Marvel’s Cup of B
Rather than the usual "Cup of Joe" panel, Marvel decided that Baltimore Comic-Con would feature "Cup of B." Marvel super-star Brian Michael Bendis appeared, alongside Dan Slott (Avengers: Initiative), Steve Savolski (X-Infernus) and executive editor Tom Brevoort.
Bendis confirmed the previously announced departure from Mighty Avengers with #20, the post Secret Invasion issue which will show a dramatic shift in the title. He will then begin Dark Avengers with artist Mike Deodato and Slott will jump into Mighty Avengers, which means he’s leaving Initiative, which Christos Gage will pick up. More Taskmaster is promised.
Spider-Woman: Agent of SWORD will begin March 2008, full art by Alex Maleev, reuniting the duo since they produced Daredevil. The series promises to be “very different” from others at Marvel. But is it Jessica Drew? No answer was given.
No answer was given.
While the Inferno crossover was spread across the DC Universe, it’s follow-up X-Infernus will be more X-Men focused, specifically on the New Mutants, with characters such as Magik showing up.
On Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Guggenheim and Barry Kitson will present a single-issue story featuring what happened to Flash Thompson. Joe Kelly will be doing a two-part Hammerhead story and then Mark Waid will be introducing new charatecters and secrets to Spider-Man’s universe. Dan Slott promises a “completely logical, non-magical explanation of why Harry Osborn’s alive.” He added that villain Molten Man was returning with the intention of killing Harry Osborn.
Bendis was asked for his reactions to the Secret Invasion Jacket I made. Bendis was a good sport about it and simply laughed, saying "Listen, I love him. You can buy it, roll it up, shove it up your ass. I don’t care.That’s not even in the top 20 sh*t I’ve had to deal with online." I then identified myself to the Marvel panel. When Bendis asked me why I didn’t wear the jacket to the con, I was sad to explain that it was not functional in the rain.
I then asked my own question to Bendis, concerning whether or not the Skrulls now had the Space Gem since they had replaced Black Bolt, the gem’s current owner. Bendis then informed me that he had explained this already but that I must have turned the issue into a pair of shorts. He then admitted that the Space Gem would be a future plot point.
After pleasing fans with the announcement that the 3-D Man would be in the Skrull Kill Krew mini-series, Dan Slott was asked about Mutant Zero and if she is indeed who she is implied to be.
Slott: “You will find out once and for all who Mutant Zero is in Avengers: Initiative #20.”
It was said that plans were being made concerning the creatures Man-Thing and Morbius. Morbius will also appear in Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel Zombies. And Black Panther is going to be relaunching after Secret Invasion, as the crossover is going to affect events and characters in the title.
Can Luke Cage return to his old Power Man costume?
Bendis: “I’m a big Luke Cage fan … We’re all kind of proud of getting him out of that metal tiara and satin shirt. In my opinion, it took away from some of the more noble aspects of the character. New Avengers #47 will focus on how is now and how he got here. And there is a retro Luke Cage series coming out by the guy who created Samurai Jack.”
When asked about the future of Steve Rogers, Bendis answered, “I actually think Bucky is more fascinating than Steve Rogers. I was absolutely blown away [by Brubaker’s run] … It’s all fresh and interesting yet it’s all immersed in Cap’s history.”
One X-Men fan asked what Charles Xavier was up to during the House of M crossover, as he was conspicously absent. It was then explained that House of M: Civil War will show where Xavier was during the whole affair.
Concerning the Spider-Man books, Tom Brevoort confirmed that
Concerning the nature of the upcoming story Ultimatum, Bendis explained, "The Ultimate Universe as it is will be no longer and then there will be this thing afterwards. The supporting cast of Ultimate Spider-Man will be different. Ultimatum #1? Easily the greatest thing David Finch has put pen to."
Bendis went on to say that it was important to pick up all the Ultimate annuals for Ultimatum and, with a grin, commented that the new Ultimate Spider-Man annual coming out dealt with the touchy subject of Peter Parker’s virginity. The Marvel panel added
The Marvel panel addedthat Ultimates Book 4 is in the works, tackled by Jeff Loeb and Frank Cho.
When asked about Ultimate Gwen Stacy, Bendis confirmed she would return in Ultimate Spider-Man and also explained that Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 will introduce Ultimate Mysterio, who will become a major villain on the level of Norman Osborn. Bendis was then asked how much time he thinks has passed in the Ultimate Universe since Peter Parker got his powers. The writer responded that, in his head, it was about nine months.
Bendis announced that Powers publication will be suspended for a few months to reorganize before a new, third volume of the book would be appearing.
When another fan asked if there was any chance the real Mockingbird would actually come back, Bendis simply said, “Stay tuned.”
And what about this new Marvel project called Dark Reign?
Bendis: "Dark Reign is what happens on the last page of Secret Invasion issue #8. When I pitched Secret Invasion, this part of it is what got Joe Quesada excited about it. When Secret Invasion #8 hits … SHIELD’s a mess and Stark Enterprise is a mess and that’s what Dark Reign is all about. Dark Reign is not an event. Certain books will be labeled Dark Reign as they deal with this concept, but it won’t be an event so much as an overall tone. "
Concerning the future of the character Dr. Strange, Bendis reminded people that in New Avengers it was shown that the sorcerer had failed in his duties, setting up what will happen next. “The question is," Bendis explained, "if Dr. Strange is no longer Sorcerer Supreme, who is? All this will be answered in New Avengers post-Secret Invasion.”
A few deaf fans were curious about Echo and why she doesn’t sign, citing DC’s character
Bendis was also asked how he approached the writing of Secret Invasion.
Bendis: “I’m quite addicted to a fractured three-act story technique … When the scenes are re-arranged, you get a different impact … Or you can make like a jacket out of it … I thought, as it’s unveiled, hopefully you’ll get this gigantic tapestry … Chronilogically, it may not have that same effect.”
Alan "Sizzler" Kistler is very glad Bendis is a good sport and demands that Skrull Kill Krew become an on-going. He has been recognized by Warner Bros. Pictures and mainstream media outlets such as the New York Daily News as a comic book historian, and can be seen in the "Special Features" sections of the Adventures of Aquaman and Justice League: New Frontier DVDs. His personal website can be found at: http://KistlerUniverse.com. One of these days he’d love to write for DC, Marvel or Doctor Who.