My Cup o' Joe

MyCup o' Joe, Week 21

Joe talks Stephen King's "N.," SECRET INVASION and more!

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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 it kinda feels like we're just getting to take a break, post-conventions run. And you had a trip to Europe thrown in there, too. Where were you, and what did you scope out? JQ: I was in Tuscany, Italy with the family and some friends. It was a wonderful week, not as relaxing as I'd like, but a fun time nevertheless. JM: Did you enjoy any body-cavity searches going through customs? JQ: No, I begged and begged, but there were no takers. I did, however, get to see Simone Bianchi while I was over there. Then after a week in Italy, I bopped over to London for a quick drink-up with our UK talents. What that has to do with cavity searches I don't know. JM: Y'know, I prefer the term "boozer" to "drink-up." I think we gotta change that. JQ: "Boozer" is more Canadian, I think. "Drink-up" is more UK. JM: Well, I am from Minnesota. That makes me a South Canadian. JQ: And speaking of body cavity searches, one of the reasons I set up my UK trip was to see Mark Millar, who I hadn't physically seen in about a year. Mark, of course, blew me off last minute because of some conflicting, big shot Hollywood stuff that was more important than his dear ol' pal, visiting him from the 'States. Ah, they grow up so fast.

JM: He's like that. So you did check out the Tom Brevoort, Mark Paniccia and Bill Rosemann columns done in your absence? And would you agree they're much more personable that you? JQ: Not only that, but did you see Tom in that Gwen Stacy wig? I'm a lot of things, but sexy is not one of them. JM: Now the Mayhem That Men Call San Diego is typically a lot of fun for fans, but it can be work for the pros. What's your view on it? Fun, work, or both? JQ: It's definitely a mixture of both, but since becoming editor in chief of Marvel, I've had to curtail much of the fun aspect of it. I give myself a curfew every evening, because I don't function well the next day without enough sleep, especially at panels.

Fashion Show Models

JM: Was there any particular highlight of the recent San Diego con for ya? JQ: I'll be honest with you, it's all a blur, and one thing seems to run into the other. The highlight for me is always just hanging with the fans at the show. But I will admit that the Marvel Fashion show was pretty surreal. JM: Did you find any down time to do any stuff on your own? JQ: Not really during the con, but on Wednesday afternoon I had time to kill so I snuck over to the theater at Horton Plaza and finally caught a showing of "Batman: The Dark Knight". JM: What'd you think? JQ: I think it's quite arguably one of the greatest super-hero movies ever made…until it NEVER ended! I loved the movie so much that I found myself getting angry with it because it was so unbelievably good and it really didn't need to be all that long. Heath Ledger was magnificent, the script was brilliant, but did it need three third acts? Ugh. I'm still angry simply because it was just that good. It was also a very bleak movie. Not for a second did I want to be Batman or live in Gotham City, but I think that bleakness was compounded because the movie was so long. Still, a masterpiece. And the first time I've found myself at a super-hero movie caring less about the guy in the costume and waiting in anticipation for more of the villain. JM: Back to the con. What sneaked under that radar? What's the one thing—Marvel or otherwise—that no one seems to be talking about in the San Diego wake that you think is going to prove significant? JQ: Well, I wouldn't say that no one is talking about it, but the Stephen King "N." project is something that comic fans have seemed to gloss over a bit. Of course I understand why, it's not Marvel U. related, so it tends to get overlooked, but to me it was one of the most significant announcements at the show for us from a business standpoint even more so than a publishing one. This is an original Stephen King story that is being presented for the first time in a digital motion comic format before seeing print! It's being distributed through several different channels including iTunes, and it's spectacularly done. There's a lot of upside to a project like this when you look at the grand scope of it and what it could imply for the future of comics and Marvel. From that perspective it flew under the radar.

Stephen King's "N."

