Matthew Diener writes for Bleeding Cool from C2E2.
This panel included Dan Slott, current writer of Amazing Spider-Man, Ryan Stegman, current artist on Scarlet Spider, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, editor Tom Brennan, Scarlet Spider artist Ryan Stegman, Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Creative and Creator Development C. B. Cebulski, Venom writer Rick Remender, all moderated by Arune Singh, Marvel’s Director of Communications. Before this panel started we were all treated to a Spider-Man cosplayer attempting every iconic pose you have ever seen from the Webslinger. It was a little creepy, especially since no one was taking pictures or paying attention to him. In the end it was all good as he joined the panel for Q&A, sitting right next to Dan Slott, and even humorously answering questions with the group.
Dan Slott started the panel with a quick summary of the Ends of the Earth arc, saying, “We’ve seen Doc Ock’s opening gambit. He says he has technology to solve global warming. He needs everyone’s support to get satellites up. But Spider-man doesn’t believe him and gets the Avengers to help him stop Doc Ock.”
Dan then gave a shout out to Steve Wacker, editor on Amazing Spider-man, noting that by the end of this arc Wacker will have edited 1/5 of all Amazing Spider-Man issues ever published, quite a feat indeed.
As slides of upcoming Amazing Spider-Man covers were shown, Slott offered comments. With the March/April covers, Slott said, “Sandman’s back, but this time he has all the sand from the world’s largest desert.” For the May/June covers, Slott said, “Spider-man vs. the Avengers. I wonder why that’s happening.”
Slott then introduced the next arc after Ends of the Earth: No Turning Back. This will be a Lizard-centric arc. Slott said, “If you read Spider Island, you know who is in lab 6: Doctor Michael Morbius. We haven’t seen Spider-Man, Lizard, and Morbius together since ASM #100 through #102 in 1971 when Spider-Man had six arms. In that arc, there seemed to be some kind of magical blood in Morbius (in the original it was Morbius’s “fang enzyme” combined with his blood in a serum) that could cure both Spider-Man and the Lizard.”
Slott announced that at the end of that arc there will be, “A really big status quo change that will change everything forever.”
Next we saw a slide of issue #6 of Scarlet Spider. Ryan Stegman said that, “Reaction to Scarlet Spider far exceeded anything we could have expected. I love what Steve Yost does in general and he has done a wonderful job on the book.”
Tom Brennan said that Anna Kraven is coming in issues #6 of Scarlet Spider. Brennan then said that Stegman would be leaving the book and would be replaced by Khoi Pham. He then asked Stegman where he was going.
Stegman answered, “I’m going to the Fantastic Four.” Stegman will be joining Jonathan Hickman on Fantastic Four with issue #609. When asked about the story he’ll be working on, Stegman candidly replied, “I don’t really know what I’m doing yet.”
Rick Remender next talked about the Savage Six arc in Venom. “All of the plots we have moved through culminate in this Venom story. We want to do terrible things to Flash. I like doing this to characters. We wanted to make sure this was unexpected. Hop on issue #17. It’s one of the best things I’ve been associated with. There’s a huge change in the life of Eddie Brock. It’s Venom vs. the Savage Six.”
Remender added that this arc is really a trial by fire with Flash becoming the hero he can be.
Arune Singh took this chance to plug both Secret Avengers and Uncanny X-Force. This became an ongoing theme through the rest of the panel. Singh then said, “Rick writes really compelling personal relationships in comics. It is also the most inspiring stuff you’ll read.”
Brennan piped in, “Rick is doing a great job making people care.”
Remender commented on the as yet unmasked Crime-Master in Venom and his knowing that Flash is Venom, mirroring Green Goblin knowing that Peter is Spider-man. Remender said, “The difference is that Crime-Master is a gang lord who knows who Flash is and who his family is.”
Next was Avenging Spider-Man. The panel noted that the recap pages for the series are hilarious. Singh said that issue #7 includes cameo by someone very famous in the marvel offices. It also includes Marvel Woman, who will have now become the new Captain Marvel. For readers who haven’t picked up the series yet, Singh suggested jumping on with the current issue #4 with a Hawkeye team-up just in time for the Avengers movie.
