Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Editor
Official Description: Join Marvel’s chief creative officer Joe Quesada for this no-holds-barred exposé on everything Marvel. Got a question about a favorite hero? Want to hear groundbreaking news straight from the source? Need a rundown on breaking developments in Marvel comics, film, and T.V? This panel is for you! Featuring editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, talent scout C. B. Cebulski, senior editor Nick Lowe, editor Jordan D. White, writer Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man), and other Mighty Marvel guests!
The panel opened with Joe Quesada enthusiastically energizing the crowd! Other panelists not listed in the official description include Brian Michael Bendis. He went down the line and introduced each of the panelists, much to the enthusiasm of the crowd. Unsurprisingly, Brian Michael Bendis and Dan Slott received the largest round of applause and whoops from the crowd.
They showed a clip of Captain America & Iron Man, Heroes United. It opens with Cap and Iron man in an undisclosed location–a helicarrier–with enemies closing in on Iron Man’s weapon’s vault. The animation appears smooth and seamless, with a little too much flash that distracts from the narrative. The action sequence was enjoyable, with Iron Man and Captain America showing off their unique abilities and methods of fighting–and, as always, they bicker like nobody’s business. It’s available on Digital HD July 29th.
Quesada talks about Marvel’s 75th Anniversary book, featuring Stan Lee’s first story–a prose story about Captain America, drawn by Bruce Timm. It also includes a Bendis narrative on Jessica Jones. Hasbro does special variant covers, recreating iconic covers with Hasbro action figures. Legendary Star Lord #1 was shown to promote the release from the popularity of the character and the upcoming movie. Next up was Rocket Racoon #1, to which the room burst into applause. Quesada then featured Guardians 3000 #1 by Dan Abnett and Gerardo Sandoval.
Dan Slott talked about Silver Surfer. “Right now, Sufer is coming back to Earth, but once we finish the two-part Earth story, the universe is wide open. We’re going to go to new parts of the universe you’ve never seen before. The Sufer will fight against… Galactus! It’s going to be awesome!”
Bendis then talked about All New X-Men #32, which features Miles Morales. “They come to the Ultimate Universe for the very first time, for a special X-Men Ultimate Universe crossover. Let the shipping begin for Miles Morales and Jean Grey! A lot is going to change for the X-Men… they might not all come home! What?”
Bendis then talked about Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 featuring Andrea Sorrentino on the book. This story features what happened to Eva Bell–“we’re going to find out in great detail what happened… along with any other surprises.”
The next slide included STAR WARS, with Axel Alonso announcing the creators on the book: Jason Aarons, who will be writing Star Wars, and John Cassaday will be drawing the art.
Aarons: We get to start with that Original Film and I want everyone who reads this book to feel like how I did when I was a kid: that childhood wonder and glee. That’s what I feel like when I sit down to write.
Cassaday: We’re treating this as an in-between story, as it comes right after the first movie. So much of what I do in my career has been because of these movies.
Alonso: This is Star Wars coming back home to Marvel. These stories take place directly after the New Hope takes place. These books are as relevant to the continuity as the movies coming out, so we’re working with Lucasfilm closely to make sure they fit their vision while having that Marvel feel.
Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca will do a Darth Vader comic, while Mark Waid and Terry Dodson will do a Princess Leia limited series.
The panel then opened up for a Q&A.
Will we see Boba Fett in the comics?
White responded that we would see Boba Fett, but cautioned that Luke doesn’t really know Boba Fett right now, so they have to work around that.
What are your suggestions to get into comics with Marvel?
Quesada: If you go to the Marvel digital site, you’ll see there are recommended runs and creators. The simple thing is it can look daunting, but find a character that you like, a genre that you like. Just jump in. Start with a #1.
Cebulski: If I could recommend two books: the new Ms. Marvel series, which is a young girl who becomes a superhero and starts interacting with the Marvel Universe. One book that has a great beginning, middle, and end is a book called Runaways, a book about a group of teenage heroes.
Can you talk a little bit about what got the ball rolling on Miracle Man?
Quesada: It was a complex process–all I can say is we’re all very happy and satisfied with how it’s come about. Personally, who’s a huge fan of the original run, it couldn’t make me happier that it was here at Marvel.
Two of my favorite runs are Uncanny and All-New X-Men. I loved Angel, and I was wondering if he was going to have a larger role in the upcoming issues?
Bendis: The next issue is very focused on Angel and X-23. It’s quite the talking point about the two of them, who may or may not be starting some relationship–you don’t know what’s going to happen! Angel’s the one of the group who has been the least interested in pursuing what his legacy is. There’s a lot that will go on with him.
Any plans on having comics explore the T in LGBTQ?
Alonso: Yes, you’ll be seeing that shortly!
Do you know the rumors about a cancellation of Fantastic Four?
Alonso: We’re not cancelling anything. On the X-Men front, we wouldn’t be devoting talent like Bendis and promoting the Death of Wolverine like we are if we didn’t love the X-Men. All these theories on the internet are cockamamie.
Marvel Zomibes… will we ever see them again?
What titles are you looking at doing in the future?
Lower: There’s a new Avengers OGN coming out called the Avengers: Rage of Ultron. There’s a Thanos one as well–and you can find all of those on the show floor!
Alonso: We already have others planned, but we can’t talk about them yet. I love the OGN format!
Any chance you can get Garth Ennis to do a Punisher Kills the Star Wars Universe?
Alonso: I’m already talking him up about that! [He said that jokingly!]
When writing, do you ever find yourself including anything from your personal life? How do you filter out your personal life?
Slott: That’s really easy: I have no personal life!
Bendis: Every issue, there’s some stuff that’s veiled, some stuff that’s obvious, but sometimes I don’t even realize it.
Slott: You can’t help it, you have to write what you know.
For the Star Wars Comics, for Darth Vader, would you also portray him as a fallen figure?
White: Sure, all that’s part of it. Anakin/Darth Vader is the central figure of the prequel series and super important in the main series. I joked about spoilers earlier, because we can reference those prequels and what was done before. We know that Vader is actually Luke’s father and Leia’s father. Vader’s going to be appearing in Star Wars as well.
Aaron: Like we talked about, I want this to feel like the movies.
At this point, a Comic-Con staffer presented Joe Quesada with the Inkpot Award.
“At the end of the day, I coast on the backs of everyone here. If it wasn’t for the amazingly talented people that work beside me every day, every year, everyone I’ve known… I’m just happy to be here. Thank you, thanks!” Quesada said as he accepted the award.
Can you talk about the new Thor?
Lowe: If you didn’t know, there’s a female Thor!
Aarons: The book is called Thor. Some people ask, well how is she going to be Thor? Some people question if this is really a Thor story, is she really Thor? That power of transformation is inherent in the hammer and that power. This book is the evolution of that promise. You bet your ass this is a Thor story. I’m as excited about this story as I was when I took over the book.