If there was any doubt as to the popularity of Marvel Comics' "Civil War," one needed only look at the packed room 6A at the Comic-Con International in San Diego. An hour before the panel began, the room was jammed and fans continued to stream in. The opening "Civil War" trailer was received with a roar of applause from all in attendance. "Fan favorite" might be an understatement for Marvel's big event. As fans tried to find a seat, CBR News noticed many with big smiles on their faces and Marvel EiC Joe Quesada greeted fans with a smile on his face, too. The creators on the panel were Brian Reed ("Ms. Marvel"), David Hine (Mutant X), Charlie & Daniel Knauf ("Iron Man"), JMS ("Amazing Spider-Man"), Paul Jenkins ("Sentry") and Jim McCaan (Marvel marketing). Mark Guggenheim and Frank Cho arrived later.
The return of Thor, in "Civil War" #3, went over well with fans, who saw the slide of Thor and seemed quite happy with his return.
JMS talked about Peter's decision to side with Tony Stark and the indecision he'll begin to feel over the side he chose. The writer made mention of a conversation that Peter will have with Reed Richards, Mr, Fantastic, that'll influence his decision. JMS also talked about an upcoming break in the Fantastic Four in their series.
"If you think Iron Man's a jerk now," joked McCann as a "New Avengers" cover was unveiled.
The Knaufs said that some saw Tony Stark, Iron Man, as a "narc" and "uncool," but that his point of view will be explored.
Reed acknowledged that Ms. Marvel has had her issues with this kind of registration act before, so she'll deal with her position on this new act. Arana will also be in the book and Reed vowed to "make her popular."
Guggenheim said "Wolverine" will deal with the aftermath of Nitro blowing up a town and won't sit behind regulations. He's going to be proactive, but discover that it's a more complex issue and there's a vast conspiracy behind the Stanford incident. He'll fight another mutant whom he hasn't fought before except during a time of mind control. Damage Control will also make a return, teased Guggenheim.
"We did not kill Speedball ... yet" laughed Jenkins about events in "Civil War: Frontline." He's working closely with Mark Millar on the main "Civil War" book and joked he would purposely make Thor into Sentry, just to mess with Millar.
Hine said "Civil War: X-Men" was still pretty top secret, but will feature all-new Sentinels.
Quesada said he loves the dichotomy between Captain America and Punisher, who he sees as similar men from different eras who took different paths.
Hilarious new Marvel Civil War banners were shown, including one with Tom Cruise that said "You don't know the history of registration. I do."
It was also announced that the top secret Brian Bendis & Frank Cho book would be "Mighty Avengers," a second Avengers ongoing. "I was hoping for Millie The Model," joked Cho. "Leisure Suit Wonderman is back."
"It's going to be crazy action," Cho added. "With a lot of chicks!"
"Classic Avenger action. High drama," said McCann of the series. There will be lots of female characters in the book, which made the audience happy, as Cho is known for his beautiful rendition of female characters.
As to fan questions:
- "The repercussions are going to be huge," said JMS of the "Civil War" fallout.
- The total of "Civil War" issues including tie ins? ... a lot.
- Marvel did not hire a lawyer to see if the Superhuman Registration Act was legal or realistically feasible. "We couldn't afford a lawyer. They're a little expensive," joked Quesada. He said it's all been tightly planned out and while things can slip through the cracks, it's all going to make sense.
- As to why She-Hulk isn't defending Speedball, Jenkins said it'll get worse for Speedball. "In the end ... we kill him," joked Jenkins. He'll be described as the "most hated man in America" in an upcoming "Frontline" issue. Quesada commented on how we see this in real life all the time -- people become poster boys for issues whether or not it's deserved or reasonable.
- "Mighty Thor" in the future? Mike Millar said (over the phone) "oh shit, I knew there was something I was supposed to do."
- Why Captain America versus Iron Man instead of using the X-Men more heavily? Millar said that the X-Men have been used a lot in recent years and wanted to give them a break.
- The final issue of "Ultimates Vol.2?" Millar just laughed at the question. He then said it'll be done by the end of the year, and if it's not, he'll be at CCI next year so fans can punch him in the stomach.
- How much has the real world inspired "Civil War?" Mike Millar said Mark doesn't watch the news and can barely read or write. A fan yelled "No shit" and Millar bust out laughing over the phone. "Please continue buying 'Civil War' at the expense of all the low-selling books, especially Brian Vaughan's book," joked Millar, who said he was off to watch porn.
- Expect collections of the lead-in issues to "Civil War" next year, much in the same way "House of M" was chronologically collected.
- "Civil War" for Ultimate Marvel? No, says Marvel.
- Matt Murdock is in jail ... and playing a prominent role in "Civil War," according to Quesada.
- Supervillains? Read "Frontline."
Jeph Loeb arrived late at the panel, but for a very special reason. He and artist Simone Bianchi will be taking over "Wolverine" from issue #50. Loeb always wanted to tell a certain story between Wolverine and Sabretooth, and it'll explore the relationship between the two. Are they brothers? Are they father and son? It's a story that Loeb will tackle and said that having Bianchi onboard sealed the deal. "It's pretty much balls to the wall," said Loeb of the story, which explores the past and present relationship between the two characters. There will be a big surprise at the end, which Loeb said might lead to the team being back for another arc.
Bianchi said it was his first American panel and said "I am going to fuck it up big time." When he mentioned his Italian heritage, Jenkins mock headbutted Bianchi. He and Loeb explained they're very excited about bringing this Wolverine story to life.
Ghost Rider and Moon Knight won't be affected by "Civil War" yet, as their ongoing series are both quite fresh.
There are no plans for the Ultimate Universe to replace the regular Marvel Universe.
"We want to take a break," said Quesada of huge company wide events. Small families of titles may have events, but he wants to give fans and creators a breather. Also, there's a lot of fallout after "Civil War" and "we have to let writers play with these ideas," said Quesada.
Will Hulk return to Earth from his interstellar trip? Quesada says to keep your eyes peeled.
Captain America and Thing joining Alpha Flight? Wait and see.
On July 27th, Quesada will be on Comedy Central's "Colbert Report."
There are plans for Scarlet Witch, but the plan is not to use her to make people forget Spider-Man's secret identity.
Part of "Civil War's" point is to bring back that classic edginess to the Marvel Universe, said Quesada, referencing how when Spider-Man and Daredevil first met, there was an element of mistrust.
Where does Thor fall in "Civil War?" He has a good reason for what he's doing, teased Quesada.
"He's either dead or in my pants," joked Quesada of Hawkeye's current status.
|Bianchi and Loeb following the panel. Photo by Pinguino.|