[preview images follow this panel report]
If Marvel Comics' Editor-in-Chief is at a convention, there’ll be a Cup O’ Joe panel. Early Saturday afternoon at New York Comic Con — to a large, packed room — was no exception.
Quesada opened the convention by explaining the concept behind Cup O’ Joe (giving a fans a chance to interact with the Marvel E-i-C) and introducing the rest of the panel: Marvel marketing whiz (and New Avengers: The Reunion writer) Jim McCann, ubiquitous Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, publisher Dan Buckley and talent liaison C.B. Cebulski.Quesada reminded the crowd of yesterday's announcement—that Dale Eaglesham is now exclusive to Marvel, and that he and Jonathan Hickman will be following Millar and Hitch on Fantastic Four.
Quesada also talked briefly about yesterday's Gabriel Dell'Otto exclusive announcement.
Jim McCann discussed new Halo projects, with Peter David writing one and Fred Van Lente writing another.
Quesada brought up the conclusion of Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, with McCann pointing out that it'll introduce She-Hulk to the Ultimate Universe.
Turning to Ultimatum, Quesada showed slides of "Ultimate Requiems." "We're kind of saying goodbye to those books," said McCann. "We're canceling Ultimate Spider-Man," said Quesada to a startled crowd. "We are done professionally!" yelled Bendis to Quesada, emulating the now-infamous Christian Bale rant.
"We are introducing Ultimate Comics," said Quesada. Bendis talked about Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, starting with a new #1, with David LaFuente as the new artist. "You can tell it's going to be good because it has the New Avengers lightning bolt on the cover," said Bendis.
Of LaFuente, Bendis said "This is his first ongoing series. He's awesome." Bendis said it's a fresh start, but not a reboot, though some time will have passed between the series. "Some new characters, maybe someone new in the costume," he continued.Quesada then announced another exclusive: Carlos Pacheco, who will be doing Ultimate Comics Avengers with Mark Millar
"The Ultimate Requiems are new material," said Bendis, adding that the Spider-Man one will have art from both Stuart Immomen and original USM artist Mark Bagley.Turning over to questions from the audience, Bendis was asked what role Jessica Jones will play in New Avengers. "Jessica will be part of the supporting cast, she will be there. Her and Luke's story will continue," he answered. "Me and Gaydos are doing pre-production on an Alias mini sometime next year." Quesada was asked about the decision to relaunch the Ultimate books. "Now we're looking at the Ultimate universe and saying, 'what other doors can we open?' Let's get really kind of funky and crazy," he answered.
"I think you'll see things in the Ultimate comics that we couldn't do with other books." "It was a great opportunity for a new status quo for Spider-Man," Bendis added, saying that you'll see things you never thought you'd see in a Spider-Man book. "I'm really excited about the new characters and the new status quo. There are a lot of opportunities here to do new stuff."A fan asked about Ultimate Origins and how it tied the Hulk in to Spider-Man's parents, and if Hulk killed Peter's parents. "They just got hit on the head with a rock. You don't necessarily die when you're hit on the head with a rock, but it does ruin your day," Bendis quipped. Bendis said the point was to show how Spider-Man was tied into the origins of the Ultimate universe. Bendis brought Dan Slott up to the panel to answer a fan's question about Norman Osborn, and why he hasn't "remembered" Spider-Man's secret identity. "You're going to see in Amazing Spider-Man, people dealing with the fact that they really should know. Keep your eyes out for Joe Kelly's arc, called "American Son," which will deal with a lot of Osborn and Spidey." An audience member asked about how many titles will comprise the Ultimate Comics line: four comics was the answer. Any plans on using the "Old Man Logan" world in other comics? Quesada asked if Millar had any more plans, because if not Quesada would like to "whore the hell out of it." Millar indicated that he intends on coming back to that setting, but if he doesn't, they will indeed "whore the hell out of it." A fan griped about price recent price increases of some books going to $3.99. "We've been struggling with pricing," said Buckley. "Things have been costing more across the board for the last year for us, also. There are only four titles that got moved, unlike what the Internet is trying to say. We have to look at the stories we put into. Usually people do the up-pricing of books that don't sell well. That drags up pricing more quickly, and leads to death of those titles much more quickly. It's really a balancing of economics, of value, of what you guys demand and want. It's not a straight-up formula, and I'm not going to pretend that it is. We're not going to pretend that it is." A fan in a Black Cat costume ("I have a question for you," said Bendis. "Will you marry me?") asked when "she" would have her own comic. McCann said "we're definitely talking about 'your' return." He pointed towards tomorrow's Mondo Marvel panel, where much of the "Spidey brain trust" will be present. A fan asked about Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes being 16 pages of story for $3.99. Buckley said it was a mistake and it won't happen again. A comment about Captain Britain and MI13 led to McCann teasing that soon in the book you'll see Dr. Doom and Dracula—on the moon!
