By Ryan Penagos
Folks are starting to arrive at the panel. The room's huge and Jim McCann is calling some missing panelists to get their butts in gear!
Uh oh. There are some power problems at the panel. Fortunately, Jeph Loeb's here and things are starting to smooth over. Also on hand are Dan and Charlie Knauf, C.B. Cebulski, Paul Jenkins, Tom Brevoort, Ed Brubaker and Dwayne McDuffie.
Jim's launching right into the slides, starting with Captain America!
Spoiler alert: Cap's dead.
Civil War: Fallen Son is the hot topic, which Jeph is waxing poetic on. Loeb relays the story of how Fallen Son came about during the last Marvel retreat in December. Upon hearing that Cap was dying just after Civil War, JMS pitched a story about the five stages of grief that the Marvel U. goes through in the wake of Cap's death. Jeph felt very close to the project, having lost his son Sam last year.
While that's a heavy topic, Jeph's really passionate about the series and this could be the shining crown in an already fantastic career. Jim cued up the beautiful Michael Turner-drawn variant covers to the series and then a Leinil Yu interior page from the Wolverine issue. Wolvie, in an idea initially delivered by Brubaker, tracks down Winter Soldier to get to the bottom of things. Another page from the issue was shown, a particularly brutal fight scene between Wolverine and Daredevil.
After that, an Ed McGuinness page from the Avengers issue was displayed. Jeph joked that any Ed McGuinness comic has to have the Thing in it and lo and behold, Thing's in the book.
Jumping past Fallen Son, the panel went straight into the Initiative, getting people hyped for the new books, particularly Avengers: The Initiative. Loeb and Brubaker both were both blown away by Dan Slott at the last creative retreat and really back The Initiative. When that launches, you'll see why.
Dwayne McDuffie explained that Brevoort promised him the FF job 17 years ago and now, finally, it's paid off.
Charlie Knauf talked about Iron Man and how the Mandarin is coming back. Charlie and his son/co-writer Daniel are looking to make Mandarin more grounded, more relevant and very dangerous.
Jim's zooming through the slides, pumping up an upcoming New Avengers/Mighty Avengers battle, the New Warriors and into Sub-Mariner. Tom brings the knowledge on Namor's new book. Check out our Sub-Mariner story from our New York Comic Con coverage to get the 411 on that upcoming book.
Thor gets some love at the panel, though there isn't much to talk about right now. No spoilers!
Barry Kitson's _________ teaser image makes the panel and Tom explains the premise for the new team. If you're looking for more info, check out our _________ story from New York Comic Con.
That's the end of the slideshow, kicking off the Q&A section.
There're some Great Lakes Avengers fans in the room. Look for a Deadpool/Great Lakes Avengers book coming this summer.
The Young Avengers get some attention in the coming months in Fallen Son and World War Hulk, courtesy of Jeph Loeb. I think they'll also be active in The Initiative, but I could be wrong.
One fan asked why Cap was killed by a bullet and Brubaker explained the social and historical resonance of assassinations with Presidents, for example. It lends a bit more reality to the situation as opposed to seeing a hero fall to mad villain.
Loeb explained the art of writing and how he prefers to write a full script before handing it off to his artists. He likened it to giving them a piece of music. Seeing the full scope of the comic allows the artist to better envision how to lay the book out, how to pace it and really make it rock.
Did Ed Brubaker say some things he shouldn't have about Spider-Man? Not really, but check Marvel.com in the coming week for panel audio and video to see what went down.
There was much more asked at the panel. Keep checking Marvel.com for that audio and video.
Check out all our Wizard World LA coverage