Marvel ECCC Panel Lays Out Future Story Plans

AgeOfUltron_01_CoverDustin Hall writes;

The mighty forces of Marvel Comics gathered once again at ECCC this weekend, this time with less of a mind on chatting directly with fans, and more interested in divulging plans for their upcoming issues.

Gathered at this Sabbath of creative comic practitioners were Sam Humphries of Uncanny X-Force, Mark Waid of Indestructible Hulk, Matt Fraction from the Fantastic Four line, Joe Keatinge of Morbius, Kelly Sue DeConnick of Captain Marvel, and Gerry Duggan of Deadpool. Brian Posehn was also scheduled, though he was missing and presumed dead by his peers for most of the show.

The group shared a few tidbits about the larger Marvel Universe, larger being a key word that has popped up in Hickman’s Avengers titles. The idea of increased scale will continue as Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy are brought into the forefront of the struggle for peace in the Marvel U, and you can expect them to take up a starring role in the coming months, being touted as “The Avengers of space.” The upcoming Thanos Rising will also explore the origins of the Mad Titan, and bring him back to prominence, as well as exploring his relationship with Death.

The Age of Ultron begins this month, and opens with an already destroyed Marvel Universe, having been conquered by the robotic despot. Little detail was given about this long-teased event, other than it being sold as Bendis’s swan-song on the Avengers, and also ending in a colossal reveal that will lead into another event following.

Editorial refused to give up any information upon the recently teased “First” storyline, despite prompts from the audience. Threats of death from the highest powers were mentioned.

Creators on the panel also had the following reveals for their own respective titles:

- Captain Marvel is about to have a crossover with Avengers Assemble. It begins in May with Enemy Within #1. Despite involving Carol Danvers and the connotations a title like that bring up, Deconnick insists that it has nothing to do with Ms. Marvel’s Immortus cosmic rape-baby-thing storyline, and further that she would never ever use that story in any of her books. Scott Hepburn is the new artist on the book.

- Morbius will continue to have his character re-established in the first 5 issues of his own series, and will become part of the larger Marvel U again in issue #6 and #7, featuring an appearance by the Superior Spider-man.

- Deadpool’s current story will wrap with issue 6, and from there he’ll have a stand alone story that puts him in the 1980′s, messing with Demon in a Bottle era Tony Stark. Dugan promises the title will have moments with more horrifying implications in the future, as well as an appearance by the Superior Spider-man.

-Elaborating on his pitch from Saturday, Fraction clarified that the murder mystery in Hawkeye #11 will be solved by Pizza Dog. In all seriousness. Also FF will feature a pool party, Yancy Street, a Skrull Ben Franklin, the Big Bang, and the Big Crunch… perhaps not in that order.

- Humphries will be introducing the West Coast Ultimates, including Wonderman, Vision, Black Knight, Tigra and Quake. Uncanny X-Force will be delving into Bishop’s life while he was trapped at the end of time, and Fantomex and Betty’s relationship will be examined before bringing the return of a big and classic X-villain.

- Mark Waid’s lucid dreaming led him to a story about Daredevil behind the wheel of an epic car chase, so expect that to eventually make it into an issue. Meanwhile, the villain behind everything since DD #1 will finally be revealed. Over in Indestructible Hulk, Walt Simonson joins the title for a 3-issue arc with Hulk and Thor battling frost giants, before Hulk an Daredevil have a team-up.

Everyone had great tidbits to share on their titles, and insight to share with the audience. Though still left to wait on many major Universe-wise reveals, its easy to see the general road-map, with Thanos, the Guardians, and a more space-aware Iron Man/Avengers/Illuminati trying to meld Marvel’s cosmic face, once alienated, into the general tapestry of the 616. Expect many new twists and turns leading generally in that direction, as we move through the Age of Ultron, and into the next era…