C2E2 2014: Marvel X-MEN, Killing Wolverine Panel, STORM Ongoing, AXIS Announced
CREDIT: Marvel Comics
Editor Mike Marts introduced the final Marvel panel of C2E2, with panelists Jordan White, Jason Latour, Mahmud Asrar, Charles Soule, Greg Pak, and Russel Dauterman.
Dauterman said that getting to draw Cyclops is "pretty amazing to me. Getting that as my first work at Marvel when I grew up on the 90s X-Men cartoon is really cool." That, naturally, prompted Jordan White to do a Ukulele sing-along version of that theme song with the crowd.
Wolverine and the X-Men has a Cyclops and Quentin Quire moment coming up that Latour is really excited about. Asrar said Quire is hard for him to draw but he likes the challenge - and Storm is his favorite to draw.
Wolverine: 3 Months to Die is a storyline starting in June 2014, runs issues 8-12 of the main Wolverine series. It leads up to Charles Soule's mini-series The Death of Wolverine.
The covers have Wolverine's claws breaking off and his hand getting bloodied in a progression until eventually just showing a skelton of a hand.
The Death of Wolverine is a weekly series in September, and Soule said, "Wanna know how it ends? Wolverine Dies!" He said, "you know the ending, but that's not what the book is really about. It's about Wolverine's approach to to his mortality." For anyone not in the know, he has lost his healing factor. "Each of the four issues has a different focus, with different time periods and different types of Logan. There have been so many different versions of him, so many different sides, and my goal is to have Logan thinking about those different sides to himself as his life is going away."
There are action beats, too, of course.
Marts asked Soule what it was like to get a call asking him to kill Wolverine. "I got told at a lunch that it was this project, and being driven by Steve McNiven. Getting to tell one of those stories that is a part of Wolverine's canon forever - and with McNiven - it was mind-blowing. It made and ruined my whole day!"
The story, Soule clarified, isn't just a trip through memory lane. Talking about the plot for the first time, "Word gets out that he can now be targeted. Many of his old enemies decide they want to take a shot at him now." There will be "guest stars, people you recognize from his past, but it's not just a checklist." He promises Issue 2 has "four really cool fights."
Alex Ross provided a variant cover for the first issue, as well.
What comes next? "A world without Wolverine," Marts said. "We'll explore what it means for the Marvel Universe after he's gone. One book that will be obviously affected is Wolverine and the X-Men."
Latour called Wolverine the X-men's "one constant." He founded the school under the assumption that he's "the baddest dude in the room." Storm will take on an increased role at the school, something that's a new challenge for her. "Moving forward, as much as we'll be dealing with Wolverine's tragic inevitability to his life, it's about what the impact is on these kids." The second arc of the book will be Wolverine "putting his house in order, because he knows something bad is coming."
All the X-Men titles will deal with that aftermath, and Soule is going to do a series after that Marts teased. Kyle Higgins and Salvador Larroca will also be working in the X-Men office post-death of Wolverine, the editor announced.
Storm is a new ongoing series by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez that's launching in July 2014. Pak said he loves the character, and the notion of inclusion that she represents. Pak loves Victor Ibanez's art, and brought a message from the artist along, saying "I promise to give the beauty, power, and badassness that She deserves."
"It's a solo series," Pak said, "with the opportunity to do things with Storm that she can't necessarily do with the X-Men. She's a character who belongs to a lot of different communities. She was a Queen, a Goddess, grew up on the streets of Cairo, an X-Man - many different people look up to her, and she feels connected to many people. There are walls she will break through that no one else realizes are there.
"The thing I thought about for Storm - if someone tells her she can't go someplace, that's exactly where she's going to go. She goes where she's needed, and it will cause trouble for other people." Pak said they will have both new and old characters coming into the series, as well.
There's a new version of the horseman of Death on the June cover of Wolverine and the X-Men.
