The first panel of the Wizard World LA comic convention started with Marvel's EiC, Joe Quesada, introducing the Mondo Marvel Panelists: C. B. Sebulski, Skottie Young, Nick Lowe, Greg Pak (Planet Hulk), and Marc Silvestri. There was a brief slide show of Marvel's hot titles and events: "Annihilation," "Planet Hulk," "Squadron Supreme," "Moon Knight," a monthly "Ghost Rider," "White Tiger" by bestselling Young Adult author Tamara Pierce, the Western summer specials, the ending of "Spider-Girl" and the MC2 Universe, and the "New Avengers" annual.
Peppered in were a couple of interesting tidbits:
- David Finch has extended his exclusive contract with Marvel.
- The creative team for Ghost Rider is Daniel Way with art by Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira.
- A new 6-issue cosmic series, "Beyond!," will feature familiar Marvel heroes (including Spider-Man and Gravity) in a strange, otherworldly situation.
- Artist Tommy Lee Edwards has signed an exclusive contract with Marvel. His first project will be J. Michael Straczynski's Bullet Points, which traces how the course of one bullet would change the Marvel Universe.
After the slideshow concluded, Joe Q. opened the floor to questions from fans.
In response to a question about which version of the Hulk stars in Planet Hulk, Greg Pak replied that it's Peter David's "Gravage Hulk," which is a combination of the Gray Hulk and "the Savage Hulk we all know and love." This is, as Pak, put it, a way to play with the question "Is the Hulk a hero or monster?" We'll get to see Banner on the alien world in "Giant-Size Hulk #1." But Pak "couldn't really speak to" a question about a new version of the Hulk, saying that we will be surprised.
"Planet Hulk," "Civil War," "Civil War: Frontline" are meant to be good jumping-on points for non-comics reading friends. According to Joe Q., "Frontline" will be "slower, and deal more with the people involved" in "Civil War." "Annihilation" is a slightly more difficuly jumping on point, as it deals with more obscure characters from Marvel's past. Other titles that will be easy for new readers to jump on with are comics in the Ultimate line, Squadron Supreme, and Nick Lowe jumped in with "Nextwave," saying it is "the greatest book of all time."
Joe also spoke to the rumored Alpha Flight series by Mark Millar, saying that after "Civil War" there are many "macro plans that he mapped out." "If there is an Alpha Flight, and I'm not saying there is," Quesada said, "Mark Millar would probably be involved."
There were a few questions about more animated features like the "Ultimate Avengers" movie, and Joe said that there are a few more like it in the pipe, "if we want to do a Planet Hulk movie," they now can. However, he couldn't speak to a rumor about an "Ultimate Avengers" weekly series.
There's a big Bendis/Marc Silvestri project coming soon. No more details were forthcoming, except that there are "a lot of characters and a lot of words."
"The Fantastic Four: Death in the Family" one-shot will be entirely self-contained. Regarding where it sits in continuity, "it begins and it all resolves itself in that one issue."
Ellis' current run on Iron Man "entirely redefines what Tony can do." Charlie and Daniel Knauf will be taking over after the current story arc, and their second arc on the book will deal with "Civil War."
Regarding the aftermath of "Annihilation," Quesada was ambivalent. "It's the beginning of some cosmic stuff, characters will died, will come back, and it will lead into some monthly stuff if you guys like it." There won't be a team book, but there will be both Kree and Skrull-centric stories.
Marvel wants to do more "fun" titles like "Marvel Zombies." At the New York convention a fan recommended Marvel Apes. According to Quesada, "we're thinking along those lines." Nick threw out "Marvel Pirates," and Quesada said that if any fans had ideas, to email him.
Around this time, Tom Breevort arrived and explained a little (very little) more about "Beyond!" According to Breevort, "it takes a diverse cast from the Marvel Universe and throws them together in a strange, far off place, where enemies will become allies and they'll have to work together to get back home."
A bunch of the mutants who were de-powered in House of M and have "disappeared" will be appearing in several titles in the future, according to Nick Lowe, "in different roles." Many will show up in "Son of M" #5.
There will be several new team books in the wake of "Civil War," including one by Bendis and Frank Cho.
CBR's coverage of Wizard World Los Angeles is Sponsored by Comics Unlimited.