Welcome to Marvel's ECCC 2015 From Black Vortex to Secret Wars panel.
Kicking off the panel, Marvel executive editor and moderator Mike Marts introduced panelists Rick Remender, Charles Soule, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and C.B. Cebulski.
"How do you want to start?" asked Cebulski. "Fight!" quipped Remender.
Remender went on to describe his new book Hail Hydra, which explores a world where Hydra achieved world domination. "I'm reteaming with Roland Boschi who I worked with on Punisher and Winter Soldier: The Bitter March."
Hail Hydra focuses on Ian Rogers, who becomes trapped in the Hydra world.
"Does everyone know what Secret Wars is?" asked Cebulski, who went on to explain the premise of the colliding multiverses and the incursions, which lead to the formation of Battleworld.
Soule then took the mic, talking about his "Secret Wars" books Attilan Rising, featuring the Inhumans, which he described as a "riff on Casablanca," which focuses on a rebellion on Battleworld lead by Black Bolt, as well as Civil War, which takes place on a portion of Battleworld based on the blockbuster Marvel event, where Captain America never surrendered to Iron Man.
"It's the biggest thing, scope-wise, I've ever done, “said Soule. "The original Civil War had the freedom vs. security argument, and this has that as well as other themes."
DeConnick described Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps as "Aviation Porn," but was unable to say much more, though she did reveal that there are no stars in Battleworld's sky, which leads Captain Marvel to explore the sky. "Conflict: Carol wants to go up, other people want her to stay down, “quipped DeConnick. "All my ladies I had to abandon in Pursuit of Flight are all back."
Time for audience Q&A.
First up, a fan asked about the end of the Marvel Universe in Secret Wars, and whether the continuities, memories, and histories would be changed.
"Do you seriously think you're gonna get an answer to that?" DeConnick quickly replied "This anxiety you're feeling right now, that's our marketing plan."
Cebulski went on to clarify that everything that's come before will still count, reinforcing that Marvel is not calling this a reboot.
A fan asked whether Marvel still cares about the Fantastic Four, considering how far they've been removed from the larger universe, and whether the films influence the treatment of characters.
Cebulski clarified that Marvel Films does not force Marvel Comics to do anything, and the characters will continue to appear in Marvel comics, saying that there will be a Fantastic Four title after Secret Wars.
Next, a fan asked about the status quo changes that have occurred leading up to Secret Wars for characters like Captain America and Wolverine, and whether those changes will be rolled back after Secret Wars.
"What comes out on the other end of Secret Wars is secret, but it won't undo the work we've done for the last several years," said Remender. "Obviously I've put a lot of time and thought into the transition into Sam, and none of those plans go out the window."
"And with the new female Thor, for example, Jason Aaron is gonna be able to tell that stories as long as he wants. We're not just hitting the reset button," said Cebulski.
A fan asked about Spider-Gwen, and whether Secret Wars would test out similar ideas and characters that could stick with fans.
"We're always looking for those opportunities," said Cebulski. "Once something sticks, it sticks."
A fan then asked about Marvel would use Secret Wars to introduce more homosexual main characters and heroes.
Cebulski responded by saying that, since Marvel started. it was meant to reflect the world outside, but clarified that Marvel does not set a specific agenda or quotas for diversity, but look for opportunities wherever possible. "The fans know when something feels forced," he said.
"Sexuality and romance aren't always part of the superhero story," said Soule, clarifying that there were two gay characters in She-Hulk, but he never got a chance to visit the idea in the story.
A fan asked whether Black Vortex would have ramifications in Secret Wars.
"Absolutely," said Marts, talking about the romance of Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde, and the price the characters that have embraced the power of the Black Vortex artifact will have to pay.
Next, a fan asked whether Miles Morales would be the main Spider-Man moving forward.
"Peter Parker is still gonna be around. He's not going anywhere," said Cebulski.
Finally, a fan asked whether Richard Rider would return, or whether his story would receive complete closure.
"I think Gerry Duggan has more story to tell in Nova," Marts confirmed.