For the final day of New York Comic Con, Marvel lead off with the "Amazing Spider-Man and Beyond" panel, where Arune Singh, Marvel's Director of Communications, hosted a discussion with "Amazing Spider-Man" and "Superior Spider-Man" writer Dan Slott, "Morbius" writer Joe Keatinge, "Daredevil" scribe Mark Waid, "Avenging Spider-Man" and "Robot Chicken" writer Kevin Shinick, "Scarlet Spider" and "Superior Spider-Man" artist Ryan Stegman, and "Venom" writer Cullen Bunn and artist Declan Shalvey, and editors Steve Wacker and Ellie Pyle.
"If you haven't heard, by mayoral decree, today is offiicially Spider-Man in New York City!" Singh began, to cheers. He mentioned Spider-Man's birthday card in the Marvel booth, which is looking to set a world record for most signatures on a birthday card.
Singh also mentioned that today is the last day to download an "Ultimate Spider-Man" Infinite Comic for free—tomorrow it will be $2.
The panel kicked off with Slott talking about "Amazing Spider Man" #696 cover, with Doc Ock knowing Spidey's identity. #700 is the final issue of the series, but Wacker said "we have plans for what comes after." Singh, meanwhile, said "you will be so pissed off."
Wacker said that "a select few fans will have their letters answered by Stan [Lee]" in #700."
Moving on to "Avenging Spider-Man" #15.1, the other Marvel comic coming out on December 26, Wacker spoke favorably of the team of Christopher Yost and Paco Medina. But, Pyle added, "read #700 first."
Singh noted that "Amazing" #700 will ship a week early to retailers because of the Christmas holiday and, "if any of you spoil this issue, you never have a right to complain about us spoiling issues in the mainstream media ever again."
Shinick's "Avenging" arc will be feature "Deadpool in high school," which the writer admitted "doesn't make sense because he's not Deadpool in high school." But it'll all make sense, Shinick added, when "the Hypno Hustler returns."
"Superior Spider-Man" was next, which Singh said would "feature an all-new Spider-Man, and it ain't Peter Parker." He asked Slott, "Why do you hate Spider-Man?"
"That's a 'when did you stop beating your wife' question," Slott laughed.
"I love my wife, I wouldn't replace her," Singh shot back,
"You've only been married a week."
After the banter, Slott said that Peter might still be in the book. "This is a much creepier Spider-Man than we've seen," Slott said, describing the book as "dark and weird." "Within two hours, the internet had turned that into 'grim and gritty.'"
Stegman said he's "using a lot more nib" in his art, "so maybe I'm the one making it grim and gritty."
Wacker noted that "a lot of people see Spider-Man as very light," but "even from the beginning, when Uncle Ben died, it was darker than pretty much anything that had come before."
Slott compared the tone to Gwen Stacy's death and "Kraven's Last Hunt." Then, "You want Spider-Man and Mary Jane back together? They're back together! But he's not Peter Parker."
Keatinge came up next, talking about "Morbius the Living Vampire." "He's relentless in trying to do good, but he always messes it up," Keatinge said of the character. The book will "look at horror in the Marvel universe, and it's not monsters."
"Daredevil" and Mark Waid stepped up next. Waid credited his "murderer's row of artists" for the title's Eisner win. "It was a huge risk to take a left turn from the last twenty five years of it being a crime noir book, and stepping out of the shadow of Frank Miller," Waid said, but fans' support made it work.
Waid said that, though the "the first year of the book has made Matt Murdock's life fairly pleasant," this would shift. "The theme of the book has been 'actions have consequences,'" Waid said, and one of the dark loose ends would come back. "He'll need help from a certain webslinger and the all-new Stilt Man—I can't believe I just said that." Issue #23 makes the Marvel NOW! debut and "reveals the mystery villain who's been playing Matt since issue #3," Waid said. "You'll also see a lot more of Hank Pym, because I love the Matt Murdock/Hank Pym friendship."
Singh spoke briefly on Brian Michael Bendis' "Daredevil: End of Days" with artists Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz, David Mack, and Alex Maleev. Wacker added that "these are a lot of the guys whose shadow the ongoing book is living in."
Bunn and Shalvey spoke about "Minimum Carnage." Shalvey joked that "with the other books going darker, Venom is going to get lighter, with an all-white costume." Shalvey added that the book features "more symbiotes per panel than any other book."
