Marvel Comics began its Saturday proceedings at New York Comic Con with a packed panel discussion about its popular Avengers . Panelists included Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso with writers Christos Gage, Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, and editors Tom Brevoort. and C.B. Cebulski. Director of Communications Arune Singh moderated the panel, which included fan questions and announcements of upcoming projects and creative teams like Rick Remender and Gabriel Hardman taking over Secret Avengers next year and X-Men character Storm joining Brian Bendis and Daniel Acuña's The Avengers. Check after the cut for more details and loads of new artwork.AVENGERS ACADEMY MEETS THE RUNAWAYS

Now that the Avengers Academy has moved to Los Angeles and thrown open their doors to any young superhuman who wants to be taught, several familiar faces will be showing up in the book. Not only will the young female Wolverine clone X-23 join their ranks, but in March 2012 fans will see them meeting up with another West Coast super-teen team: the Runaways. The two-part story will kick off in Avengers Academy #27, which writer Christos Gage called "a lot of fun for me and also intimidating, because I loved [Brian K. Vaughan's] Runaways, and want to handle the characters right."

The X-Men will also be paying a visit to the school in the near future, which they teased would involve a father/son confrontation between Quicksilver and Magneto.


Fans of both the original Thunderbolts of Baron Zemo and the current team written by Jeff Parker will get to see both groups of superhero delinquents clash in Thunderbolts #171 next March, when the current time-tripping team finds itself in the Marvel Universe "in about 1997," as editor C.B. Cebulski described it, face-to-face with the original Thunderbolts. The chronologically crossed conflict will be written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Declan Shalvey, as usual.


Warren Ellis will be stepping down as the writer of Secret Avengers in 2012, and handing the reins to Uncanny X-Force writer Rick Remender with issue Secret Avengers #21.1 in January, while Gabriel Hardman (Hulk) takes over the art duties in February starting with issue #22.

Brevoort praised the wild, creative thinking of Remender, whom the editor said, "vomits up a fruit salad of crazy." The team will be lead by Hawkeye, now that Steve Roger is Captain America once more, and will include Captain Britain on its roster.


Singh discussed the upcoming Defenders series by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson in glowing terms, saying, "This why you read comics, if you like comics, if you like superheroes, if you have a heart." The book will use a plot thread from the recent mega-crossover Fear Itself to launch the book, which will be predicated on the Hulk needing help.

Fraction described a recent page of the book sent to him by Dodson where Red She-Hulk was running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The writer described the working experience "a new kind of storytelling for me, and a new kind of storytelling for Terry. It's everything we know about love about the Marvel Universe in one big book, including a stunning cameo in the first issue that I'm so excited about. It's the smallest thing in the world, but it means so much. It's a very sprawling kind of mystery. But by the time it's done you'll know why everything in the Marvel Universe that happened has happened," Fraction joked (maybe).

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