At the Cup ‘O Joe panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, Marvel Comics Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada joined Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb, SVP of Creator and Content Development C. B. Cebulski, editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and Director of Communications Arune Singh in speaking with Marvel fans, answering audience questions, and talking about what’s coming up in the Marvel Universe.
The panel kicked off as Quesada walked onstage, taking a video of the assembled crowd as they waved.
“Come on, San Diego!” Quesada said as the audience cheered and applauded.
Speaking briefly about how he created Cup ‘O Joe to be a forum for fans to ask questions of the Marvel staffers, Quesada began by bringing up Marvel Now!
“Originally marketing wanted to call it ‘Marvel Almost Now,’” Quesada joked, turning it over to Alonso.
“For four moths each week you’ll have one new #1 that will serve as an entry point into the Marvel Universe...this is not a reboot in any way, shape or form,” Alonso said. Singh added that every #1 issue cover will have a digital code with it for downloads and AR activations that connect to videos, behind the scenes extras and Easter eggs.
Alonso then said “Uncanny Avengers” will be a team comprised equally of Avengers and X-Men who learn there’s a greater reason for their assembling.
“We’re going to do another ‘Marvel Point One’ [in October],” Quesada added, saying that the character in the “Point One” will be Nick Fury Jr. and there will be five stories incorporated into the new “Point One.”
“I have one word: Diamondhead,” Loeb said about the “Point One,” adding, “Google it.”
They then showed a slide for “Avengers + X-Men,” Alonso saying that, “This is the opposite of [‘AVX Versus’].”The comic is to have Loeb, Dan Slott, Dale Keown and Ron Garney working as the creative team on it.
In October Marvel will then release a five part story by Kieron Gillen called “Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences.” They then showed an image for an October one-shot called “Avengers Vs. X-Men: Babies,” written by Skottie Young.
Quesada then opened the floor to audience questions, promising special “Iron Man” t-shirts to especially good questions.
The first fan wanted to know how to break into Marvel as a writer. “The truth is, the best way is to get yourself self-published,” Quesada said. “Look for a young struggling artist, put your stuff up on the web, then send your links to editors...we get links all the time.”
Cebulski added that they preferred hard copies of comics and that writers should mail their published stories to editors they think fit their story sensibilities.
“Don’t send cakes!” Singh added, saying that they actually do get cakes and they just can’t eat them.
The next fan wanted to know what was going to happen to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in terms of both the comics and movies.
“It gets complicated,” Quesada said, saying he cannot announce anything about the films. As for in the comics, “She dies!” Quesada joked as the audience laughed.
Speaking about the AR and digital stuff for Marvel, Quesada said they were breaking new ground and coming up with new ideas for AR content in the comics.
“With ‘Avengers Vs X-Men Versus’....using the Marvel AR app you are able to translate the dialogue,” Alonso said of a fight scene where characters are speaking in Russian. As for Marvel Now! Singh added that they’re looking into what books will continue to have AR extras attached to them.
A fan then wanted to see when Jean Grey would be showing up in Marvel Now!
“The story involves the Lee and Kirby X-Men traveling through time and arriving in the present...for the young X-Men it’s [about] coming to terms with what the future looks like,” said Alonso. “For the current X-Men it’s Wolverine looking at the young Jean Grey and...not like that!” Alonso said as the audience laughed.
“It’s basically ‘Days of Future Now,’” added Quesada.
Speaking about the transition from the animated show “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” to “Avengers Assemble” with Marvel TV, Loeb explained, “We love the [‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’] show so much that one of the first things we did was...take a look what the plans were and expanded from 24 episodes to 52 episodes.”
However, doing 52 episodes in animation was an “enormous commitment” and saying that due to the huge response the live-action “Avengers” movie received, they were transitioning to “Avengers Assemble” as “it better reflects the cast that’s in the movie...but we’re not saying ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ never happened,” Loeb said. “We took this giant epic story, it has a conclusion we always meant to get to...and when we get out of that you’ll see what ‘Avengers Assemble’ will take it to,” Loeb added.
