SDCC 2019: Marvel’s Next Big Thing

by Noah Sharma

Marvel editor-in-cheif C.B. Cebulski welcomed the assbled guests to one of the biggest panels I’ve seen in San Diego this year. He introduced a small panel including Executive editor Nick Lowe, X-Men editor Jordan D. White, and X-Man writer Jonathan Hickman.

Cebulski started by saying that Marvel has really been looking at their classic characters with a new lens in books like Venom, Fantastic Four, and Immortal Hulk. The next character to get the spotlight is Ghost Rider. The series will release in October and be written by Ed Brisson and drawn by Aaron Kuder. The only question is which one? Well, not just one, but two: Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze. Blaze was last seen as the king of Hell and that has not been forgotten. The series will explore the spirits of vengeance and how they fit into the Marvel cosmology.

“Absolute Carnage” kicks off with a sixty-page issue #1 full of tons of twists, turns, and red stuff “is it blood? Is it Symbiote goo? No one knows?” Cebulski then turned to Donny Cates on Facetime. Cates promised that we are sincerely not ready for what it about to happen. Cletus Kassidy is back with the powers of a god and he’s hunting down every person to ever wear a Symbiote. He assures that this series will have real and crucial impact on its characters, at least one per issue in a major way, and not just traditional Spider-verse characters.

Adjectiveless Spider-Man (staring Peter Parker) is being relaunched in September from a celebrity creative team of J.J. Abrams, his son Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli, and Dave Stewart. “It’s Spider-Man, it’s Mary Jane, there’s a new villain called Cadaverous.” Lowe said that he’s been e-mailing with Abrams to get him on a Marvel book for almost fifteen years! The pitch blew Lowe’s mind and after a year of legal wrangling it is finally coming to you. Lowe hyped the art from Sara Pichelli and Dave Stewart, which – he’s right – look’s fantastic.

Marvel Comics #1000 starts in 1939 and traces the history of Marvel all the way through today. It’s one story in 80 pages from 80 creative teams, led by Al Ewing. Now those creators have been known but the teams have not and the panel revealed the following pairings and their spotlight character.

Saladin Ahmed and Steve Rude will tackle the ever lovin’ Thing

 

Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver will take on Apocalypse

 

Kieron Gillen and Doug Braithwaite tell us a tale of Loki(s?).
Priest and Brian Stelfeeze will reteam to show us a very stylish T’challa
Ryan North and James Harren unleash the mad titan, Thanos.
And Al Ewing, himself, and Cafu will handle a mysterious character who seemingly wears the eternity mask.

The issue will also introduce a brand new character who will spin off into Marvel Comics #1001 where even more creators will put their spin on the mighty Marvel legacy.

You have four more days to wait for House of X. House of X focuses on the massive changes occurring for the X-Men in the present as a result of Xavier’s plans while Powers of X (reminder: pronounced ‘ten’) looks at the past, present, and future of mutantkind.

Hickman praised Pepe Larraz’s ability to bring the environments to life and to define the entire publishing line. He was not so kind to himself, but acknowledged that House of X #5 is “the good one”. Apparently you won’t want to miss it.

The panel then showed off a slew of covers

But these two books are only the start of Hickman’s contributions to Marvel. “We have lied to you al to. We have lied extensively,” said Hickman with the implication that the lies were about to stop. After ten weeks of the two core books, they will be joined by six others in a line called “Dawn of X”. Hickman played a direct role in picking out each of the creative teams.

The panel couldn’t say what the books are but they did give us the titles and teams, through a gameshow no less!

The first book was Marauders by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli. There are six Marauders: Pyro, Iceman, Storm, Bishop, Emma Frost, and Kitty Pryde. Hickman admitted that the concept looked “like a bunch of nonsense” but promised that it will make sense. The cover depicts the characters on a boat and the presence of three powerful X-Women who have had complicated histories alongside movie rivals Pyro and Iceman could point to a contentious team.

Excalibur was revealed to great applause with the creative team of Tini Howard and Marcus To. This was another six-man team book and Excalibur will include Rictor, Jubilee, Gambit, and Rogue. The last two members were surprises Psylocke was a popular choice, as was Captain Britain, but no one predicted that Betsy would be taking on the mantle of Captain Britain. But even more shocking was Apocalypse joining the team.

X-Force returns as well with Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara at the helm. The eight members of X-Force are traditional in some ways, but not what you might expect from X-Force: Wolverine, Marvel Girl, Domino, Kid Omega, Beast, Colossus, and Black Tom Cassidy. It launches in October.

Another long missing old title, Fallen Angels, relaunches in November from Bryan Hill and Szymon Kudranski. This one has a tighter focus, with X-23, Cable, and…Psylocke!? Yes, apparently there is a new Psylocke…

A new New Mutants got notable cheers from the audience. It was deserved and yet also premature as Hickman will write the first arc of the book before passing it over to Ed Brisson. Rod Reis will lend his incredible artwork to the series that launched Bill Seinkiewicz. In a surprisingly traditional twist, the New Mutants are Magik, Sunspot, Cypher, Mirage, Karma, Wolfsbane, Chamber, and Mondo. The audience couldn’t help but notice that Wolfsbane was recently killed off.

Finally the line is anchored by X-Men, courtesy of Hickman and Leinil Francis Lu, this October. The book will feature every one of the characters on the preceeding team and all of those offered as options who aren’t as well.

These six books are coming soon, but there is a wave 2 and a wave 3 already in the works. Hickman wanted to keep the writers who were displaced while also bringing in new talent. Leah Williams and Vita Ayala were specifically mentioned to be working on the line.

One fan asked about how connected the line will be. White and Hickman answered that the books will stand alone but they will all play with the new status quo. Jeff the Landshark will supposedly return in a major book.

Cebulski also regretfully announced an ABC special honoring the life of Stan Lee which will film in October.

 

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