HeroesCon News! Marvel's Dark Reign Panel

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HeroesCon hosted another Marvel panel on Saturday, focusing on the highly successful and intriguing Dark Reign storylines that show no signs of slowing down. Marvel talent scout C.B. Cebulski once again helmed the discussion, with Marvel editor Jeanine Schaefer, Jonathan Hickman (Secret Warriors), Brian Michael Bendis (Dark Avengers, New Avengers) and Matt Fraction (X-Men/Dark Avengers) on hand to answer questions and make announcements about upcoming events and happenings with Dark Reign. Starting with a question and answer period, one fan asked about the tendency of Marvel to pose questions for their story lines, such as the "who's side are you on" question for Civil War. Would there be a similar question to go along with this next arc of Dark Reign? The answer seems to be the one on everyone's mind, and Matt Fraction said it best, "when will Norman Osborn lose his $#!*". Good question! When asked about the role that magic has been playing in the Marvel universe lately, Bendis promised that the next issue of New Avengers would indeed focus on the new Sorcerer Supreme, especially how the status quo is settling with the magical powers in the Marvel universe after the transferring of that mantle from Doctor Strange to another person. Will there be any fallout from Norman Osborn's killing of Swordsman after the events of Secret Invasion? Bendis said that absolutely, as that shows just how little self-control Osborn has at times. He also said that the various Avengers books would deal with that more directly. Shifting into a slide show, the panel revealed some key details about upcoming events with Dark Reign. Starting in September, the Iron Patriot Acts will begin. A series of one-shots, Dark Reign: The List, will center on the Avengers, Secret Warriors, Uncanny X-Men, and the Punisher. The talent involved, such as Matt Fraction and John Romita Jr., will step away from their usual duties to be a part of these series. Other big names are promised as well for these in-depth looks at the events of Norman's new agenda. Dark Reign: The List shows Norman's position in the Marvel universe after the events with the X-Men and Dark Avengers that are coming up this summer. Norman begins to kick his agenda into high gear, picturing a world as he would like to see it, and the climax of these upcoming events will be centering on Hawkeye (Clint Barton) deciding to take action "further than you think it will go", said Bendis, in his battle against Norman Osborn. Matt Fraction added that the momentum that's happening now will build to what happens with Dark Avengers/X-Men will then lead to the events in Dark Reign: The List. Fraction also promised endings to these books that the readers "would not believe". A surprise announcement was made about other books that are going to be appearing in the Dark Reign: The List series: Daredevil, Wolverine, Hulk, and Amazing Spider-Man specifically. Dark Avengers: Ares will also ship as a three issue limited series, starting in October of 2009. Namor will also become a factor, and more will be revealed with the next issue of Dark Avengers, as the Cabal gets back together for a meeting in this issue. Other characters were also asked about, such as Echo, who was promised to reappear in the now delayed Spider-Woman series. As mentioned in Friday's panel, the Sentry gets a big focus in the upcoming Dark Avengers. The big character on some peoples' minds, Steve Rogers, was asked about, and the response from the panel was a bit cagey at best! Bendis promised big things down the line between Nick Fury's Secret Warriors and Norman's Dark Avengers. With Fury training Ares' son to fight against Norman's team, expect the tension to spill over in the pages of both Dark Avengers and Secret Warriors! The Norman/Fury conflict has been building to the events in these two books! With big events promised for this fall, it doesn't appear that Norman Osborn's reign as the Iron Patriot will end any time soon. Will there be more in store for Marvel's heroes, as they continue to live in a world that has been turned upside down by the events of Secret Invasion?