Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada has been hosting "Cup O' Joe" panels — a chance for fans to interact directly with him and top Marvel creators and editors, plus a place to break some news — for years now, and this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego is no exception.
Scheduled to include the likes of Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, All-New X-Men writer Brian Michael Bendis and Uncanny Avengers writer Rick Remender, the panel should start around 3:15 p.m. Pacific time on Friday. We will be there live and in person, so keep refreshing this page for the latest updates.
They're showing a few promotional videos to start (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers Assemble animated series and Infinity), but it looks like a packed panel: Quesada, Alonso, Bendis, Remender, Uncanny X-Force writer Sam Humphries, Oz (and lots of variant covers) artist Skottie Young, Marvel senior editors Nick Lowe and Steve Wacker, and Marvel talent liaison C.B. Cebulski. (And maybe more, it's still pretty dark in this room.) (Update: Nope, that's it.)
Panel starts with Guardians of the Galaxy (the comic book) talk: "Hey look, it's Angela," Bendis says of issue #5. "It is Angela's first proper appearance in the Marvel Universe. We'll start to discover what she's doing here, and what her secret to the connection to the Marvel Universe could possibly be, but first she'll have to go through the Guardians of the Galaxy to find out." To that end, a Gamora vs. Angela fight is coming.
Francesco Francavilla is coming on board Guardians with issue #8, tying in to Infinity. "Giving Sara little break, and showing off his cool stuff," Bendis says of Francavilla.
Quesada praises Young's "kid Marvel" covers, saying he's never seen a series of variant covers get that type of response.
Next book up: Hawkeye. "The book's up for a couple Eisners tonight, a couple Harvey nominations," says Wacker, who edits the book. "I know Matt [Fraction] and David [Aja] just go crazy for the reaction from all of you guys." November's issue #16 will be a Kate Bishop-centric story.
Also from Fraction: Inhuman, starting in January 2014. Lowe says "it is the next huge franchise for the Marvel Universe. You're going to see character you've seen before — the Inhumans royal family — in ways you've never seen them." Plus, new characters, and a "new kind of superhero." Lowe says he can't say much more, because the series is so closely tied to the ending of Infinity. The name of the new character on the cover is "Inferno," Lowe discloses.
Announcement! Andy Lanning and "various superstar artists" are teaming for Revolutionary War, debuting in November 2013, which features the return of Marvel UK characters like Death's Head and Motormouth.
Lowe says the Gillen-written Young Avengers is gearing up for a big arc called "Afterparty," which features artists including Becky Cloonan, Joe Quinones, Ming Doyle, Christian Ward, Emma Vieceli and series regular Jamie McKelvie.
Another announcement! Which also involves Gillen. Origin II, a sequel to the famed Wolverine story, is starting in November, from Gillen and artist Adam Kubert. (His brother Andy illustrated the original Origin.) No further details revealed, but look for more on Newsarama soon.
Audience Q&A time. How big of a role will Cloak and Dagger play in the Ultimate Universe? Bendis points to the recently announced Cataclysm event, "where Galactus is going to prepare his dinner in the Ultimate Universe," and Cloak and Dagger will be "front and center."
A fan asks if Marvel is worried that people wouldn't want to see a movie called Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the spring, because they'll be reminded of winter. (This actually happened.) Quesada says that some people outside of America will probably want to see it, and people who aren't captains, too.
Why are some issues missing in runs on digital comics library Marvel Unlimited? "We are committed to filling all those holes," Marvel digital's Ben Morse joins the panel to tell the fan. "Odds are we will get there."
"We're just getting to know the Guardians themselves, and where they stand in the Marvel Universe proper," Bendis tells a fan looking for more insight about the alien races in the series. Bendis then teases that there will be another Earth hero joining the cast, in place of Iron Man.
Chance of an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.-inspired comic book series? No current plans, but there's always a possibility, Quesada replies. Bendis says S.H.I.E.L.D. is a major part of the X-Men books right now.
Next question concerns the creative committee for Marvel Studios films. Quesada says that Bendis is the only comic creator (other than himself) on the committee, but others are brought in for specific films — then teasing that Ed Brubaker has a cameo in the Winter Soldier film.
When will Rogue beat up Scarlet Witch? "One of the fun things about the book is that these two corners of the Marvel Universe don't necessarily cohabitate well," Remender answers. "It shouldn't work, and right now it isn't." The book is going to be reflective of their "inability to get along and be heroic. We're building to the consequences. That's the story I'm telling in the book. The villains are up to some shenanigans. The Red Skull now has the powers of Charles Xavier. What does that lead to? Probably nothing super-great for anybody."
An enthusiastic Savage Wolverine fan asked how the series was conceived. Alonso says they were taking advantage of the opportunity to do a "Wolverine book that features superstar talent coming in to do quick hits, just little mini-movies." Alonso says Frank Cho has many more ideas for writing and drawing Marvel stories.
No immediate plans for new Punisher MAX material, but definitely at some point in the future, Alonso says, as the character is perfect for the mature readers imprint.
A young fan asks about plans for Nick Fury — the original one. Quesada says there are plans for both Nick Furys. "It's a good year to be a Nick Fury fan," Alonso says. "Or a bad year, depending on your perspective," Quesada adds.
Will Wolverine bring more of the Uncanny X-Force approach to Uncanny Avengers? "It's currently a point of contention in the team," Remender says. "You recently saw that in Age of Ultron, where Wolverine is integral in going back and doing it his way. It's going to come down to an ideological conflict, which is more consequences of Uncanny X-Force." There are pros and cons to both sides, Remender continues, and he doesn't see attitudes changing — Wasp isn't going to decide it's appropriate to preemptively kill someone.
A self-confessed long-time fan says he was "disgusted" by the depiction of The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, then asked about the possibility of a Deadpool movie — which, of course, would be under the purview of Fox, as Quesada told the fan.
More female-centric books, beyond the current adjectiveless X-Men series? Alonso says more are coming, and Remender says that upcoming Uncanny Avengers issues will focus on Rogue and Scarlet Witch, Humphries points to the mostly female Uncanny X-Force, and Lowe mentions Fearless Defenders.
More Avengers Arena following season one's conclusion? There are "big plans," Alonso says.
Chance of a Marvel Studios Daredevil movie, now that it's no longer under Fox's control? "We're just trying to air it out," Quesada said, to some laughs. "We're really excited. We just got the property back. Will there be something with Daredevil down the road? I would love to see [it]. We're certainly mulling it over. Who knows?"
Any chance of another book like Hawkeye or Captain Marvel, putting a significant focus on the hero's civilian life? Alonso says there's another book in the works that somewhat fits into that mold.
Remender describes his take on Sentry as one of Uncanny Avengers' Four Horsemen of Death to a fan as an "insane cosmic Superman that's now been infected by a Celestial death seed," and that he's taking the mental illness aspect of the character seriously.
The web search at the end of Spider-Men will "absolutely, 100 percent" be followed up on, Bendis says.
The Runaways won't be seen collectively anytime soon, but the characters are popping up individually, both in Avengers Arena and Young Avengers (Karolina is in the "Afterparty" promo art seen above) . Bendis says there's a nice surprise coming for Runaways fans in "Battle of the Atom" (an adult version of Molly Hayes has been seen in the character sketches of that story's future X-Men).
Any chance for a "new, advanced Ant-Man"? Humphries says that Hank Pym is undergoing "a lot of evolutions" in Avengers A.I.
Last question! "What are the chances of Marvel characters appearing in Kingdom Hearts? "I honestly don't know the answer to that," Quesada says.