Ed. - We incorrectly referred to Marvel's Point One one-shot as a series of issues. The story has been updated with corrected info.
Every year at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Marvel Comics CCO Joe Quesada opens up the floor to fans with his signature Cup O' Joe presentation. Always full of rapid back and forth exchanges, surprising insights into the Marvel Universe and more than a little bit of humor, Joe was joined this year on Saturday afternoon by his successor to Marvel's Editor-in-Chief role Axel Alonso as well as Marvel TV Head Jeph Loeb, Communications Director Arune Singh, Sales VP David Gabriel and SVP of Talent Relations C.B. Cebulski.
After starting off with introductions, Joe teased the next wave of "Point One" slated for November, saying that while the single issue featuring stories for major Marvel characters will be stand-alone entry points, the book will also serve as a "rosetta stone" for the publisher's 2012 line-up.
The panel then announced that the "Reborn" teasers showing up online of late hinted to a new "Cable" project from Loeb and Ed McGuinness. "Those of you that are longtime X-Men fans – who I have tremendous respect for – when I first started at Marvel back when they were on paper was 'Cable,'" Loeb said. "He is a character that I love and like all of you was absolutely shocked and terrified when he went down in 'Messiah CompleX' and the 'Second Coming' storyline." The writer promised big changes for the X-Man of the future both on the personal soldiering front and in terms of the book making waves in the Marvel U. "I like to think of him as the Captain America of the X-Men."
Gabriel spoke to the just announced "Season One" series of graphic novels saying that under the guidance of editor Tom Brevoort, the House of Ideas had found a new outlet for introducing their core characters to new readers in graphic novel form with very focused takes on the origins of the characters.
Quesada talked up the continued synergy between Marvel and their corporate partners at Disney, showing off art from comics projects like the "John Carter" movie tie-in written by Peter David and the "Castle" graphic novel by Brian Bendis and Kelly Sue DeConnick. The panel wrapped up its promotion phase with a re-airing of the "Ultimate Spider-Man" footage shown earlier in the weekend at the Marvel TV panel. Quesada said, "This is our vision of Spider-Man animated" noting that it was the first ever Spidey toon produced directly by Marvel and using its writers and artists on staff and as inspiration.
Fan Q&A started up with a question about the Hulk TV show that's been rumored for a while and confirmed this weekend. Loeb could not tell too much by way of casting, but he said the story would focus on the early era of the Hulk before the monster was widely known to the general public. "What we're really focusing on the show is the relationship between Betty and Bruce and how they're both brought together and torn apart by this horrible monster that lives inside Bruce Banner," he said.
A fan of Marvel's "Annihilators" series asked what Marvel was doing to elevate the status of some more cult characters. Alonso said "The best way to elevate cool characters is to put them into cool books" and cited Shang-Chi appearing in the "Spider-Island" crossover as a method of getting a character back on the general reading audience's radar within a bigger story context.
A young man making his first Marvel panel ever enthused about the Captain America movie before getting shouted down by the crowd for swinging close to spoiler territory for the films hidden, post-credit scene. "It's usually the comic fans who stay until the end. Most of the general audience isn't aware of that stuff, and then they kick themselves when they hear about it afterwards," Quesada said as Loeb noted that "Captain America" will likely win its opening weekend over "Harry Potter."
A woman dressed as Hope from the X-Men's world asked how that character would continue to play into stories in the Marvel U with Cable's return, and Alonso said she would be vitally important for the big event Marvel has planned for 2012. "It's not a coincidence that Hope has green eyes and red hair...big spoiler there," the E-i-C said.
TV stayed a major topic as a fan wanted to know whether Marvel would make a live-action show set within the confines of the X-Men's world or a new X-Men animated series. Loeb pointed the fan to the Marvel Anime series that will be showing on G4 and noting cast members Scott Porter as Cyclops and Milo Ventimiglia as Wolverine. No plans are on tap right now for live action X-Men shows.
Quesada called Marvel Studios character Agent Coulson as his favorite Marvel superhero right now, but he gave no hints as to whether the screen SHIELD agent would find his way to the comics any time soon.
Singh responded to a fan asking after a new project possibly working with the "Dark Avengers" cast, saying that much of that team will be important to the Avengers franchise in the future, possibly in the pages of "New Avengers."
Deadpool and his antics were a frequent topic of discussion both in terms of what Disney will let Marvel get away with in the characters books – anything in the "DeadpoolMAX" series – and whether he'd appear in the new "Cable" book. Loeb said, "You've got Ed McGuinness, so..."
Cebulski promised that the cast of "Runaways" have a place in the Marvel U as character like Nico will continue to show up in various Marvel titles, particularly now that heroes like Moon Knight and Daken live in Los Angeles. A full-on "Runaways" book will need to find the right hook for a reason the kids should be together.
Speaking of things that will have to wait, Quesada said now that Marvel has regained the rights on film to the Punisher and Blade, some kind of movement on bigger media projects with them can be expected but not any time soon. In a related "wait and see" moment, the CCO said that there are more plans for the heroes of Cosmic Marvel.
The idea of Disney comics – particularly the Muppets work previously published by BOOM! – came up focusing on the specific question of whether any new comics material would be made. For now, Marvel was happy to bring all the Disney properties that they can "in the family" but the immediate projects including "Cars" magazines and "Muppets" comics will be reprints.
Asked whether Marvel will add more characters of color to its film slate. "One of the things we have to deal with first are the icons. If we don't do those first, other characters regardless of race or ethnicity, will fail," Quesada said while Alonso added, "I dream of the day that there will be a Luke Cage movie."
On the movie front, Quesada soon showed a film clip that he claimed to have stolen from Marvel Studios. The short clip of Agent Phil Coulson conspiring with a fellow SHIELD agent over how to trick General Thunderbolt Ross into denying a deal they were offering him. The clip ended in static as actor Clark Gregg rushed the stage with several folks dressed as SHIELD agents to mock-arrest Quesada. The actor spoke to his developing role as one he was given initially by his neighbor Jon Favreau and then with each successive Marvel film his part grew (when offered a "Thor" role, his response was "By Odin's fucking hammer, yes!")
The actor then said the clip – titled "The Consultant" – is one of two short films that will be included in the "Thor" BluRay to flesh out the background of SHIELD. The second clip will be showing later this weekend at Marvel events. Gregg said he'll be voicing Agent Coulson – as an undercover high school principal – in the "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated show.
Back to comics, Alonso pointed towards Cable, Hope and Scarlet Witch as the three big breakout characters for Marvel over the next year. Quesada said that sometimes Marvel doesn't know which characters will hit big until someone uses them in a book – Squirrel Girl being a prime example. Alonso then added that Hawkeye will be a major player
A woman asked if they'd ever considered making a "Great Lakes Avengers" movie. When told no, she said, "It'd be cute!" to which Quesada responded, "It WOULD be cute...and no one would see it."