"N." Screenshot

"N." Screenshot

"N." Screenshot

"N." Screenshot

"N." Screenshot

"N." Screenshot

Oh yeah, and Marvel beat DC once again at the annual SDCC softball game, 16-6. Did I mention, the final score was 16-6? JM: To be fair, it was 7-6 'til the final inning. Close game! We've got several inquiries about these funkadelic "teaser" ads with the red-eye guy, the green-eyed lady and so on. What the heck is this all about? JQ: It's still under wraps for now, but I can tell you three things: 1) It is NOT brand-spankin' new. It involves a well-established Marvel property. 2) It has the word noir somewhere in the title, not like that would come as much of a surprise. 3) Here's a new one with a bloody badge. Now ain't that cool? And a fourth, just 'cause I'm feeling generous: Speedball will not return as part of this particular project! (But he's still coming back…)

JM: So it was a SECRET INVASION week, with #5 hitting. Agent Brand, a pretty-brand-new character, is playing a largish role. Why are you guys putting a relative unknown in the spotlight? JQ: Simply because she's an amazing character and the concept of S.W.O.R.D. is a perfect one for Secret Invasion. JM: And holy crap, she speaks Skrull! How'd she learn? Rosetta Stone or Berlitz? JQ: This is what makes her such an interesting character. Who is she? How does she know what she knows? And how she get into this role of power makes for a very compelling character and story. JM: Okay, Reed makes the interesting remark, "They used my brain to start this war." Without using your dreaded words "You'll just have to wait and see," what the hell does that mean?

NEW AVENGERS #44

JQ:
Okay, I won't say "wait and see—" JM: You just did. JQ: Now who's being the smart-ass? And you always tell me that comedy is hard. How about I just say, "Read NEW AVENGERS #44?" JM: Is Reed's Skrull-revealing gun gonna save the day? JQ: It's not going to hurt, but there's still a big difference between uncovering the Skrull Agents and defeating them. JM: Okay, looking ahead instead of just back at SECRET INVASION, you guys just had an Ultimate Universe creative summit. How'd that go? JQ: It was an amazingly productive meeting, one of the very best Ultimate summits we've had since the very beginning of the line nearly 10 years ago. What made it wonderful is that while all the guys came in with different ideas, they were all dealing with similar themes so connecting them all was very easy and made for some pretty seamless story concepts. Also, having everyone thinking along the same lines made coming up with additional stuff on the spot even easier. We're going to be hitting some uncharted waters in the Ultimate U. and it's got me really jazzed about what's coming next year. JM: Specifically, where do you guys hold these? Marvel office? Hotel suite? Ralph Macchio's pool? JQ: We go off site, but stay here in Manhattan. The location is top secret, sorry. JM: Okay, gimme one nugget: What's one über-cool thing that came outta this confab? JQ: Well, some titles will be going away. Maybe all of them. JM: Do you like how I always say "confab"? I kinda like that word. JQ: Someday you can tell me what it means. JM: Which leads us, as always, to reader questions. JQ: That it does. My Name is Tony says: Hey Joe, We've heard Dazzler is going to be a big part of the new UNCANNY X-MEN stories, and we've seen Bianchi sketches of her on ComicBookResources.com. Awesome to have her back, but are there any other obscure/inactive X-Men returning to the fold soon you can hint at? And I mean card-carrying X-Men, not members of the auxiliary teams like the New Mutants or GenX. JQ: Tony, you're going to have to change the way you think about usual X-Men comics when you think about UNCANNY. This is a whole new ball game. There's no team roster. It's about the X-Men. All of them. Some will come and go, but all the X-Men are game to show up there. It all centers around Cyclops, but stories focus on all kinds of different characters. Colossus is a big part of an arc, Emma's a big part of an arc, Karma shows up, Storm is around, Nightcrawler's a big part…But don't worry, Maggot isn't going to show up. Yet. Greenshoes713 asks: When are we going to see more of the female Scorpion? Any plans for her in the future? I'd buy anything she's in! JQ: Greenshoes, funny you should ask. The female Scorpion will have a short story featured in HULK FAMILY #1, a special one-shot coming out this December. Cy's Cycotic Cychology wants to know… It seems like the Bucky Cap has been operating out of the Mainline Marvel U. Are there any plans for him to show up in any other books or SECRET INVASION? JQ: Cy, we've already glimpsed the new Cap in SECRET INVASION #4, and he'll be appearing full-on starting with #6. Here's a quick preview! Cap'll also be showing up in AVENGERS/INVADERS and elsewhere around the Marvel U. as we get later in the year and move into next year.

