CUP O' Q&A: Spider-Man & The Hulk!

Fri, August 14th, 2009 at 5:08pm PDT | Updated: August 14th, 2009 at 5:08pm

Comic Books
Joe Quesada, Columnist

Welcome back to the all-fan Friday of CUP O’ JOE, which we call CUP O’ Q&A. Exclusively here at CBR, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada answers questions posed by you, the readers, in CBR’s Marvel Universe forum.

Of course, we're hot on top of CUP O’ JOE content across our mini-site with new installments of Joe's regular interviews with the CBR staff and of course CUP O' DOODLES, where you can presently see the process by which Joe Quesada drew a series of "Amazing Spider-Man: One More Day" covers for Wizard.

And speaking of "One More Day," this week’s all-new CUP O’ Q&A sees Quesada answer your questions about the return of Mary Jane Watson in “Amazing Spider-Man,” as well as numerous other Spidey-related queries. There’s also plenty of Hulk Q&A in today’s CUP O’ JOE, and one unhappy communiqué from an annoyed retailer in the United Kingdom.

CUP O' JOE is Executive Produced by Jonah Weiland and Produced by Kiel Phegley.

Story continues below

Kiel Phegley: Unsurprisingly, there were a few “One More Day”-related questions in the bunch, but by far the most popular question was, "Now that MJ is coming back in 'Red Haired Stranger,' are we finally gonna get to know what MJ whispered in Mephisto's ear as agreement?"

This does seem to be a thing that won't go away until fans get their answer.

Joe Quesada: Hey, gang, that answer is coming, I promise you. I’ve seen the script that has the words written on it that MJ whispers. As a matter of fact, I’m looking at it now. But I’m not going to lie to you, this story isn’t slotted to see print until early next year as there’s a lot of story to tell in-between then and now that leads us to that moment.

But I’ll give you a hint, it has something to do with Mephisto saving money on car insurance.

Pencils from "Amazing Spider-Man" #604

Kiel Phegley: Smokey17 asked after the same scene from a different angle: "Awhile back you said you had two genies to put back in the bottle. One was the marriage and didn't specify what the second one was. Can you give us a little hint on what the second genie is?"

Joe Quesada: Boy, it’s a good thing I say these things on the internet, over and over and over again, because I wouldn’t want to be misquoted. [laughs] Hey there, Smokey17, what I’ve said in the past was that there were three genies that I wanted to get back in the bottle.

  • Cut down the number of mutants so that they became special again. See “House of M.”
  • Make the Marvel Universe as unpredictable a place as it was in the early 1960s. See “Civil War.”
  • Bring Peter Parker back to single status. See “One More Day.”

So, no hints necessary, so far all missions accomplished and it only took me close to ten years.

I’m so tired.

Kiel Phegley: ClasikRok had a related question. “With the impending return of our beloved Mary Jane Watson in ASM #601, I was curious to know if MJ will be sticking around. I've been going through a bit of MJ withdrawal since her last appearance in ASM #561, and am very hopeful to see MJ in Peter's life on a more regular basis."

Joe Quesada: Well, ClasikRok, I think you’ll be feeling much better for a while as it looks like MJ may be sticking around for a bit. But be careful what you wish for. What was once withdrawal could end in overdose.

Kiel Phegley: We also got some questions about Spidey's new supporting cast with perpetual question asker Spidey616 wondering: "There's a few new characters we haven't seen in the ASM title for awhile and I was wondering if the Web Heads have plans for them in the next year: Bill Hollister, Paper Doll, Overdrive, and Jackpot?"

User Dr. Chaos wanted to know whether or not Norah Winters would be utilized as a full-time cast member. “Now that the old school villains and other characters are working their way back into ‘Amazing’ what's the plan for integrating the early Brand New Day guys on a long term basis?”

