[preview art follows this panel report]Marvel Comics wrapped up their “announcement” panels Sunday afternoon with Mondo Marvel, featuring a crowded dais of Phil Jimenez, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Steve Wacker, Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Slott, C.B. Cebulski, Chris Eliopoulos, Tom Brevoort, Jim McCann, Frank Tieri, and editor-in-chief Joe Quesada (making a, by his admission, rare Sunday panel appearance).
Brevoort discussed The Marvels Project, by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Starting in June, it explores the early history of the Marvel Universe and the "true origins" of the Marvel Golden Age characters.Eliopoulos introduced a slide of Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, starring the Inhumans character, Lockheed, Redwing, Speedball's cat Niels and others. "There's a new frog Thor, and we'll tell his origin in the first issue." Tieri told the crowd briefly about the five issue Punisher Noir limited series, starting in August. Quesada jokingly warned him that he shouldn't get into too much detail about the project since it's "kids' day" at the convention.
Planet Skaar was up next. "Skaar is finally going to come to Earth," said Pak. "Keep your eyes open and your wallets open. There's going to be a big Planet Skaar prologue one-shot in May, and the crazy hijinks start in Skaar: Son of Hulk #11.
Pak showed off art displayed on the projector by Ron Lim, hyping up that it was Lim's return to the Silver Surfer, who guest stars in #11.Moving to Spider-Man, "Spidey brain trust" member Joe Kelly joined the panel and talked about "American Son," beginning in Amazing Spider-Man #595. It's a 5-issue arc written by Kelly and drawn by Phil Jimenez. "I'm very excited about this arc," Kelly said, adding that it's a "Dark Reign" crossover where the "father/son dynamic really explodes" between Harry and Norman Osborn. "It's everything that I look forward to in a Spider-Man comic," said Jimenez. "It's one of the most fun things I've had to draw, literally, in years."
Quesada asked Wacker to talk about Amazing Spider-Man #600 in July, which will be the return of Dr. Octopus. "You're going to see all these classic Spidey villains come back. Several of those villains." Wacker said it's leading into a big story in 2010 called "The Sinister 666."Amazing Spider-Man: The Short Halloween, drawn by Kevin Maguire, was announced, as were its two writers, who made a "surprise" appearance at the panel: Saturday Night Live cast members Seth Meyers (also its head writer) and Bill Hader. Meyers explained that Marvel approached them during the writers' strike.
Meyers credited Hader for coming up with the title, adding "This [a comic book convention] is the only place where that would get a laugh."Moving to Q&A, Bendis was asked about the interplay between Dark Avengers and New Avengers. "They're going to be battling each other, first in the media and then physically," Bendis said. Slott talked about Mighty Avengers, saying in that book you'll see "how the Avengers are seen abroad." He also teased that in #23 you'll see how and why Scarlet Witch is back.
A fan asked about Toro's role in The Marvels Project. "He'll be there," said Brevoort, adding that we'll see how he became Human Torch's "buddy."The same fan dressed in a Black Cat costume from Saturday asked about the status of "her." "There are plans for you," said Wacker. "In a good way."
Van Lente was asked about Marvel Zombies 4, which he described as "zombies vs. monsters."Bendis was asked about his use of the Beyonder, which led to some jokes about the character's hairstyle. "That being said, Secret Wars 2 Omnibus comes out in April," McCann said. "Yes, buy it and read to find out what a horrible, horrible comic it is," Bendis said. Hader and Meyers were asked if they were "into comics" and for more details on their comic. "Is it going to be funny?" "No," Hader deadpanned. "It's incredibly serious." Hader said they are indeed into comics, and that they went to the Marvel Christmas party and met several creators, which led to the project. "We were walking back and saying, 'I think we just pitched them a Spider-Man idea,'" he explained. "It takes place in one Halloween night, it's a pretty simple idea and fun," added Meyers. "It's not going to be the most serious Spider-Man comic you've ever read." One of the still-holding-out-hope "Clone Saga" fans asked if we'll see Ben Reilly again. "You have to convince my boss to let you see Ben Reilly," said Wacker.
An audience member asked if any "SNL" characters will be in The Short Halloween. "That would be weird," said Hader, before adding that Maguire — who then joined the panel — might sneak some in-jokes in the background, since the Halloween setting makes such a thing possible.A fan asked why Juggernaut was a villain again. Brevoort said he couldn't speak of the reasons as to why the decision was made since it was the X-Men office, but that there is a Spider-Man and Juggernaut story coming up.
