One of the biggest panels at any Con for Marvel? Cup O’ Joe, which usually peppers a couple of big announcements, with a free form discussion with the company’s Chief Creative Officer, and a few of his amazing friends. This time around, C2E2 2012 welcomed Joe Quesada, as well as EIC Axel Alonso, Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb, Talent Director C.B. Cebulski, Director of Communications Arune Singh, and writers Jason Aaron, Dan Slott, and Rick Remender.
Before the panel started, Slott had fun with the audience, as one audience member tweeted, “I see @DanSlott talking on his phone at a panel,” which led Slott to quip that he should now tweet, “Now @DanSlott is talking about my tweet on a panel.” And then we wrote about it in a panel recap, which will later be tweeted out, and the cycle of reflexivity was complete.
- Matt Fraction and David Aja will be writing and pencilling (respectively) Hawkeye starting in August! “This is one of those books that has swagger, it has mojo,” said Singh. You can catch the whole scoop with our recent interview with Fraction!
- Next up was “Sabretooth Reborn” by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi, starting July’s Wolverine #310. "It is not a sequel, it's the rest of the story,” said Loeb - and we’ll have an interview with him about this up soon, too!
- New series, Powers: FBI by Michael Avon Oeming and Brian Michael Bendis starting in July! The team will also be releasing their all ages title Takio monthly starting in May, as previously announced.
- The panel then launched into a - no joke - five minute long informercial for the AvX Infinite Comic that had the audience in stitches. I’m not going to repeat it here for length purposes, but it involved Jeph Loeb being TOTALLY confused about the price points and details, while Arune Singh was explaining how easy and great the title was.
- Does buying a book digitally hurt the book’s chances of being successful in print? Quesada: “There are people who live hundreds of miles away from a store who can only buy things digitally. In the long run, digital will help books that don’t have a chance to survive... Survive. But we’re not there yet.” Singh added that they look at the digital sales very carefully, and factor that into the overall look at a book.
- With double shipping, and multiple artists, are you prioritizing consistency over quality - specifically in reference to Avengers vs. X-Men? Quesada: “Every case is different... With The Ultimates, that was a project that relied so heavily on the creators, and other books in the universe weren’t depending on the plot in those books. In the overall Marvel Universe, it’s much harder.” He then talked about a point we’ve heard before, that most artists need more time to create books, given quality of art standards. So rather than rushing out subpar art from artists, they make sure the artists have time to make the issues they want, but the books are also released on time to impact the overall universe. “In the case of AvX, I think it’ll make a lot more sense, because it’s almost like three different stories,” said Aaron. Slott added that they have different artists on arcs to match the tone of the arcs.
- Anything coming up on the cosmic side of Marvel? Quesada: “Can’t say much right now, but if you’re a fan of the cosmic universe, you’re going to be really, really excited with what’s coming up in the next year or two years.” “Keep your eye on Nova... There’s a reason he’s in AvX,” added Alonso. They also noted that there’s a reason Sam Alexander, the new Nova, is in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon now on Disney XD.
- On what an Infinite Comic can do, that a regular comic can’t, Quesada said: “One of the hardest things to pull off in comic books is horror. It’s very hard to convey to you in comics, because you turn the page in a comic slowly, and it’s not terrifying. You can do that in an Infinite Comic.” He specified he was only using horror as an example, but that it allows you to control pacing you can’t otherwise with a print comic; while essentially keeping it a comic.
- Further news on Hawkeye: Kate Bishop from the Young Avengers will be training with Clint Barton, making it a defacto team-up book.
- Will we ever have an environment in comics where we can see new characters popping up? Quesada: “In more troubled economics times, world-wide, it’s just not possible. To try something new, you have to provide something compelling. It’s no mystery why we paired an Infinite Comic with Avengers vs. X-Men. We wanted to take this new format, and attach it to our biggest event ever.”
- No plans for an Iron Man MAX book, despite a fan requesting it. “He’s always gotten drunk, killed people, had sex... What do you want him to do in a MAX book?” joked Singh. “I know what he wants,” quipped Quesada. When pressed as to what he actually would want to see, the fan who asked said, “I just want to see Iron Man going full out on a guy, pegging him out,” followed by huge, disbelieving laughs from the audience, and feeble protests from the fan trying to explain what he meant.
- On the upcoming “Final Execution” arc in Uncanny X-Force, Remender said: “It’s possible that the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants discovers there’s an impressionable young Apocalypse at the Jean Grey School.”
Then it was time for a lightning round, where the only answers were yes or no (though that got broken very quickly):
Q: Any more three issue crossovers like The Omega Effect?
A: Yes! At a panel tomorrow.
Q: Why does Nova like dubstep?
A: Blame Mark Waid. He loves dubstep.
Q: Will the “real” Nightcrawler come back?
A: Keep reading.
Q: Any concern of over saturating people with Marvel characters, with movies, comics, and more?
A: No. Singh then added, “As long as we don’t make movies like Green Lantern...”
Q: How do you maintain and keep track of continuity?
A: Tom Brevoort.
Q: What is Ed Brubaker doing next?
A: Singh plugged Fatale, but also mentioned Winter Soldier and AvX #3. Alonso added that they’ve talked, but, “Nothing solid.”
Q: Who decided to make Flash Thompson Venom?
A: Slott said it was Steve Wacker’s idea, they always wanted Venom to turn around, whip out his tongue and say, “Puuuuny Paaaarker.”
And that was it! We’ll see you back here for plenty more from C2E2!