Joe Quesada: Yo, Spidey616, great seeing you at the Barnes & Noble signing the other day, thanks for all your support. You'll be seeing most if not all of these characters again; they're all a part of Spidey's world now, so they'll turn up as the occasion demands it. Jackpot will be getting a limited series starting in January, and we've seen Norah Winters relatively consistently since she first appeared.

Pages from "Amazing Spider-Man" #605

One of our goals since the end of “One More Day” and the beginnings of Brand New Day was to develop a whole new and large cast of characters for Peter’s world. Outside adding some freshness and a modern sensibility to the title, we felt that our go-to villains and cast members were way too often overused, were dropping like flies and/or moving on with their lives. Now that we’ve built these new cast members, we plan to use them.

Kiel Phegley: We also had some questions on the new "Web of Spider-Man" series. Daring d asked, "Is 'Web of Spider-Man' going to tie directly into ‘Amazing?’ I was a little fuzzy on what the deal is." How does the book function, as a supplement to "Amazing" or as something more stand-alone?

Joe Quesada: Daring d, “Web” is directly connected to what's going on in “Amazing,” but it won't function as a tie-in book; the stories that run in “Amazing” will remain in “Amazing.” What “Web” will do is provide supplementary material, greater insight and so forth. During the first six issues, which will be running during the “Gauntlet” series in “Amazing,” “Web” will be providing greater detail on the origins and back-stories of the individual “Gauntlet” villains and the changes that they've been through.

By the way, have I mentioned how friggin’ mind-blowing “Gauntlet’s” going to be? Perhaps I didn’t.

"GAUNTLET" IS MIND-BLOWING!!!

Kiel Phegley: User preppistonpav asked, "Can J.M. DeMatteis please write more Kaine? I'm so excited to see his new Kaine story in ‘Web of Spider-Man,’ and although I haven't picked up more than four Spider-Man comics since the Mackie-Byrne reboot, that will definitely change if Kaine and/or a certain scarlet-hued clone shows up, especially written by the man who understood them best!"

Joe Quesada: Well, preppistonpav, Marc DeMatteis will be writing more Spidey stories as his time and availability allows. He's got one or two more in the pipeline as we speak. And if it's the era of Ben Reilly that you love, you'll want to check out ASM #608-610 for the "Who is Ben Reilly?" storyline.

Funny how for some Spidey fans all you have to say is Ben Reilly and they’re good to go.

Pages from "Amazing Spider-Man" #605

Kiel Phegley: Back on the classic villain side of things, user Mr. NickerNacker asks, "One of the news items I read from comic con is that Chris Bachalo is going to be drawing an ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ story with the Lizard. I was wondering if there are any pages that you could show us of his rendition of the Lizard?”

cpahl2000 also asked whether or not Zeb Wells and Bachalo will team up for another arc of “Amazing Spider-Man.”

Joe Quesada: Chris is currently finishing up “Sinister Spider-Man,” Mr. NickerNacker, and is then on to the “Dark Avengers Annual” for December, so there aren't any upcoming Lizard pages that we can show you yet.  I mean the guy’s got to sleep sometime, but I’ll be honest with you, I can’t wait to see them either.

Oh yeah, and that storyline is being written by Zeb Wells, so cpahl2000, you get your wish.

Kiel Phegley: Mr. NickerNacker was also one a few guys asking after a Spidey project we'd heard about before: "When can us Spidey readers expect to read Roger Stern and Lee Weeks’ ‘Something Can Stop The Juggernaut’ story?"

Joe Quesada: Mr. NickerNacker, it’s your lucky day, you get two questions. I’d play the lottery today if I were you. Lee's completed the artwork for the first two chapters, and is working on the third right now, so you'll probably see it sooner rather than later, though it hasn't been slated at this time.

What’s up with all the Spidey questions? Hmmm, seems like he’s more popular than ever. [laughs]

Kiel Phegley: We're going to wrap with two from user RocketRaccoon who wanted to cover all sides of the Spidey spectrum, saying, "Since BND and the thrice-a-month stories have started, do you feel that having a rotating team of writers and artists works better in terms of creativity than having a stable writer/artist team, or do you see, at some point, the book going back to that stable creative team (whether or not releasing more than one issue a month is viable)?"

