Talent manager Rickey Purdin opened Marvel’s final panel of the show, introducing a panel consisting of Donny Cates (Doctor Strange, Venom), Charles Soule (Astonishing X-Men, Daredevil, Star Wars: Darth Vader), Jacen Burrows (Moon Knight, “secret stuff…”), Kris Anka (Runaways), Ed Brisson (Iron Fist, Cable, Old Man Logan), Matthew Rosenberg (Punisher, New Mutants), and Darren Shan (X-Men Editor).
Donny Cates opened by discussing Venom, calling it a book he wanted to get his hands on since he was nine. Cates pitched the first seven arcs of his run at the Marvel retreat. The art comes from Ryan Stegman, who Cates describes as “finding new ways to be dope”. The book will star Eddie Brock and, in a surprising statement, Cates warned/promised that it will be a darker book than fans might expect. Cates has been calling it a Lovecraftean action film.
Cosmic Ghost Rider will spin out of Cates’ work on Thanos. Frank Castle will be the rider and Thanos #17 will be essential to defining the Cosmic Ghost Rider run.
Charles Soule, the man who killed Wolverine, will be bringing him back in the “Hunt for Wolverine” event, beginning in Hunt for Wolverine Alpha by Soule and David Marquez. Alpha will explain how Wolverine escaped his adamantium prison, but the question is where he has gone.
From there four miniseries will detail that hunt. Adamantium Agenda by Tom Taylor and R.B. Silva was described as a nostalgia play, reuniting the New Avengers. Mystery in Madripoor is the X-Book, bringing a team of women who have had varying relationships with Wolverine, created by Jim Zub and Thony Silas. It’s a sexy spy book that won’t shy away from Logan’s history, for instance with Storm. Claws of the Killer is a horror book from Mariko Tamaki and Butch Guice. This one looks at Wolverine’s enemies looking to keep Logan dead. Soule himself wanted to write a detective book, feeling that DC had too much of a stranglehold on the genre. Daredevil, Frank McGee, Misty Knight, and Cypher will be teaming up to track Wolverine down. It’s called Weapon Lost and is drawn by Matteo Buffangi.
Burrows worked with Marvel at the turn of the century, but has been away until Moon Knight. Though he’s stepping away for an origin story drawn by some different artists soon, he’ll be back to continue his work soon.
Anka is a fan of Runaways from the very beginning and described working on the new series as a “feelings book. Feelings and clothes.” Anka and Rainbow Rowell are “always in the middle of a conversation”, constantly texting and discussing. The collaboration is very fluid and Anka has had a chance to really contribute to the story starting with the second arc. None of the Runaways team have a favorite, but Anka is the exception, strongly backing Karolina Dean.
With the return of the original Wolverine, Old Man Logan is really looking at how age is slowing Logan down. Brisson wanted to look at some really brutal villains, including Bullseye. The book will also examine how Logan deals with having a living reminder that these are not his X-Men and this is not his world.
Iron Fist is tying into the “Damnation” storyline. Las Vegas has become a literal hell and Danny is caught in a battle royale. Expect plenty of old Iron Fist enemies, including Fat Cobra.
Frank Castle may be the new Cosmic Ghost Rider, but right now he’s still the Punisher. Not only that, Nick Fury has tasked him with stealing the War Machine armor and assassinating a world leader. Frank is thrilled to be taking on a literal army, and he’ll be taking them on until issue #23. In issue #24, however, he’s returning to New York with a taste for bigger game. For heroes like Captain Marvel and Luke Cage, it is not ok to leave that armor in Castle’s hands. He’s not a hero. But if you think he’s going to let go of that armor, you will be disappointed.
New Mutants: Dead Souls will see a new team, including Wolfsbane, Magik, Rictor, Boom-Boom, and Strong Guy. Rosenberg describes it as something different from what X-Books have been giving readers. The team are paranormal first responders, dealing with a shadowy conspiracy that only seems like unrelated events. Rosenberg says that, while these are the five team members, there will be plenty of surprising characters and serious character growth, as well as a big shock as to where it leads. The miniseries will feature art by Adam Gorham.
Asked their favorite X-Man, Cates answered Maggot, Soule said Psylocke right now, Currows picked the EXiles as a whole, while Anka sided with Magneto, and Darren Shan said Jubilee. Shan also polled the crowed on whether they wanted Maggot to return and some mixed response convinced him that it should be a possibility…
A fan wanted to know the panelists’ desert island comic, Cates picked Moore’s Miracleman. Soule had trouble picking between Preacher and Sandman. Burrows would take Akira and Anka wanted Hellboy. Brisson was torn between Punisher Max and “Kraven’s Last Hunt”. Rosenberg regretfully admitted it had to be Watchmen. Finally Shan opted for Ultimate Spider-Man.
Rosenberg says that Nextwave is going to be an influence on his Boom-Boom, but it will also pull from her history in New Mutants and X-Force.
Referencing Brian Michael Bendis’ comments about a new Marvel vs. DC, a questioner asked about what the panelists would do with that. Brisson wanted the Amalgam Universe Back. Donny Cates wants to settle the Thanos vs. Darkseid rivalry, but later changes his answer to Doctor Strange and Constantine. Soule offered Darth Vader vs. Superman. Anka wants to have Karolina and Nico go shopping with Starfire and Raven.
After repeated jokes about it, Ed Brisson was questioned if he really wanted to write Speedball. The truth is he does. Speedball was hyped as the next Spider-Man when he was created. Brisson bought in hard as a child and even now he really wants someone to make good on that promise.
Kris Anka says that Runaways #12 is effectively his dream book.