A fan then asked if there were plans to kill Cyclops, to a surprising amount of audience applause. The panelists then took an informal poll of how many people wanted Cyclops dead, to mixed response.
“I guess we are now!” Loeb laughed.
“Axel is Cyclops,” Quesada joked. They then gave the audience member a t-shirt.
The next fan to the microphone asked how integral Cyclops is to the evolution of the X-Men.
“I’m not going to tell you if he’s the guy in the chalk outline, but whether he lives or dies he’ll cast an interesting shadow over the X-Men’s world,” Alonso said.
The next fan wanted to know if there were plans for more young readers and kids comics.
“We have a digest that’s out that retells some of the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ episodes,” Singh said, adding that kids should go to Marvelkids.com which is updated with new comics weekly.
Another fan wanted to know about the Marvel Now! Hulk.
“It’s a very new, unprecedented dynamic between Banner and Hulk,” Alonso said, adding, “What’s planned is one of those ‘oh shoot’ moments!”
“You’ll notice Hulk looks a bit different than before, and there’s a reason for that,” Singh added, pointing to the image onscreen for Marvel Now.
Another fan wanted to know if there was a person in the Marvel Universe whose job is to look at the ramifications of the “Avengers Vs. X-Men” event and the Phoenix Five in-universe.
“Good question, the Phoenix Five weren’t all bad, were they?” Alonso said, adding that the event would not necessarily turn into the vilification of mutants in the Marvel Universe.
A Loners fan asked what happened to Red Ronin and who Hollow was.
“The Hollow question is still up for debate, it’s not been answered,” said Cebulski adding the new Red Ronin is still out there. “There’s some cool things coming up in Marvel Now for [team characters],” Cebulski said, Singh adding that we’ll see something coming up for some of those characters.
A Marvel Cosmic fan asked about the future of that segment of the Marvel Universe, to which Quesada said the future is bright with pleasant surprises, “by tomorrow or Sunday” about the cosmic characters specifically.
The next audience member wanted to know if there will be more Ultimate characters crossing over with the regular Marvel Universe.
“It took a lot of convincing for us to do that,” Alonso said, adding that the hole between universes is still there, “So who knows what will happen.”
“It had never happened before so it was special...if you pick at that too much it becomes white noise and it’s not special anymore, but who knows” Quesada added.
Alonso then announced there will be a new creative team coming onto “Deadpool” adding, “It’s a good time to be an X-Force fan as well.” The fan then got a t-shirt.
Clarifying that “Avengers Assemble” is canon, the panelists told a fan who wanted to know more about it that he had to wait and see.
A female fan asked if any of the characters from Marvel UK will be incorporated into the regular universe, to which the panelists said there were no plans.
A young fan wanted to know is Nova was going to become more of an A-list character. “We have big plans for Nova, and he’s in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ [TV show],” Quesada said.
A digital comics subscriber wanted to know if there were plans for phone and tablet apps. “We’re working on it,” Singh said, adding they were shooting for December. “We want you to be able to read comics on your tablets in a cool way.”
A female X-23 fan wanted to know if there were more solo female comics coming out, Alonso plugging “Captain Marvel” and saying, “There’s plans for an X book on the horizon that will make you very happy.”
The panelists then said there were plans for Ultron as well.
A fan asked Alonso about why Cyclops the X-Men are pinning their hopes on the Phoenix Force as it has always been a destructive force.
“Cyclops has put a lot of faith in his girl [Hope],” Alonso said. “Cyclops isn’t exactly grasping at straws here, he know Hope is someway linked to the preservation of his species...does he have proof she can harness the power of the Phoenix Force? No, but he has faith.”
The final question came from a Spider-Man fan who wanted to know if Marvel was ever going to reboot Peter Parker back to being a scrawny kid.
“That’s really what ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ is all about,” Quesada said. He then thanked the audience for coming out, ending the panel.