SECRET INVASION #5 Cover

SECRET INVASION #6 Preview Art

SECRET INVASION #5 Sketch Variant

SECRET INVASION #5 Yu Variant

JMC queries: 1) How long is Matt Fraction going to be writing INVINCIBLE IRON MAN? 2) And how long will J. Michael Straczynski be writing THOR? JQ: JMC, I'm assuming from your question that you're digging the current runs on INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and THOR. As far as I'm aware, Matt is sticking around with Iron Man. He's having a blast and has a great handle on the character. He also has a master plan that takes him into next year, so for the foreseeable future, I suspect Matt is on for a while. As for THOR, JMS also has a master plan and the book has simply been amazing, so as far as I'm aware, he's on THOR for the foreseeable future as well. Tony Smith quacks us up with… Will Howard the Duck appear in SECRET INVASION? If not, please give Howard the Duck another mini-series or perhaps an ongoing series! JQ: Sorry, Tony, no plans for Howard in SECRET INVASION, much to artist Leinil Yu's chagrin—Leinil likes to throw Howard into crowd scenes and situations whenever he gets the opportunity to. UZ000 sez: INCREDIBLE HERCULES rocks! Any possibility of getting John Romita Jr. to draw an arc to give the book some more limelight? JQ: UZ000, Johnny's schedule is pretty tight right now with his other Marvel commitments, but INCREDIBLE HERCULES has been very fortunate to have some great artists grace its pages. Rising star Rafa Sandoval just finished the "Sacred Invasion" arc (#s 116 to 120) and he's followed by the ever-awesome Clayton Henry for the new arc, "Love and War," guest starring Namor.

INCREDIBLE HERCULES #122

INCREDIBLE HERCULES #123

Chris King asks: Will we ever see more of the interesting relationship between Karma Shapandar and Magneto? That seems to be a friendship that has absolute potential to either change Magneto's views entirely, or just give him new perspective. Maybe he could realize not ALL humans are bad, and that there is hope. Can we see more of her in general? And I love Armor! Thank you for pushing her as a new breakthrough character in X-Men! I'd love to see more of her. Can we maybe get her a new costume? Even the redesigned one seems oddly generic, and I think she should try a different color scheme or something more iconic for her character. I think Kitty Pryde suffered under the generic costume style from the '90s on, and I don't want Hisako to be just another face in blue and gold. JQ: Well, Chris, Karima Shapandar and Magneto's paths aren't going to cross anytime soon. Sorry bud. I thought they'd make a good couple as well, but I thought that about Dennis Rodman and Carmen Elektra and look where that went. As for Armor, I think I'm going to disagree. What you call generic, I call classic. Tomato, tomahto. There's something really iconic about the blue and gold costume. I'm sure she'll get a more involved costume, but for now, most of the kids are just wearing the classic blue and gold. -Marius- says… In the tradition of YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS, would it make sense to see NEW AVENGERS PRESENTS? Have them all written by different writers but co-written by Brian Bendis. Echo could be drawn by Gabriele Dell'Otto, Ronin by David Aja, Spidey by Talent Caldwell, Luke Cage by Alex Maleev, Iron Fist by Dave Finch, and Wolverine by Salvador Larroca. Sweet! JQ: It's an interesting thought, Marius, but of the characters you mentioned, half of them already have their own regular series, so I don't know that the world really needs another Wolverine or Spider-Man comic right now. I know, famous last words. Sentry asks: Will Adam Warlock, the Silver Surfer, Thanos (I have faith he's not dead) or any other really big hitters show up during SECRET INVASION? JQ: Sentry, thanks for the question. Adam Warlock will be in the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Secret Invasion tie-in issues, #4-6. Thanos and the Silver Surfer won't be appearing anywhere during the event as far as I can recall. D@n!$ asks… Hey Joe, Just want to know, what does the future hold for Iron Man and the Extremis armor? JQ: Well, D@n!$… can I call you D@n!$? The future holds some pretty wild things for Tony and Extremis as Matt Fraction is going to be focusing very hard on that aspect of Tony's life in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN. Stay tuned. Jack D drops in to ask… My question pertains to the cybernetic mutant known as Cable. I know that Editor Axel Alonso said that Cable was one of the characters that he really wanted to return to popularity when he took over the X-books, and I think that "Messiah CompleX" did a great job of that. But then, Cable kind of just got dumped in an alternate future with the baby and that's pretty much it. So I'm wondering if he would return to the present and become more of a player in the overall Marvel Universe? JQ: Fear not, Jack D. Cable is going to be a major player in the X-Men Universe for the foreseeable future. Cable hasn't been "dumped in an alternate future"—he's been tasked with the most important assignment that any mutant currently faces: Keeping the baby—and the possibility that mutants might have a future—alive. In CABLE #6, Cyclops taps Beast to see if there's any way they can track Bishop, who is, of course, hunting Cable. Cyclops doesn't want Cable to have to go it alone out there—he wants to help him. He just might get his wish.