Pages from "Amazing Spider-Man" #605

Joe Quesada: I see each method as having its pros and cons, but I have to say that the wild creativity that happens in the Spidey summits is the best I’ve encountered. I mean, the large Marvel Universe summits are pretty amazing, but the Spider-Man writers room is like the wild west, it’s crazy how many ideas those guys have. The biggest problem [editor Stephen] Wacker and company have is taking some amazing ideas and throwing them out or pushing them off for a year simply because we just have too much. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s also very frustrating because you wish you had more books and creators to tell it all in - and that’s with the accelerated ship schedule.

The downside of the thrice-monthly schedule is that it is exhausting and puts a lot of strain on everyone involved, as it’s a tremendous workload.

For my money, RocketRaccoon, I personally love it and I love all the different voices involved and I really love all the different artist that come on to do the books. It adds variety, while at the same time keeping a consistency to the character that seems to be working really well. It’s just a tough pace to keep up.

Kiel Phegley: RocketRaccoon also asks, "Spider-Man has had some embarrassing moments over the years from the Spider-Mobile to having to wear a Fantastic Four uniform and a paper bag over his head - what do you personally think is his most embarrassing moment that has happened off-panel that the fans are unaware of?"

Joe Quesada: Well, there was that one summer night in the middle of one of the city’s most sweltering heat waves in history, when Peter’s AC typically broke down. Of course, doing anything possible to stay cool, Pete, decided to sleep in his birthday suit. Unfortunately he had to wake up suddenly on unplanned Spidey business only to realize after swinging for several city blocks that he had forgotten the bottoms to his costume, thus showing the world his, ummm… other webshooter?

This actually happened in an issue a few years ago, but Mephisto removed it and you just don’t remember it. I think that’s something that we can thank Mephisto for.

Kiel Phegley: On the Hulk side of things, we've got IronStarks coming right across the bow asking, "Do you honestly want us to believe that Bruce Banner will never be Hulk again?"

Joe Quesada: Yes!

"Amazing Spider-Man" artwork by Lee Weeks

Kiel Phegley: stingerman is confused by Banner's choice in the current books, asking, "It could be argued that Bruce has finally gotten his 'wish' and is free of the Hulk persona. Why would he bother sticking around, unless he feels responsible for all the other ‘Hulks’ and wishes to ‘cure’ them?"

Joe Quesada: Bruce is one of the smartest men on the planet, stingerman, just because he isn’t currently turning green doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything worth reading about!   Like, how about finally shopping for pants? When “Incredible Hulk” #601 hits the stands, I think you’ll see that Greg Pak is bringing us a very different side of Banner -- a side that is not afraid to be put in the line of fire.  Add to that the fact that Banner knows about a certain “Son of Hulk” who recently came to Earth, and I think Banner is going to have his hands quite full.

Kiel Phegley: We had a whole raft of questions from user Hrungr, but they all tapped into the current goings on in the Hulk family, so let's take them one at a time! First up: "One thing I (and many others for that matter) found odd in ‘Hulk’ #600 is that we see Banner captured by M.O.D.O.K. though no explanation as to how it happened. Can we expect some explanation down the line?"

Joe Quesada: Never say never, Hrungr, you can never tell when we might slip a tale in between the pages of another book (as with September’s “Hulk Team-Up,” which slips between issues #6 and #7 of “Hulk”) but I think, for now, this is just one of those things that happens off panel.  Besides, I think we can all think of four or five different ways M.O.D.O.K. could capture Hulk. Let’s see. 1) Disguises himself as a singing telegram.  2) Hides inside of a very big cake.  3) Gives him milk and cookies. 4) … well, you get the idea.

