There are big changes going on with the Avengers on the way to NOWing them up. Falcon is Captain America, a mystery lady is Thor, and Iron Man is regressing, yet being superior somehow. What’s the deal? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out at Marvel’s Avengers panel at San Diego Comic-Con. I’ll be live-blogging the panel as it happens.
On the panel are editor Nick Lowe, editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, Uncanny Avengers/Captain America writer Rick Remender, Original Sin and Thor writer Jason Aaron and his immense beard, and Nick Spencer of Avengers World will hopefully show up soon. Nathan Edmondson of Black Widow, Punisher and Deathlok is here.
Avengers NOW promo art from Sara Pichelli – Deathlok, Angela, Medusa, etc.
Captain America #25 – Remender jokes that it’s a big secret about the new Cap, which is obviously Falcon. He debuts in October, and the conclusion he’s been building to will tie into Axis. We’ll see what Zola and Red Skull have cooked up. The first time Adam Hughes and Steve McNiven do variants for the same book.
All-New Captain America #1, Falcon takes over in November. Remender talks again about putting Steve through the meat grinder, which was necessary for a character with such tenacity, along the lines of Daredevil Born Again. He’s sidelined in a different way, out of commission physically, and he has to train his replacement. In issue #25, Sam earns the mantle in a new way. His origin is unique, rich and wonderful. A modern-day Captain America is an interesting angle.
Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1 comes out in November, by Al Ewing and Luke Ross. Sam Wilson as Cap.
Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1 by Ales Kot and Marco Rudy in October, spinning out of Original Sin.
Avengers World #11 in August from Spencer and Stefano Caselli. Spencer explains it’s been exploring the Avengers place across the globe, in Marvel Asia, Marvel Europe, etc. Morgan Le Fay is attacking Europe, the Gordon as giant dragon beneath Madripoor threatening China. Everything comes to a head and they converge. The Next Avengers from the animated film from years ago are brought in from the future by Maria Hill. They’ll be tackling Scientist Supreme Andrew Forson of AIM. A new Black Knight led Euro-team coming up, too, and an Asian team. Axel wants a Mexican team.
Deathlok #1 from Edmondson and Mike Perkins on October. Edmondson says the time couldn’t be more ripe to bring Deathlok back into the limelight. He’s a leading mercenary operative unaware that he’s all these other things. He thinks he’s a medic in Doctors Without Borders and isn’t aware that he gets activated as a weapon of war in the field. It’s absurdly high action. He’s the Terminator before he was Terminator. Robocop meets Bourne meets Manchurian Candidate. Deathlok is Perkins’ favorite character.
Thor #1 from Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman in October. New female Thor. Aaron jokes that Thor is Aunt May. Aaron says he was building toward the moment where Thor couldn’t pick up his hammer throughout Thor: God of Thunder, and he wanted someone else to pick it up and carry it for the foreseeable future. A lot of people have been changed by picking it up, and rarely have they been women. Storm did once, but here’s a chance for a woman to actually carry it. Most of Thor’s supporting cast lately has been women, including a new love interest and future descendants. Nobody knows who it is. She’ll be carrying it for a long time to come. Aaron loves Esad Ribic on Thor:GOT, and Dauterman has a more poppy, curvy feel, and he draws the hell out of some Frost Giants. Thor & Unworthy Thor sketches are shown.
Lowe talks about how the Marvel booth accepts portfolios for review, and Dauterman came from this at Comic-Con.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 by Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez, Stephanie Hans. Aaron likes how they’ve introduced Angela into the Marvel Universe and creating a new 10th realm, meaning it fits in the Marvel universe but will have a very different style. When bringing her in, they wanted to have a good story, and Neil Gaiman and Joe Quesada came up with a skeletal backstory and handed it over to Aaron to flesh it out.
Superior Iron Man by Tom Taylor and Yildiray Cinar. Tony Stark wearing a crappy head wrap (I hate those things). Tony Stark will surrender to his id and huge ego and become superior. He’s going to San Franciso with grand plans. He’s always a bit of a prick, and he wears his flaws on the outside. He’s offering Extremis to citizens as an app to upload, and Tony’s in a gear we haven’t seen him before. It’s a bright white Iron Man armor, like an Iron Man iPod.
Related Link: Comic-Con 2014: Marvel’s Avengers/X-Men Axis Panel
Q: Since he’s moving to SF with Daredevil, will DD be involved? There’s a very good chance that their paths will cross. Alonso is from SF, so the entire universe may move there.
Q: What’s with The Unworthy Thor? He’ll still be in the pages of Thor with his own story to tell, not a separate book. Aaron isn’t throwing it out and starting over, it’s the same story going on. He’ll be in Thor, but the main focus will be on new Thor.
Q: Did the Builders or the Celestials influence the beginnings of life on Earth? Jonathan Hickman isn’t here to answer, but Lowe says they are working at cross purposes in the universe. Lowe says it’s like your dad and your mom – or at least HIS dad and HIS mom.
Q: Gorr The God Butcher fan asks how Tom Taylor get involved with Superior Iron Man? Mark Paniccia, senior editor, reached out to him. Remender set up this recalibration of Iron Man, and Tom is running with it, spinning out of Axis #3.
Q: What new villains are up in Avengers NOW? There are new villains all the time. The Builders, Proxima Midight and the Black Order. They go for a balance of new and old villains. Alonso spoils a story that will be spitting out new villains like never before that’s being discussed. An apparatus may be in place for new villains to happen a lot.