The panel next talked about the already announced Spider-Men five-issue series, by Brian Michel Bendis and Sara Pichelli, and the celebration of Spider-Man 50th anniversary. Spider-Men will bring Peter Parker and Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, together.
Axel Alonso said, “We will break through the wall between the Marvel universe and the Ultimate universe. The response has been incredible. If you know what a shadow Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe casts over Miles Morales, you can image what meeting Peter Parker from another universe will have on him.”
Singh said that Ultimate Gwen Stacy will play a part and, there will be ”a major reveal for a major character in the Spider-Man ethos.”
About the crossover of the 616 universe into the Ultimate universe, Alonso said, “And it begs the question: Will it happen again?”
Next up was The Omega Effect a series featuring Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the Punisher from Mark Waid, Greg Rucka, and Marco Checcheto. In it, Daredevil has the Omega Device that shows all mega crime. Punisher wants it.
Slott said that Steve Wacker, senior editor of all Marvel New York books (and don’t be surprised if this label starts being used for books with these characters), is creating, “A very unified world. Street level.”
Brennan added that “You are dealing with these three characters at opposite ends of spectrum. They each have something the others need. They are three guys that know each other but don’t always get along. The all have the same goal on some level, but go about accomplish it very different.”
Slott added that Spider-Man’s made the oath that no one dies. This is at odds with Punisher. When the Punisher is around, “Everyone dies.”
Finally it was on to questions from the audience, who had packed the room.
Q: Norman Osborne is now a big villain in the Marvel Universe. Will we see Norman Osborne back in Amazing Spider-man..
Slott: “Well right now Norman is in a coma. I think Spider-Man would win that battle.” Slott then went on to say that there will be a two-issue special anniversary of the 50th anniversary of Amazing Fantasy #15, but this would be followed by “a three-part story that will be very Goblin-centric.”
Q: Will Ultimate Aunt May appear in Spider-Men?
A: Ultimate Aunt May will appear.
Q: The retro photos artwork used for flashbacks in Amazing Spider-man are great. Will you continue to use them?
Slott: “That was very fun. I don’t think we will do the exact thing moving forward. If we flashback, I want to see each artist creating flashbacks in the artist’s own style. It’s more fun and less jarring.”
Q. Will the fact that Flash is Venom eventually trickle down to Peter?
Remender: “I wanted to set things up so that the tension of what happens when Spider-Man finds out Venom is Flash is high. Peter is going to find out that Captain America has put together a Secret Avengers team and that his biggest villain, Venom is on it. This would be like Spider-Man putting together a Secret Avengers team and putting the Red Skull on it. The idea is that the drama there is rich. When Peter finds out, that seems like a terrific story.”
Slott reminded everyone that “ Spider-Man met the hulked out Venom in Spider Island, but never met Agent venom. They kept missing each other.”
Brennan said he thought the scene where Peter confronts Flash about his disappearances and the worry it was causing Betty was great.
Q: Spider-Man and Human Torch recently teamed up. Was the Packers-Steelers Super Bowl just wishful thinking?
Slott: “When I wrote the scene, it’s all about Johnny catching up with all the pop culture he missed. At one point Johnny does the whole Risky Business thing of singing in his underwear. I wrote a note about the music to Chris: It’s your choice, but pick a terrible song . I thought Johnny singing Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ was hilarious.”
Q: In Scarlet Spider, Kaine seems to be a little bigger than Spider-Man. Kaine was always imposing over the other two in the Clone Saga. Did old artwork inspire you?
Stegman: “I wanted to maintain that difference in size. There had to be some difference between Peter and Kaine, but I didn’t want Kaine to be too bulky.”
Brennan: “We want to play Kaine as an older character that Peter Parker. Kaine has lived through some really difficult times and has come through them.
A question of why the Parker men, both Peter and Kaine, prefer redheads led to this comment from Slott, “There will be a major status quo change for Mary Jane.”
Q: Does Ends of the Earth occur before/during /or after AvX?
Slott: In the case of these big stories, we can’t always tell you because then you know who survives. I can say that when AvX is over, you are going to see big seismic changes to the Marvel world, right around Spider-Man #700.
Q: Spider-Girl is no longer being published, but I’m happy to see that May’s father has adopted her catchphrase “No one dies.” Was this intentional?
Slott: “The catchphrase from Spider-Girl was intentional.”
