My Cup o' Joe

MyCup o' Joe Week 30

Joe Q talks MARVEL APES and answers fans' question

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SECRET
INVASION
X-MEN #3

ASTONISHING
X-MEN:
GHOST BOXES #1

THOR #11

MyCup o' Joe is the weekly communiqué from Marvel Comics Editor in Chief Joe Quesada to the legion of Mighty Marvelites Assembled! Every Friday, Joe will sit down with journalist Jim McLauchlin to answer questions on the pressing issues of the day at Marvel and throughout comics. And you get to chip in as well! Joe will be answering YOUR questions every week! To get in on the fun, post your questions at the bottom of this page! JM: So what's your Halloween plan, man? JQ: One of my favorite things to do on Halloween is just hang out outside of my apartment here in New York City. The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is one of the greatest sights of the year, with some of the best costumes you will ever see. As luck would have it, the police shut down my block every Halloween because the parade route ends right on my street, and all the costumed attendees end up on my street for the after-party. It's an absolute freak show. You have to see it to believe it.

MARVEL APES
#4

MARVEL APES
#4
Art Adams Variant

JM: Sounds cool. Now I gotta admit, the one recent series that blew my doors off was MARVEL APES. Despite the obviously punny name, it was actually pretty damn serious, and almost freakin' brutal in spots. By design? JQ: Yes. [Writer] Karl Kesel and [Editor] Steve Wacker wanted to do something that was a little heavier than MARVEL ZOMBIES, which, of course, had a similarly punny title. They didn't want to constantly pull at the same gag, so to speak. The three things I contributed were the "Vampire Apes" surprise reveal, "Ape Speedball," and since I asked that he end of the series affect the regular Marvel Universe, the fact that it ended up back in the Marvel U. again.

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

Art from
MARVEL APES
#4

JM: And we see on the letters page of MARVEL APES #4 that there are some follow-up specials coming, which is cool. But I gotta ask…have you overplayed your hand, in doing BOTH the Apes and Vampires bits here? I mean, what's left? Marvel Pirates, and you're at the end of the line? JQ: Oh, we're never at the end of the line. I have a whole drawer filled with goodies. Wait until you see who the Marvel Vampire Apes take on in the future. You think MARVEL APES was bloody? Man, you haven't seen anything yet. And speaking of Marvel Pirates, you'll see them in the upcoming MS. MARVEL SPECIAL #1 out this week! And as far as the MARVEL APES Specials are concerned, we have four currently scheduled. My favorite title so far deals with the "ape on the street" point-of-view. It's called "Grunt Line"! JM: Am I correct in seeing Apes a tad bit as an outgrowth of MARVEL ZOMBIES? And as Zombies is on its third series, are you amazed at the kinda legs these things have? JQ: It's always a surprise when stuff takes on a life of its own, so yeah. But once the initial success of Zombies hit, we knew that we could start thinking ahead a bit and plan for more with Apes, as it seemed that fandom was really into it. JM: Now admit it: How much are you laughing behind your hand at your much-promised "return of Speedball" at the end of MARVEL APES #4? JQ: Well, I did promise fans that he'd be coming back, so yeah. This was one of the things I really wanted to accomplish with Marvel Apes. Speedball is back. Okay, he's an ape—so what? JM: We're seeing a massive amount of mail on those crazy-cool flow charts and so on that writer Jonathan Hickman is doing for SECRET WARRIORS. Who is this guy and where'd you find him?

Jonathan Hickman
charts the Marvel
Universe

A page from
the SECRET
WARRIORS
bible

A page from
the SECRET
WARRIORS
bible

JQ: Jonathan Hickman's been making a big splash in all the right circles with his creator-owned projects for Image, including "The Nightly News", "Pax Romana" and "A Red Mass for Mars". He's got a very unique vision, and Brian Bendis was one of his early supporters. When Brian got busy enough so that he couldn't handle SECRET WARRIORS by himself, he suggested co-writing it with Jonathan (even though he hadn't had anything more than cursory contact with the guy up till that point.) And here we are.