CABLE #6 Cover

CABLE #6 Interior Art

CABLE #6 Interior Art

Kathleen asks: Can you have Wolverine adopt the "Old Man Logan" hairstyle (short and gray) in the present day Marvel Universe? I just think Steve McNiven found a look that fits the character so perfectly, and really reflects his crusty old veteran nature. And besides, you can still have the more Hugh Jackman-like Wolverine (i.e., long dark hair with the "Flock of Seagulls" wings) in the Ultimate Universe. JQ: Kathleen, while I appreciate the thought, Wolverine is one of our most popular characters, if not the most popular. While alternate versions of the character are cool to see from time to time, an old-looking Logan isn't exactly something that we would consider doing for an extended period of time. Paul Shelton asks… Who freaks out the most when they hear a pitch from your top writers like Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, or Ed Brubaker? I've heard stories of Editor Tom Brevoort almost having a heart attack over "Avengers Disassembled." JQ: Paul, it wasn't "Avengers Disassembled" that almost caused Tom to have a heart attack, but rather the idea of putting Wolverine and Spider-Man on the Avengers. The Bringer asks: I'm loving THE TWELVE and want to give you all props for finally doing something those old, obscure characters. And on that note, has Marvel ever considering doing a series that outlines the history of the Marvel Universe from day one to the present day? I'm talking something that would encompass everything from the origins of civilizations such as Wakanda and Atlantis to the original Black Knight, on through to the American Revolution, the gunslinger era of the Old West, World War I with Freedom's Five, World War II with the Timely heroes and the war characters on up until the start of the modern day Marvel Universe. I think this is a project that's just begging to be done. Also, given the high profile that Skrulls currently occupy in the Marvel Universe, will we ever again see any reference to the characters from MARVEL: THE LOST GENERATION? Why have great characters that you never use? JQ: Funny you should mention this, Bringer as we were just talking about a project very similar to this just last week. If everything shakes out well, it may be something you can look forward to for Marvel's 70th Anniversary next year. That said, I have no idea at this point if we'll touch on the Lost Generation characters. J gets his Gambit on… Gambit's been given a string of horrible plot lines in the last 10 years. It seemed like some people at Marvel didn't like him that much. But his fan base has stuck by the character through thick and thin. Gambit finally shined a bit in "Messiah CompleX" and he is doing great in LEGACY in his arc. Is there a possibility that after LEGACY is finished, Gambit fans will still be able to read about their favorite character? Or will he be put back in limbo again? JQ: Well, I for one don't like Gambit, J. He stole a girlfriend from me right after college, and I haven't recovered. But the X-Office likes him. Big Gambit fans will like what's coming in X-MEN: LEGACY, I'll tell you that. Tomer S asks: Hey, Joe! In a Marvel Universe where Nordic gods such as Thor and Loki roam the earth along with other mythological beings such as Hercules and Ares, how does this affect the religious beliefs of other characters and the simple citizens of the Marvel U.? What is the stance of institutionalized religion toward these godlike beings? What's the Vatican's stance? Atheists? JQ: That's a good question, Tomer. I think the stance is varied. Most people, I expect, simply don't believe that Thor or Hercules are the true mythological figures, but simply super-heroes using those names in the same way that Cyclops isn't the monster of myth. But we've also seen stories in the past where religious extremists such as the Crusader have targeted Thor as being the representation of a Pagan deity.

Russ looks to the future… Will we ever see any of the Marvel 2099 characters in the comics again? JQ: Russ, m' man, what's happenin'? While there are no big plans currently for the 2099 characters, Spider-Man 2099 recently showed up in EXILES. Oh yeah, and there's always the chance that this may happen. Matt asks… Any plans to reprint the original QUASAR series? JQ: Sorry, Matt, according to our Collected Editions folk, there are no plans at the moment. Mike inquires… Hi Joe, I just reread YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS: THE PATRIOT and was wondering if we could maybe see a series about the original Patriot? I think it would be awesome to explore the other men who wore the Cap costume! JQ: Don't know that we'll get to the Patriot particularly, Mike, but we are doing a series of Cap Specials under the umbrella title of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THEATER OF WAR that will tell stories of Cap and the assorted men who've worn his uniform set throughout his career. While the first one is set during World War II with Steve Rogers, the second one will feature the Captain America of the 1950s (who recently returned in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA himself.) So a story about the Patriot during the time he acted as Captain America isn't out of the question. 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.
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