Bendis was asked about the Powers schedule, and he responded that he was embarrassed about it running late, so him and Oeming decided to stockpile six issues so it'll come out monthly, at least for a while.
Buckley said something similar was being done with newuniversal.Runaways writer after Terry Moore? "Can't announce that yet," McCann replied.
Any more NYX? McCann said it'll probably be revisited after Marjorie Lu is done with Dark Wolverine, but "we'll have to see how many of hte kids are left."Cebulski spoke about the new New Mutants series, saying they'll be three covers to #1: one by Alex Ross, one by original series artist Bob McLeod, and one by Adam Kubert.
Why isn't Hulk shipping monthly? "We're working with the schedule with the creative team," said Buckley. "We prefer books to be monthly," he continued, saying that Bendis was probably the best at doing that on at regular basis. "We also think it's important that those creators are working together to tell their stories, because ultimately they'll be better books."
Status of Ultimate Doom in the Marvel Zombie universe? "He was just taking a little vacation," joked McCann, before admitting that the fan "stumped" the panel.
Will Baron Zemo pop up? "Maybe," said Bendis. "I am thinking of whether it's a spoiler in someone else's book or not."
"Everyone knows that Uatu is the most badass Marvel character of all time," said a somewhat rare Watcher enthusiast. "Can he please have his own series?" "Just a book where he watches?" joked Buckley. "Look at what Sue Richards can do," added Quesada. "That Reed's a lucky man."
The Watcher fan asked another question —" Is Skaar going to end up knocking up that red chick?" "There are going to be a lot of Skaar announcements at tomorrow's panel," said McCann.
Bendis spoke on the cohesiveness of the four Ultimate Comics titles, saying you don't have to read all four, but if you do, there's a nice "give and take" between the books.
Cebulski interrupted the Q&A to plug the Skottie Young Wizard of Oz comic.
"What's in store for Echo?" "Echo will be a featured player in the upcoming Spider-Woman series," said Bendis, pointing to today's Marvel Digital panel for more.
A question was asked about the new Noir books, and if there will be more. "It's kind of up to you guys," said Quesada. "None of them were really tied into the other, we just had some different pitches that came in. If you guys are enjoying it, there will be more."
McCann said one more will be announced at Mondo Marvel.A fan asked Cebulski about the magic characters he used in X-Infernus, and Cebulski said they will continue to be explored over the next few years.
Will Runaways take a break between Terry Moore and the writer? Nope, according to Cebulski.
McCann announced that Stuart Immonen is taking over as artist of New Avengers as of #55.
"Don't ask what Billy Tan is doing after that, because we're not announcing it here, but it is good," McCann said.
People haven't given up asking if Ben Reilly is coming back—Quesada said to ask Steve Wacker at the Mondo Marvel panel tomorrow.
A fan asked about the logic of transitioning books like Incredible Hulk to Incredible Hercules (instead of just doing a new #1) with Buckley saying that they thought it would be better for sales.
Will the Joe Kelly or Christopher Priest runs on Deadpool be collected? "Anything's possible," said Buckley. "We had some problems with our archives of comics in the '90s, but we'll probably get to that stuff."
Any plans for MODOK? Quesada said there will be something coming up with MODOK on Marvel.com on Wednesday.
Status of Kitty Pryde? "She's like Halley's Comet, she'll show up every 8 years," said McCann.
Status of Daredevil: End of Days? Bendis said it's still coming. "It's a great end of the Daredevil mythos, and it's a valentine to the Daredevil mythos."
A fan asked about Ultimate Pyro—"Did I miss something? He went from being a member of the X-Men to a villain?" "These are Jeph Loeb questions," said Quesada.
When is Halo: Uprising #4 coming out? Bendis said he doesn't have a date yet, but it's on its way.
The last question was a request for hints of the direction of FF. "Hickman wants to take it back to its roots," said Quesada. "But there will also be some wilder stuff."NYCC '09 Video Page