Here's a quick rundown of the big stuff we learned at the comic panes in San Diego this year. Nothing game-breaking, but some neat tidbits nonetheless. This isn't EVERYTHING, of coruse – for that you gotta read the panels recaps, but it's most of the big stuff.
Today, we heard that the venerable Dan Slott may not be safe from the big Marvel NOW creative-team shuffling, as he may or may not be wrapping up his Amazing Spider-Man with issue #700, which promises to be a doozy. Slott called it the biggest thing he's ever done to any character ever, and Marvel's Arune Singh says it's so big and gutsy, Slott may have to go into hiding aftewards in anticipation of how divisive it will be.
We also heard that Greg Rucka will be ending his run on the Punisher with a five issue miniseries called Punisher: War Zone. The Avengers will finally decide that Frank Castle has gone too far, and they'll try to hunt him down. And they'll get their butts kicked a bit.
Minimum Carnage will be a Scarlet Spider/Venom crossover where they have to team up to stop Carnage from destroying the Microverse.
POST AVX: A 5-issue AvX Consequences series from Kieron Gillen, the cover of the first one features a chalk outline. Lots of Dead Cyclops speculation here by the time this all shakes out.
There will be an A+X ongoing series featuring Avengers and X-Men team-ups – creators like Jeph Loeb and Dan Slott will contribute to it.
Also, an Avengers Babies vs. X-Babies one-shot from Skottie Young.
Uncanny Avengers is a "seismic shift" along the lines of when they decided to put Spider-Man and Wolverine on the Avengers.
Axel Alonso admits it was a mistake to call Prelude to Schism that, because they feel like it promised what it didn't deliver – he still thinks the series was great, but the title was a misnomer. He also said that the whole 'resurrection' thing is one of the cool things about comics that makes it unique, so we should all embrace the fact that dead doesn't mean dead. Except in the Ultimate Universe (which they call "The Avengers on HBO"). Also, he notes that despite the complaints of "event fatigue," there's no proof of that when it comes to sales, so they'll keep doing these summer blockbusters.
A new Marvel Point One will focus on the Marcus Johnson Nick Fury Jr., who had five mysterious cards on the cover that were blacked out. Jeph Loeb referenced "Diamondhead." Too obscure for the room, but that's an old Nova villain from the 1970s. They hope with Jonathan Hickman taking a crack at Nick Fury Jr. will help people accept him more.
There will be an unprecedented new dynamic between Banner and Hulk, and it'll be a funny book. If they put Bruce Banner's mind into a little floating robot head, I have no idea how I'll handle that.
Red Hulk will become Red She-Hulk, still written by Jeff Parker. Maybe another Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers stunt.
Thanos: Son of Titan by Joe Keatinge will tell the full history of Thanos. Thanos: Year One.
A new Gambit series by James Asmus and Clay Mann that is supposed to be all sexy.
Daniel Way is leaving Deadpool, and there are plans in Marvel NOW to use him.
New Mutants is ending, but the characters will show up elsewhere in major places.
Neil Gaiman is going to team up with J.H. Williams III for a new Sandman story.
Quentin Tarantino hijacked the Before Watchmen panel to announce he's doing Django Unchained comics with DC, explaining that when he writes his scripts, they tend to be these massive epics and he has to cut a lot of stuff out, but with the comic series, he can translate the entire initial draft of his script and tell the complete story.
Scott Lobdell is a lot of fun at panels, but he seems to live in his own world. He said not only that Teen Titans #0 will reveal that Tim Drake was never an official Robin, but also that the New 52 Teen Titans are the first ever incarnation of that team in this world, even though his Teen Titans #1 said otherwise. Dan DiDio clarified later that Tim Drake was never "Robin" but rather took the name "Red Robin" out of respect for Jason Todd's death. Lobdell tried to clarify the latter statement by saying ideas had shifted from the beginning of the New 52 until now, but he was tap dancing around the continuity mistakes.
Lobdell is also changing Blackfire into a more sympathetic character rather than the evil thing she was, deeply regretting betraying her sister to save her world.
