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The Marvel Civil War panel was packed from wall to wall, and once again featured many big names worthy of such an audience. Joe Quesada and co-horts Jim McCann, Tom Breevort, Brian Michael Bendis, Ramon Vacchs, Dan Slott, Steve McNiven, and Dexter Vines sat ready and willing to offer their fans some plot secrets.
For repeat guests that attended yesterday's Mondo Marvel panel, they discovered they had learned a few secrets meant to be kept for this panel.
In trademark style, the panel started with a slideshow, the first panel featuring Spider-Man's new costume, about which Quesada quipped, "Thank you for your cards and letters embracing the new costume." The "Fantastic Four Road to Civil War" cover revealed Thor's hammer being wielded by Dr. Doom's hand.
Next up was Bendis' "New Avengers, Illuminati" cover, which was followed by a special showing of a "Civil War" trailer which Quesada said was not in its final incarnation. He promised a finished version would be available online in the near future. The seven part "Civil War" series will be out May 3, 2006, with art by Steve McNiven.
When someone in the audience hollered out "Speedball!" Quesada quickly remarked, "F Speedball!"
A three part "Spider-Man, Civil War" tie-in will reach readers with issues 529-531, with issue 529 featuring the much talked about new costume. Parker/Spidey will "journey to Washington D.C. to give testimony on the superhuman registration act," said Quesada.
Dan Slott took a minute to talk about "She-Hulk #8" in which "the Warriors are involved a lot. He promised a "major status quo change in SH #8," and said "it's gonna change She-Hulk's life forever. It'll freak you out. You'll see the ramifications of it in other Civil War books." Art for She-Hulk #8 will be by the new regular series artist Paul Smith.
Tom Breevort touched on the "Civil War: Front Line" series, saying "We had so much story we would…have to do 64 pg stories to get all the stories in," but that instead they were offering a 10-issue series, twice a month, 32 pgs, no ads, for just $2.99. He added it would be "your travel log to the Civil War."
What follows is a rapid-fire report on the open floor question and answer session:
Would the Punisher play a key role in "Civil War"?
Breevort: "Civil War will in fact overlap into the Punisher's world."
Will the Fantastic Four be split up during CW?
Quesada: "Things will happen. We want to show all sides to the Civil War. The FF is going to be torn in many ways because of the CW."
How will the CW series affect villains?
Bendis: "Villians will take opportunities."
How do the politics of present day factor into CW? Will the story be delivered in an evenhanded way?
Quesada: "It's going to be presented in an even-handed way. Editorially we are going to try to present both sides. Our hope is that this comes across as un-slanted as possible, but I'm sure everybody will have a point of view on that, too."
Bendis noted that the "New Avengers" will be "ripped to shreds." Howard Chaykin will return to work on a Cap focused "New Avengers" issue, and more single-character focus issues will follow.
Daredevil will also play a part in "Civil War."
Breevort mentioned a "Civil War" dedicated four-issue "X-Men" series, adding "There definitely will be mutant involvement/X-Men involvement."
When asked what the origin of the "Civil War" event goes back to, Breevort commented, "Everything…goes back to Avengers Disassembled," and Bendis described the near-failure of an editorial retreat that birthed the idea, as "One of my favorite days I worked at Marvel." He then described the gathering as somewhat "like the retarded 12 Angry Men," but then "there was a moment like yeah, that's it!"
A fan asked how much Marvel expected readers to spend on this event.
Quesada: "All you have to buy is Civil War, seven issues."
Slott: "…and She-Hulk!"
Quesada continued, "We construct these stories separately," so a reader doesn't have to pick up everything, but they will "get a lot more" if they read all the separate parts.
Breevort added, "Civil War will cross over into the separate titles. Our hope is that you're interested enough in the things that are going on that you will read the other titles."
"Planet Hulk" will eventually converge with the Marvel Universe, and Bendis noted that readers looking for a "connecting thread," should try the "Illuminati" special.
Will "Civil War" bring out obscure characters?
Quesada: "Like D-Man? Yes, it will bring some characters back."
Breevort: "It will definitely bring back some characters that you haven't seen for a while, and maybe some that have been right under your nose."
When asked if the Sentinels branch out and enforce the new Superhuman Registration Act, Quesada turned the question to the crowd, "I don't know, what do you think? It's very, very possible."
Could the significant amount of blood on Captain America's shield (seen on a recent promotional piece) indicate heroes turning on heroes during the Civil War?
Breevort: "This is going to be a war. In a war you're going to have casualties of one sort or another."
Will the "Civil War" spawn any new ongoing series or cancellations?
Breevort: "A couple of books are starting during Civil War. Changed, altered, turned topsy-turvy, but not cancelled."
Bendis replied to a question about Spider-Woman with, "She's confessed her triple agent status…certainly some of them have no place for her shenanigans. All questions [will be] answered by the end of the year."
Bendis mused about one idea that didn't survive the editorial retreat: "Spider-Ham. We were very close to a Spider-Ham event. It sounds good on paper, and then you try to write a page of it…."
Quesada reflected, "I thought it was a hot idea."
Nick Fury's recent escapade will also be explained in "Civil War."
Bendis: "He's the backbone of a lot of stuff. So yeah, he's coming" back, adding that once again, the "Illuminati" special explains all.
Breevort explained that the "Fantastic Four Death In the Family" one-shot, while a must-read, is "not a Civil War tie-in."
Is there a connection between "Civil War" and "House of M"?
Quesada: "Possibly, but more [about] the loss of all those mutants. [It] leads towards what happens in Civil War."
Breevort: "[There is] a lot of paranoia in the wake of House of M. Everyone could wake up tomorrow and be goats."
How about those Thunderbolts, Mr. Breevort?
"Thunderbolts are going to play an important and fairly front and center role in Civil War."
Where is Ms. Marvel in all of this?
Breevort: The "soon to be released Ms. Marvel ongoing series [by Brian Reed] will have a number of issues that are Civil War related."
On the subject of Hawkeye and the schizo Sentry:
Bendis: "Clint Barton will return soon. The Sentry issue of "New Avengers" deals exactly with his not-so-healthy mental state."
Bendis answered a question about the possibility of NEW "New Avengers" with a deflection:
"I hate when people give answers like this, but I'm going to have to hold off until Civil War starts cooking a little bit."
Why was Spider-Man chosen as the "Civil War" lead-in character?
Quesada: "It's really sort of just the way the story morphed…timing-wise it just worked out that way. It starts the clock ticking for us."
Will Moon Knight be involved?
Quesada: "Not directly. He will be aware of it. There may be mention of it in his book…but there will be a moment when it does confront him."
What is the role of Spider-Man's new suit, or is there one?
Quesada: I "don't really want to give away that piece of the puzzle."
Will there by any Cable and Deadpool involvement?
Breevort: "Yes, probably around issue 4 or 5."
Will "Civil War" be collected into trades?
Breevort: "Much like with House of M, everything involved with Civil War will be collected," likely by individual title.
The final question concerned Luke Cage's newborn child and his role in "Civil War." "Good question," said Bendis. "He has a very young family he has to keep safe, too. What are you going to do? It's all going to be answered."
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