Quentin Quire versus the All-New X-Men is in issue 4 of the series, and interior art shows Quire using psychic Wolverine claws against young Cyclops. Moving forward, Latour and Bendis will be doing some more work directly together.
Dauterman said that Cyclops will focus both on the big space adventures and on the core relationship of Cyclops and Corsair. "Corsair is a playboy Han Solo type and Cyclops is a real straight arrow, a bit uptight, so that juxtaposition is really fun." Chris Sotomayor is coloring the book, and Dauterman praised his work, saying it helps make Space look more exciting and alive. The Starjammers play a big role, of course, "and Hepzibah is a huge part of the first issue."
Marts said Kathryn Immonen's one-off issue of Amazing X-Men, which is a Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends story, is really fun and funny.
After that, "World War Wendigo" begins, by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost - and that story will guest star Alpha Flight.
All-New X-Factor's second arc has the now-assembled team (owned by a corporation) trying to save a girl from her parents. "Warlock is pretty smitten with Danger, but she's not interested. She has a bit of a crush on Gambit, actually."
Over in Deadpool, he'll have an Original Sin tie-in focusing on Agent Preston and Agent Adsit learning the "horrible truth about Deadpool's parents, what happened to his mother and father - and they don't know if they should tell Deadpool," White said. Meanwhile, Deadpool's wife Shiklah is at war with Dracula, and Deadpool teams up with 70s Disco Dazzler to fight vampires. "It makes sense, if you think about it."
Deadpool: Dracula's Gauntlet takes the digital infinite comic and retools it for print. That will be published as 4 issues, weekly, in July 2014. White said, "I do recommend to read the infinite comic if you have access to that, because it was made for that format."
Deadpool Vs. X-Force pits the Merc against classic 90s X-Force. "This takes place just before the first meeting of Cable and Deadpool - and for some reason they don't remember it." Written by Dwayne Swierczynski and drawn by Pepe Larraz, it features time-traveling throughout major events in American history.
Soule's final issue of Thunderbolts is May's #26, drawn by Paco Diaz, and says it includes a scene between Deadpool and Red Leader that "probably has to be blurred out."
Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, with artist Carlo Barberi, take over the series in June, with the arc "Punisher vs. Thunderbolts." Punisher quits, and targets his former teammates because of something they do that crosses the line for him.
Magneto drew a lot of applause, and Marts said it's selling very well. All-New X-Men will feature two issues really focused on young Angel in July, and one cover shows him kissing X-23.
Uncanny X-Men #23 will start the Original Sin tie-in for that series, revealing a "deep dark secret with huge ramifications on the X-Men."
And that brought the panel to fan Q&A time.
Marts said Jason Aaron is taking a "temporary layover" away from the X-Men line, but he suspects the writer will be back.
No immediate plans for Madrox or Warpath in current books (but 90s Warpath is in Deadpool vs X-Force).
What was the initial motivation for Death of Wolverine? Soule said, "doesn't it sound like it's going to be a good story?" Asked if it's a metaphorical death, possibly, Soule said, "It's not. He dies." definitively.
Marts said, "We don't want to just sit back and tell everyday stories, we want to take risks."
Latour revealed that after his death, the entire rest of the year of Wolverine and the X-Men will deal directly with the fallout. Leading up, the focus will be very much on the nature of death and consequences.
The fallout will go out into the rest of the Marvel Universe, too, including "every team he's been on." Latour said, "An X-Men school that doesn't have an Avenger at it anymore will be of particular interest to the Avengers."
Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde interaction? Latour said he'd "love to write that," but it's not his territory.
Korvus is in the first issue of Cyclops.
A fan asked about the finality of Wolverine's death. Soule said, "you'll have to wait to read it - but yeah, I've read comics before, I know what you're talking about. I'm just trying to deliver something that, if Logan were to read this book, he'd say 'Yeah, that's a good way to go.'"
Marts finished the panel with a teaser of the "Next Big Thing for Marvel," and it's called AXIS, coming in fall 2014, with the Avengers A and the X-Men X in the logo!