C2E2 2019: Marvel Lays Out The Slate At The Next Big Thing Panel

by Noah Sharma

Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski opened the panel by promising that announcements made here would shape the Marvel line for the rest of the year.

Turning to the screen, Cebulski pulled up an, at first, empty slate that would fill in with Marvel’s plans for 2019.

Cebulski started with “War of the Realms” which begins in just a few weeks. Jason Aaron arrived to hype the event. He said that “War of the Realms” would touch every character in the Marvel U, name dropping Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and more. Art Adams is providing covers and artist Russell Dauterman has completed five of the six issues.

For more information on “War of the Realms” check out our coverage of its dedicated panel.

Jason Aaron declared the audience to be worthy to hear what his next project after “War of the Realms” would be. There was not much that could be said before “War of the Realms”, but a Valkyrie ongoing will spin out of the event co-written by Aaron and Al Ewing. The book will launch in July.

Cebulski promised something very special for June. The Xavier institute logo flashed across the screen as Cebulski listed the four milestones that reinvented the X-Men’s image.

1. The All-New X-Men from Giant Size X-Men #1 by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum

2. X-Men #1 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee

3. “Age of Apocalypse

4. Morrison and Quitely’s New X-Men

Now its time to do it again. “In one of the worst kept secrets of the last two weeks” Cebulski welcomed Jonathan Hickman to the stage to uproarious applause. Hickman will be launching two separate series, House of X and Powers of X (pronounced ten). Hickman said that Pepe Larraz, who joined him on stage, is doing some of the best X art in years. Larraz will be drawing House of X and R.B. Silva will draw Powers of X with Marte Gracia coloring both. The artistic teams were hand picked by Hickman. The series will run bi-weekly for twelve weeks.

Hickman promised radical plans, saying that he was a DC kid who was only pulled away from his preferred company by the X-Men. “This is the first book that I’ve ever done at Marvel that I loved before I started it.” Hickman says he has never been more proud of anything at Marvel, but he warns that things will change. Cebulski and Hickman both hinted strongly that the books will attempt to update the X-Men and change their image for the modern world in the same way as the four milestone books listed above.

Hickman says that, at least at first, you’ll have to read both books, but there is a good reason for separating them. Larraz said that this is the biggest story he’s worked on at Marvel.

Larraz was unable to draw any new art or reveal any of his finished pages but Mark Brooks was brought in to draw a special promo image revealing a massive cast of characters from numerous times and realities. Cebulski promises that editor Jordan White spent time ensuring that everything in that poster is there for a reason.

Donny Cates wanted to do his take on a beloved classic of his childhood “Maximum Carnage”. The “massive storyline that will blow the Marvel Universe apart” will begin in August, with a Free Comic Book Day issue as a prologue. But how do you do something more to the max than maximum? “Absolute Carnage”. Cates, through a video message, said that he’s pretty sure that Absolute Carnage #1 will outsell the Claremont/Lee X-Men #1. There’s also a promise that every single symbiote host ever will appear in this story, which Cates reminds us is practically everyone after stories like “Venomized”. Norman Osborn will appear somewhere and there is at least one new symbiote/host pairings that they are very excited to “unleash” (emphasis mine).

A questioner asked the panelists what their favorite Marvel friendships were. Aaron had to go with Thor and Thori, the dog from Journey into Mystery. Larraz had to pick Cyclops and Wolverine, fondly remembering a moment from he and Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men where the two rivals shared a bear. Hickman played it classic with Spider-Man and the Human Torch.

Another questioner took a different approach to a similar subject, asking what team up the panel would love to see. Aaron sidestepped the question but said that Thori will get a team up in “War of the Realms” and that “at least five nerds will really like it.” Hickman started by suggesting a Krystar-Ghost Rider team up, but switched to Iceman and Ghost Rider. Cebulski took an entirely different tack, pitching fusions of Marvel characters that had interested him at various Marvel retreats. The first was a sound-absorbing, sonic-voiced Black Bolt/Dazzler fusion and the second was the horrifically deadly Deadbolt, a mix of Black Bolt and Deadpool.

Quietly, as the panel answered questions, the slate changed to reveal a secret addition in December.

Asked to soothe X-fans, famously afraid of change, Hickman simply responded “I’m sorry for what’s about to happen.”

Another questioner asked Hickman for X-Men stories that inspired him. He pointed to the mutants in Asgard story and the Rogue/Magneto Savage Land arc.

Addressing the new slate, Cebulski said that 2019 has been trying to make the Marvel Universe more connected, citing Thor and Venom and Immortal Hulk and Captain America in particular. Though he could not reveal what was coming, Cebulski promised that much of this connective tissue would pay off in December.

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