CUP O' Q&A: Marvel - From Digital To Print And Back

Fri, November 13th, 2009 at 2:32pm PST | Updated: November 13th, 2009 at 2:32pm

Comic Books
Joe Quesada, Columnist

After a brief vacation, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada is back with a vengeance for an all-new CUP O' Q&A! Exclusively here at CBR, Quesada answers questions posed by you, the readers, in CBR's Marvel Universe forum.

And while you're brewing up your own quality questions for the Marvel bossman, we've got loads of CUP O' JOE content across our mini-site, from the latest installments of Joe's regular interviews with the CBR staff, a brand new poll that gives you a say in the future of Marvel, and more!

This week's Q&A gets back to some of the most popular topics on the CBR forums: namely the when and how of the futures of a number of fan favorite characters and series. From the evolution of the digital platform for both Marvel's motion comics and their original online stories, to the future of popular classic trade programs, Joe delivers the scoop on what fans'll be seeing in the future. He also updates us on the status of your favorite characters, from Iron Fist to the X-Universe, and tackles the debate over just who is the smartest person in the Marvel U!

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

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Kiel Phegley: All right, Joe! Before we get into the fan Q&A, I thought I'd ask how the big premiere went for the "Astonishing X-Men" motion comic? What were your impressions in terms of turnout, response, Neal Adams being generally engaging and gregarious...everything?

Joe Quesada: It was a pretty amazing evening. I'll be honest with you, I was really worried because the weather was so horrible that day. If I were a fan thinking about going to an outdoor event that night, trust me, I would have opted to stay home. It's funny, because as I walked over to the event at Union Square, I turned to George [Beliard, Manager of Talent Relations] and said that, if there's an actual turnout, if there are people actually dressed in costume, it would be just an amazing testimonial to the power and love that Marvel fans have for the company and it's characters, because it was that miserable out.

EXCLUSIVE: Art from "Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire" #5 by Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi

And wouldn't you know it, we built it and they came. I was floored at not only the turnout of Marvel fans, but how many people we had in costume. It was just great to see. And don't be surprised if you start to see more of these types of Marvel outdoor festivals in the future. If fans will come out in the rain, then I can only imagine how many would show up on a nice night. Let me also add that Mike Pasciullo and the entire Marvel crew did a fantastic job coming up with the idea for the fest and executing it. In particular, thanks to JoAnn Milan, Tim Dillon, Arune Singh, John Dokes, Jeff Suter, Rich Ginter, Ryan Penagos, Margarita Vaisman, John Cerilli, Melinda Guo and Samantha Ring. These folks, along with a great group of volunteers, made MarvelFest a success!

But more to the point, I have to admit, it was pretty amazing seeing "Astonishing" projected on the side of a building. It was just great and had a real Hollywood opening night feel to it. I think the fans had a fantastic time, as did our creators, highlighted by Neal Adams and Chris Claremont.

I hear you were also projected on the building.

Yeah, I did an opening introduction and hello NYC thing.

How did it feel seeing your head projected to massive proportions on a New York City building?

C'mon dude, the jokes write themselves.

Cool. I also asked because we had a great question on the topic of motion comics to kick things off with. Elayis asked, "With 'Spider-Woman' currently being released through iTunes, I was just wondering if there were any plans to eventually release a DVD as a sort of trade paperback to collect the episodes?"

Elayis, we have many plans in the works for motion comics. So, while I can't go into details just yet, if we do our job right, no stone will be left unturned.

Member bkdane had a question that falls into similar territory when it comes to Marvel's Digital Comics program, asking, "What determines if a Marvel Digital Exclusive goes to print?" And I might add that we get a lot of questions on that end, in terms of specific stories or tie-ins.