Kiel Phegley: And coming along on the heels of the "World War Hulks" news: "Jeff Parker's name has been mentioned a couple of times now as one of the collaborators behind ‘World War Hulks.’ which I thought was interesting - are there any tidbits you can reveal as to what he'll be up to in this?"

Joe Quesada: We’re all big fans of Parker’s work here in the House of Ideas.  His “Agents of Atlas” is a great read every month, his “Dark Reign: The Hood” miniseries has been a dark dip into the Magical-Super-Kingpin of crime, and who could forget the time he turned all the Avengers into M.O.D.O.K.s?  Come on, seriously, what kind of demented mind comes up with something like that?

We’re not quite ready to announce what Jeff is working on for “World War Hulks,” but we’re happy to have him stepping up to the plate for such a big story.  He’s been involved in this one since the big Hulk Summit in June, so he’s up to his ears immersed in Gamma Power.

Art from "Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man"

Kiel Phegley: And to keep things reaching out across the Hulk family: "I recently read that Paul Jenkins is writing a five-issue arc for ‘Son of Hulk’ - is he only staying on for this one arc? We keep hearing how ‘Son of Hulk’ was initially conceived as a 12-issue arc so I wondered if this arc was designed to wrap up the series or will it continue on?"

Joe Quesada: As readers of the series recently learned, it looks like Skaar is not the only Son of Hulk from that neck of the cosmos.  Under Paul’s expert guidance, the ‘Son of Hulk’ series is now following Hiro-Kala on his quest for revenge against Galactus, who devoured his homeworld of Sakaar.  Will the series continue on after that?  Well, if the Son of Hulk manages to keep the world eater from making him a morsel, the minds hard at work in the House of Ideas will certainly be able to come up with further adventures for him, so let’s see.

Kiel Phegley: CBR Forum member archer9234 had a question/suggestion about the female side of the Hulk family, wondering, "Wouldn't of been more sensible to have kept She-Hulk's title going, and put Lyra's back-up in there? Lyra's limited series sold the same amount as ‘She-Hulk's’ David run. By having both of them together, they help each other out in sales, both of them would be active, important plot points to the ‘full picture’ would easily be addressed instead of cramming them in Lyra's back-up issues. Red She-Hulk could interact and get more developed with Jennifer, and fans wouldn't of been upset. A win-win situation."

Joe Quesada: Well, archer9234, I wish I could say it was as easy as saying, If “She-Hulk” sells X number of copies and Lyra’s limited series sold X, if we put them together in the same book we’ll sell X times two, but unfortunately that’s not the way it works. So for now, let me leave it at this -- as I don’t want to reveal too much of what we have planned -- all She-Hulk dance cards are pretty full right now and they will play a sizable role in upcoming stories so stay tuned for upcoming information regarding our female furies.

Kiel Phegley: A more general question came from user ResIpsaLoquitur about the state of one of Hulk's best known adversaries. "Joe, as a member of the Air Force, I'm appreciative of the occasional nod Marvel gives to the military. I do have one gripe: I'm a regular Hulk reader, but 'Thunderbolt' Ross' uniform keeps getting drawn incorrectly. Most recently, it's looked like this:

“Or this:

“Ross has also been variably portrayed as a three- or four-star general in either the Air Force or the Army. However, Ross was an Air Force officer in his first appearance, and his official handbook bio states that he's a three star in that service.

“Anyway, his battle uniform (the one he'd wear in combat, or on Tuesdays through Fridays at the Pentagon) should look like this:

“May I ask that it be drawn correctly in the future? The ‘Iron Man’ film went through great lengths to accurately portray the Air Force; I'd love to see the same apply to my favorite comic. Thanks!"

