Marvel Comics held its Next Big Thing Panel Saturday afternoon at the Javits Center during New York Comic Con with host Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski and featuring Jason Aaron, Donny Cates, Gerry Duggan, Dan Slott, and Jim Zub.
About the panel:
Monumental events are on the horizon for the Marvel Universe, and Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski can’t wait to tell you all about them along with Associate Editor Sarah Brunstad! Industry luminaries Jason Aaron (Avengers, Conan the Barbarian), Donny Cates (Guardians of the Galaxy), Gerry Duggan (Infinity Wars), Dan Slott (Fantastic Four, Tony Stark: Iron Man), and Jim Zub (Champions) have incredible new stories in store for your favorite characters, and this is the place to hear about them first!
Play By Play of the Panel
Cebulski comes out first.
He says there’s gonna be cool announcements, fun little bits, and lots of cool artwork shared over the next hour.
He introduces everyone one-by-one: Aaron, Cates, Duggan, Slott, Zub, and then Brunstad. Executive Editor Tom Brevoort joined, too.
Cebulski says some of the heroes and villains will appear onscreen to ask the panelists questions, as well.
Avengers 700 is coming up.
Aaron says a lot of action is going on, with everything he’s building toward starting to explode.
There’s a talking Russian bear, Namor, and multiple surprises and returns.
With the debut of the next new Avenger.
Cates says, “Cosmic Ghost Rider.”
Brevoort thanks the fans for Avengers going to 2nd and 3rd and 4th printings.
Cebulski also asks Aaron about Thor.
He’s been on Thor for 6 years now.
The last issue was old King Thor vs. Old Man Phoenix (Wolverine with the power of the Phoenix)
There was also old man Dr. Doom, with all the powers of the prehistoric Avengers.
It’s 3 super old men beating the hell out of each other.
There will be a standalone young Thor story in #7-8.
Angela returns in that arc, as well.
Next, Slott talks about Iron Man.
He mentions Jocasta and Machine Man in the first arc, and says that plays into the year 2020 coming up.
That’s a slow burn, but Tony’s brother Arno Stark will show up in the next upcoming arc.
“We’re doing these very kind of Black Mirror-ish things every now and then.”
It’s “nightmare fuel.” Very creepy.
Slott says “Nick Lowe would never let me do this in Spider-Man.
“If you’re a retailer, order heavy on #6.” The “Stark Realities” is their first big arc.
Dan talks Fantastic Four next.
In No. 3, all four are reunited.
When they return to Earth, someone else is inhabiting the Baxter Building.
They’ll have to deal with that, but they’ll go somewhere very FF-ish.
Fantastic Four #5 will have the VERY REAL wedding of Ben and Alicia.
But Reed is being a very big jerk and is very concerned about other things now that he’s back on Earth.
Allred is also doing a backup story in the Ben/Alicia wedding issue on how Sue is the matchmaker of Ben and Alicia. There will also be a story showing how Johnny steps up to help throw the best bachelor party ever.
In #6, HERALD OF DOOM.
A Doom cosplayer shows up on screen and says that if there’s a Superior Octopus, there needs to be a Superior Doom.
Slott says there can be no superior Doom. Doom is superior.
Next, Cebulski asks Cates about Cosmic Ghost Rider.
Cates: “I thought you were gonna say Jugger-Duck.”
“Cosmic Ghost Rider is a book I’ve somehow been allowed to do.”
He details the backstory about the “Thanos Wins” story where he killed everyone on Earth. Frank Castle makes a deal with the devil to become a Ghost Rider because he wants to punish Thanos, but everyone is dead, leaving no one to punish. Galactus shows up, but has come to Earth for sanctuary because Thanos is now killing everyone in the galaxy. Frank asks Galactus for some herald powers, but Thanos kills Galactus and Frank has to serve him.
This is all literally the first three pages of the comic, Cates says.
This is all getting very complicated and Slott asks, “What happens in issue 2?”
A Venom cosplayer on the screen asks if he has any recipes for Spider-Man’s brains.
Cates is talking about how the first arc deals with the symbiotes’ god, Knull, returning.
While Eddie survived that, something is drastically wrong with the symbiote.
Old school Venom fans will be happy with things coming up that he can’t talk about.
There will be a Venom dog, though.
But he’s not allowed to kill any more dogs. He’s killed 3 in his time at Marvel.
“Two in comics.”
Cebulski talks about Duggan’s Infinity Wars, drawn by Deodato.
Duggan talks about the premise of what a tragedy it would be if Gamora hadn’t been able to avoid becoming her father.
She mashes up the entire Marvel Universe into the soul stone, resulting in amalgams like Diamond Patch — Wolverine and Emma Frost mashed up.
Cebulski announces the new Defenders title.
Tom Breevort says it’s a special event coming in December in 5 books that culminate in the new Defenders #1.
The four books leading up to Defenders #1 focus on the original 4 Defenders: Strange, Silver Surfer, Namor, and Hulk.
Defenders will be written by Al Ewing, drawn by Joe Bennett.
A Watcher cosplayer onscreen asks Brevoort what his first appearance was and who inked him.
Fantastic Four #13, and inked by Ditko.
Conan the Barbarian is returning to Marvel to be written by Aaron, drawn by Mahmud Asrar.
