By Chloe Maveal

It was a big day for Marvel fans at Friday’s San Diego Comic-Con as more news was revealed about the anticipated Marvel Comics #1000 marking the 80th Anniversary of the founding of Marvel Comics. Marvel’s This Week In Marvel hosts Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Lorraine Cink were joined by Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski, as well as Marvel creators Gail Simone (Domino: Hotshots), Jody Houser (Web of Black Widow), and Jeremy Whitley (Future Foundation).

The panel started off very enthusiastically, with Penagos and Cink engaging with the audience with a game of “Who can list 80 Marvel characters in a minute?” to pay homage to the publisher’s upcoming anniversary. After a few impressive rounds with excited fans, Penagos and Cink were ready to begin the big reveal.

“We’ve announced the creative team but we haven’t announced what they’re working on so now we get to do that,” beamed Cebulski as he revealed that renowned YA novelist and first-time comics writer Jason Reynolds is slated to write Miles Morales, followed by artwork from artists Chris Weston on Black Knight, Carlos Pacheco on Vindicator, and Daniel Acuna on Prowler.

The true crowning moment for the panel, however, was Cebulski’s reveal that Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham would be teaming up in their contribution to the anniversary issue.

“They’re going to do this special even and it wouldn’t be the same without them. We just can’t tell you what it is just yet,” Cebulski teased.

Simone also spoke about her work on Hotshots alongside Jim Charalampidis and Michael Shelfer, commenting that she will be bringing in the Celestials and several women heroes of the Marvel Universe including a new character, Atlas, whose ties to Wakandan mythology Simone seemed to have a genuine passion for.

“I love Wakanda and I love the mythos,” she said. “I was researching and I came across this particular African mythos and I knew I had to include it.”

Whitley then revealed some of his plans for Future Foundation, which include some well-loved teammates from Matt Fraction and Mike Allred’s FF. Greg Menzie and Will Robinson are slated to contribute art for the series and it was revealed that the big villain of the series will be none other than The Maker.

Simone was then given a chance to speak again as she showed off a few pages from the Deadpool story with artist David Baldeon to be included in the anniversary issue. Though not much could be said without spoilers, Simone told the audience, “This is basically Turkey Soup for the Deadpool Soul. He’s getting very philosophical. I don’t want to give away too much because it’s very funny and very Deadpool.”

After several minutes of playing Name Marvel Characters with audience members again, Cebulski teased the audience with, “Hey, are we playing the game or are we talking about Marvel Comics #1000?”

With that prompt, Houser was able to announce that she is working with the Spider-Family from her Renew Your Vows series with Rachel Stott for issue #1001 due out in September, but also that Whitley would be proudly teaming with Irene Koh for an America Chavez story after being pitched the story by editor Tom Brevoort.

Cebulski then interjected to reveal that Marvel Comics #1000 will begin with the same opening panel as the original Golden Age Marvel Comics #1, and that while there are many contributing talents to the stocky issue, Al Ewing’s pages of the book will be telling the single story throughout Marvel’s history and the secret that brings together the heroes and villains included in the massive timeline.

As the panel came to a close, Cebulski wowed the crowd by including that Star Wars’ own Darth Vader is, in fact, a Marvel character and would definitely be appearing in Marvel Comics #1000.

The panel-goers cheered and left happy (and with plenty of swag) as pins and free comics were passed out as the panel ended. Needless to say, with a packed room and tons of eager fans, Marvel Comics #1000 is surely drawing the attention that it was hoping for.

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