Joe Quesada: Hey, thanks for the info. While we strive for reality wherever possible, sometimes we have to stretch it a bit. Now I can’t speak for the artists in question, but I’ll try to give you an answer from my perspective if it were me drawing the character or a character of his stature. Three or four stars not withstanding, the trick with comics is to try to make stuff more dramatic and compelling than it is in real life. What works with great effect in a movie may come across as completely boring in a comic. In the case of Ross, he has to be over the top, so as an artist, I would look at what was the official uniform and I’d elaborate on that to make it a Marvel U version of what this Hulkbusting General would look like. Also, one could argue that Ross belongs to a unit of the Air Force that has it’s own special dress code and uniforms. Quite simply, it’s artistic license taken to keep things fantastical while hopefully still seeming to be grounded in the real world. You’ll see this happen with weapons as well.

Art from "Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man"

What I will say is that we’ll try to keep an eye out for it and hopefully move it a bit closer to the standard issue fatigue that you’re highlighting, but in all honesty we need Ross to look different than the soldiers under his command. While of course I understand why the actual military does what it does, we need at times to make sure that certain characters are a bit peacock in nature and stand out amongst the crowd.

Kiel Phegley: On the publishing side of things, gryhpon wanted to know, "Will there ever be a ‘Hulk by Peter David’ omnibus?"

Joe Quesada: Sorry, gryphon, there are no plans for this omnibus, yet. We haven’t even finished his entire collections in trade paperback format yet.

Kiel Phegley: And to wrap on two villain questions, Spidey616 wanted to say, "It seems like forever since Hulk's classics rogues faced off against the Jade Giant. Can we expect some of his classic villains to appear in the not too distant future? In particular The Leader, last seen in Greg Pak's Warbound mini."

Joe Quesada: Spidey616, dude, you are becoming a celebrity. Here’s the skinny, fans of the Hulk’s rogues’ gallery will have some pleasant surprises coming the, just on the horizon, giant, green and red event known as … “WORLD WAR HULKS!!!”

Kiel Phegley: And stingerman asked, "Will the Maestro be showing up in any of the Hulk books?"

Joe Quesada: Nope, stingerman, not any time soon.

Kiel Phegley: Peter Morningstar wrote in: "Hi, my question revolves around the current Marvel 70th Anniversary Celebrations, and the Exclusive Party Variants which are being offered to stores who participate in the event across the States. Can I say, as a UK retailer, many thanks from all of us over here on the other side of the pond for being excluded from these events and not being given a chance to obtain any copies of the one-per-store ‘Captain America: Reborn ‘#2 70th Frame Variants.

“Forgive my bluntness, or just totally ignore me altogether, but there's nothing quite like a good slap in the face to remind everyone here how little you value our customers, and the money spent each week on Marvel titles by all the UK collectors.

Art from "Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man"

“Once again, thanks for the lack of consideration Joe, it's sure as Hell appreciated."

Joe Quesada: Well, Peter, for starters, is there really any need for the ‘tude? Seriously. Another thing, I know you may feel like I’ve personally affronted you with this situation and somehow I’ve made the decision to personally mess with you and our UK retailers, but here’s the first part of this: I don’t make these decisions. My responsibility is for what’s between the covers. So, feel free to use me as a target, but you’re getting snarky with the wrong guy.

But enough about that. Let’s deal with the problem at hand. Here’s the skinny directly from the people who do make these decisions. Seems that they did have you cats across the pond in mind and no slight was intended as UK retailers had the same access to parties, variants and the “Thank You Edition” as did retailers here in the US. As a matter of fact, we believe that there were UK stores that took part in the festivities, as well as across the world. If you or any UK retailers weren’t aware of these opportunities I would check with Diamond UK to see what happened and find out how you can still snag a free copy of the “Cap Reborn” #2 cover.

We cool?

Have some questions for Joe Quesada? Please visit the CUP O' Q&A thread in CBR's Marvel Universe forum. It is from this dedicated thread that CBR's staff will pull questions for our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer session with Joe, which will be this Friday.

Discussion about today's feature may take place at the link immediately below.

TAGS:  cup o' q&a, cup o' joe, spider-man, the hulk, marvel comics

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