Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada regularly holds "Cup of Joe" question and answer panels at comic conventions he attends, and he inaugurated the first Wizard World: Los Angeles Saturday afternoon with one of his signature panels, fielding questions about the Ultimate line, an "X-Force" revival and the two projects he's just waiting to see good pitches for so he can publish them again.
With Brian Michael Bendis' coming shut-down of the Avengers, the entire core Marvel Universe family will be getting a tune-up.
"There's going to be some very cool changes coming to Iron Man – some very cool changes coming to the whole core Marvel Universe," he said. "Anyone who's a Thor fan, you're going to love my ass" later this year.
"As the classic Avengers go away, it's not being replaced by one book, but by two books. But the second book is a big secret right now." (See our Bendis panel story for news on who will be writing said second book.)
While there are no New Warriors projects on the horizon, nor any more DC/Marvel Comics crossovers planned, there is a six issue "X-Force" miniseries by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in the works. Also look for J. Michael Straczynski's Dr. Strange project and an unnamed writer's Cloak and Dagger projects to wind their way towards publication later this year.
As for other currently unpublished characters, Quesada singled out Moon Knight and Ghost Rider are being properties "just sitting there, waiting for the right pitch to explode."
Also look for more solo mutant books like "Mystique" and "Emma Frost" "down the road."
"There's going to be a few more miniseries" in the Ultimates line," Quesada said. "There might be one more Ultimate ongoing coming, but we'll see. We want to be real careful that we don't expand too quickly."
Also look for an unnamed David Mack project from Marvel as well.
Quesada singled out Fiona Avery's spidery new heroine from the pages of "Amazing Fantasy" for praise at the panel, calling her a new "female icon" and saying the character was one of the strongest female superheroes in years.
It's not all good news, though: Critical favorite "Runaways" "is right on the cusp [of cancellation]. Ultimately, the fans decide," Quesada said. "But if something is unprofitable, it's tough to keep it around."
And while writer Peter David has a new project he's working on -- "I can't tell you [what it is], but you're gonna like it." -- the news is not as good for fans of David's "Captain Marvel" series, which is "probably going the way of the dinosaur."
When one fan expressed a concern that readers choosing to not buy individual issues in favor of waiting for a paperback might doom the series with low sales, Quesada said Marvel is definitely aware of that sort of reader.
"Even on those books with small margins, if we see they have healthy paperback margins, we keep that in perspective."
Fans of Marvel's Mary Jane novel can look forward to at least two more in the future.
And finally, if you've noticed an increase in typos in Marvel Comics of late, so has Quesada. All the books now have an additional two day final proof process added to the editorial process to stop just those sorts of errors.