Q: Is there going to be any story arcs where he is in financial crisis in Peter’s life or a problem with Horizon Labs?
Slott: “There always has to be that Parker luck. He still has that, but now it may show up in differ ways. JJJ is doing everything he can to shut Horizon down.”
Brennan: “Dan is finding little tiny twists on the Parker luck. What does Peter do when he has money, when he has a career?”
Q: After Big Time, Spider-Man had all kinds of new costumes. Will we continue to see new costumes?
Brennan: With someone like Batman, you wouldn’t bat an eye if he showed up in the Arctic in a Bat-Snowsuit. Now that Peter has money and access, he can start making gadgets, new costumes.”
Slott: “He’s Peter Parker, he’s a genius, he’ll come up with something. Every new artist gets to design a new suit. With every artist it’s fun to think, What kind of suit would he design?”
Q: In Spider Island we had a spider-senseless Peter Parker. He kept messing up and that was funny. But he finally took training seriously. Will we see more of that or is it gone from Peter’s fighting now?
Slott: Now Spider-Man has spider-sense and Spider-Fu. You will see a scene like Spider-Man fighting Ninjas. At Horizon labs, Tiberius Stone stole the Spider Jammer to Kingpin. Kingpin’s assassin is someone named Hobgoblin. Expect and arc on this called Danger Zone.”
Q: Spider-Man had different abilities in the Other, like the venom stingers. Will you bring back Spider-Man’s other abilities?
Brennan: “Many people in Spider Island had some of Spider-Man’s other abilities. In Scarlet Spider, Kaine has those powers from Spider Island.”
Alonso: “The great thing is that later writers can come along and pick up on some of these things if it makes for a good story. Sometimes a subplot lies dormant until another writer picks it up later.”
Q: Will Toxin, the third symbiote, return?
Remender: “Crime-Master sent Flash to get the third symbiote. At end of Venom #17, there is a big reveal with Toxin. Eddie Brock is hunting down all the Venom symbiotes and killing them. This will lead to Venom #17 and some big changes for Brock.”
Singh then asked, “Do you want to know what’s happening next with Carnage?” and displayed a slide for “Minimum Carnage. Coming Soon.”
Q: With Gwen Stacy being played by Emma Stone in the new Spider-Man movie, is there any chance that Gwen will come back?
Slott: “Gwen is dead. She is dead, dead, dead. She will remain dead. She will stay in the ground and rot.”
Q: Marvel is using AR in the Marvel app. Does the AR app provide a greater opportunity for storytelling or will it just be for when you have something left over?
Remender: “We’ll use it if it makes sense. There’s a lot of potential for interesting new ways we can tell stories. If opportunity presents itself and time is available, absolutely. I’m a stickler for page turn reveal. The page turn is where you want big reveals. In digital you can control every panel reveal.”
Slott: “I loved the little yellow box. AR is the ultimate little yellow box. I can delve into as much of the Marvel Universe as I want. I can include things like information from the Marvel Encyclopedia.”
Q: No one dies in Spider-Man, yet Doc Ock is dying in End of the Earth. What is going to happen?
Slott: “It’s almost like we planned it!”
Q: There are so many more references to how brilliant PP is. The page on Peter’s inventions that are helping people all over the world at the beginning of the Ends of the Earth arc was great. Will we see more of this?
Slott: “Thank you. You know Mr. Fantastic says, I invented this thing to do something.’ So give it to us! Peter lets people have it.”
Q: The Peter and Tony Stark relationship was great in Civil War. Will we see more of this?
Slott: “In Civil War, Tony knew Spider-Man’s identity. He does not now after the events of One More Day. There will be something coming with Tony.”
Alonso: “Tony will be showing up in the Amazing Spider-Man TV shows. Spider-Man will show up in Avengers Assemble.”
Q: Could we see Kaine in X-Force?
Remender: “He’s not a mutant.”
Q: Will we see Jackal in the near future?
Slott: That’s a good question. Remember, the next time you see Jackal, he has the genetic material of the Queen.”
And with that the panel ended. As noted at the beginning of the panel by Singh, Spider-Man fans always seem to have smiling faces at the beginning of these panels. I think everyone left with smiling faces after this panel knowing that Marvel’s Spider-Man team is having so much fun creating these books.
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