Another question was asked about Meyers and Hader's involvement. "No matter how experienced of a writer you are from movies or TV, there's always sort of a learning curve," said Quesada, but that it was a very smooth transition for them, and the only other "other media" writer to adapt so quickly was Damon Lindelof. He also pointed out their script was in on time, preemptively addressing the common fan concerns regarding creators from other media writing comics.Bendis left his seat to ask a question of Meyers and Hader—what it was like working with Steve Martin last week on "SNL."
A fan asked about X-Statix, with McCann saying that when Milligan is ready to revisit the characters, it'll happen. Van Lente said U-Go-Girl will be inIncredible Hercules, "even though she's dead."
Chance of an ongoing series with the Immortal Weapons from Immortal Iron Fist? Not an ongoing, but there is more with the characters coming.How come at the end of Secret Invasion, all the characters replaced by Skrulls just returned instead of remaining missing? "Because enough's enough," said Bendis. "Now we get to see the story about what it's like to come back, when your life has been altered and all your relationships have been altered." He said the new Spider-Woman series will especially deal with this.
McCann, writer of New Avengers: The Reunion, discussed another "returned" character, Mockingbird. "You'll see what it's like to come back to a world that very much has changed." McCann said it'll also deal with replaced S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who came back to no job and no home.
Any plans for Toxin or Carnage? "We were talking about Carnage the other day," said Brevoort. "Yes to one of them," Wacker said. "And Tom just gave which one away," joked McCann. "We could have been talking about what an awful character he is," Brevoort shot back.Prowler? "You'll see Ultimate Prowler in Ultimate Spider-Man," said Bendis.
Any chance of Deadpool in Kelly's Spider-Man comics? "Not in the plans yet," said Kelly, but there is some early talk about something along those lines. "But not in 'American Son,'" he clarified.
A business-minded fan asked how comic sales were doing in the slumping economy. McCann pointed to various Web sites with sales information (including this one). "We're doing well, but we could do better, so please keep buying comics," he summarized.Why are the prices of comics going up? "Because it's the world we live in," said Quesada. "Things go up." While Quesads attempted to further explain, Bendis left the panel and raised his hand from the crowd for the second time. "I'm sorry I said Secret Wars 2 sucked," he said. "That was insensitive." Quesada shared his ideas on the comic industry "ghettoizing" itself. "It really is a miracle that we can produce them for $2.99 or $3.99 and keep creators in comics," noting that there are many places where writers can make more money, pointing to Meyers and Hader as examples. Pak and Van Lente talked about some upcoming happenings in Incredible Hercules, saying that you'll see the "untold origin" of the title character and find out what happened to Amadeus Cho's coyote pup Kirby. Artist Takeshi Miyazawa will return to the title, and there will be a "big, green guest star." Bendis discussed how last week him and Quesada met with Kenneth Branagh to talk about the Thor movie, saying that part of his new deal with Marvel is being able to have "nerd talks the likes of which you've never seen" with the directors of Marvel Studios films. How long in advance was "Dark Reign" planned? "I ran out of ideas about six months ago," joked Bendis. He then explained that the original pitch was "what if every hero in the Marvel Universe got to feel what it was like to be Peter Parker, where even when you win you lose." Meyers and Hader were asked if they would like to be involved in any Marvel movies. "Are they married to Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man? Do people like that?" Meyers kidded.
"How long do we have to put up with the Red Hulk?" "You'll have to put up with the Red Hulk until Jeph Loeb figured out who it is," Brevoort answered.Bendis was asked if there would be any interaction between Ares and his son, part of the Secret Warriors. Bendis said there will be a scene in an upcoming issue of Secret Warriors dealing with that.
An audience member griped that he wasn't a fan of "event comics" and they're "not a sustainable way of doing business." "The numbers disagree," said McCann.
Quesada repeated his familiar line that comics are ultimately democratic, with fans "voting with their dollars." Quesada said he understands some fans may feel burnt out, and that as an editorial staff, they do as well, since planning "event comics" is tiring.More Nextwave? "When Warren Ellis and Stuart Immomen have time and want to do it," said McCann.
Ms. Marvel? "Carol Danver's going away, Moonstone's taking over the book," said Wacker.
Luke Cage mini-series? "There's a lot of Luke Cage face time in New Avengers," Bendis said, and McCann pointed out that there's a Marvel Knights of MAX Luke Cage series on the horizon, but not any time soon.Luke Cage mini-series? "There's a lot of Luke Cage face time in New Avengers," Bendis said, and McCann pointed out that there's a Marvel Knights of MAX Luke Cage series on the horizon, but not any time soon.
Any chance of seeing Dan Slott on a new She-Hulk title? "Fred Van Lente is going to be doing an awesome new She-Hulk mini," said Slott.
And with that the panel, and Marvel's NYCC 2009 programming, ended.
More New York Comic Con 2009 Coverage: NYCC '09 Video Page