Let this reporter just tell you, in case you don’t already know, everything Marvel is AWESOME. You’re saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah we know. We read the books. We love ‘The Avengers.” True, great, but if you can get yourself to a con and make your way into a room with a Marvel panel MAKE IT HAPPEN. These guys are, to a man, fantastic. Funny, smart, LOVE what they’re doing, into their fans. It’s a scene, and a great one.
This panel at NYCC was Friday October 12, 2012 at 1:30pm and the description was, “Want the scoop on the major players involved in Marvel NOW!? Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Tom Brevoort (SVP Executive Editor), Senior Editor Nick Lowe (Uncanny X-Men), Senior Editor Mark Paniccia, Mark Waid (Indestructible Hulk), Rick Remender (Uncanny Avengers), Kieron Gillen (Iron Man) and Arune Singh (Director of Communications) are on hand to give the 411on the Fantastic Four, FF, Hulk and much more!” And I am here to tell you that they lived up to the hype.
This panel was held in one or the larger basement dungeon rooms at the Javits Center and it was JAM PACKED (your reporter stood along the wall because she’d rather be up front and see the Marvel Men with her own eyes than watch on the giant screen from the back of the room). These fans were enthusiastic, but so was this panel. And, in case anyone was wondering (as many movie critics seem to have been), the fans LOVE “The Avengers” movie AND SO DO THE GUYS AT MARVEL. And, in my humble opinion, if the guys who write and draw “The Avengers” like your movie you are all good.
It sounds to this reporter as if Marvel is a fantastic place to be writing and creating and working right now. The panel was in agreement that “every book looks and feels different now.” How does Marvel operate when they bring a new writer onto a book? They encourage every writer coming in to do a “hostile takeover” of that book and what came before. THIS is what we call a fertile ground for working and writing and GREAT for the fans!
Mark Waid told us quite a bit about The Hulk and where he is taking the big, green guy. Waid is a big fan of Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner in “The Avengers” and feels that somehow he and Ruffalo are fully on board with where Banner and the Hulk are going. Waid’s Hulk is going to more like Ruffalo’s than before. The Hulk will speak more than he’s ever done, although there will be “fine shadings” and the quality of his speech will dependent on the circumstances of each transformation.
And – BIG POTENTIAL PIECE OF INFORMATION/HINT – Waid told us that Banner has a huge playing piece on the board with Shield. He’s got some piece of informaiton that he can use/is using against/with Shield. Something that puts him in control, in a position of power and that Waid will be hinting at over the year. So pay attention, put the clues together fans!
On the Captain America front, Cap is going to explore his childhoold on the Lower East Side this year and where he got the will and the strength to fight. How the skinny little weakling developed the nerve and the heart to transform into Captain America and to fight the Nazis.
The Fantastic Four’s focus this year is going to shift back to the core of family. Something that happens in the first book gets Reed’s attention and makes him think he needs to focus more on his family. So what he decides to do is spend a year with the family, traveling the universe and seeing things that no one has seen before in a BIG, FANTASTIC RV (YEAH, WE KNOW – AWESOME!). The hook here is that the one year of travel will only be 4 minutes of time in the Mavel universe – “but that doesn’t work out too well.”
I mean, as you might expect, how could that really work out so well??
But Reed, thinking ahead recruits 4 Fantastic Four stand-ins just in case the 4 minute thing doesn’t come thru and, in effect, leaves the universe in the hand of a team of misfits who find themselves not only trying to keep the universe running smoothly, but also fighting off all the enemies of the FF who take this opportunity to attack.
Best description of this panel goes to the Thunderbolts: “They will kill you dead if you deserve it.” They will not leave you for the Police to take in and book. They will not beat you down. They will KILL YOU. Tricky part about the Thunderbolts is that they’re mainly a bunch of loners who don’t work well with others. But that is going to be “dealt with” in Book #1. Should be fun!
At the end of the panel “talk” they opened up the floor to questions and the fun just dialed up another notch. The fans were loving it, the panel was loving it maybe even more. Fan after fan was invited up onto the stage to read as-yet-unpublished editions of their favorite books.
Best takeway info from the question and anwer period:
Marvel has two books/series coming up that will focus on females. (There apparently is a third book that is “probably coming” but is a bit more risky to predict.)
There are 18-24 total Avengers and we haven’t seen most of them yet. Over the next year we will be introduced to more and more of this team and the “demographic balance” is going to look at a lot better than it does right now (yes, that means more women and more non-whites in general or either gender).
The “Young Avengers” will become a “book about being eighteen” – that stage in your life when you are entering the world “on your own terms” and being an adult.
AWESOME FUN SPOILER THAT IS NOT REALLY A SPOILER – but apparently Marvel didn’t intend to broadcast: They are going to publish a “kick ass” girl team book that will probably be in the Marvel Top 10.