They've been teasing some reveals for a while, so I've got my butt parked in the Amazing Spider-Man panel here on Sunday at the San Diego Comic-Con. Spider-Man's been a fantastic book for a while now, so we're hoping for excitement with the Marvel NOW stuff – and hoping Spidey doesn't change TOO much. As we wait for it to begin, I'll try to stop falling quietly in love with the pleasant woman ushering people in. Yeah, I'm a little Con-addled.
The tail end of the last panel featured Dan DiDio clarifying Scott Lobdell's earlier statements about Tim Drake – the reason he wasn't a Robin is just that he technically never took the name "Robin." He was always "Red Robin," because he felt talking the "Robin" name so soon after Jason Todd's death wasn't cool. Apparently, then, he was still Batman's sidekick and all, it was just a semantic difference. Also, a kid in the last panel used the word 'hackneyed.' I give him props.
UPDATE: Big news – Greg Rucka is ending his Punisher run after the Punisher: War Zone series where he fights the Avengers. Thanks to Marvel NOW, Dan Slott may or may not be done with Spider-Man with issue #700, which promises a HUGE event that will divide fans and maybe send them into hiding. Also, Monica Rambeau visits Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel #7. Minimum Carnage will feature a Scarlet Spider/Venom team-up to go after Carnage in the Microverse.
The final Marvel panel of the convention is this one here. Frank Tieri is here, and he writes SPACE PUNISHER.
Also here are C.B. Cebulski (we hope later), Kelly Sue DeConnick is here, Humberto Ramos is running late as well, Cullen Bunn. And, of course, Arune Singh.
Amazing Spider-Man is up here. Singh is calling Dan Slott right now so we can cheer for him. Slott tells us about the Lizard story. Morbius has turned Curt Connors back human, but with the Lizard's evil brain.
After No Turning Back is #692, the 50th anniversary issue of Spider-Man with Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos. The character of Alpha is coming. This puts a new twist on Spidey's origin, when a kid comes to his science class, and Peter Parker's science experiment gives a new kid his own set of super powers, so it's Alpha's power and Peter's responsibility.
Cebulski and Ramos arrive.
Alpha is everything Peter Parker wishes he could've been in high school – everybody sees him get his powers, so he gets to be the kid in school with super powers that everybody knows.
Ramos says he talked to Slott about the design of Alpha – a regular kid. Ramos was moved by Andrew Garfield, looking like a regular kid with something special – that was the approach with Alpha. Slott says he's the most gorgeous looking character in the world because Ramos draws him that way.
Avenging Spider-Man #13 – Hypno-Hustler and Deadpool are in it – with Kevin Shinick and Aaron Kuder.
DeConnick says Captain Marvel and Spider-Man are a little flirty in current issues of Avenging Spider-Man. In the Ms. Marvel series with Brian Reed found them on an actual date with zero chemistry, but they're good friends and good with banter. In AvSM has them going to Boston – she asks how to pronounce the zakim Bridge (pronounced ZAY-kim). Big fight over that bridge. Robyn Hood with a "y" for freedom is also involved.
Slott wishes DeConnick a happy birthday, and the whole place sings the song to her. Awwwwww!
Scarlet Spider by Chris Yost. Khoi Pham is the artist, with Ryan Stegman moving to Fantastic Four. "Koy Faym" is how to pronounced Khoi Pham.
Venom with Cullen Bunn and Thony Silas. Bunn notes that Flash is answering for all his mistakes in the book so far. Bunn says Flash is the superhero he would probably be because he screws everything up and can't get anything right. The Savage Six are attacking him right now. Serious scars will be left on him by the end of it. Some different life choices are coming. He might even get a change of scenery for Venom.
Singh brings up a guy in a Spider-Man costume up on stage. Two Spideys dance on stage with each other. Fun! Here's a third kid Spidey!
MINIMUM CARNAGE event is coming. October – Chris Yost, Cullen Bunn, Lan Medina – Minimum Carnage ALpha in October. Carnage escapes jail into the Microverse. Venom and Scarlet Spider meet for the first time and have to deal with carnage. Carnage is the worst case scenario for both Kaine and Flash. Venom #26 is Bunn and Declan Shalvey continuing the story. Cletus Kasady is going to kill a universe. Reluctantly, Kaine and Flash go after him even though they'd rather not ever deal with him again. Flash gets a glimpse of what the symbiote could do on a big scale. Kaine and Flash do not have a flirty chemistry. They put a new reasoning into why Venom and scarlet Spider will fight, even though that's a trope. Scarlet Spider #10 in October as well.
Cebulski says Spidey fans demand a certain artistic quality, with guys like Ditko and Romita down to Ramos, and Steve Wacker tests out all artists, and he found Ryan Stegman, and Pham blew them all away.
Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue and Dexter Soy. DeConnick is passionate about this book. She's a badass. Carol Danvers – control issues, quick temper, shoots a dude in the back, my kinda gal. Pitch was Danvers as Chuck Yeager, focusing on her as a pilot. It's in her history, but a pilot is constantly checking everything around them. Their brains work in checklist form and they need to be in absolute control, and that's the only time she's comfortable. The world doesn't work like that, so Carol is uncomfortable all the time. This is Carol acting out on that, exerting her control issues and piloting in every way she can. We'll learn about the women who preceded her, the female pilots of history on whose shoulders she stands, and we'll learn about the Avengers and her place within them.
Kelly Sue announced a new series with Image yesterday as well with Emma Rios – a Sergio Leone western called Pretty Deadly. Rios is also working on Dr. Strange Season One. She did Osborn with DeConnick last year. Singh brought it up for her birthday so she could plug it.
Punisher War Zone – a new limited series where the Avengers go after Frank Castle after he goes too far. This is a five-issue series that ends Greg Rucka's run on the title with Marco Checchetto. It will be violent and visceral and based on Rucka's scary knowledge of how to hurt people. It starts in October. All in-continuity, the Punisher will kick some Avenger butt. DeConnick loves Rucka, and he talked about how this is going to wrap up, and her heart was beating out of her chest. He has a real talent for making the stakes absolutely real – he makes you care about his characters but is fearless about hurting them.
Daredevil by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee – they won three Eisner Awards. Cebulski doesn't know what's coming up next, so it's a SECRET.
SPACE PUNISHER. If you're coming to this for moral quandaries, this is the wrong place. It's about f-ing people up IN SPACE. Tieri says it's a crazy idea and he thanks people for a good response. It's Buck Rogers if he really screwed up. It's the typical Punisher story – an intergalactic mafia killed his family. He figures out who the other five are – check out our review on Crave Online for more of this. It's all crazy space versions of marvel characers – Deadpool, Sabertooth – and a lot of them get killed. If the numbers are there, there will be more space stuff out of Tieri. Space Wolverine! Space Aunt May! Cebulski wants Space Punisher & ROcket Raccoon. Mark Texeira fully painted this issue, too.
Q: After the Big Time flashback of Gwen and the movie, any more of Gwen Stacy to be seen beyond flashbacks? Slott says they'll show Gwen Stacy if there's a story in the past – untold stories, but he really doesn't want to bring her back. She's too important to the mythos as the tragedy Spider-Man failed to avert – it would be like bringing back Uncle Ben. Ramos wants to draw Gwen Stacy, so Slott says DONE! DeConnick plugs a book called Do Gods Wear Capes that has a great Gwen Stacy piece.
Q: Was the Anti-Venom suit destroyed in Spider Island? Slott says "it sure looks that way, but Eddie Brock is continuing to be a very vital character in the Venom books." Eddie Brock is the new Toxin in the Savage Six. He plays a big role. Toxin really hates Venom. Going forward, Bunn says Toxin will play a big role in Venom's story. Toxin hates Venom, Eddie will start hating Flash.
Q: Will Horizon Labs stay in the picture, will Peter stay the same age? You'll have to keep reading – maybe he's going to be 60 years old soon, Slott jokes.
Q: How long does it take to create a Spider-Man comic, how many people work on it? Ramos says it's supposed to take him four weeks, but it's often five weeks. Cebulski says he gets three weeks sometimes. Sometimes it's two pages a day. Ramos says the job is being at home alone, waking up at 7am and going to bed at 2am to meet deadlines. There are a crew of people waiting for him to finish his pages, and if he misses a deadline, he impairs everybody else's work, so he's very aware of that. The team he works with motivates him to keep it going. It's an amazing team on Amazing Spider-Man. It takes DeConnick a week to write a script and it's not fast enough. Pros who work more regularly average 6.5 scripts a month. DeConnick cannot do that – that fast, you'll burn out. One a week is as best she can average – Tieri says he's the same way.
Q: Alpha's real name Andy Maguire is a great play on words (Andy Garfield, Toby Maguire) – is Slott ending his run soon? When you get to the last page of Amazing Spider-Man #700, Dan Slott will have to go into hiding. In Marvel NOW, they are relaunching a number of series, and new creative teams on a number of series, but Singh thinks you'll be happy with what's happening with Spider-Man. Slott says the thing that happens in 700 is the biggest thing he's ever done to a character in his entire career in comics. It is a big, gutsy move that will probably divide fans. Ramos says he'll have to hide, too, since he's drawing it. Singh says they can't confirm nor deny if Slott is going to stay with Spider-Man during Marvel NOW.
Q: Can we see the Spider-Men on stage fight to the death? One of them does a handstand.
Q: Will Peter Parker be in the mix in Minimum Carnage? Bunn says no, this is a situation only Venom and Scarlet Spider are in position to take care of Carnage. Spider-Man won't come in and pull their fat out of the fire. The way they resolve the story is very much their kind of resolution.
