Friday afternoon's "Dark Reign" panel at the New York Comic Con was as packed with creators as it was with fans, as Frank Tieri, Andy Diggle, Greg Pak, Joe Quesada, Jim McCann, Tom Brevoort, Rick Remender, Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Dan Slott, Paul Cornell, Jeff Parker and Warren Simons all took to the stage.
Marvel's first announcement was that the new creative team on Fantastic Four will be Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham.
Next up was "Dark Reign: Young Avengers by Paul Cornell and Mark Brooks and "Dark Reign: The Hood" by Jeff Parker & Kyle Hotz. Frank Tieri will be writing another tie in titled "Lethal Legion." Other minis will feature Anti-Venom, Mr. Negative and the Zodiac
The floor was then opened to questions.
"We're going to do Marvel Slumber Party," Quesada joked in response to a question about the pattern of crossovers. He said "giving the characters a rest," as the fan had suggested, would mean "a bunch of books where nothing happens."
McCann described "Dark Reign" as not so much an event as something that is happening in the Marvel Universe.
"Dark Reign does lead to a very interesting place in the Marvel Universe," Quesada said, but added that the events are exhausting on the creative teams, as well. "We have to get to a certain point though, and you'll see what I mean when we get to that point." He also said that sales of books do tend to drop when there are no special events going on.
Paul Cornell thanked a fan for praise for "Captain Britain and MI-13." "And can I mention again that we're not canceled!"
"Emma is doing what she thinks is right for mutantkind," Fraction said, adding that "she and Scott aren't talking about all the things they should be talking about." He added, "it gets way more complex from there."
Diggle said that the first issue of "Dark Reign: Hawkeye" would deal with Osborn's troubles keeping Bullseye/Dark Hawkeye under control.
Magneto will appear soon in "Uncanny," Fraction said.
Reed said that the Shadow Initiative is "in a jam" because "they went on a mission for SHIELD and while they were gone SHIELD ceased to exist."
Will Daken get adamantium claws? "Read 'Dark Wolverine,'" McCann said.
Has Osborn officially given up his Spider-Man obsession? Several panelists: "No!"
Cornell said that Black Knight would get the real Ebony Blade back in next week's "Captain Britain."
Osborn's cabal is not necessarily motivated by revenge, Bendis said, but each member's motivations will become clearer as things progress.
McCann said this weekend's big Spider-Woman announcement will be revealed at tomorrow's "Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited" panel. "Why would we be announcing it there?" he joked.
A female fan offered to sit on McCann's lap if he let her write a Marvel book. "You offer *me* a lap dance? Everybody knows me, riiight?"
Bendis said that Remender has some "really great Frank plans" for his Punisher series.
Continuing on from the "X-Men" panel, a fan asked Slott about the Scarlett Witch. "Let me spoil the next three issues for you," he joked. Slott said the Witch story will be resolved by "Mighty Avengers" #23.
Diggle said that "the Avengers are Norman's public heroes, and the Thunderbolts have gone black ops."
Will there be a huge battle between Osborn as "the head of the Marvel Universe" and Spider-Man? "Oh no, completely out of the question," Brevoort joked.
Quesada said "I have a project I'd really like to do, but I've got a lot of stuff to do with Marvel West--I don't want to start another project and have it ship late agaiin."
McCann established, to the astonishment of everybody, that Aunt May is in her 60s, and has always been in her 60s.
The events "Dark Avengers" #2 will reverberate throughout Marvel's books, Quesada said.