My Cup o' Joe

MyCup o' Joe 40: MyCup o' Bill

Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann discusses Obama, Marvel Zombies 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. Except this Friday, that is! Joe has been whisked off to double-important and triple-secret business, so mighty Marvel stalwart Buccaneer Bill Rosemann will fill in—ARRRRRR! And you get to chip in as well! Fan questions are answered every week, so ask YOUR questions at the bottom of this page! And be sure to follow Joe on Twitter!

AMAZING
SPIDER-MAN
#583

X-INFERNUS #2

X-MEN/
SPIDER-MAN
#3

JM: So what the heck happened to that Quesada kid? He ducked out this week! Where the heck is he? BR: I could tell you, but man…Norman Osborn would just kill me. With "Dark Reign" here, it's an occupational hazard at Marvel. JM: And any plans for his absence? Bloodless coup? Bloody coup? BR: Well, there are moments when our beloved E-i-C is called away for special duties, and the inmates run the asylum. But we do have adults like [Executive Editors] Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso who make sure the rest of us crazy kids eat our vegetables and do our homework. And any plans for his absence? Bloodless coup? Bloody coup? BR: Well, there are moments when our beloved E-i-C is called away for special duties, and the inmates run the asylum. But we do have adults like [Executive Editors] Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso who make sure the rest of us crazy kids eat our vegetables and do our homework. JM: So…if Joe Quesada is Miss America, Axel or Tom are the first runner up. BR: I think Axel is Miss Congeniality, and Tom is Most Talented. Or the other way around; I always forget. Anyway, it's something like that. JM: In a "current events" mode, this is the week the Barack Obama Amazing Spider-Man issue hit, right? There's been a TON of main street PR on this, and I guess many stores are getting a deluge of customers. What's the feel inside the office walls? Is it palpable excitement, or just business as usual?

Spidey's on board
with Team Obama

Spidey
fist bumps
Obama...
Nuff said.

BR: To be honest with you, it's a bit of both. Yeah, there's been a boatload of mainstream PR, and we're very happy to see that. It's not every day you pick up the USA Today, and there's Marvel on the front page—and, there it is again on the front page of the "Life" section. And you can turn on CNN, and see a piece that isn't "Biff! Pow! There are still comics," but instead discusses this comic book story like any other media event that they consider newsworthy. On the other hand, if you look back through the last 5-10 years, this has sort of been business as usual. Marvel was founded on the concept of doing stories that are in synch with the zeitgeist of what's going on in people's minds and reflecting what's going on around us. We've delivered that again and again and again. Speaking of delivering, the guys who deserve the credit for creating that story – in 7 days, no less – are Zeb Wells, Todd Nauck, Frank D'Armata, Todd Klein, Jared K. Fletcher, Chris Chuckry, Antonia Fabela, Phil Jimenez and John Romita Sr. Oh, and I think some guy named Steve Wacker had something to do with it. JM: Somebody's enriching their word power, crackin' out a "zeitgeist." BR: Yeah, I've busted out my "New-Word-A-Day" 2009 calendar! JM: As we slide into that "new year" mode, I know you wanted to hit some faves of '08. What were they in comics? And please don't be shy—hit me with some non-Marvel stuff as well. BR: Well, I really, really love Scalped. One of my favorite books. JM: God, that is such a great book, isn't it? BR: Yeah, and wouldn't you know, [Scalped writer] Jason Aaron is now writing at Marvel, too. But Scalped is just amazing. The team delivers an incredible sense of place—and you never know what's going to happen next.

GHOST RIDER #31

WOLVERINE:
WEAPON X #1

And I was just reading the new Green Lantern on my commute in, which I've been loving since "The Sinestro War," which I thought was very well done. I'm now really looking forward to "Blackest Night." That's been a great book. Kudos to Geoff Johns and DC on that. And I continue to be entertained by The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim. Also, Too Cool to Be Forgotten…I just thought that was a fantastic book. It's a hilarious heroic journey in a nice stand-alone hardcover edition that's beautifully designed. It's a unique story I recommend to everyone. JM: How 'bout on the Marvel end? What there? BR: Well, the fanboy in me loves the big events, the stuff like Secret Invasion that drives the entire Marvel Universe. But the thing I really like…how to put this? I like picking up my weekly bundle, reading through the books, and getting a very clear and distinct voice and feel from each book.

