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Baltimore Comic Con 08: Marvel’s “Cup O’ Joe” Q&A

Posted by Chris On September - 27 - 2008

Due to some technical issues, we were unable to bring you the Marvel Q&A live from the Baltimore Comic Con, but we were in attendance, and were able to document the entire event.  Hosted by the ubiquitous Brian Michael Bendis, the panel featured editor Tom Breevort, writer Dan Slott, writer/editor C.B. Cebulski, and special surprise guest, Ultimate Marvel editor, Lauren Sankovitch, who joined the panel halfway through from the audience.  Hit the jump to see how it all went down.

- Bendis announces that instead of the usual “Cup o’ Joe” panel, this one would be called “Cup o’ B.”  He went on to explain that the “B” stands for “Bullshit.”

- After stating that there wouldn’t be any announcements, Bendis went on to announce that Issue 20 would be his last issue of Mighty Avengers.  Dan Slott will be taking over the book, while Bendis moves on to Dark Avengers, which he described as “very, very dark.”  Makes sense.

- As a result, Dan Slott will be leaving Avengers: The Initiative.  The series will be taken over by Christos Gage.

- Spider-Woman: Agent of Sword, by Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, will launch in March 2009. (Bendis actually announced it as March 08, but barring some sort of time traveling technology, I have to assume he misspoke.)  Bendis hopes to have a long run with Maleev on this book, as they did with Daredevil.

- Cebulski mentions “X-Infernus,” the follow-up to the Inferno storyline from the late eighties.  He states that the story will be more X-men-centered instead of spread out through the Marvel Universe.  David Finch will be doing the covers, but there will be lots of variant covers by other big name artists.  The story will be largely focused on the original New Mutants, and will bring magic (and Magik) back to the Marvel Universe.  Nightcrawler will also be an important character in the story.

- Dan Slott talked about Amazing Spider-Man, specifically the last issue of the “New Ways to Die” storyline.  He promised an on-time issue, and that it would include a backup story about Marvel Universe presidential hopeful, Steven Colbert, written by Mark Waid. There will soon be a new supporting cast character coming to the book who will link to Spidey in an interesting way.  Finally, he promised that there would soon be a “totally logical, non-magical explanation as to why Harry (Osborne) is still alive,”

- Bendis explains that New Avengers 47, which focuses on Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, is half drawn by Billy Tan, and that Michael Gaydos will do flashback scenes.  He made sure to thank DC for freeing up Gaydos for the project.

- Bendis called Powers #30 his favorite issue, and artist Michael Oeming’s best work.  He also announced that it would mark the end of volume 2, and that the title will be suspended for a few months because of scheduling issues.  The book will relaunch with a new number one midway through 2009.  This will coincide with the announcement of the upcoming Powers TV show.

Cebulski announced that Damon Lindelof has turned in the scripts for Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine, and that artist Leinil Yu will be working on it as soon as he finishes with Secret Invasion.  Someone in the audience says “So, 2013, then?” to mild laughter.  That person was me.

The panel then opened up the floor to questions.

Will the missing months between the One More Day and Brand New Day storylines be addressed? – Slott: “Yes.  We’re going to explain everything.  But not all at once.”

Will there be a Morbius or Man-Thing series soon? – Breevort: No, but Man-Thing will be appearing in a Spider-Man story in January, Morbius will be in Ultimate Spider-Man in the next few months, and will play a major role in Marvel Zombies 3.

Can you please put Luke Cage back in his old costume? – Bendis: They’re proud of getting him out of the tiara and yellow shirt, because they detracted from his nobility and character in general. New Avengers 47 will be Luke Cage-centric, focusing on his relationship with his father.  Then the panel mentioned a retro Luke series coming by the creator of Samurai Jack (just my opinion, but this could have been another misstatement, as the creator of Afro Samurai would make more sense in this context.  Just a guess.)

When is Steve Rogers coming back? – Bendis: Bucky is more fascinating than Steve Rogers because of his status as the new guy among the heroes.

Why has so much of Secret Invasion been chronologically disjointed.  Plotlines don’t resolve in a normal order. Is this intentional? – Bendis: Admits to being influenced by Steven Soderburgh’s movies, mixing up the traditional three-act form.  There is more potential for drama this way than if the story were told in order.

Questions about Dark Reign – Bendis: Last page of Secret Invasion #8 will affect everything.  It’s what sold the whole Secret Invasion angle to Joe Quesada when it was pitched. Dark Reign is NOT an event, but more of a new status quo.  The day after Secret Invasion ends, we’ll be bombarded with info as to what the Marvel Universe looks like.  “S.H.I.E.L.D. is a mess, Stark-Tech is a mess and all these things are gone and something has to take their place,”

Will we see a Peter/MJ reunion? – Breevort: NO.  Not going to happen.

Will Ultimatum end the Ultimate Universe? – Bendis: Ultimate Universe will be changed forever, but Ultimate Spider-Man will continue, though with a changed supporting cast.  Ultimatum #1 is the best thing David Finch has ever done.  In totally non-sequitur news, this year’s Ultimate Spider-Man Annual will deal with Peter’s virginity.

Which network picked up the Powers TV show?  – Bendis: He couldn’t reveal that information, but that it was “a shame that The Shield is getting cancelled.”  You do the math from there.

Will Mockingbird return for real? – Breevort: Stay tuned

What is the status of Ultimates 4? – Breevort: Ultimates 4 will begin after Ultimates 3 (that’s why they’re the pros).  It’s in the works, with Jeph Loeb writing and Frank Cho on art duty.  Ed McGuinness began working on the art, and despite his no longer being on the book, his work will be reused in an interesting way.

When will Marvel set up a booth at Baltimore? – Breevort:  Next year, hopefully, Marvel booth at Baltimore.

How much input did you have on Brubaker’s Daredevil run?  -  Bendis: None.  “I would have been nicer to Milla.”

How much time has passed between Ultimate Spider-Man #1 and now – Bendis: About 9 months.  This explains why the death of Uncle Ben is still such a sore topic for Peter and May, and it still hasn’t really been dealt with.  He wanted to have issue 100 be Peter’s 16th birthday, but got caught up in Clone Saga.  That birthday will happen soon, though, just so he can get his license, so he can drive the Spider-Buggy!

Any info about the so-called “Evil Illuminati?” – Bendis: Can’t talk about it.  Wait for Secret Invasion #8 and Secret Invasion: Dark Reign one shot.

Will the 3D Man stick with the Initiative or go to the Avengers? – Breevort: Skrull Kill Krew mini-series is coming soon.

After the events of The Illuminati, do the Skrulls have the Space Gem? – Bendis: An explanation is coming soon.

Are there plans for the Scarlet Witch? – Breevort: Sooner rather than later.

What is the status of Dr. Strange after his lack of involvement in Secret Invasion and the Captain Britain series? – Bendis: Strange failed as Sorceror Supreme and left to rediscover himself.  So if Dr. Strange isn’t the Sorceror Supreme, then who is?  This will be answered in New Avengers after Secret Invasion.

When will the identity of Mutant Zero be revealed? – Breevort: Initiative #20.

Stay tuned for more from the Baltimore Comic Con.

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