It wouldn't be a con with a Marvel presence if there wasn't a Cup O' Joe panel, and the 2011 New York Comic Con presented a particular all-star version of Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada's signature panel on the company's hometown turf. Quesada was joined onstage by Publisher Dan Buckley, Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb, SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort, writers Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction and Dan Slott, VP of Talent Management C.B. Cebulski and Director Of Communications, Publishing & Digital Media Arune Singh.
Quesada started out by asking the audience who was at Cup O' Joe for the first time, and there were more than a few newbies in attendance. He went on to give his traditional intro about how he created the panel to open up the floor to young fans the way he always wanted to see when he was an aspiring creator. "Then Marvel realized these panels get a lot of people, so let's show some stuff!" he said, and jumped right into a slate of announcements.
With a Disney backdrop on the screen, the CCO said "People are always asking 'When are you going to do a collaboration?'" He jokingly revealed some images including a Mickey Mouse Wolverine and a Winnie the Pooh riff on "Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot" featuring Tigger and Eeyore, but the actual announcement was a special 8-page comic tie-in to the incoming Christmas special sequel "Prep & Landing: Mansion: Impossible." Written by director Kevin Deters and drawn story artist Joe Mateo, the story will run in the back of the Marvel Adventures books as well as "Avengers" #19 in November, and the story sees the elves of Santa's workshop of the story attempt to break into Avengers Mansion to prep the superheroes for St. Nick's arrival. "I'm really excited to pair with Marvel and do something fun for the holiday season," Deters said stepping up to the mic. Quesada then related that he reached out to the "Prep & Landing" team just after the Disney merger as he toured the Disney Animation offices.
"Fantastic Four" #600 earned a plug as Brevoort explained that the titles return will mean there are two FF-themed monthlies, both of which will be written by Jonathan Hickman.
Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley will reteam for the new monthly called "Avengers Assemble" that is set in the Marvel U but focusing on more stand-alone adventures featuring an Avengers team that matches the movie cast. The first arc will feature a battle against a new incarnation of Zodiac, and will be launching in March.
Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi will reteam on "Wolverine" to bring back the arch-villain they killed off a few years back as Sabertooth is on the prowl again. "I appreciate everybody who stood on the wall at Marvel and said 'No, he's not coming back,'" Loeb said of Marvel keeping the character off the table for other writers so he could do this story. He added "I've said in other interviews that the story we told was not the whole story...if you've been clamoring for Sabertooth to return and make Wolverine's life miserable [this is the place]." He added that if fans go back and read he and Bianchi's last Sabertooth story, the breadcrumbs that can explain how he can return after being decapitated are all in there.
The recent Marvel teasers saying "It's Coming" saw a bit of a reveal as an image was shown featuring the Phoenix. Whether that means a return for Jean Grey has yet to be seen as the only information given were the names Aaron, Bendis, Brubaker, Coipel, Fraction, Hickman, Kubert and Romita, Jr. At sight of the image, Brevoort said the first step towards this Phoenix story will be seen in the upcoming "Point One" issue the publisher is prepping now.
As fan questions started, a mix of character questions and professional one hit. One fan who asked for the return of Captain Marvel earned a response from Quesada that resurrecting characters should only happen when there's a great story hook behind it, and Marvel has not found one for Mar-Vell yet. He pointed towards the impending return of Nova as a situation where they feel like they got it right.
Buckley spoke to the idea of original digital comics, saying they are exploring the idea of publishing serialized stories online that can then be sold as print trades. Series like "Agents of ATLAS" were ones he felt many fans really loved but could not work for sales as is. However, no book would ever be just in digital. "Every piece of content we publish for the most part gets repurposed several times...we do talk about things where you may do digital first where [there is a creative reason to use the format]" he said, but all content created will work its way through Marvel's many formats.
In a bit of theatrical fun, a fan who called Dan Slott "The best writer ever, no offense to Stan The Man" was invited on stage by Quesada for a free Slott hug. The bit became a running gag for many fans and many panelists over the hour.
Loeb told a young woman who wanted to see more female cast members as permanent team members of DisneyXD's "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes that without looking at a magic eightball, he felt she'd be very happy with the new season.
One reader who really wanted to see the Sh'iar return to invade earth had Buckley tell him that the Empire was in dire economic straights since their last war, so they'll have to rebuild a banking system before they could build a force of ships. Matt Fraction gave him a slow clap standing ovation for the comment. "We're thinking about doing 52 new #1s with the Shi'ar Empire all having different plans of attack," joked Loeb joining in on the fun.
Wanting to know if there were plans for a new Sorcerer Supreme or a new "Runaways" series had Cebulski tell him the news of the day that Runaways would appear soon in "Avengers Academy" as well as the Daken comic series. Brevoort added that no Sorcerer Supreme was a tough position for the Marvel U to be in, and that "Defenders" might be a place that those ideas would be unpacked.
The perennial question about new stories for Miracleman/Marvelman received the standard response that things are in the works, but no hard news was announced. Buckley said, "I will give as much as I can give...there's a lot of very complicated things to navigate to ensure that every creator involved in said property [can be taken care of properly.]" He added, "If we're going to do it, we're going to do it right, and we're not going to have anybody questioning what we're doing."
Fans of projects like "1602" or the Noir books may have more alternate universes coming their way as Alonso said some ideas in that vein are being discussed, and Brevoort added that an alternate reality tale was a part of the "Point One" issue.
The panel wrapped with Quesada saying, "I don't know if you guys are fans of this little series called 'Dexter'..." He then revealed that novelist Jeff Lindsay will bring the popular character to comics with an all-new ongoing series with new stories set in the world of the "Dexter" novels (as opposed to the TV series).
Stay tuned over the weekend for more from Marvel and New York Comic Con!