THOR #12

IMMORTAL
IRON FIST
#22

Like Daredevil. That's what? Pulp noir? Then you read Thor, and you get this great shot of Shakespearean drama and intrigue. Hercules, that's mythology. Iron Fist, there's some king-fu mysticism. Captain America's got the espionage thing nailed. To plug my own books, you pick up Nova or Guardians of the Galaxy, and you get a great sci-fi feel. So I enjoy this great variety of books, and that our bosses really inspire us to try different things and deliver different genres within the Marvel Universe.

GUARDIANS
OF THE
GALAXY
#13

Art
from
GoTG #10

Art
from
GoTG #10

Art
from
GoTG #10

Art
from
GoTG #10

JM: Kindly turn that all-seeing Rosemann eye on yourself. What do you think your personal highs and lows were in 2008? BR: Paul Pelletier and the dynamic duo—DnA, we like to call them—of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning did a great job on their launch of Guardians of the Galaxy. They took a bunch of characters that no one thought anyone would care about and made people take notice. And now people are championing a talking raccoon and a giant tree! That book's been a lot of fun. And [writer] Andy Diggle and [artist] Roberto de la Torre hit it out of the park on Thunderbolts. There's just a few issues in so far, but they bounce off Warren Ellis' run with a spin that's totally their own. I was also happy to launch War Machine at the end of the year. [Writer] Greg Pak is doing a phenomenonal job, and everyone is happy to see [artist] Leonard Manco back in the Marvel Universe. Leo's art on that is just jaw-dropping and completely unique.

WAR MACHINE
#1

Art from
WAR MACHINE
#2

Art from
WAR MACHINE
#2

Art from
WAR MACHINE
#3

Art from
WAR MACHINE
#3

Art from
WAR MACHINE
#3

But I'd have to say the top, the very pinnacle, was welcoming my first child, Peter Farrell Rosemann, into this world. It's only been three weeks, but the wife and I have a system where each of us actually gets some sleep. Each night I read him some comics from the Distinguished Competition—puts him right out. JM: And moving forward, what are your goals for the new year?

THUNDERBOLTS
#127

THUNDERBOLTS
#128

THUNDERBOLTS
#131

BR: Number one is to live up to what is asked of me by my bosses. What I mean by that is when I'm given the reins to a book like Thunderbolts, to put together a creative team and a spin that might surprise people, and maybe get more readers, sales, and attention than anyone anticipated. Number one is to always excel, and strive for something better and something different.

THUNDERBOLTS
#128 Page 5

THUNDERBOLTS
#128 Page 6

THUNDERBOLTS
#128 Page 7

THUNDERBOLTS
#128 Page 8

THUNDERBOLTS
#128 Page 9

Number two, I wanna keep all my creators happy. I want to give them the room and trust to tell the stories they want to tell, and give them the inspiration to keep excelling as well. And three, I want to keep our readers constantly entertained. And surprised. Hopefully, our readers will never know what's coming next, but they'll always want to know. JM: Cool, man. What do you want to see more of/less of from comics in 2009? BR: Let's see…to start off with the bad so we can build to the good…I want to see less bitching online. Seriously, right now, there are more good comics and more good collections of comics available than ever before. How can you not find something you like every time you walk into the store? So I say to everyone, if you don't like something…don't spend all your time running it into the ground. Just quit buying it. Don't talk about it. Instead, spend your time saying something good about what you like. And you know what? The silence will become deafening on the stuff that's not talked about. Things I want to see more of…ah…this sounds odd, but I guess just more stories about heroes. We live in very dark times. By and large, our industry's books are about heroes, so let's see them do heroic things. Don't be afraid to have characters that inspire us, and show us that even in the darkest of times, it's the heroic heart that can win. JM: Groovy. From heroes to brain-eaters, Marvel Zombies 3 just ended, and I guess you have MZ4 on the way. How long can this go on? And are you mind-blown that it's had the legs it's had?

