NYCC 2012: Marvel NOW! Panel

Comic Book NYCC by Lucas Lowman

I was lucky enough to get great seating for the panel which mapped out the future for Marvel comics and the heroes between the pages. 

Among the panel was Axel Alonso- Editor-in-Chief, Jason Aaron- Thor: God of Thunder, Mark Waid- Indestructible Hulk, Rick Remender- Captain America, Kieron Gillen- Iron Man.

They kicked things off with Iron Man. Gillen takes the pen from Matt Fraction and in my opinion, for the better. When Fraction first started on Iron Man it was awesome but as time went by I could see the story losing steam and becoming slower and slower. Gillen wants to take Tony Stark to the edge of science and really push Iron Man to the limits of what Stark thinks is possible. He wants it to have a philosophical and thought provoking impact on readers. An added element that we will see with the new Iron Man series is a mobile armory in which Tony must decide (quickly) which suit is best for the job and of course decisions have consequences. 

Next was Thor: God of Thunder, Aaron is writing with Esad Ribic on art duties. The story will start with young Thor as somewhat of a barbarian Viking wielding an axe and such… before he was worthy of wielding the hammer, the story will continue through present Thor, the one we know and love, and the story will ultimately take us to old future Thor as a psychologically scarred one-armed and one-eyed King of a Broken Asgard. 

The first major story arc revolves around Gor the God Butcher, who Aaron said, “is basically a serial killer who only goes after gods… and it’s up to Thor to defeat him." This enemy will tie into all 3 phases of Thor’s life.

Next up was the new Captain America series written by Rick Remender and drawn by John Romita Jr.. This is one that I am looking forward to but I am still a bit on the fence. The story will start out with young skinny Rogers in his East Brooklyn days where we will get to know his parents and see why he wanted to become a soldier so badly. Then the bulk of the story will be a different Cap series than what we have seen in the past…very Sci-Fi oriented. Some of it will take place in space and in a place called Dimension Z. The main villain in the first story arc will be Arnim Zola, a Bio Nazi Terrorist. Cap will also get trapped in Dimension Z at some point becoming a castaway in a foreign land yet again. This is a bit out there for a Captain America series but Remender has proven himself time and time again.

Then Waid, the main who reinvented Daredevil, is on to reinvent the Hulk. We will see a more scientifically minded Banner who works for SHEILD (when he isn’t hulking out) making things for the betterment of mankind. Waid referenced this change in motive to Banner realizing that he doesn’t want his tombstone to read “HULK SMASH.” He wants to be remembered but not by his rage but by his mind. Throughout the series there will be hints as to why SHIELD is okay letting a volatile individual work on the Helicarrier. Bruce supposedly has leverage but we don’t know what exactly. 

Then they talked about my favorite upcoming Marvel series, the new Thunderbolts series, which see the anti-hero killers of the Marvel Universe all on one team. Led by Red Hulk, with Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, and weirdest of all, the Punisher. They have no qualms about killing, this will be an action heavy series with inner conflicts abundant between the teammates. It is odd to see Punisher, the man renowned for working alone, on a team and they know this. Alonso stated that, “This will be explained in the first issue.” Good enough for me. 

Lastly, there were two semi-announcements, when a fan asked whether there will be more female heroes coming center stage thanks to the success of the Black Widow in Avengers, Alonso said that they have an idea for a power diva team but nothing is set in stone yet. I also asked them about the future of Iron Fist and Doctor Strange now that the defenders are ending. They hinted at an imminent announcement. They also stated that we can catch them as part of the supporting cast in upcoming books as well. 

What upcoming Marvel Now book are you most excited for?

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