Q: Movie fan asks about recommendations of how she can transfer to comics? Alonso says any of the All-New Marvel Now books like Black Widow and She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel were designed like that. The All-New Ghost Rider. Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man. Edmondson’s Punisher #1. Loki: Agent of Asgard. They try to make comics accessible, even with events. They try not to write comics about previous comics.
Q: Guy dressed as Falcon asks what’s happening with Steve Rogers when Sam takes over? Remender says Steve has a role and an arc in the book, as a side character, but Sam is the focus. Steve will be running ops for Sam and the Avengers back at the mansion as an eye in the sky as a tactician. That may lead to conflict if Sam gets sick of taking orders from him, but for now it works.
Q: The creative process of writing a crossover event using other characters? Aaron says it all runs through editorial to coordinate that stuff. It’s always hard not to screw up someone else’s story because of what you want to do. Remender contacts the writers to try to work in unison with them and talking things out. Unworthy Thor Odinson will be in Axis, but female Thor isn’t, and that’s something Remender and Aaron worked out.
Q: Guy dressed as Miles Morales asks about the Black Widow partnering up with Deathlok in Edmondson books. Edmondson says “partnering” would be a little strong. She works solo, but she’s crossed over with Bucky and Daredevil recently, and the Punisher crosses over soon. Expansion of Natasha’s world will happen and other players will become more important. They didn’t want her to be defined by other characters, they wanted to define her on her own terms. Alonso is very happy with Black Widow’s prosperity as a solo book. She’s an Avenger, but the Avengers won’t like what she’s doing with her free time.
Q: Kid likes Steve Rogers more than anyone in the Marvel Universe – can he become Nomad? There is a new Nomad coming up, but Steve Rogers is now really old and can’t fight people. He’s in his mid-90s. Alonso says “If you’ve ever fantasized about your favorite superhero being a frail old man, now’s the time!”
Q: A guy asks why not give Sif her own book instead of Female Thor? Aaron says he’s gotten a few tweets about this. Aaron says he’s created a lot of new female characters in Thor: God of Thunder. Sif was the center of Journey Into Mystery for a while. Aaron says it’s a difference between doing a story about Robin and one about Batman.
Q: What was Hulk’s line in the second Avengers movie, asks a kid who doesn’t know he’s not talking to movie people? Alonso says the script is super cool and if you like the Hulk, you’ll love it.
Q: Iron Man has betrayed the rest of the team in the current books, and now he’ll be more of a jerk, but he’s in all the team books. Will this affect his teamwork? It weighs heavily into Axis, and he’s a very big part of Hickman’s ongoing story tied into the same thing. They’re all pulling into the same direction. His betrayal of the Avengers is a huge part of Hickman’s story going forward.
Q: Time Runs Out on promo art – what’s that about? It’s a huge story in Avengers and New Avengers leading to something very big.
Q: Is Thor a Disney Princess now? Aaron says if that’s the case, he’s the person to write it as a clear expert on Disney princesses.
Q: What happened to the Living Tribunal, who also died on the moon? It’s not in Original Sin, no plans yet, but a lot of people seem to die on the moon.
Q: Black Widow fan asks about a Black Widow movie. Alonso bugs Kevin Feige daily about it, so probably at some point.
Q: A vet Marveholic asks what’s up with Doc Strange? Alonso says they have firm plans but can’t talk about the whos whys whens or whats. The office joke is that the road is littered with great Dr. Strange pitches that didn’t stick. There is a reason that Dr. Strange plays a big role in Original Sin, so keep an eye on them. They have a writer and artist and they’re working on something with him.
Q: What music do they listen to for inspiration? Remender has a bunch of soundtrack stuff, and Vessels, and God Is An Astronaut and Mogwai. Crunchy viking metal for aggressive stuff. If he needs to wake up, he goes for 80s hardcore. Spencer makes playlists for every project he works on, puts them on Twitter. Edmondson listens to songs of the humpback whale – and he just discovered the Zolas. Aaron doesn’t listen to anything – he needs dead silence. He talks to himself a lot, he doesn’t even want people in the house.
Q: Any old Avengers like Moondragon, Firebird being revamped? How would Hercules react to the Female Thor? Aaron says that’s a good idea and you may see that soon. Remender and Jerome Opena are bringing Starfox back in a big way to breathe new life in him in Avengers: Rage of Ultron.
Q: Any Native Americans becoming Avengers? Dani Moonstar, maybe. Avengers World #15 and #16, you should read for that.
Q: Will Loki join the Avengers at some point? Remender says ‘read Axis.’ Interesting stuff coming up with Loki there.
Q: How will the lack of Steve’s inspiring leadership affect the battlefield? Remender says that’s the fun of the contrast. Sam’s stepping into that role, and he approaches it differently, as seen in the “Loose Nuke” story. Some may question Sam, but Sam’s ready to do it.
Q: Will Loki be messing with Unworthy Thor to make him a villain? Thor and Loki are together in Original Sin: Loki: Thor: Tenth Realm or whatever it’s called, says Aaron. It will be a very different Thor in a dark place. Being unworthy rocks his world. He won’t be a straight up bad guy, but it’s definitely a different place.
Q: Who will become the new Falcon – is it Stephen Colbert? Remender says there’s a new Nomad filling the role as Sam’s partner, but Sam’s basically still got most of his Falcon suit, so there’s not really a need for a new Falcon.
Q: Living Lightning coming back please as a Latino hero? He’s been talked about, nothing concrete.
Q: Does Thor have no weather powers now that he doesn’t have the hammer? The young version of Thor pre-Mjolnir has some kind of influence over the weather naturally. The hammer helps him channel it, but he won’t be completely depowered.
Q: How to pronounce the name of Thor’s axe? “Jarnborn?” “Yarn-Born” sounds right.