SDCC 2011: What's Next After 'Fear Itself'

I bet Bucky's still dead.

Today's Marvel panel detailing the direction of the line post-Fear Itself was attended by C.B. Cebulski, Chris Yost, Nick Spencer, and Steve Wacker. It begane with slides of the remaining three covers as well as the obscured image of "The Mighty" which we've seen before. Someone on the panel (what, I was too busy typing to look up) teased that Niko from Runaways' staff seemed pretty obvious in the image.

From there we saw lots of random slides from upcoming Fear Itself tie-ins. The weirder damn thing was the New Avengers cover with a hyper realistic image of Squirrel Girl by Mike Deodato.

Following Fear Itself, we'll see a line-wide banner called "Battle Scars" which will reflect how the characters of the Marvel U were affected by the event. Steve Wacker said that it would be similar to how WWII affected soldiers.

We then saw a trailer for a new Hulk series, with Banner separated from the monster. The duo have retreated to opposite ends of the Earth, with Banner going mad and only the Hulk being able to stop him. Jason Aaron will be writing The Incredible Hulk with art by Marc Silvestri beginning in October. By video, Aaron promises to flip the man vs. Monster dynamic of the Hulk to be turned on it's ear. The first arc will be called "Torn Asunder," and will feature the two characters separated by mysterious forces.

There will be a bi-weekly, 12-issue limited series called The Fearless by Matt Fraction, Christopher Yost, and the newly-exclusive Cullen Bunn, featuring characters attempting to find the remaining fallen hammers. Panel moderator, Arune Singh said that Valkyrie would be a character to watch in the post-FI Marvel U.

Singh also teased a mysterious character appearing in Battlescars written by the trio from The Fearless, who is a regular guy affected by the events of Fear Itself. Art on Battlescars is by Scott Eaton.

Singh then moved on to the "It's Either In You" teaser images released before the Con. It's the new Defenders by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson with Spider-Woman, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Namor, and Silver Surfer. Hulk's not on the team. They are saying literally nothing about this book that makes it sound any different from the Avengers or any other team book. Wacker said something vague about how each of these characters is interested in being heroes, but I'm simply seeing another lineup of mismatched characters doing the fighting evil thing. Not a hot sell here.

There's also the promise of a very special story of Tony Stark dealing with the fallout from taking another drink over in Fear Itself. That's just... No.

Singh teased that Avengers: The Children's Crusade was a must-watch book going into next year. That was one of the titles that I really want to get a try, but the sad, sore state of my wallet on the regular has kept me from expanding my reading lineup.

I'm pretty stoked about the Incredible Hulk announcement, though. On balance, most of the Hulk titles over the years have been where some pretty great stuff has happened, and with Aaron and Silvestri onboard, I know the book will be downright mean. you know who else I'd love to see on art on that book? Ron Lim, maybe... Dale Eaglesham... Maybe something from Dale Keown? No knock at all against Silvestri--the images they show looked pretty hot--I'd just love to see some of these artists tackle the character again.

Fear Itself is on on shelves now.


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