Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider and Iron Patriot Get New #1s In All-New Marvel Now [NYCC 2013]
Saturday afternoon's Marvel panel was billed as an Inhumanity panel, but most of the announcements were for new Marvel solo books, and there was almost – almost – news about the future of the Ultimate Universe. But not quite.
Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort took the lead, joined by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Ultimates editor Mark Paniccia, as well as writers Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dan Slott.
Brevoort talked about how Inhumanity would be both “a book and an aftermath event," exploring the fallout from Infinity across multiple titles in December and January. Those titles include Iron Man, Avengers A.I., Avengers Assemble and Incredible Hulk. There will also be a two part bookend called Inhumanity: The Awakening, from Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel and one-shots starring Spider-Man and Medusa.
Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman wanted to emphasize that this storyline is a big deal. “All of the hidden Inhumans that for centuries have spread out … are going to be activated. One of those is the son of Thanos, Thane. We have some other new amazing Inhuman characters … It's very important to Marvel; It's the reason we're having this panel.”
Alonso added: ”There's going to be lots of them and they're here to stay. They predate the superhero and they predate the mutant. They were here first. And, spoiler alert, they're not all going to like each other. Black Bolt is the King of the Inhumans, but are they all going to bow to his rule?” He added that Inhumanity is part of an ongoing effort to “narrow the gap” between Marvel's cosmic and earthbound characters, which also includes Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova.
Regarding Cataclysm: The End of the Ultimate Universe, several covers were shown, but when asked to talk about the event, line editor Paniccia was “overcome with emotion” and staged a walk-out from the panel. He came back a few minutes later when the panel had moved on. It was a weird and awkward stunt designed to avoid having to reveal any details about the event. During the Q&A section of the panel he was asked how the action of the event would divide up among the books, and he would only go so far as to say that, “[Galactus is] going to destroy the whole planet, so there's a lot of places the heroes need to be.”
Alonso gave some background on the recently announced All-New Invaders title from writer James Robinson and artist Steve Pugh. Alonso revealed that Robinson thought it was important to bring the characters into the present, and the story related to a Kree device that can control Asgardians that was hidden away by the Invaders during World War II. Following the events of Infinity, the Kree want it back, which forces the Winter Soldier, the Human Torch and Namor to come together again.
As is now traditional at Marvel panels, Brevoort revealed the books behind some of the one-word teasers that the company put out in recent weeks. "Defend" relates to a new Iron Patriot ongoing, starring James Rhodes in the star-spangled armor, from the creative team of Ales Kot and Garry Brown. "Overdrive" was, inevitably, a new Ghost Rider series, from Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore.
Perhaps the least-surprising reveal of all was that "Rad," with the creative team of Dan Slott and Mike Allred, is indeed a new Silver Surfer title (aka Norrin Radd). Brevoort unveiled a cover with a very cool retro logo, and Slott confessed, “Surfer's the first Marvel hero I ever met.... I've been dying to do this. This book is going to be the most Kirbyish of characters doing the most insane stuff in ... cosmic places.”
Despite the size of his ongoing commitment to Spider-Man, Slott took on Surfer when none of the other writers at a Marvel retreat could land a pitch that Brevoort was happy with. He summed it up as; “He's always very lonely on that surfboard. This is a book about [bringing] a girl on-board. He's going to meet a kindred spirit who's an Earth girl, and he's going to learn that the universe is more fun when you see it with someone.” If that sounds a little like Silver Surfer as imagined by a die-hard Doctor Who fan, that's a pretty accurate description of Dan Slott.
Slott admitted that writing Silver Surfer would allow him to revisit his “Reckoning War” storyline, which is an event he was planting the seeds for in much of his Marvel work prior to Spider-Man. He noted that Spider-Man doesn't fit the “sci-fi/comic” nature of that story, but it's a good fit for the Silver Surfer.