NYCC 2014: Marvel's CUP O' JOE Panel - 'Every Story in Every Book Leads to SECRET WARS'

Star Wars: Kanan #1 cover by Mark Brooks
Star Wars: Kanan #1 cover by Mark Brooks
Credit: Marvel Entertainment

Marvel's Chief Creative Officer and former E-i-C Joe Quesada's annual panel was the second news-filled one for Marvel Comics at New York Comic Con 2014. The panel included several big hitters from Marvel Comics, and promised some major announcements featuring Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more.

Joe Quesada was introduced and took the stage to applause. "Hi."

"Listen, I got a thousand dollar bet with Jeph Loeb that New York is louder than San Diego - so HOW YOU GUYS DOING?" he said, and everyone cheered quite loudly.

Quesada explained the origins of the panel, his desire to really get in close with the fans. He then introduced the panel.

Dan Buckley, president of Publishing, TV, and Animation. Executive Editors Tom Brevoort and Mike Marts. Editor Jordan White. Writer Brian Michael Bendis. "The Amazing, Amazing" Kelly Sue Deconnick, as she was introduced. Gerry Duggan. Sam Humphries. Dan Slott. Axel Alonso. C.B. Cebulski. Packed panel.

The first announcement made at the panel was Black Vortex, a Cosmic event starting in February that will cross over the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men. "This ancient cosmic artifact unlocks the cosmic potential in anyone."

"It's the Guardians and the X-Men having to deal with this, and deciding whether they should submit to the Black Vortex and unlock their cosmic potential," Humphries said.

The story will have an Alpha and Omega issue, and run three months starting in February. Legendary Star-Lord, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Nova, All-New X-Men, Cyclops "and more" will be included. Bendis teased the possibility of a Cosmic Kitty Pryde.

"How many people are enjoying the Kitty Pryde and Star-Lord relationship right now?" Humphries asked. "It will be sorely tested during this crossover."

Just after news broke of Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex, Entertainment Weekly posted an article going into more detail with the event’s lead writer, Sam Humphries. The Legendary Star-Lord writer says the event is an all-hands-on-deck hunt for this this powerful object – some to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, and others well – to be those wrong hands.

“[The Black Vortex] could, in the wrong hands, absolutely tear the Marvel Universe apart,” Humphries tells EW. “And so the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men have to team up to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

One of the key villains in this piece is the sinister alien race, the Brood. Humphries describes this parasitic race as “classic villains in that they don’t think they’re villains,” and says they’re “perhaps misunderstood.”

Star Wars was next with some new covers shown.

Star Wars: Kanan #1 is a new ongoing series launching in April, 2015. The first arc will be by Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz, and it explores Kanan's backstory starting with Order 66. The arc is called "The Last Padawan." It will follow how Kanan escaped the extinction of the Jedi and his origin on the run as a young trainee.

Avengers and New Avengers are counting down to the final incursion, and "when the final incursion occurs, you're going to get Secret Wars," Brevoort said. "It is the biggest thing we have ever done. I've done a bunch of huge event stories, and this one is of a scale and impact that cannot be compared to any of those. If you think of the biggest thing we could possibly do - that's just issue one, and then you get to issue 2."

Axis was mentioned briefly, and Brevoort promised they'd be keeping up the pace.

Next was Thor, All-New Captain America, and Superior Iron Man. Brevoort thanked fans for the "tremendous feedback and interest in" Thor and the new Cap.

Black Vortex
Black Vortex
Credit: Marvel Entertainment

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 is one of only two titles that will be on sale the last week of the year, Brevoort said. "What we want to do is take all the goodness, the essence of the characters you love from the TV series and get them fully into the Marvel Universe without having to spend a huge budget! They're the best trained and best qualified regular humans in the world."

Operation S.I.N. is a five issue mini-series by Katheryn Immonen and Rich Ellis, featuring Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, and Woodrow McCord on an adventure shortly after World War II. It spins out of some secrets revealed in Original Sin.

Quesada gave a quick peek at his interior art for Miracleman Annual, written by Grant Morrison.

A special video announcement from James Patterson was played next. His young adult series Maximum Ride is coming to Marvel Comics. "What if your school was a secret facility that tampered with your DNA and experimented on you?" That's what the characters in the book, and now comic, will be dealing with. It's coming Spring 2015.

Max Ride: First Flight is the name of the story, being adapted by Marguerite Bennett with art by Alex Sanchez. It's five issues. "Dark and mysterious, but also funny and heartwarming" said editor Sana Amanat, who joined the panel. Quesada likened the adaptation to what they did with Stephen King's Dark Tower series, where there will be new elements injected in.

After a brief shoutout about the new Daredevil TV series panel later Saturday. Fan Q&A started.

Q: Runaways, Darkhawk, The Hood - where are those characters and when are they coming back?

Cebulski: "While they're not a team right now, the characters are still around and popping up individually in other books. Darkhawk has some cosmic plans I can't talk about!"

A fan asked about Cyclops and where he's going.

James Patterson's Max Ride - First Flight cover by Stephanie Hans
James Patterson's Max Ride - First Flight cover by Stephanie Hans
Credit: Marvel Entertainment

Marts: "We are not done with Cyclops's story by a long shot. We are going to be really putting him through the ringer soon."

More Kaine Parker?

Slott: "He's all over Spider-Verse. Amazing Spider-Man #9 has a big Kaine moment. And we're not killing him... yet..." In that issue, we'll also see "616 Peter will meet Spider-Gwen. It's big."

Q: How do you determine what books tie-in to events or go on their own?

Alonso: "Well our core titles are the spine of the Marvel Universe. What we try to do with our new titles is let them have an identity, and let them establish themselves first, but then tie-ins help get them more established into Marvel."

Marvel doesn't have any "friendly rivalry" between Star Wars and their own cosmic properties. "We're thrilled that they're a part of the team now."

Q: Can you talk about what's happening in/to the Ultimate Universe?

Brevoort: "In 8 months, time runs out," he said, implying that it will be addressed in Secret Wars.

Q: Where can we find Kate Bishop after Hawkeye concludes?

Alonso: "Come to the Axel in Charge panel tomorrow."

Q: Any new Venom stuff coming?

Marts: "Read Guardians of the Galaxy, in an issue coming up: Venomized Groot!"

Q: Marvel movies with female leads?

Quesada: "The truth of the matter is that is a question for Studios president Kevin Feige, and I don't feel comfortable answering for him. If you are watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the upcoming Agent Carter and Jessica Jones shows, those feature strong female leads. I can't step on the toes of Kevin and his announcements though.

Quesada did confirm that the Netflix series are all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Q: Is it hard to jump from event to event and do all the tie-ins?

Duggan: "We had tie-ins to Original Sin and have them coming for Axis, and we felt like those really worked inside the story we were already telling."

Humphries: "Yeah, the events are actualy just stories we want to tell, and they grow into big event stories because of discussions between writers and editors and so forth."

Q: Heartbroken about the cancelations of Superior Foes and Hawkeye - anything in the vein of those coming up?

Alonso: "As far as humor goes, we just announced Squirrel Girl and that's in that vein for sure. We talked a lot about new things at our Secret Wars retreat. As far as Hawkeye goes, Fraction and Aja finished their story there, and we're carefully considering our next move."

Q: Big fan of Richard Rider, any chance of him coming back?

Marts: "Read Guardians of the Galaxy #20."

Credit: Marvel Comics

Q: Is there a planned cohesion between the All-New X-Men stuff, the Hickman stuff, the Ultimate Universe stuff for Secret Wars?

Buckley: "I can't oversell this: Every story in Every book is leading to Secret Wars."

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