Have you guys heard about this thing called “The Avengers?” Seems like a lot of people were interested in Marvel’s freshest, newest property, as they jam-packed a giant hall at New York Comic-Con to find out more about the adventures of comic book characters Mr. America, Ferrous Man, and The Mighty Thork. On the panel were writers Dennis Hopeless, Jonathan Hickman, Rick Remender, and Kieron Gillen, editor Tom Brevoort and all were moderated by Marvel’s Arune Singh.
Things kicked off with talk of Uncanny Avengers–no news, but it’s been selling well! Hickman then talked about Avengers, saying, “We had to do something bigger, something bolder, something Hollywood couldn’t pay for.” Meanwhile, in New Avengers, the book will focus on The Illuminati, the, “superheroes who rule the world. The stories chug along, they touch, and then somewhere along the line they smash together.”
Brevoort noted that though the comic comes out twice a month (three including New Avengers), Hickman has three to four years of stories planned out.
The covers to the first three issues of ‘Avengers Arena’ were then shown off… The third issue parodies The Hunger Games logo, and the interiors showed off a no-holds-barred fight between Haz-mat and X-23 that looks NUTS.
Next up was Secret Avengers, which we’ll have a chat with new team Nick Spencer and Luke Ross about soon. The SHIELD focused book will feature Black Widow, Hawkeye, Taskmaster, and more. The hook is that the characters have their minds wiped.
Then Singh noted he forgot to put up Young Avengers images for Gillen to talk about, and while trying to get the pics sorted out, tripped, fell, and knocked out all the tech. But everything was okay! That’s what he gets for forgetting pictures, though.
Anyway, Gillen said, “This is the fight scene as music video. I don’t think it’s bad.” The team is put together by Kid Loki, and Gillen noted they got Bryan Lee O’Malley to do a variant cover when artist Jamie McKelvie showed off his character designs to the Scott Pilgrim creator.
Briefly, Brevoort plugged Avengers Assemble, and then it was time for Q&A!
– On whether other traditional Young Avengers characters will show up in the new Young Avengers, Gillen said he has plans, but wanted to keep a strong focus on his main six.
– On whether we’ll see the smart characters join a think tank, Brevoort joked, “I can’t imagine Jonathan Hickman writing a scene with a bunch of smart guys sitting in a room.”
– Talk then turned to the differences between Marvel, and Marvel NOW! The creators all plugged the most recent Marvel Retreat, and how exciting it was to hear everyone’s new, fresh ideas. Singh plugged that a certain website called MTV Geek was let into the retreat, no holds barred, and will be doing a video series on the whole process of making Marvel NOW! OH HEY THAT’S US. That should be starting in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.
– Coming up in Uncanny Avengers, The Red Skull has new powers. “This is a hate filled Nazi,” said Remender.
– On Kang, Remender noted that he’ll be a “giant player in the Marvel Universe,” playing both into Uncanny Avengers, and Hickman’s Avengers. “There’s a certain amount of synergy going forward,” said Hickman.
– On why Darkhawk is in Avengers Arena when he’s not a teenager, Hopeless says it’s addressed in the book. “He’s a bit of a pedophile,” joked Hickman.
– On SHIELD, Hickman sighed, and said that it won’t be solicited until issues five and six are done – though only five is “almost” done right now.
– We’ll find out why The Hulk is wearing armor in Indestructible Hulk #3… Except Brevoort also explained that the concept of the series is that Banner decides to be a force for good, working for SHIELD; and when he “hulks out,” he ends up getting dropped in danger areas to do some damage. The armor ties into that idea.
– Hickman talked about how – though the promo images don’t show this – when Avengers gets to the full roster, there will be more diversity. For Uncanny Avengers, Remender said, “It’s cracker-fest 2012,” adding he wanted to have Doctor Voodoo and Storm, but they were busy.
– A new female Captain Universe, Hyperion, and the first human member of The Imperial Guard will be coming up in Avengers.
– Talking about the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, Hickman noted most of the Marvel Universe think what the Phoenix Five did was actually good… So despite The Avengers winning, the X-Men weren’t necessarily the losers.
– No plans for Black Knight going forward. Sorry, fan.
– On how to write a good team book, Hopeless joked, “You just kill all of them, so there’s the one…”
– On whether Squirrel Girl would be showing up soon: “Every time I talked to Brian [Michael Bendis], he said I should use Squirrel Girl, she’s a fantastic character,” said Hickman. “I told him he was f**king crazy. Absolutely not.”
– Scarlet Witch shows up in issue #2 of Young Avengers.
– Last question was about whether The Avengers would be fighting one large threat, or smaller teams. The first three issues have everyone, then there’s done in ones with smaller teams. The Summer issues will bring everyone back together.
That was it! See you at the next panel.