MARVEL
ZOMBIES 4
#1

BR: To me, we've proved this is not a fad. Marvel Zombies is now as relevant and valid as any creative team wants to make it. I loved, loved the first Marvel Zombies, just because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was so jaw-dropping. And fun! I mean, to see Captain America with no top of his skull and birds pecking up out of his brain? People really "got" that, and understood the humor of the situation. And that was done so well that we didn't want to try to duplicate it. We had no choice but to go in another direction. And that's what [writer] Fred van Lente and [artist] Kev Walker did in Marvel Zombies 3; they approached it in a fresh way. They kept elements of the humor, but they approached it as a hero story. People might have picked it up for the gore, but they were pleasantly surprised by the whole journey of Machine Man, how he started out as selfish, but over the four issues, remembered the hero he was and made a heroic stand. His response against this tide of evil was what it was all about, and people enjoyed seeing that. And we'll continue to see that approach in Marvel Zombies 4. And again, it will be set in the "real" Marvel Universe…so it's in continuity, folks! JM: So it is the Fred van Lente/Kev Walker combo for 4 as well? BR: Yes, sir. We're keeping the band together. By issue #4, they were really humming along, so there's no reason to stop that momentum. JM: War of Kings is another book on your plate. Whereas I think it's clear this doesn't hit the marquee value of a Secret Invasion or World War Hulk, this is a pivot point in the Marvel Universe, right?

WAR OF KINGS
#2

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

Art from
WoK #1

BR: Definitely. The very cool thing about this is that our bosses basically said, "Hey, you know these Shi'Ar toys in the Marvel toybox? You wanna play with these?" And we said, "Yeah! Would love to! That's cool!" So we took two expanding empires—the Kree and the Shi'Ar—heading toward each other, with the central notion of "What happens when these two huge kingdoms collide?" I would say it is as big as Secret Invasion to the Marvel cosmic junkies—this is our Super Bowl. But War of Kings also has a lot of appeal to fans of the Marvel Universe period. X-fan who like the Shi'Ar? They're here. Fans of the Inhumans? We have them. You'll see characters like Blastaar, Darkhawk and others pop up. So there will be some great opportunities for people who haven't sampled the cosmic books to check this out. We're treating it as a big tentpole event.

WAR OF
KINGS:
DARKHAWK

WAR OF
KINGS:
DARKHAWK

WAR OF
KINGS:
DARKHAWK

WAR OF
KINGS:
DARKHAWK

And when Dan and Andy sat down with Joe Quesada and Tom Brevoort and all, we decided that we would only tell this story if it legitimately changed the Marvel Universe. It's gotta move things forward. And Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning absolutely wanted to do that. They have a very clear vision of where they see the Marvel cosmic universe going, and how it will affect the "mainstream" Marvel heroes. And here we are. JM: Aces. We gotta hit the reader questions. And as a housekeeping note, as Quesada remains ensconced away in a SHIELD Helicarrier or something, Jan. 23 will be a Cup o' Matt Fraction, and Jan. 30 will be a Cup O' Dan Slott. So if you have questions specific to those guys, let 'em rip!

ULTIMATUM
POSTER

The Mighty Mutt sez: I just read Ultimatum #2, and you guys weren't joking when you said the Ultimate Universe was gonna change and players were gonna be taken out. I mean, Blob feasting on Wasp's insides was pure awesome! When Ultimatum is complete, will Jeph Loeb be writing more Ultimate titles?

ULTIMATUM
#2

ULTIMATUM
#2:
Variant
Edition

A: Editor Mark Paniccia says: Mighty Mutt, glad you're digging on the non-stop mayhem and chaos in Ultimatum. Wait 'til you see what happens in #3! As for more Loeb, it depends on if there's anything left of the Ultimate Universe after Jeph's done with it! BlackestHole asks: Where is Hulk going? I love the fights that Red Hulk gets himself into, and seeing Bruce Banner back as big and green, but where's it going? I'm dying to know who the Red Hulk is! And shouldn't Norman Osborn be a little upset that there are two Hulks running around?

