The second of Marvel’s Secret Wars themed panels focuses on “Battleworld”. Senior Editor Nick Lowe was joined by James Robinson, Joshua Williamson, editors Jake Thomas and Jon Moisan, and Secret Wars writer Jonathan Hickman.
Nick Lowe kicked off the panel by asking Jonathan Hickman to describe the main “Secret Wars” book. The event is the culmination of his grand design for his Avengers run. Hickman also praised his artist Esad Ribic as Lowe showed off pages from issue #1. Pages which featured characters locked in battle. When Hickman was asked to talk about what happens in the opening, he answered by quipping, “Everybody Dies.”
Next up Lowe showed the covers for Inhumans: Attilan Rising, which will be written by Charles Soule with art by John Timms. Soule himself described the book as “in-line with Casablanca.” The cast of characters include an all-new version of the Hulk, Undead G-Man, a Ghost Rider, and Mega-Rad.
Lowe transitioned into Ultimate End, written by Bendis with art by Mark Bagley. Lowe talked about wanting to keep secrets about these series so the twist and turns will have the emotional impact intended. (Maybe don’t start talking about post Secret Wars before the event begins)
More details emerged about Master of Kung-fu from the team of Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic. It takes place mostly in K’un-Lun, but in this alternate version of the mystical city, everyone is a martial arts master. This part of Battleworld has several schools of martial arts taught by alternate versions of their characters; including aBlack Panther School, a Spider-Man School and a White Tiger dojo. An underground tournament between all determines who runs this part of Battleworld and Shang-chi will have to go up against his own father. It was mentioned that Talajic is a martial artist and has been waiting years to do a story like this.
In keeping with the fight theme the group talked about the Secret Wars: Battleworld anthology series. The first issue will feature a story by Williamson about a Doctor Strange-powered Punisher fighting a demonic Fantastic Four. Editor Moisan teased more outlandish battles such as Blade fighting Howard the Duck, Egyptian Silver Surfer will take on a crocodile version of Abomination, and old West Deadpool fightingDevil Dinosaur.
Williamson talked a little bit about Red Skull. His book has a version of the character that is supposed to be dead and his influence is still felt in the realm. A group of heroes will enter the deadlines to either verify the rumors or kill the Red Skull.
Next up was Secret Wars: Journal. The series will be a place for parts of Battleworld that don’t have a series of their own. One of Kevin Wada’s covers shows Kate Bishop from the ‘1602’ universe where she is a Robin Hood-esque figure.
The group touched on Thors, but not much was given outside of a bit of art. It’s the series most fans and critics are excited for, especially featuring the art of Chris Sprouse. (Can someone do a Too Many Cooks/Thors mashup?)
James Robinson talked about Marvel Zombies vs. Age of Ultron. The series is about a pocket of humanity in the middle of a war between the undead superheroes and Bendis version of elements of the Age of Ultron. Robinson described it as, “mayhem, violence and black comedy, but there’s also these characters that love each other trying to survive.”
As the presentation started to run long Lowe quickly ran through the other Marvel Zombies book, along with covers for Ghost Riders, and Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde.
Thomas talked about Siege by Kieron Gillen. The series will have three double-paged spreads drawn by guests artists. It’s premise is about a part of the Battleworld called “the Shield” which is attacked by Ultrons and Zombies. The cast which includes versions of Scott Summers, America Chavez, Kang and the 1602 Kate Bishop are forced to be on the wall defending this part of the planet.
The presentation portion ended with the newly announced Secret Wars: Secret Love. It looks like Marvel is going to dive back into romance comics with the cover featuring Ms. Marvel and Robbie Reyes. Creators involved include Katie Cook, Michel Fiffe, Felipe Smith, Jeremy Whitley, and more.
Strange that this title got a Battleworld banner. Now we hope one of these stories mimics the song “Love is a Battlefield” or when they did it on South Park.
Sunday morning, the third part of these Secret Wars panels wraps things up with “Warzones”.