Aaron says it’s the book he’s wanted to do since he was 12, “which I guess tells you something about my formative years.”
When he got wind Marvel was getting the rights, he sent C.B. a photo of a shelf with all his “ratty, dog-eared” Conan books on it.
There will be a second Conan book called “The Savage Sword of Conan,” written by Duggan, drawn by Ron Garney, colored by Richard Isanove, with covers by Alex Ross.
Duggan says this is very much Conan on the hunt for treasure, but what he finds won’t be what he expects.
The back of each issue will feature serialized novellas, inspired by Robert E. Howard’s literary work.
Cebulski says that the cosmic craziness of last year’s Avengers: No Surrender will lead to a story called Avengers: No Road Home. A standalone book written by Waid, Zub, and Ewing, with art by Medina and Izaakse.
Zub says “No Surrender” ended as soon as they were figuring out how to make that ball roll.
This story is big and mythic and epic. It’s the “biggest Avengers story we can get our hands on.”
Brevoort says Izaakse has been renewed as a Marvel exclusive artist.
The covers are by Yasmine Putri.
There will be a “big crazy thing” happening in the middle of No Road Home, like Hulk coming back in the middle of No Surrender.
Cebulski asks if everyone saw the Captain Marvel trailer.
Captain Marvel will get a new series with Captain Marvel #1 written by Kelly Thompson with art by Carmen Carnero.
Carnero has resigned as a Marvel exclusive and flew in from Spain to join the panel.
She comes out and, via a translator, tells the crowd that working on the book is a dream come true for her and she hopes the fans are excited and will do her best.
Brunstad tells the crowd that Life of Captain Marvel explored Carol’s history and where she’s from. It sets up a new landmark moment for her where she knows her powers come from within her and not another hero.
Spider-Woman will also be in the first issue, and Carol will be re-establsihing relationships from before she stepped away.
Zub is also doing the relaunched Champions.
Steven Cummings to draw it.
He’s bringing “every damn teen hero I can get my hands on.”
He starts to say they’re bringing a legion of teen heroes to Marvel (obvious Legion of Superheroes joke).
Donny Cates is taking over Guardians of the Galaxy with a huge cast.
Only Cosmic Ghost Rider revealed on the team so far.
Cebulski note that next year is the 80th anniversary of Marvel
January will start a year-long celebration of Marvel’s 80 years.
This will include genre books like Crypt of Shadows, Journey Into Unknown Worlds, War Is Hell, and others with creators like Ewing, Bunn, and Chaykin.
Love Romances, Ziggy Pig Silly Seal, and Gunhawks also announced.
Cebulski says the anniversary will include Marvel legends vehicle packages from Hasbro, with Professor X and his chair and Deadpool and his vespa.
Next year is also the 25th anniversary of Marvels.
Cebulski says Busiek and Ross will be coming back next year to curate and participate in all sorts of projects they can’t talk about just yet.
Brevoort says there will be a celebratory series of Marvels-inspired variant covers, but there will be a whole stack of things done beyond that to celebrate the legacy of Marvels.
Zub asks the crowd to wish his family a happy Canadian Thanksgiving in a cell phone video.
Fan asks about more Gwenpool.
Cebulski says Gwenpool is currently in West Coast Avengers. Brevoort says she’ll be a big part of that book, and her gross disturbing relationship with Quentin Quire will continue. There’s some other stuff they can’t talk about yet involving Gwenpool.
Fan asks the panel what books they’d like to work on in the future.
Slott wants Moon Knight, Zub wants Blade, Duggan wants Dr. Strange, Cates wants Thor, and Aaron wants Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fan asks if there are any plans to bring back the Marvel/DC amalgam universe.
“We sent Brian over there. That’s about as amalgam as it gets.”
But Cebulski says there are talks to do crossovers all the time, and maybe someday in the future, we’ll get something like that.
Donny Cates jokes his name is “DC”
A fan asks if Armless Tiger Man will make a comeback.
Brevoort says they were just talking about him a week or a week and a half ago.
Duggan: “If anything bad happens to me, I want Tom to come to my hospital bed and read me golden age comic books.”
Someone suggests Armless Tiger Man should be mentioned to Skottie Young for Deadpool.
Fan asks if they’ve considered giving heroes that can’t necessarily sustain an ongoing series their own original graphic novels.
Cebulski says Marvel has a history of doing many original graphic novels over the years, but the finances of printing and distributing have changed over the years. There’s a third Starling one coming out this year, and Marvel will continue experimenting with new publishing formats as they go forward.
A fan asks about the overall decrease in solo titles led by female characters.
Cebulski says there isn’t necessarily a lack of female centric books. There’s Captain Marvel, Shuri, Marvel Rising, and so on.
There’s also the X-23 relaunch, and a big female character is getting a relaunch in January that they can’t mention yet.
Duggan also points out Gamora being the big villain of Infinity Wars.
A new event titled The War of the Realms is teased at the end of the panel, written by Jason Aaron with Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson on art.
Aaron’s Thor run has been building toward this for 6 years.
Brevoort calls it a “big, huge, sweeping, epic Marvel story.”
“The sword-and-sorcery Marvel story of your dreams — or your nightmares.”
The whole Marvel Universe is in this.
Cebulski thanks everyone for coming.
End of panel.
What did you think of the Next Big Thing Panel, did anything jump out at you? Comment below with your thoughts.