HULK #10
Heroes Cover

HULK #10
Villains Cover

A: Editor Mark Paniccia says: If you're looking for Hulk, BlackestHole, you can find him these days hanging out at the top of the sales charts. Back-patting aside, the secret behind Red Hulk (or "Rulk's") identity has been one of the most successful mysteries in recent comics. Rest assured, readers will find the mind-blowing answer in due time. But for now, get ready for a red-and-green rumble as Hulk's Defenders and Rulk's Offenders duke it out in Hulk #10-#12, by resident Hulk superstars Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness! Seeso asks: What's going on with Shang Chi? Are the legalities of Fu Manchu holding back your progress with him in any way? A: Editor Mark Paniccia says: You want more of the Master of Kung Fu, Seeso? Shang Chi will be appearing in an exclusive comic for Marvel's Digital Comics initiative being announced soon! Keep your eyes peeled. And if you like kick-in-the-face action and watching teeth fly and break windows, we think you'll be happy. Steelnexus asks: How was the second Black Widows Thunderbolts? Wasn't she previously thrown in the sun by the Sentry? A: Editor Bill Rosemann answers: Steelnexus, surely an educated True Believer such as yourself knows that those who survive the training system of the Soviet Union's infamous "Red Room" are equipped with the skills and technology to fool their opponents into thinking exactly what they want them to believe. What better way to gain the advantage of surprise than to stage your own very public and very over-the-top death by being hurled into the sun during an all-out slugfest between the world's most powerful super beings? Ohhh, that Yelena Belova is so tricky! CollegeBound_x18 asks: Why does the Angel look totally bad-ass in X-Force, but not elsewhere? How come we don't see him like that in other books? Am I missing something?

X-FORCE #5

A: Editor John Barber says: Angel ALWAYS looks badass, now that he doesn't have that halo logo on his shirt. I mean, he has wings. What more angel symbology do you need? But anyway. Angel has had Apocalypse technology floating around in his bloodstream since he was originally turned into Archangel (way back after Mutant Massacre). And his wings were, ever since then, Apocalypse technology wings, not his natural ones (which Apocalypse had cut off). In the first arc of the current X-Force series, the Purifiers used Wolfsbane to cut off Angel's wings, duplicated the wings, and grafted the Apocalypse-wings onto a group of Purifiers. When the grafting happened, this reactivated the Apocalypse tech in Angel's genes, which caused him to 1) grow new Apocalypse-wings and 2) transform back into badass Archangel. However, now Angel can transform between the Angel and Archangel personas. The difference is more than physical—it affects his psychology as well. He's much, much more bloodthirsty in the Archangel persona. He struggles to control the transformations, but for the most part, has everything under control…except he kinda likes the Archangel persona. The thing is, he doesn't want anybody to know he transforms into Archangel, and Cyclops doesn't want anybody to know about X-Force. And "anybody" means the other X-Men. So in Uncanny X-Men, for instance, Angel is keeping his dark persona secret, so you only see him as Angel (or, out of costume, as Warren Worthington III). But X-Force is where he really cuts loose. Obi-Wan-Shanobi asks: Are big things coming from Black Bolt in War of Kings? I think it's time he put Vulcan in his place. What kinda stuff can we expect from the Inhumans? Is Vulcan even worried? A: Editor Bill Rosemann answers: Black Bolt is the unstoppable force. Vulcan is the immovable object. So, Obi-Wan-Shanobi, I can only answer your intriguing questions with a question for yourself: When the dust settles at the end of War of Kings, who will rule? Danfaust says: Two words: Power and Pack. Let's bring those wacky Power kids back to the Marvel Universe. A: Editor Tom Brevoort says: No.

WOLVERINE
SAGA

Curious BobbyMac asks: Where's the Wolverine story going? After this whole Daken thing, what's up next for Weapon X? A: Editor John Barber informs us: Well, as you might have noticed, Wolverine's got a lot of stories going on any given day… In addition to his membership in—and contributions to the larger stories of—the X-Men, the New Avengers, and X-Force:

WOLVERINE:
MANIFEST
DESTINY #1

WOLVERINE:
MANIFEST
DESTINY #2

Over in Wolverine: Manifest Destiny, by Jason Aaron and Stephen Segovia—the limited series which is just wrapping up—we'll see that Logan winds up with a new and very special relationship with the underground networks of his new hometown, San Francisco. That'll give us a lot of new ground to tell stories on. Over in Wolverine: Weapon X, by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney, we're going to find out what happens when the wrong paramilitary corporation gets its hands on the Weapon X files and tries to mass-produce its own Adamantium Men. We'll also get a better feel for Wolverine's personal life as he settles into SF.