Q: Who did more justice to Spider-Man in the movies – Raimi or the new one? Slott loves them both, and he's seen the new version four times. Slott says everything but Spider-Man 3. All three Spider-Men on stage like the new one.
Q: Any future one-shots for Amazing Spider-Man or franchises, and with the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man, what's your favorite Spidey villain? Slott chooses Dr. Octopus. DeConnick likes Osborn. Bunn likes Morbius. Tieri likes Osborn. Ramos chooses Aunt May. Cebulski is a big Kraven guy. Spider-Men on stage choose Kingpin, Electro and "Love, peace, not war." Cebulski says that once Marvel NOW hits, they'll focus on the core books and monthlies instead of one-shots.
Q: Any other things they're doing for 50th birthday of Spider-Man? Singh says there are big plans. You'll hear more about it soon to celebrate his birthday. A lot of retrospectives. Spike TV just ran a good retrospective on Spider-Man this weekend with a lot of comic contributions. Some limited series in August to celebrate, and Slott will be telling one of the biggest Spider-Man stories ever ending with #700. Lots of variant covers featuring Spider-Man as well. Will John Romita Sr or Jr draw the covers? They're in talks with both of them about something.
Q: Was the identity of the Crime Master always intended to be Betty's brother? Bunn says it was always the plan. They discussed it and decided it was the right thing to do. The last issue of the Savage Six arc is coming up, but there are more Crime Master revelations coming up.
Q: If you could reintroduce a character, who would it be? Slott can't choose, because he'll spoil stuff – he IS bringing some people back. Slott then chooses Prowler. DeConnick won't say because she might make it happen, actually. Bunn says it's tough, but he'll get to do it in Minimum Carnage, so he won't say, either. Tieri has no idea, but he'd like to do Spider-Man in SPACE PUNISHER. Ramos wants to draw Carnage. Cebulski wants Cloak and Dagger back. DeConnick then says Phyla-Vell would be fun (former Captain Marvel)
Q: A kid asks about comics about Peter's parents? The Spider-Man annual that introduced him, but Brian Michael Bendis did lots of stuff with Peter's parents in Ultimate Spider-Man.
Q: A guy dressed as Cyclops feels Spider-Man's getting darker trying to enforce the No One Dies thing (acid on Sandman and stuff)? Slott says yes, and there will be more in No Turning Back, and some repercussions of that lead up to #700.
Q: Bringing back the old symbiotes always planned? Bunn says Rick Remender always planned to bring those back and pare them down, and there are things they want to do with them, but yeah, it's always been planned.
Q: Your favorite story arc or run on Spider-Man? Slott chooses The Death of Captain Stacy. DeConnick is a fan of Slott's run and loved Spider Island, but she's also loving Miles Morales. Bunn remembers where he was the moment he read Kraven's Last Hunt, driving through Texas in a car, and he was stunned. Tieri agrees with Bunn. Ramos recounts reading the Death of Gwen Stacy when he was a kid, supposed to have dinner with his parents' friends, and the book made him cry. Cebulski says "the Kid Who Collected Spider-Man." Singh plugs Untold Tales of Spider-Man by Kurt Busiek. DeConnick mentions Matt Fraction's "In Defense of the Spider Marriage" as well.
Q: How many villains have been in the entire series of Amazing Spider-Man, asks a kid? 78.5, Slott says.
Q: Is Eddie Brock going to be in Minimum Carnage? Toxin is not, but he will be back in Venom.
Q: Is Alpha a sidekick to Spider-Man? Slott says you'll have to read the issue.
Q: Is Silver Sable dead? Slott says "sure looks that way." There will be more information in the next issue of Amazing spider-Man.
Q: What's your favorite Spider-Man costume? Slott says black suit is great. DeConnick is Miles Morales. Bunn says black suit, Tieri too. Ramos and Cebulski like the red and blue.
Q: What villain would you guys like to see in the film? Slott chooses Mysterio. DeConnick is all NOrman all the time. Bunn wants Morbius. Tieri wants Kraven. Ramos wants the whole Sinister Six together. Cebulksi would go with Kraven – get sean Bean or a Game of Thrones dude.
Q: What are your thoughts on a Spider-Man live action web series? This guy did a Miles Morales short on the net, and Singh loved that. DeConnick can't speak for the company, but as long as you're not making money off of it, do your thing. His goal is to work for Marvel in some capacity. Singh says he'll give him his card and they'll talk.
Q: With Carol Danvers becoming Captain Marvel, will she feel the pressure of that? Any Captain Marvel enemies? Carol is always fighting to be the best she can be, and starting in #7, she's going to get a visit from Monica Rambeau.
Q: Any more development of Madame Web – can she have a premonition without falling over? Slott says the future doesn't look good for Madame Web, and that's all he's going to say.
Singh gives shout out to their Marvel.com teams and interns taping them, and thanks the Room 6DE crew, too. That's a Comic-Con, people.