"Venom" will be relocating to Philadelphia. "Assuming Flash Thompson survives 'Minimum Carnage,' Venom needs a change," Bunn said. "Philadelphia is where he thinks he can be the hero he needs to be."
"Everybody's so mean, he'll seem nice by comparrison," Singh joked.
Wacker said that the change reflects the desire for the Marvel U to "expand beyond six blocks in New York City." On "Scarlet Spider," Wacker noted that his new life isn't working out so well, though, and at some point he'll "have to deal with the new Spider-Man in New York City."
For "Hawkeye" by Matt Fraction and David Aja, Wacker described the book as "what Hawkeye does on his days off. Javier Pulido will rotate arcs with Aja, Wacker said.
"Captain Marvel" came up next, and Singh said "we've been honored and flattered by the response to this book." "We're trying to bring her up in a big way," Wacker added. "One thing I said, she should never sit around wondering what to do--she can fly," he added, saying she "follows Captain America because she has to, but she should be the leader of any team she's on."
"Punisher: War Zone," a miniseries wrapping up Greg Rucka's run with the character, was next up. "It's a five-issue cat and mouse chase," Wacker said. "You will believe Frank could keep away from the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow," he said, noting Rucka had planned this out in detail. "There's a way you can stab someone in the neck that cuts off their vocal chords--and Greg knows this."
"Welcome to kids' day at New York Comic Con," Waid said.
At this point the floor was opened to questions.
The first asked whether there would be repercussions from the "Spider-Men" miniseries.
"Is the new Spider-Man Miles Morales, is that what you're asking?" Slott asked.
"We're not going to follow up 'Spider-Men' right now, but it was one of the best miniseries of the year," Wacker said.
In response to a question about Flash Thompson discovering Spider-Man's identity, Wacker said, "There have been discussions, but the 'Superior Spider-Man' throws that out of whack."
Wacker gave advice to writers that they should carefully consider a character's traits to drive story. Waid said his thoughts for Stilt Man were, "why would anybody hire this guy to steal anything when anyone can see him coming twenty blocks away?"
"Right, if you can find the situation where he's the answer to your problem, you've got your story."
Asked whether the Superior Spider-Man is someone we've seen before, possibly a reformed villain, Slott said only, "Our first arc is called 'Hero or Menace.'"
On the subject of Alpha, Slott noted that "Spider-Man's greatest tragedy was losing his Uncle Ben; Alpha's greatest tragedy is losing his powers." This, he suggested, would influence the character's evolution.
"'Avenging Spider-Man' is continuing," Wacker said, even with "Superior's" launch.
One fan was hoping for Spidey to get together with Captain Marvel. "There's no plans for them to become romantic," Wacker said, "though Peter would love to date Carol Danvers, as anyone would." He said having them date would be too expected, and he sees them as friends that respect each other.
A fan from Houston appreciated that "Scarlet Spider" was set in his city. Wacker said that he has family there and "as crass as this sounds, it's the nation's third largest city and I thought we could get a lot of promotion out of it." Stegman, the series artist from the start, said he also has family there, though he noted that "I visited and saw they don't have a lot of skyscrapers, which was troubling."
Slott said he was not influenced by the Ultimate universe, which has also taken Peter Parker out of the Spider-Man suit. "I don't want what they're doing to affect what I do in my book," he said, even if that meant neither universe would feature Peter Parker.
Lightning round questions revealed that Anti-Venom will appear again, and Dr. Strange's "One More Day" spell will "maybe" feature in plans coming up. "But one thing we're not doing is un-doing this or not," Slott said.
"The new Spider-Man is going to be clearly working in Spider-Man's world," Slott said when asked whether the new Spidey would have to "clean up" fallout from "Amazing's" final arc. Mister Negative, Overdrive, and Vulture will appear early in "Superior."
A young boy asked "why you don't do 'Spider-Man 2099' comics anymore?" Amidst loud cheering, Wacker said, "We'll do it for you," though he couldn't promise "when or where."
"The Superior Spider-Man has serious Spider-Man pedigree," Slott said when asked again if this is a character we've seen before.
The final fan spoke about his struggles with cancer and thanked the panelists "for the great work you do in inspiring people."