Art from
SECRET
INVASION #3

JM: Another "reader mail" bit: You even mention a possibility of a price increase as we did last week, and you get a chorus of nay-sayers screaming about how they're dropping everything and how life sucks and the inevitable "comics is dying, man"! Yet empirically, you're selling out and going into second and third printings on the new DEADPOOL, and even something as random as WOLVERINE: ROAR. How do you filter anecdotal information-read-complaints you get from readers, versus hard-and-fast sales numbers? What's the market landscape look form where you sit? JQ: Well, you can't ignore the fans when they speak of stuff like this, because it's always a concern. We weigh the pros and cons of many business decisions every day. Numbers might tell you one thing, fans might tell you another. We pay attention to all of it, because we have to. Nothing is decided in a vacuum. That said, again, we do everything we can to insure that the largest number of fans and retailers continue to get the vast, vast majority of Marvel Comics at the standard $2.99 price. We have no intention of changing that.

DEADPOOL #2

WOLVERINE:
ROAR

As to how the market looks from where I sit…good. Real good. You mentioned it a bit when you hit on DEADPOOL or WOLVERINE: ROAR. If they're selling out and retail is telling us they need more, that's good. A healthy market has allowed us to publish a more diverse line, and keep titles going that would have, in years past, been canceled due to low circulation. And part of that allows us to hold the line at $2.99. JM: And part of said "diverse line" includes the Marvel Illustrated OZ books, which I'm told will go beyond just one series. In addition to December's THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, there's more down the pike?

THE WONDERFUL
WIZARD OF
OZ SKETCHBOOK

Art from
THE WONDERFUL
WIZARD OF
OZ SKETCHBOOK

Art from
THE WONDERFUL
WIZARD OF
OZ SKETCHBOOK

JQ: Yup. This series is so unbelievably amazing and beautiful to look at that we'll be doing more. Specifically, THE MARVELOUS WORLD OF OZ which adapts the novel by the same name and continues the adventures of Dorothy, Oz and all the main characters. We also have a free sketchbook coming out Nov. 5 with a lot of Skottie Young's amazing design work for the Oz books.

THE WONDERFUL
WIZARD OF
OZ #1

THE WONDERFUL
WIZARD OF
OZ #1
Eric Shanower
variant

JM: Okay. Who is the Iron Patriot?

Who is the
Iron Patriot?

JQ: Mephisto. JM: You see Mephisto every, don'tcha? JQ: It's part of my pact with him. JM: Lets just go to reader questions. JQ: You look like Mephisto. JM: You smell like him. So there. JQ: Such an intelligent discourse. For this, you are banished! Next week, Nov. 7, will be ALL reader questions. So folks, get your questions in! After that, I'm busy with one of our now-famous Marvel creative summits, so I'll need a relief pitcher. Jim, you lined up anyone yet? JM: Yeah, we'll have SECRET INVASION and almost-everything-else writer Brian Michael Bendis for the 14th, and Executive Editor Axel Alonso for the 21st.

SECRET
INVASION #6

SECRET
INVASION #7

SECRET
INVASION #8

JQ: Bendis can't keep our secrets. Should I be worried? JM: Yup. EN\/Y asks: Joe, you've got to bring Psylocke back to the Marvel Universe. We miss her. Any plans to do so? JQ: We did say that this year was a "year of returns" in the X-Office, so it might just fit that Psylocke is one of the returns. You're in the right ballpark, at least. There are women coming back. Non-brunettes.

UNCANNY
X-MEN #503

Classic Insanity sez: Patsy Walker's all secluded up in Alaska. Does she have any idea what's going on down south? Is she stuck in Alaska, or can we expect to see her kick some butt when Secret Invasion is all said and done? JQ: That's assuming she makes it out of Alaska alive, Classic Insanity. If enough people pick up the last two issues of PATSY WALKER: HELLCAT (on sale in December and January!) we might be able to give her an ongoing. But seriously, Hellcat is a great series by a writer you'll be seeing a lot more of (Kathryn Immonen) and an artist who's already starting to make his big break (David Lafuente just drew the Ultimate Spider-Man Annual and his future's REALLY bright at Marvel).

