I know what you may be asking me, “Nick, why are you covering the Marvel Next Big Thing panel when Marvel has already released quite a bit of information about what events, books and titles they have coming up this year? Shouldn’t you be at some OTHER panel?” My answer to that, fair readers is simply because I would feel terrible if you emailed or messaged me saying, “Nick, I missed the Marvel news from the Next Big Thing Panel!!! Why didn’t you cover that!” The guilt would plague me, folks!
Some of Marvel’s biggest guns were on hand to discuss just those mysteries. C.B. Cebulski, Marvel talent scout, editor Sama Amanat and Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso were all there to dish on what was on the way. Moderated by Arune Singh, the panel . More guests joined the panel, Marjorie Lu, writer of Astonishing X-Men, writer James Asmus, Daniel Way, writer Peter David of X-Factor and Dan Abnett. Andy Lanning and Jeanine Schaeffer, the editor of the Wolverine titles, as well as comic book legend Neal Adams were on hand!
James Asmus jumped in to talk about the upcoming Gambit series. "This is a great time to welcome all you men and women who have had a crush on Gamibt to embrace it! It's going to be a super sexy thriller. He's getting back to his thief roots, and the art by Clay Mann, and his work is phenomenal. It has beautiful character work. Have fun with this series." Marjorie Lu talked about the historic issue of Astonishing X-Men #51. "It was an incredible experience, but very humbling. Next, we know that marriage isn't the be all and end all. They had problems before they got married, and those issue aren't going away. Issue 53 and onward will be tough. The X-Men will be in a tough situation." Shaefer chimed in, saying that there would be a Northstar and Kyle honeymoon issue. "Just them getting married, we didn't want it to be a stunt. We wanted to do an extra special annual about them so they will be apart from the X-Men."
Hawkeye, who will soon get his own solo series written by Matt Fraction, was getting lots of hype as well, with the first issue due in August. Another book previewed was Captain Marvel. "This is Ms. Marvel becoming Captain Marvel," said Amanat, "you see Carol Danvers in a different light. You get to see how the past she has influences her today. She's not the friendliest, but she's good at what she does. Deadpool news led to a surprising revelation, the departure of Daniel Way from the title. His long tenure on the series ends with issue 63. " I got to do so much on this book, and I’ve enjoyed it. I think we really go out on a high note with this one," said Way. Generous applause followed out of respect for his run.
Red Hulk undergoes a title change with issue 58, when it becomes Red She Hulk in October. Betty Ross does some pretty bold things that don't endear her to the rest of the Marvel universe, and see just what the fall out will be. Also, as previously announced, New Mutants #50 will be the last issue for the series. "These characters will end up in some unexpected places" said Singh, so don't be disappointed if your favorite characters from that book seemed doomed at first! A new series featuring Avengers' villain Thanos was announced, with the title of Thanos: Son of Titan to go further back into the origin of the character, revealing even some history that pre-dates the Infinity Gauntlet story line.
Before the question and answer period, the last section focused on the Neal Adams/Christos Gage collaboration in First X-Men. Adams described it as, "the time of my life. I'm really enjoying developing all these different histories and relationships. The idea I presented to Marvel focused on the early years. Who were the mutants before the X-Men? Who led them? Then you have Logan. His relationship with the X-Men is deeper than we ever know. The team will include guys you know like Logan and Sabretooth, but there's a new character named Bomb, who is about twelve or thirteen years old and could fit in Logan's coat. Logan begins to care for this kid, so you see that side of him too. I'm having a great ride in these five issues, and I don't know what will happen after that."