Emerald City Comic-Con: The Mondo Marvel Panel
ComicsAlliance is live on site at Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle, where the the big Marvel Q&A panel, "Mondo Marvel," just kicked off at the convention center with a huge roster of Marvel writers on hand: Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Kieron Gillen, Joe Kelly, C.B. Cebulski, Joe Kelly, Rick Remender, Jeff Parker, and Paul Tobin. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada began by telling the audience: "This is actually your show. You guys get to run this panel," and invited fans up to a mike at the front of the room to ask questions.
The first question came from a Spider-Man who asked, "To what degree do I have to to debase myself to get your to get Spider-Man and Mary Jane together?"
Joe Quesada: "You know what... no. We worked too hard to get Peter to this point. The marriage -- I understand why certain people want to see [it], but we have to manage the charcaters for the future, and a married Peter Parker --as cool as they may seem -- forom a writer's standpoint... it handcuffs the character."
Ed Brubaker simply handed the fan a piece of paper that said, "No. Sorry."
A soldier who had spent time in Iraq brought a copy of the controversial "Captain America" #602 "Tea Party" issue, and said to Joe Quesada, "This is a great comic. Why did you apologize for this?"
Joe Quesada: "What I had said was that we had made a mistake in identifying a protesting group as an actual existing group in America, be it Tea Baggers or anyone else. And that's really the truth, because it wasn't meant to be there... If we had put an ACORN or Moveon.org sign in there people on the other side would have been offended and that would have been just as wrong... Along with that, I did make mention [to] that the person who said we had nefarious purposes behind it... I said I think you've really gone way too far... I'd like to steer clear of [political issues] when it comes to our characters... But there are certain characters that in the nature of the character they have the political beliefs built in... In those cases those characters have to reflect what's in their nature. [But] if a writer's writing a story in which they present a belief, we always need to show the other side of the spectrum."
Ed Brubaker: "I grew up on military bases, and the first place I ever brought Captain America was at the P.O. in Gitmo. I grew up in the '70s reading Captain America comics, where Captain America and the Falcon were always talking about race relations... I don't know if we could do that today, the way the media works. For me -- I just try to write the characters the way that I've always perceived them.... I just wanted to show that the mood in the country has shifted this way. That's all I want to say. We don't have Exxon, we have Roxxon. We always keep our fictional world fictional... We don't get on a soapbox about it. And I don't think I was trying to. I tried very hard not to, and we got a lot of flak for it."
Joe Quesada on the Heroic Age: "The Heroic Age -- before it had a name it started with a manifesto... I feel like we've done a lot of big company-wide crossovers and we need to take at least a year off from them. [It seems like] we just gotta feed the beast: do another big one, and another big one, and then it becomes diminishing returns. So the challenge was to take the individual books... and see each of them as an individual franchise. The idea is that while we may not have one big tentpole event, we'll give you ten stories to choose from... It gives our talent a chance to breathe a little bit... I think eventually we'll get back on the hamster wheel and blow the doors off the industry with some big events."
Joe Quesada on the Marvel/Disney merger: "From all indications, and every dealing I've had with the folks at Disney, Marvel runs like Marvel runs. Very much the same way that Pixar is Pixar, or ESPN or ESPN. We have the ability to use the power of Disney... but our books are going to be our books and our movies are going to be our movies."
C.B. Cebulski on the future of "Runaways": "No plans right now. It's just a matter of finding the right time and the right place."
Joe Quesada on resolving story threads that came out of "One More Day": "There is a story in the works. I did promise Spider-Man fans that we would fill in the blanks."