Warning: The below article will contain spoilers for the recently released Uncanny Avengers #14.
Marvel's back from their Thanksgiving break and digging into the comic book everyone's been talking about: Uncanny Avengers #14. Marvel is another of its "Marvel Next Big Thing" press conferences today at 3 p.m. eastern time, and it has series writer Rick Remender, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort and fellow editor Daniel Ketchum to talk about the events of last week's issue and what comes next for the book. There will be spoilers for that issue in this ensuing article, but you can get up to speed by reading our review of Uncanny Avengers #14 as well as Newsarama's thoughts on the events of that issue.
The "Marvel Next Big Thing" conference call about Uncanny Avengers begins with Rick Remender discussing having Steve McNiven here to draw this "Ragnarök Now" arc, calling him "insanely talented" and how his presence on the book amplifies the "event" quality of the series.
Brevoort chimed in to talk about the "bigness" of Remender's plans for Uncanny Avengers, and talking about the recent deaths of Rogue, Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man but lamenting, in a half-joking way, that he hasn't seen as much uproar over Wonder Man's deaths as that of Rogue and Scarlet Witch.
Remender went in to talk about how the upcoming issues of Uncanny Avengers will see the repurcussions of the flagant in-fighting amongst the heroes as seen in Civil War, Avengers Vs. X-Men, and in Uncanny Avengers itself, and how it's exacerbated when it detracts from their ability to fend off actual villains.
""With heroes fighting heroes, we haven't seen the true ramifications for their behavoir before. Readers began to see the payout to this in Uncanny Avengers #14 and how those events changes the group."
Remender says Wolverine's time as leader of X-Force, as well as Captain America decision to place Havok as leader of the Uncanny Avengers ' team are both integral events that lead to this fallout.
"With the threats from the likes of Apocalypse Twins, Kang, Kang's gang, Immortus and others, there is the giant evil wave of bad luck for the heroes," Remender says. "If they continue fight amongst themselves in this kind of petulant fashion, there will be even bigger repercussions."
The advance solicitations for the books Marvel will be releasing in February 2014 tell us a bit more about the events leading into Uncanny Avengers #18, saying the long-running "Ragnarök Now" arc ends in #17 and leads to the birth of Planet X. Planet X is a world proposed by current arc's villains the Apocalypse Twins as a place where "mutants are free to use their powers" and is devoid of non-mutant humans. The Apocalypse Twins were planning to use the combined powers of the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man to create this mutant utopia, but their plans were seemingly thwarted by the events of Uncanny Avengers #14. But it seems there's a second chance for Planet X - although Remender wouldn't give the same chances to the fallen teammates.
"The "Planet X" arc will show some form of mutant homeworld established in space. It's an examination of mutants finally geting what they wanted althought they didn't put it together," Remender says."There's no humans here save Wasp, but the mutants continue to break into factions, cause problems and leads to strife."
"From the covers, it's good news for fans of Havok and Wasp, they make it to #18," Brevoort says. "Bad news for fans is what we do to them in issues #18, #19 and on."
For this call, Marvel has provided new covers for the series: the Uncanny Avengers #18 cover by Daniel Acuna, as well as a variant cover by In-Hyuk Lee. Both covers feature Havok and Wasp prominently with Magneto and a seemingly reformed Brotherhood of Mutants with Pyro, the Blob and an unidentified woman with a helmet that could possibly be a new Avalanche. Magneto is currently appearing in Uncanny X-Men as apparent hero as part of Cyclops' team, but given the recent events of Uncanny Avengers -- namely, his daughter Scarlet Witch's death -- it could lead him to revert back to old habits. But this may not be the Magneto we know but one from another dimension; Remender used the Age of Apocalypse Blob as part of a reformed Brotherhood of Mutants team in the final issues of his run on Uncanny X-Force, and given the mohawk Blob is sporting in these covers -- like this Age of Apocalypse itteration -- they may all hail from that alternate Marvel universe.
Speaking about Wasp, Remender says he's always considered her an integral part of the Avengers -- even back before he was writing comics, but inking during his run on Avengers back in the late 1990s. Remender says that Wasp's decisions in the current "Ragnarök Now" arc will put her in an "interesting position" as one of the few humans on Planet X.
When asked if there was goign to be time for the Uncanny Avengers team to soak in the events of #14, Remender said the series will to continue to build off events of that issue.
"These deaths will be revealed to cast members at certain moments in time in a way to hinder them further and don't help morale of what they're up against," says Remender.
Newsarama asked about the story points from Remender's Uncanny X-Force run and how they continue to pop up in Uncnany Avengers, for which Remender said some of the plans for this series were orgiinally going to be part of an arc of Uncanny X-Force.
"Just to be clear," Brevoort says," Rick had thoughts and ideaa and concepts for future stories in X-Force, but not exactly the stories we're telling here. Uncanny Avengers isn't Uncanny X-Force in new coat of paint, but taking those bits of stories and extrapolating them with these characters and new ideas he's come up with since. That being said, there are roots going back to Uncanny X-Force and further back in Rick's canon here at Marvel, and before that even such as Iron Man 2020 and the Earth X characters."
Remender then responds to a question from Word Balloon about how the events of Captain America will influence the character's role in Uncanny Avengers.
"The events of "Dimension Z" will definitely be building up and playing a role in Captain America, Uncanny Avengers and other things I have planned," the writer explains. "'Dimension Z' can be blamed for the the team splitting up, because of Cap's emotional state coming out of there."
A journalist from IGN asks Remender if Evan and Archangel would appear at some point in Uncanny Avengers, given their ties to the Apocalypse Twins.
"Without spoiling too much, I can say that Evan will appear at some point; Angel might as well," Remender said.