Frankenstein not only ties in heavily to Rotworld, but he'll be joining Justice League Dark so Jeff Lemire doesn't have to stop writing him. Amethyst and Timothy Hunter will also join the team. Lemire says he got permission from Neil Gaiman to use Hunter. There will also be a crossover where Billy Batson meets John Constantine, which would be much more interesting if Billy Batson was still Billy Batson.
Shazam will join the Justice League in the next year. Geoff Johns seemed to imply that all his foster family kids will get powers. "The Little Rascals with magic powers," he said. He also said Shazam and Cyborg will bond over how cool it is to blow things up. Johns thought the classic version of Billy Batson was too perfect.
Jonah Hex will fight crazy Jekyll-and-Hyded clowns in All-Star Western around the same time as the Joker hits Gotham.
Tony Bedard will do a post-apocalyptic Beowulf story in the backups of Sword and Sorcery.
A mild controversy with Smallville comics, as they had previously advertised Stephanie Brown as Nightwing in that world, but then they've changed it to Barbara Gordon because she's more "iconic."
Wildcat will likely have some connection to the Earth 2 version of The Red. For those complaining that Alan Scott wasn't a "major" character for DC to make gay, he's pretty much going to be the Superman of Earth 2. Apparently we've also already met another one of our characters that nobody's noticed yet, so time to go back through your Earth 2 issues. Also, the Darkseid that attacked Earth 2 and killed the Trinity is the same one from the main DCU's Justice League.
Dan Jurgens will be reverting Firestorm back to the old mold of two characters in one mind and playing up high school angast and light fun – a drastic change from the massive global-scale nuclear arms disasters that the book has been so far.
New 52 Amanda Waller has never been fat.
Other Bits and Bobs: Anarky will be featured in the Beware the Batman cartoon, and Static will be in Young Justice.
Jeph Loeb explained that the transition from Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes to Avengers Assemble will not be scrapping all the old continuity – just moving it forward and trying to have it match the movie in tone. It was likened to the same comic series with a different creative team, and to when Bendis took over the Avengers. That MIGHT just be covering his ass to pacify angry fans, because we'd doubt they'll ever reference the old series, but that means there's a chance it might stay solid.
Deadpool is getting his own Mature Audiences video game.
Image has a new slate of big name creators – Matt Fraction and his wife Kelly Sue DeConnick among others.
IDW is making both a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic series and a new Judge Dredd series, along with two more digital-only Transformers books based on the animated Prime show and the upcoming video game Fall of Cybertron.
UPDATE: 7/15: DC's Young Justice panel – Tim Drake was never a real Robin!
Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man panel! and a clarification that Tim Drake was RED Robin always, out of respect for Jason Todd dying as Robin. He just never took the name. According to Dan DiDio.
UPDATE 7/14: My interview with Darwyn Cooke of Before Watchmen! Don't call it a prequel!
Image Comics Experience panel rundown of a new slate of high profile creators!
UPDATE 7/13: DC's Superman Panel!
UPDATE 7/12: The first DC Panel is "The Dark and The Edge!"
DC's second panel: BATMAN!
UPDATE 7/10: We're off to San Diego Comic-Con tomorrow, but before we go, we've gotta give a shout out to our friends at Click Communications for this handy little Comic-Con Survival Guide. Check it out!
Check back to this page each day, as our comic coverage from Comic-Con will be collected and categorized cautiously right here!
July 12-15, with a neat preview night for us hoity-toity types on July 11, is when San Diego Comic-Con is taking place this year, a week or so earlier than usual – which means I'm working there on my birthday this year, but that's of little consequence to anybody who isn't me.
Crave Online is heading there en masse, and you'll see coverage all over the site, but as far as our humble Comics Channel goes – you know, comics, what Comic-Con was originally about – we'll be parked at all the big panels for Marvel and DC, and they tend to have a lot. We know DC's got at least one lined up for the New 52 (and could easily have one for each of their groupings of books, such as "The Dark and the Edge" and "Bat-books" and the like), as well as one for Before Watchmen. Marvel's always got a handy showing, and they've said they'll be announcing at their Sunday panel what all the "This Is War" preview posters have been advertising. Of course, every other funnybook factory and their brothers will be there as well, so we're sure to pick up a lot of news (as well as some crazy Heroclix exclusives – hey, it IS my birthday).
