discussion about crossovers and the decline of the comic book industry in the mid to late 90's and Marvel's reinvigoration under Joe's leadership and now the resurgence of crossovers. Basically crossovers sell really well as long as there's a good story. Fans love the unified Marvel universe, but they are subject to the law of diminishing returns. They took some time off from doing crossovers, and now people are coming up with good ideas again. Supernatural characters have been interspersed through different books since Legion of Monsters. There's a unified vampire nation in X-Men now, and they're hoping to build Dracula into a major character. They have a lot of input into movies made by Marvel Studios (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America), but they have no control over films produced by other studios, which can be frustrating. They thought Sam Raimi got Spiderman "Perfectly right" but hated Wolverine. They focus on writing the best books they can, because that's all they can really control. It's too early to talk about whether there will be a Young Inhumans tv show. Scarlett and Cassanova are doing really well, writers hope to do more Create Your Own stuff. (It took me a LONG time to figure out they were saying create your own.) There will be some more black and white one shot covers, including one for Daredevil. Will Matt Fraction revisit Iron Fist? He's actually been thinking about it for the last two days, so who knows? There delving deep into the Thor canon for new stories. Someone asked which neglected character they thought should be a star, and then the panelists said some words and made some sounds that didn't make any sense to me. If you are a teacher who likes to use comics like Magneto's Testament in your history class (I realize this is a limited demographic) there are some history based Captain America things coming up as well as a project that has something to do with feudal Japan.
And that's it! Phew, I'm exhausted. Let's go eat ice cream.
*I just spelled any unfamiliar names phonetically as I heard them. I hope they're sort of close.