As Pixie would say … Holy Cats! There was so much information delivered to Marvel fans on a silver platter today, that a beginning point seems almost impossible. The bulk of the information was given out at the Marvel: Next Big Thing panel.
This giant panel of Marvel talent included editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, editor Sana Amanat, Marvel talent scout C.B. Cebulski, Astonishing X-men’s Marjorie Liu, X-Factor’s Peter David, Gambit’s James Asmus (upcoming), Deadpool’s Daniel Way, Thanos Son of Titan’s Joe Keatinge (upcoming), The First X-Men’s Neal Adams (upcoming) and more! Read through for your favorite titles, because some BIG announcements have been made this afternoon. Here are some hints: one series has been cancelled, one title’s main character (the title character in fact) has been replaced, and many series will be entering into brand new story arcs.
The panel began when moderator Arune Singh brought up a picture of the first series of discussion – Gambit. James Asmus leaned over the table, into the microphone, and described a new series with major appeal in a lot of ways. He called it a super sexy, sophisticated thief thriller. Asmus explained that every issue would have its own beginning, middle and end, allowing for reader satisfaction. In fact … “You will get satisfied every month by Gambit,” he said with an implying grin. Apparently the first page starts with a shower. At this point in the panel the ladies went wild!
Watch out for the sexy thriller, Gambit, in August.
Marjorie Liu stepped up to the plate to talk about the important recent events in Astonishing X-Men. The series has been in the headlines lately due to its bold gay marriage issue featuring Northstar and his, now-husband, Kyle. Liu wanted to make sure that the audience knew that this wasn’t just a gimmick. A honeymoon issue will soon hit the shelves to explore the relationship between Northstar and Kyle. It will be an issue where readers can see the two having fun in their new marriage. But the honeymoon period always has to end. On the not-so-bright side, the two men have had their ups and downs, and those downs are about to come back to haunt them in the future trials for the Astonishing team. Lui called the upcoming arc “an unusual story.”
Here’s one of the larger announcements of the evening. Fans groaned when it was announced that Daniel Way would be leaving Deadpool. Way has had an amazingly successful run with the title and he professed to enjoy it immensely. “This was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a series,” he stated. He declared that he was able to write every kind of story with this character because Deadpool is just indestructible. But, Deadpool will be facing some actual serious events in the last few issues under Way’s pen. The character will have the rare feeling that something big is at stake. Way says that he will be ending his Deadpool career on a high note.
Then Daniel Way let slip a hint that other big things were on his horizon – and was promptly shushed by the moderator.
Get out your tissues kids. In a sad, tragic, inconceivable announcement (this Lytherus blogger happens to be very biased about this particular announcement) it was announced that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s New Mutants would be cancelled in October with issue 50. To make matters worse, it was promised “not everything will be ok.”
To offer some solace to those in the crowd who looked like they were just emotionally hit by a bus (I was sitting up close –it may just have been me they took pity on) Singh did throw out the bone that those who like the New Mutants characters should expect to see them turning up in some very surprising and unexpected places in the near future. While this is end of the title, it is not the end of these characters.
The crowd perked right back up again when Peter David took to the mike to discuss the latest news with X-Factor. Issue 240 will focus on Layla Miller. David will have Layla running across town during a black out in order to save the life of a teenager. “The issue is titled ‘Run Layla Run,’” David said with a laugh.
While this look into issue 240 was entertaining, the meat of the news was what comes after. Issue 241-245 will be X-Factor’s own mini-event titled Breaking Point. The event will focus on what is essentially a 5-day span for the team. All hanging plotlines will be rehashed and wrapped up. Example?
The perfect example came later in the session during Q&A. An audience member stood up to ask if the origin Polaris would ever be revealed and Peter David began to gleam. X-Factor issue #243, in the middle of the Breaking Point event, will directly address all the shadowy details of Polaris’s past. One question in particular stands out: Is Magneto her father? YES! (David proclaimed it to the audience!) Apparently if you are a Polaris fan, you must read this event.
Jeff Parker, Carlo Pagulayan, and Wellinton Alves are masters of the Hulk character … too bad it’s not Bruce Banner’s title anymore. As of issue #58 Hulk becomes Red She Hulk. Betty Ross will be sent on a mission that will greatly impact what happens to Bruce. The panel revealed that her actions will have a large effect on her counterpart’s existence. During the Q&A, they also went as far as to tell us that the rest of the MU would not be entirely pleased with her actions and some enemies might be made.
Thanos Son of Titan
Thanos is the “it” man of Marvel right now. All kinds of hype happened after his presence was revealed at the end of the first Avengers movie. For those movie-lovers not entirely familiar with the character, Marvel is providing ample opportunity to change that. Joe Keatinge and Rich Elson will premier the upcoming series, Thanos Son of Titan. This origin story is a look at where Thanos came from and how he came to be. Keatinge referenced the classic Infinity Gauntlet storyline and explained that this series would show how those events came to be. This first-time Marvel author became animated as he talked about his obsession with Thanos as a kid and how this was the story that he always wanted to know –and now HE gets to write it. His boyish exuberance spoke volumes about his passion for the subject.
The new Hawkeye solo series is much anticipated. Matt Fraction and David Aja have teamed up before on their Iron Fist project. They were able to bring niche hero into the mainstream and now Iron Fist plays a major role in the current AvsX event. Their new project is for Hawkeye who has long deserved time in the spotlight. During the Q&A section a fan asked about the rumored presence of Kate Bishop, young avenger, in the title. Sana Amanat answered that the reason that Kate will be present is because there are a lot of similarities between Clint and Kate. Clint seems something in her and he responds to it.
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy will be showcasing Ms. Marvel’s transition from her long haired, black leotard-clad classic version into her new, improved funky Captain Marvel persona. They stated that in a lot of ways she will still be her badass self. But the creators will explore the essence of what makes up Carol Danvers – her love of flight, her push to be the best that she can be, and her pure enjoyment of being good at what she does. This is a comic that men and women alike can enjoy.
The First X-Men
The First X-Men by Christos Gage and Neal Adams looks at a scenario never analyzed before – who where the mutants before the First Class existed? Adams wanted to ask just that question. He decided that the X-Men (before X-Men) had to be led by someone we were all familiar with, yet was really old. Hmmmm, wonder who that could be… of course the only option is Wolverine. So Logan is leading a team of pre-X-men heroes exploring the mutant question before the original five. This series also will explore why Logan has such an intrinsic loyalty to the X-men. He’s such a loner/badass, why does he have a soft spot, loyalty to this organization? Is it possibly that his loyalty runs deeper than we could possibly understand right now?
The title will include several new characters, including Bomb – a 13 year-old African American kid so small that Logan’s jacket fits him like a tent. Logan looks out for the kid, and Bomb loves him for it.
Adams ended his section of the panel by concluding, “What will happen after this I don’t know, but I’m having he greatest ride of my life.”
The amount of news coming out of Marvel today was overwhelming. At the same time, the energy exuding from fans and Marvel staff alike positively filled the convention center. Looks like we have a lot to look forward to!