We're also hard at work lining up interviews with your favorite comic creators as well – nothing we can announce yet, but you'll know soon enough if you keep it tuned right here – bookmark this very page, and it will be consistently updated throughout the con with all our Comic Channel Coverage, yo!
And you know it's going to be a lot of Film and TV news as well, so don't forget to tune those channels in as well. Crave Online's got you covered.
UPDATE: Comic-Con's Thursday programming schedule has been revealed – and here are some of the panels we'll be trying to cover for you, pending manpower and scheduling:
10:00 AM – IDW & HASBRO – meaning we might get some interesting talk about the current slate of Transformers comics, which are some of the best TF books of all time.
11:30 AM – DC'S TALES FROM THE DARK AND THE EDGE – this will be updates on your Justice League Dark, your I Vampire and the like.
1:00 PM – DARK HORSE: POWERED BY CREATORS – the movement towards creator-owned comics has a home with this well-respected publisher.
2:00 PM – BATMAN: BEYOND THE NIGHT OF OWLS – Scott Snyder's awesome Court of Owls story has dominated Batbooks, but what else is coming up?
3:15 PM – DC ENTERTAINMENT ALL-ACCESS – DC NOW! – a general DC thang, including the brilliant artist Amanda Conner as well as Geoff Johns, Jimmy Palmiotti and even the one and only Rob Liefeld.
5:45 PM – VERTIGO: A VIEW FROM THE CUTTING EDGE OF COMICS – where DC's imprint goes beyond the cape to tell a wide variety of stories in many different genres.
UPDATE 2: Friday's slate has been revealed! Let's see what's up, shall we?
10:00 AM – COMMUNITY: SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION – oh, wait, that's not comics. That's just my favorite TV show, and it promises to be a hot panel, considering the creative genius behind the show, Dan Harmon, was fired after the end of Season 3. You can be sure Blair Marnell and the TV crew will have more on that.
11:15 AM – DC COMICS – SUPERMAN- this should be an interesting one as well, considering former Superman scribe George Perez recently revealed that the editorial muckery from the higher-ups and general Grant Morrison secrecy ruined his experience on the book.
12:30 PM – MARVEL ULTIMATE COMICS – aw, man, I guess i should cover this. Ultimate Comics has its own following. I used to be part of it. Jeph Loeb destroyed it for me in one issue somehow, and I've not been able to care since. But still, with Spider-Men crossing over the two main Us, it might become more relevant. We'll see how I'm handling my hangover from the previous night's birthday celebration.
1:45 PM – DC JUSTICE LEAGUE AND GREEN LANTERN – Yeah, I will be here. A wide net of coverage going on, and I can only hope that while I'm clacking away on my keyboard to cover it all, someone will get up and ask the panel when Hal Jordan will stop being such an irritating douchebag at all times.
3:15 PM – MARVEL CUP O' JOE – this is the standard Marvel panel where Joe Quesada brings a panel of House of Ideas creators up, reveals a nugget or three, and then takes a bunch of questions from the crowd.
4:15 PM – DC COMICS THE NEW 52 – an even wider net than the last one, apparently. Will there be a fourth wave of new books? It's a huge panel, so we should get some kind of huge news.
There are also Spotlight panels featuring Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire to hit up – that is if I don't have to scramble around to get interviews – which I will. But more stuff!
UPDATE 3: SATURDAY!
10:00 AM – DC New Wave panel!
11:15 AM – DC Original Graphic Novels panel!
12:45 PM – Before Watchmen!
2:00 PM – Image Comics
2:45 PM – Avengers vs. X-Men!
6:00 PM – Iron Man 3! Dare I even try? Check the Film Channel for that one.
Also, interviews scheduled, too!
10:00 AM – DC's Young Justice TItles
12:30 PM – Spider-Man!
1:00 PM – DC Nation!