PATSY WALKER:
HELLCAT #2

PATSY WALKER:
HELLCAT #3

PATSY WALKER:
HELLCAT #4

Lawson In Charge asks: You guys are "ultimizing" characters left and right! What will it take to get you to ultimize Howard the Duck, even if it's just to kill him in Ultimatum? JQ: Lawson, I don't know about Ultimizing him. But perhaps…Howard the Duck the Ape? Chris King asks: Hey, Joe! I've noticed that the Winter Guard have been appearing frequently over the last few months. It seems like you're trying to push these characters, as if working towards something. Hopefully this is all planned, and not just coincidence. Are there any major plans for the Winter Guard, or the new Darkstar? I'm curious as to who she is and what her powers are, and her origin. Please explain!

Art from
HULK #1

JQ: Pryvet, Chris! (That's how one of the Winter Soldiers would say "hi".) There's only one answer why the team formerly known as the Soviet Super Soldiers has recently appeared in issues of IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D., SHE HULK, WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS and even MARVEL ZOMBIES 3…it's because we're trying to force Stephen Colbert to get over his fear of bears by embracing the adventures of Ursa Major! As a wise man once said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself...and bears. As for the new Darkstar, who recently appeared in HULK #1, how she came to join the squad is a mystery yet to be explored. Perhaps she just likes bears. Dasvidania! Itz Alwayz Sunny in [Bawston] says: I'm loving that Danny Ketch is back in GHOST RIDER #28! But I couldn't help but notice there's a blue Ghost Rider in the promo art for #29. Who's that? JQ: That, IASB, would be Danny Ketch.

GHOST RIDER #28

I AM WEB 3.0 says: I need to know if Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, lives or dies in Secret Invasion! Will he have a part to play in Dark Reign? JQ: Well, we just established in THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST that every single Iron Fist but one has died at age 33. And Danny Rand just turned 33. Weird, huh? Anyway, I'm sure that has nothing to do with the next arc of Iron Fist, in which the Immortal Weapons journey to a mysterious 8th City…which may or may not be Hell. Doesn't look like Danny's got the best hand to play, does it? Keep your eyes peeled for SECRET INVASION #8, on December 3. It promises to be a heck of an issue. My God Has A Hammer says: Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. has been seen in many places in the Marvel Universe of late. Are there any plans for our dynamic green-haired heroine to get her own series? Or will she continue to be a supporting character within the Marvel Universe? JQ: Agent Brand has a very bright future that we'll be talking about in the coming weeks and months. So pay attention, My God Has A Hammer. You might get that news right here!

INVINCIBLE
IRON MAN #4

INVINCIBLE
IRON MAN #5

INVINCIBLE
IRON MAN #7

SkeletonJack says: I just finished reading the first arc of Matt Fraction's INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and lemme tell you, that was awesome! A bit slow in some parts, but totally the kind of Iron Man I enjoy. Since we fans just got finished reading about Tony Stark's five nightmares, how about you get in the Halloween spirit and tell us what yours are, Joe? JQ: Hmmm, lets see, my five nightmares… 5- Being overtaken by sparrows. 4- Getting a paper cut while handling a lemon. 3- Assorted eyeball injuries. 2- Attending a clown lingerie show. 1- Waking up, and discovering that I actually work at DC. Neal Viper wants to know… Hey Joe, What are the chances some of my favorite obscure characters such as Man-Thing or Jack Monroe/Nomad will have a role in the Marvel Universe in 2009? I really think that since the Marvel U. is gonna be a darker place with darker times that Nomad would be perfect to have pop up and be a major player again! He's a troubled man for troubled times! Bring back Jack! JQ: Well, lets take a look at this, Neal. Jack Monroe died back around CAPTAIN AMERICA #4 a few years ago, killed by the Winter Soldier. So no real plans for him as of this moment. Man-Thing, though, is appearing in a SPIDER-MAN/MAN-THING ONE SHOT in January.

SPIDER-MAN/
MAN-THING #1

Robot in Disguise asks: Joe, what's with all the bear fights in the Marvel Universe? Don't get me wrong—I love a good old-fashioned bear fight once in a while, but they're everywhere! Is this by chance, or is this a running joke with the writers? Keep up the good work! Loving Daredevil! (When does DD get his bear fight?) JQ: Absolute, sheer happenstance. But next month keep an eye out for sparrows. Learn more about The Hero Initiative, the only federally chartered charitable organization dedicated to helping comic veterans in medical or financial need at www.HeroInitiative.org. It's a chance for you to give back to the creators who gave you your dreams. Check out the official Marvel Shop for the best mighty Marvel merchandise!

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