Special Edition 2015 kicked off its panels with a Marvel event that didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. After starting a few minutes late to wait for Charles Soule (Inhumans: Attilan Rising) to arrive, things were going fine until the So Where Do You Get Your Ideas… Panel began next door in Theater 2. With only fabric to separate the “theaters,” the much louder speakers just a few feet away drowned out panelists Soule, Marguerite Bennet (A-Force), Brian Michael Bendis (Daredevil and just about everything else) and PR rep Chris D’Lando. However, for those who could hear it, the panel offered a lot of juicy announcements.
The first was the September release of $1 special editions–called True Believers–of the first issues of 10 female-led comics (including Silk, Thor, Spider-Gwen and Ms. Marvel). They will also release 20 manga covers across their titles in August and cosplay variants in the fall.
Moderator Ricky Purdin also showed David Marquez’s character collages for All-New, All-Different Marvel–first revealed a few days ago–and then announced that Bendis and Marquez would helm Invincible Iron Man. Once audience chatter died down, Bendis explained that he was thrilled to take on the character who is the “crown jewel of the Marvel/Disney empire.” He teased that not only would this version of Tony Stark get new villains, a new girlfriend and a new suit that can morph into the specialty versions that are usually separate suits, but readers would finally find out who his biological parents are (Stark was revealed to be adopted in Iron Man #17 back in 2013). “I’ll tell you right now, it’s Thomas and Martha Wayne,” Bendis joked. He went on to promise that everything that’s happened to Tony before is in continuity and that this is not a reboot. He also assured the relieved crowd that the current Secret Wars event would affect but not erase established continuity across the Marvel universe.
The panel also gave attendees a first look at the upcoming Lando Calrissian/Star Wars spinoff written by Soule (who appeared not long after the panel started) with art by Alex Maleev (Daredevil, with Bendis, actually). Soule explained that the series takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back and said his interpretation of the character was, “a gambler who’s always chasing his losses.” This time, his habits make it necessary for him to steal a ship.
Bennet managed to discuss her two current titles despite spending a good portion of the panel leaning across the table to let audience members use her microphone. The upcoming 1602: Witch Hunter Angela is a continuation (in spirit if not in actuality) of her collaboration with Kieron Gillen on Angela: Asgard’s Assassin. She called their work on the first series, “the loveliest experience [she’s] ever had in comics.” She added that 1602 is filled with her and Gillen’s “extremely irreverent” sense of humor and joked that it probably wasn’t worthy of artist Stephanie Hans’s covers.
She also discussed the recently-released and critically-acclaimed A-Force. She said that before the first issue hit shelves, she was nervous about how the story she and G. Willow Wilson wrote would be received and then cried when the positive feedback started. “It’s an enormous amount of pressure,” she said of the book, “but I could not be more grateful.” Later in the panel, when asked which character she’d never written she want to write, she named America Chavez. As someone who bought A-Force specifically for America and was dismayed by what happened to her in issue #1, I hope Bennet gets her wish soon.
By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over every detail of America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture and celebrity obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to. You can find her risking her life by reading comic books while walking down the crowded streets of New York City, having inappropriate emotional reactions at her iPad screen while riding the subway or occasionally letting her love of a band convince her to stand for hours on end in one of the city’s many purgatorial concert spaces. You can follow her on Twitter to read her insightful social commentary or more likely complain about how cold it is at @MarisaCarpico.