EXCLUSIVE: Art from "Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire" #5

Well, bkdane, just about everything that goes into Marvel Digital Comics is slated to appear in print in one form or another. That's really the way we go about doing these stories, with an eye towards eventually having them show up in the comics at some point. That said, from time to time on the rare occasion, there will be content that will be exclusive to MDC that won't see print, or at least won't see print for some time, but they'll be few and far between. When and if they do see print, they will most likely appear as backup stories in our monthly comics, perhaps in some collections, our magazines, and perhaps in other places we haven't even thought of yet.

Another question that's getting asked of late by so many folks that I can't even name them all is, just what is the status of Iron Fist? With no sign of the character's series in the January solicits, do you have any news on the champion of K'un L'un this week?

While "Immortal Weapons" finishes up in a few weeks, Iron Fist may play a role in a top secret upcoming storyline. But that's all I can really say about Danny Rand for the moment.

Fair enough. But one semi-related question that came up that will hopefully work a little better for folks is Ahmad-Jamal's query of "What's David Aja been up to? Will we get the chance to see his art on another ongoing?"

Hey, Ahmad-Jamal! Yes, you'll be seeing more of David's work in the future. Currently, he's working on a one-shot for us that we'll be announcing relatively soon, so stand by for more Aja news.

Speaking of creators, rolacka was looking for some info on the creator-owned front, wondering, "Can we expect to see any new projects from the Icon imprint in 2010? In particular from writers that have not written for Icon before. Also, how much do you influence which writers have Icon projects?"

Well, rolacka, you will definitely see some new Icon projects next year, but that's all I can really say about it for now.

Swinging back around into some classic Marvel Universe territory, I found a question I thought I'd ask because, even though it may sound a little strange. The topic of intelligence rankings in the MU has come up recently, as Dan Slott was fielding questions on Twitter about his turning Hank Pym into "Scientist Supreme" in "Mighty Avengers." In that vein, user Hulk1992 asked, "It has been hinted that Banner, Richards, T'Challa, Mccoy, Cho, Stark, and Pym are 7 of the 8 smartest people on Earth. Stark must have dropped off the list recently, because his mind has been declining since Dark Reign has started. This means 2 people have yet to be revealed. Are the remaining 2 people going to be revealed in World War Hulks?"

EXCLUSIVE: Art from "Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire" #5

Hulk1992, I think you're perhaps attaching too much significance to an intelligence ranking that was made up as part of a soap-sponsored trivia contest. The only people who've claimed that Amadeus Cho is the seventh-smartest person in the world were members of the Excello Soap Company, hardly an authority on the subject. That all having been said, we'll be seeing many of our most intelligent heroes and villains in the course of "World War Hulks," so perhaps some of the answers will be revealed therein.

The mutant side of the equation came into this when Spidey28 wanted to know, "Prodigy possesses the combined knowledge of every mind he has encountered up to M-Day. Does this not make him the most dangerous man in the Marvel Universe? He should have the knowledge of the Xavier protocols, right (or at least knowledge on how to kill all the X-men efficiently)? Shouldnt the X-men realize this, especially Xavier? Or do they still not know the scope of his abilities? When are we going to see a story arch that revolves around him and his gifts? Here is a ex-mutant with perhaps the most dangerous mind in the world, and yet no story has been told regarding this. When are we going to get a Prodigy story arc?"

We love Prodigy too, Spidey28, but sometimes there just isn't time to delve into every possible X-Men story, especially when there are so many of them. Let's just say it won't be anytime soon, but I would be shocked if one of our creators didn't pick up on Prodigy's story someday and decide to really dig into his powers.

Frequent questioner Comicbookfan is already looking ahead when it comes to the man called Logan asking, "Hey Joe, will Wolverine ever be back in his own self-titled ongoing series...maybe After Dark Reign ends? And with out giving away too much what are your plans for Daken, Wolverine's Son, after Dark Reign? Will he get his own series?"

We hate publishing books with Wolverine in them, Comicbookfan, so I can't imagine there ever being a "Wolverine" book ever again. 

Ever. 

Never ever.

Can I interest you in a bridge?

