Marvel Comics editor Tom Brevoort established the Your Universe panel as a chance for him to hear what the audience thinks of Marvel’s products. Opening the floor to comments from the crowd at Baltimore Comic-Con, Brevoort sat on the dais to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
When asked if there was going to be any sort of break from the event-to-event chain in the Marvel Universe, as seen in the progression from Civil War to Secret Invasion to Dark Reign and so forth. Brevoort said he has tried to make this point a few times, but the message has failed to hold strong. He decided to try and set the record straight one more time: “I think as a general thing, we’ve gone to the post-‘Siege’ world not intending to do a wide-ranging event for a while.” Smaller events will be the focus for at least a while, such as “Shadowland,” which has very few crossover titles but is an “event” in the realm of all things Daredevil.
The conversation remained focused on events, perceived “event burnout,” and the perceived lack of fallout or cool down from those events. Throughout the conversation, Brevoort frequently reiterated his belief that every story in every title is an event. There are smaller events, such as the first story arc in the opening issues of “Avengers.” Brevoort said that stories seem to demand whether or not the event expands beyond a single book, as “Secret Invasion,” being an Avengers story that became something much larger.
Asked about the chances to see “Werewolf by Night” return to the stands, Brevoort said he didn’t believe there was anything coming up with Jack Russell, but one attendee piped up that “Werewolf by Night” is appearing “Franken-Castle.” Asked by Brevoort whether they prefer “Franken-Castle” versus having the classic Punisher running around, the room was split in half.
A fan asked how Brevoort, a regular Formspring user, has seen his role evolve with the advent of “social media.” “At Marvel, we use social media a lot, but each individual creator uses it differently,” he said. Brevoort likes to use all of the media available, but some are more interesting than others. “If Twitter existed in the ‘60s, Stan [Lee] would have been out there, spreading the gospel.”
When asked about the Blue Marvel, Brevoort said sales for the story were pretty disappointing. Nevertheless, the Blue Marvel is a character that “lives in the back of my head. When there is a moment or an opportunity, he’ll bring him up again.”
A fan asked when Marvel was going to “start doing cartoons.” “About 1967?!” was Brevoort’s reply. He then listed upcoming cartoons from “Avengers” on Disney XD to “Ultimate Spider-Man” in development for a potential spring release.
Another fan asked, “Will there ever be reconciliation with Mary Jane?” He said he’d grown up with Spider-Man and Peter Parker grow up and wanted to see more of that in the comics. Brevoort said, “The generations after us need to have a chance to enjoy growing up with Peter Parker as we did.” He mentioned that as Spider-Man has translated to other media, the character is not married anywhere else save for the newspaper strip and during the 1980s.
Is there any chance the Irredeemable Ant-Man might return to a title of his own, perhaps with Robert Kirkman writing once again? Brevoort said he felt that Marvel has done a great job with Eric O’Grady. “In terms of Robert, he’s now an Image partner, he’s got his ‘Walking Dead’ show coming up. I don’t foresee Kirkman coming back any time soon.” Brevoort plugged the Ant-Man/Wasp series coming out as a “big, little adventure.” While he didn’t go too far into details, he did say the story could lead to other adventures. One fan shouted out “Insect Avengers!” To which Brevoort replied, “Get Chris Eliopoulos!”
With respect to Marvelman, Brevoort said, “Not only do we need to make sure everything is right and proper with everyone associated with the character, but we need to do Marvelman right.” Marvelman writer Neil Gaiman has spent some time with the Marvel staff to share his ideas. Brevoort is aware of people waiting for developments with the property, but said it is still some time off in the future. “Not a day has gone by that we have not worked on Marvelman in one way, shape or form,” including the remastering of the early material.
Was “Amazing Spider-Man” successful enough as a thrice-monthly book to set the table for other titles to follow that pattern? Brevoort answered this, saying that at one point, the plan was to have “Avengers” relaunch with a twice-monthly plan. “John Romita, Jr. is fast. Stuart Immonen is fast, and regular, and Brian is a quick writer,” he said, but the setup would have demanded those creators to be much faster than humanly possible or the product itself would have been hideously late.
One fan suggested telling Deadpool’s story in a series of miniseries. Brevoort then suggested that maybe the next series would be “Crisis on Infinite Deadpools.”
A fan specifically requested more international heroes like Captain Britain and Sabra. “We’ll keep trying to do that. We hear a lot of verbal support for ‘Alpha Flight.’” Brevoort said if the “dead Alpha Flight experiment” works well, there could be more.
One fan voiced his disappointment towards what is happening to Daredevil, saying the character has gone from being a great hero to becoming a “one-note villain.” This was met with some vocal crowd support of the fan, audible bitterness of the path Daredevil is currently on. Brevoort said that he was sorry that the fan felt that way, and that “some interesting things will be happening with Daredevil in 2011.”
Some quick hits:
- Red Hulk is going to stick around; Jeff Parker will continue to write him. The character will be brought into the Avengers in a “big-footed, no-shirted kind of way.”
- “Ultimate Mystery” and “Ultimate Doom” will “affect” the Ultimate universe. There are at least four series of “Ultimate Avengers” that Mark [Millar] is working on with various artists.
- The “Forever” line was touched on, but the numbers have not driven an expansion of the line. The line scratches a very specific niche, but it is one that will not be expanding too soon.