WOLVERINE
ORIGINS #1

In Wolverine: Origins, by Daniel Way and Doug Braithwaite, well, there's he Daken story you mentioned. Wolverine's learning more about Daken's past, and Daken's learning more about Wolverine's present, as he goes toe-to-toe with the X-Men. Daken doesn't blame Wolverine for the death of Daken's mother anymore, but he still doesn't like the ol' Canuckle-head. So any chance Daken has to one-up his dad, Daken will take. The two of them have exactly one thing in common right now: they both want to find Romulus, the mystery-man behind the Weapon X program, the man who's been pulling both their strings their whole lives. But Daken and Logan don't want him for the same reason…and they don't see any reason to be real friendly about the road to getting there. And finally, in Wolverine, we've got the mind-shattering conclusion to "Old Man Logan" by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, which tells the story of the final days of Logan, 70 years from now, as he and the blind archer Hawkeye take their mysterious package to New Babylon. They're about to come up against the President of the United States in this terrifying future…and believe me, things won't go as easily as they do when Spidey meets the current President.

WOLVERINE
#71

After "Old Man Logan," well…we've got something REAL special planned for issue #75. Last time we had a Wolverine #75, Logan had just lost his adamantium and popped his bone claws for the first time. This time, it'll be bigger. Whew. And I think Wolvie's got a movie or something coming up, too. Dennya asks: Isn't it time for another crossover event with your esteemed competitors? It's been too long! A: Editor Tom Brevoort says: Are those guys even still publishing comics? Seems like forever since I've heard anything about them. Sean asks: I'm excited about this year's Thunderbolts, but disappointed the whole old crew is gone. Granted, they're now the Dark Avengers, but how can you take a whole team, make 'em another team, and replace them with their C-list counterparts? A: Editor Bill Rosemann says: See, Sean, that's what's so cool about the Thunderbolts. From its very inception, the book took characters that no one was going wild for and issue-by-issue made you care about their journey towards redemption. So before you judge the latest incarnation of the team, why don't you pick up issue #128 (on sale this month) and see how cool writer Andy Diggle and artist Roberto De La Torre can make this squad of so-called "C-List" characters. Before you know it, this merry little crew of psychos—including Black Widow II, Ghost, Paladin and Ant-Man, plus a few more surprises—will be your new favorites. Oh, and if you like all your body parts staying where they're supposed to be, don't let them catch you calling them "C-List"! Bhyphen asks: Is Marvel going to take a break from the events soon? A: Editor Tom Brevoort says We're never going to stop trying to do stories that will get people excited and checking out our books, but over the next year you'll see fewer large events, and more things such as "Dark Reign," which aren't crossover stories so much as an overall branding of the state of the Marvel U. BernardX asks: What books would you recommend to a reader who's taken a break from reading since the early '90s? A: Editor Tom Brevoort says: I think you've picked a great time to jump back on the horse, BernardX. But this all depends on what characters you're most interested in. Our biggest events from the last few years: House Of M, Civil War, World War Hulk and Secret Invasion are all worth checking out to get a broad sense of the state of the Marvel U. Spider-Man's got a "Brand New Day" going on that makes it easy to catch up with the web-head. And the X-Men's agenda was pretty well set by "Messiah CompleX." Or if the Ultimate U. might be your thing, Ultimatum has just started raging.

X-MEN:
MESSIAH
COMPLEX

SPIDER-MAN
BRAND NEW
DAY

SECRET
INVASION

CR_creative asks: Are there any plans to further the character development and realize the potential of The Sentry? A: Editor Tom Brevoort says: Big plans for the Sentry throughout this year and into the start of 2010, CR! Cynik77 asks: What big plans do you have for Thor in 2009? A: Editor Tom Brevoort says: Thor #600 in February! Then, after that, Thor #601, and so on! Seriously, as the year goes by, you'll be seeing a lot of the Thunder God, and particularly him interacting with other characters in the Marvel U. He'll be a prime mover, for example, in the Avengers Free Comic Book Day release in May. MikeRapin asks: Please don't ever let Peter David stop writing X-Factor. Ever. A: John Barber says: If you guys don't stop reading it, we'll keep publishing it. Peter's got some great plans up ahead as we close in on issue 50, and believe me—the next few issues have more twists than…a really twisty thing. -- Next week it's Matt Fraction, the man behind Invincible Iron Man and Uncanny X-Men, on the hot seat—if you've got questions, let us know! 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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