CON QUEST ECCC 2014: The Marvel Comics Panel

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Charles Soule, Tom Breevort, C.B. Cebulski, Jason Aaron, Joshua Hale Fialkov, G. Willow Wilson, Kelly Sue DeConnick

The annual Emerald City Comicon panel that Marvel hosts, based on Joe Quesada’s original “Cup O’ Joe” panels, was a fan-packed, open and inviting atmosphere. Breevort began by explaining the importance of these types of interactions, and offered every fan a chance to say something, positive or negative. There were varying levels of quality in the questions asked, so the group below showcases the informative and/or revealing ones.

Q- When Ms. Marvel was originally announced, what was the blow-back like?

A- (Massive applause for Willow) “It was actually less than I expected. Some fringe groups were convinced it was a type of conspiracy plot, but most of the time it was positive. I knew it would dissipate upon release, and it has.”

Q- Any chance at more stories featuring Elephant Steve?

A- Tom said “stranger things have happened. It isn’t impossible.” However, Russo is doing other series, so unlikely.

Q- Is there the possibility of a Ms. Marvel and Young Avengers team-up in the near future?

A- Willow said she hadn’t heard anything yet, but the fan response has been growing steadily. “Lots of possibilities for her, no concrete plans.”

Q- Why are there so many reprints for Marvel.Now?

A- Tom started off by saying there’s a sales spike each time. “When we don’t do them, there aren’t as many people buying. It’s a reflection of the world we live in. Any sort of continuity with numbering is shattered. People are binge-watching TV seasons instead of tuning in to serial publication. It’s an attitude shift with the general audience.” He also noted that people frequently tell him they don’t like the reprints, yet run out and buy #1 issues. “So basically, it’s all based on consumer attention.” Kelly Sue said that “#1’s are invitations to new readers and a clear message to join Marvel.” Fialkov ended it by joking “It’s a business decision. Not like we’ve had 7 robins in three years…”

Q- What is Marvel Universe Live?”

A- Tom explained that it will be a live stage show touring the country. A “Cirque Du Soleil” for all the Marvel characters.

Q- Jason Aaron, do you hate Scott Summers?

A- “Don’t confused writers opinions with character’s opinions.” This is true in superhero material. He had a lot of fun writing the beer scene between Cyclops and Wolvie, stuck in a room together. He also would love to write from Summers’ perspective of hating Wolverine.

Q- Charles Soule, what’s your plans for She-Hulk? Will it stay a light-hearted romp?

A- Soule explained that he plans to continue the tone of the first two issues, which have done quite well. “She’s a ton of fun to write. I love the idea that you can pick up any issue and get a self-contained, fun story.” While he thinks long storylines have their place in mainstream comics, he tends to enjoy the pick-up-and-go aspect. “I want to explore Jen’s life in a way that’s real and relatable, while still letting her punch robots once in a while.”

Q- Sales have shown that series with new or minority characters are successful. Is this an intentional push?

A- “We try for a wide range,” Tom answered, “and we want to represent the entire world. That’s important to everyone at Marvel.” It seems to be an ongoing situation, and they plan to continue to push different persuasions for different characters.

Q- Why isn’t Marvel jumping on how big Loki has gotten?

A- “We gave him a book!”

Q- On both Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel, who determines the costumes? Between artist and writer?

A- (KSD also received a giant applause) “Wacker (Stephen) helped with the pitch process. We didn’t have a lot of hope at first with the limited budget. Jamie McKelvie helped out with a redesign and Marvel dug it. It looks like the dress uniform from the superhero branch of the military.” Willow added in that “it’s always a back and forth”. She tried to sketch it out and it didn’t go well, so handing it off was the logical option.

Q- How did you come up with the She-Hulk costume?

A- Soule wanted to create “a costume showing she’s proud of her physique”. “It was inspired by weight lifting uniforms and shows a sense of power. Basically designed to show off how awesome she is.”

Q- Can you assure us the quality will always trump quantity, even with the foil covers?

A- “Don’t worry about the gimmicks. The problem is that once in a while it becomes overdone at the expense of content. It’s for Age of Ultron type things. Events, mostly.” Tom also reassured everyone that they weren’t going to slip into 90’s overkill or weekly issues. “It’s a tool to be used in moderation if we’ve got something it needs to be.”

Q- When are we getting a Spider-Woman solo series? (Massive roar from the crowd)

A- “This fall…let’s just say you’ll be very happy.”

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Alex Smith is a news and reviews writer for Capeless Crusader. When not wasting away in class, he spends all his free time with comics, movies, and video games, and has been since birth. He can spend hours discussing Saga, Hawkeye, or Game of Thrones. Lying Cat’s number one fan. Random brain thoughts: @imapensfan

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Alex Smith

Alex Smith is a news and reviews writer for Capeless Crusader. He spends the majority of his time with film, comics and video games. Bringing up Game of Thrones or Saga will elicit a way-too-long discussion. He remains Lying Cat's #1 fan.

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