By Brandon and Brett Pascall
At New York Comic Con on Friday, Marvel Comics Editor in Chief C.B. Celbuski took the stage with Donny Cates, Al Ewing, Dan Slott, and Nic Klein for the “Marvel’s Next Big Thing” panel, a regular show staple.
Incoming! was up first. This whodunnit is Marvel’s big, oversized, 80-page end of the year event comic with Ewing on the main story. Cates, Jonathan Hickman and others will also contribute, to tell stories about the characters they have worked with over the past year. In the artwork, we see the Masked Raider (from Marvel Comics #1000), who finds the body of the murder victim — a known Marvel hero (whose identity was not revealed during the panel).
Cates was up next, with Silver Surfer: Black. He talked about how the project was one of the most passionate and rewarding things he has worked on and has been an homage to Silver Surfer: Parable by Stan Lee and Moebius. Cates thanked fans for taking a risk on buying a more experimental comic from Marvel, before the panel moved onto Guardians of the Galaxy.
In talking about Guardians, the panelists touched on Rocket’s disease and how his body modifications begin to fail him, then teased his fate. Following the tease, they quickly switched things over to Magus (Adam Warlock’s evil twin), who will play a major part in upcoming issues. Unfortunately, it was announced that issue #12 will end Cates’ run on Guardians of the Galaxy.
It was then revealed that Al Ewing will be taking over the Guardians book, with Juan Cabal (All-New Wolverine, Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man), and Dean White. When Ewing took the mic at “Marvel’s Next Big Thing,” he said people know him for his world-building, but for Guardians he gets to do universe-building — that means he gets to take control of the entire MU’s space. He assured us that the Guardians on the cover aren’t the only Guardians in the book, and that it will feature many more characters joining the team. The panel showed Cabal’s cover, which is stellar and hints at the new series’ tone.
Then, “Marvel’s Next Big Thing” switched back over to Cates, who talked about Absolute Carnage and how he and Ryan Stegman have been having an amazing time on this event, and the Venom book as a whole. We were showed a few pages and Cates talked about how Peter Parker (Spider-Man) will help Eddie out and teach him about responsibility. The ramifications for Eddie at the end of this event end his act one on the Venom book.
Venom Island is the direct storyline after Absolute Carnage, which will be revealed in Venom #21. Cates talked about Amazing Spider-Man #374, where Venom takes Spider-Man there to hunt him; Cates is returning to that island, and Mark Bagley will be joining him on this arc, which starts in December.
Dan Slott was next on the panel; he talked about how he has put Iron Man through the ringer, and how after Tony Stark was killed in Civil War II, the question for the book became, “Is this the real Tony or is this a copy?’” Slott said that question will be answered by the last issue, which will be #19.
In 2020, the book will be relaunching as Iron Man 2020. Slott will co-write with Christos Gage and Pete Woods will be on art. According to Slott, everything the current series is doing has been building to this. Iron Man 2020 will focus on what type of hero Iron Man will be. Each issue will have a fifth color fluorescent ink.
Next, the panelists talked about Immortal Hulk, and how issue #25 will show off the Ninth Cosmos. The only human creature left is the Immortal Hulk. The book is like no book Marvel fans have seen; what they are trying to accomplish is getting fans attached to a non-humanoid cast.
Following this, the panel announced Marvels X, a prequel to Earth X by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Velibor “Well-Bee” Stanojevic. Marvels X will follow a civilian character, a young boy named David, the last human on Earth filled with deadly monsters.
From there, “Marvel’s Next Big Thing” discussed Fantastic Four, with Slott talking about the Point Of Origin arc and issue #13. He noted that every person on Spire has a soulmate and teased a love story between Johnny Storm and his soulmate, who lives on the planet. Then the panel dived right into Valkyrie: Jane Foster. Ewing talked about how, when all the Valkyries died, there was an opening in that position; Mephisto hired Grim Reaper to take the soul sof heroes to his realm, and we see that a hero’s soul has been taken. We got to see future issue covers by Mahmud Asrar.
The panel came to a close with Donny Cates, who was announced as the new Thor writer with artist Nic Klein. Cates talked about how this has been the biggest announcement at Marvel for him, and his career has all been leading to this book. In addition to Olivier Copel‘s covers, some fantastic artwork by Klein was shown. Klein talked about his art style on the book, and how the sheer awesomeness that is the Thor book made him want to step up his game. He said the entire book will be one crazy adventure; Cates added that every issue is an event book.
Cebulski awarded Cates a Mjolnir pin to commemorate this announcement.