Art from "Nation X"

Following up that question with the frequently touched upon issue of numbering, abigail brand's cousin wondered, "When will see regular Wolverine issues.What issue number will be?" Do you expect to count any post "Dark Wolverine" issues with the same numbering as the old series as was done, say, in the case of X-Men/New X-Men/X-Men Legacy?

Wow, Abigail Brand's cousin, my head just exploded. You'll need to ask this question when there is just a "Wolverine" book. WAIT! I forgot. We're never ever going to publish a "Wolverine" book again. Silly me.

Winding back a little bit to some more classic X-tales, sandman813 wanted to know, "Will there be any more ‘X-Men: Origins' one-shots perhaps one that featured Rogue and some of the other X-men that haven't had one like Professsor X and Magneto?"

Thanks for asking! "Iceman" just came out, sandman813, and more will be coming out every other month. You'll notice a Nightcrawler one in the March solicitations.

Magneto seemed a popular choice for some more background treatment as jmc247 asked, "Hi Joe, after the critical success and rave reviews of 'Magneto Testament' I was wondering if Marvel might be interested in doing another 'Magneto Origins' story. Perhaps this time dealing with his time set in a time frame between when he was a Nazi hunter in the 50s and him forming the Brotherhood? Its a large and very much unknown period in his life. Of course it could also answer the many questions regarding Susanna Dane and Magneto's relationship that we have only seen dealt with in the House of M universe."

Thanks for the question, jmc247. We were very proud of "X-Men: Magneto Testament" and, yeah, we do plan to go back and tell more of Magneto's life story with Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico. However, it's still a bit too soon to talk about its development at this stage, but you can look forward to hearing more details as soon as we're ready to share them.

Let's wrap with a few questions planted firmly in the past, since they're about some collected edition ideas. Shrimp Lad said, "I'm loving Marvel's policy in terms of getting much-loved runs back into print as Classic trades, eg the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, New Warriors, Deadpool and Invaders. I was wondering what had happened to the solicited Vol 2 of ‘Alpha Flight Classic,' and whether there are any plans to run a ‘Thunderbolts Classic' for Bagley and Busiek's original run?"

The honest answer, Shrimp Lad, is that "Alpha Flight Classic Vol. 2" is on hold right now. As for the "Thunderbolts Classic," while there are no plans currently, there will most definitely be one within the next few years.

Art from "Nation X"

Though you can't say for sure what kinds of specific collections will hit, or when, I wanted to get that question in here because it brings up the interesting point that we're seeing a lot of fans get a bit nostalgic for '90s characters and series these days. In some ways, that's kind of crazy to think, but Deadpool is possibly the most popular Marvel character with the core fans right now, and a few other names from that decade have crept back into the Marvel Universe, from Danny Ketch to Ben Reilly. As you and editorial plot out what kinds of new series you'll launch, do you sometimes look for new series that capitalize on things like nostalgia, or grass roots interest in properties that haven't been around in a while? Any specific examples of that come to mind?

Absolutely, we're always looking for chords to strike, regardless of whether they are nostalgic or otherwise. At the end it's about selling comics and giving our fans what they want. So, if there's a sense of nostalgia for certain characters, stories or ideas, we'll more than likely create a project or two around those concepts.

Let's finish with gryhpon, who's been wanting me to ask this for a while: "Walter Simonson's run on 'Thor' is considered by many to be one of the greatest runs on the title next to the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby run. While its good that the trades of the run are being given new printings, the run is perfect for an omnibus. is there any chance it will be given the omnibus treatment?"

Hey, Gryphon, we just got finished with all new printings of the TPBs as well as a special Premiere Classic HC collecting Simonson's "Balder the Brave." So at this point no other editions are being planned, but that doesn't mean there won't be more - just not anytime in the immediate future.



Art from "Uncanny X-Men" #517

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 on Fridays, so get crackin!

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

TAGS:  cup o' joe, marvel comics, joe quesada, iron fist, ghost rider

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