My Cup o' Joe

MyCup o' Joe: Week 49

Cap! Daredevil! Ms. Marvel! Hercules! Joe talks about your favorites in this week's chat!

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WAR OF KINGS
#2

SECRET
WARRIORS #3

INVINCIBLE
IRON MAN #12

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. This week's convo takes place not sitting down, but walking down the street, as Joe returns from a Marvel video game meeting. 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 you're out of your video game confab. What are you and Marvel working on there? JQ: We had the folks from Activision over at Marvel, and they were pitching us on a couple new ideas for games. Now I'm not a gamer, not by a longshot—haven't been for many, many years. I've got to be careful, because I've got the kind of personality where I get addicted to these things, and it becomes such a time waster! I'd get no work done! So coming from the point-of-view form someone who's not up-to-the-minute and educated in this world…man, what hey showed us was still pretty damn cool. I gotta say, even though it was still in a rather sketchy beginning-idea stage, it was very impressive. And that was the purpose of the meeting,. They wanted to pick our brains and we wanted to see what was on their minds. It was just comparing notes on what heroes and villains would work well for some ideas they have. JM: So which heroes and villains you dealing with? JQ: Ah…I really can't give that away. It's not mine to give away. It's Activision's stuff, not mine.

AMAZING
SPIDER-MAN
#580

NEW AVENGERS
#51

JM: Big news on the geekvine: Spider-Man revealing his identity again, at least to a select group in the New Avengers. Why do this, when such a big deal was made just a little over a year ago to make his ID secret in "One More Day"? JQ: Yeah. I talked to [NEW AVENGERS writer] Brian Bendis about this before the fact, and it's part of a larger storyarc for Peter Parker/Spider-Man. And the outcome of it…well, I don't want to give away Brian's story, but it will go on and weave through NEW AVENGERS and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with a specific outcome in mind. Maybe "outcome" is the wrong word, but for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, so you'll see how that plays out in the books. But in all, it was not a decision we entered into lightly. JM: Okay, really freakin' honestly: Do you feel any remorse or "bait and switch" over the fact that Marvel made a huge to-do over Spidey revealing his identity in Civil War, secret-izing it again in "One More Day," and now letting the cat partially outta the bag again? How much back-and-forth is too much? JQ: It's just one of the usual tropes in writing comic books. Things come, they go, the change, they un-change. And secret identities are part of that. It's part of keeping things interesting, keeping things fresh. The important part is that these things are done for a reason, and you'll all see the reason soon of why this particular scene played out as it did. JM: And how much is the cat outta the bag? Will we see Spidey reveal his identity to others as well? In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, maybe? JQ: I think you're gonna see one other instance where Peter Parker is faced with making that choice. But again, it's all part of the master plan. JM: Now I know one thing you've been wanting to get to for a few weeks is some portfolio advice for break-in artists, a plan that actually worked for you… JQ: Right. I used to talk about this a few times at the Wizard School panels at the Wizard conventions, but I haven't done that in a while, so last week I did some of it over at Twitter, but it's tough to keep a train of linear thought in such small post. So, I'd really like to share that here if that's cool. JM: Fine by me, man. Your nickel. Now your plan was a "3x3" portfolio or somesuch if I recall, right? JQ: Yeah, actually, it's 3x3x3. See, one of the biggest mistakes I see artists make, no matter how talented they are, is coming in with too much material in their portfolio. That's a huge mistake, because if editors are honest with you—and I'll be honest and tell you this right off the bat—we know in the first 3-4 pages if you've got the chops or not. Now if you do, there are a few categories: Either one, and it's a rarity, you're ready to become a professional right there and then. Like I say, it's a rarity, but it happens with some guys, such as Khoi Pham.

MIGHTY
AVENGERS
#21

MIGHTY
AVENGERS
#22

MIGHTY
AVENGERS
#23

Two, you have promise and you're ready to start fine-tuning, and you could be right around the corner from professional gigs. Or three, you've got the ability, but it really needs to be refined and it might take a while. So you'll need patience. All of this can be judged within the first few pages. You can have 300 pages of samples in your portfolio, it really won't matter and it doesn't change anything. So handing us a large portfolio really does you no good. In fact, by the fourth or fifth page, if the stuff isn't ready for the big leagues, the rest just induces brain-lock.. So again, first bit of advice—keep it short. JM: O-tay. So how's your "3x3x3" fit in? JQ: 3x3x3 is actually the methodology I used and what I got hired on, a portfolio that was merely 12 pages long. It was laid out to accomplish some very specific tasks, and get a comic editor's attention with the most impact. It was designed to be brief enough to get my message across, but also to be fun to look at, and keep the attention span going by changing gears. The idea I had was that comic books are supposed to be fun, are supposed to be entertaining, so why shouldn't my portfolio be as well? Keep the editor entertained, on their toes, and engaged with your work. You'll stand a better chance. So my 3x3x3 method was designed to do that, and also be applicable to an editor at any company. JM: Pray, elucidate. JQ: Three stories, involving three different scenarios. With three covers. Now also keep in mind, this isn't brain surgery, and you don't have to create Watchmen here, keep your stories simple. But create vignettes, with a complete beginning-middle-end, without having to rely on words. A sequential pantomime for lack of a better way to describe it. Now talking to other artists, especially when I was trying to break in and when I had just started coloring at Valiant, I would hear their stories about going to conventions and showing off their work. I remember hearing an artist tell about having some Spider-Man samples that they showed to an editor at DC, and the response was "Hey, these look great. But why don't you come back with some samples of DC characters?" Now that logic made no sense to me, but I understood that I had to make my portfolio accessible, and essentially editor-proof it. So I made a short 3 page vignette with Marvel characters, another with DC characters, and a third that was a little more quiet, slice-of-life, just to show I could do that, too. It's not always giant robots and jumping off buildings, so I did a little romantic scene that involved no superheroes, no recognizable characters—just two people sitting around chatting and having coffee. So this kinda gets you covered—superheroes from the two major companies, and if your editor or that company doesn't do superheroes, you've got the other stuff as well. And the other thing I did was—again, this coming from talking to other artists—make sure one was a single-character story, and the other was a team story. Guys would tell me the stories of bringing in samples and getting the feedback that "Yeah, your Superman looks great, but can you handle multiple characters like the Justice League?" Again, the logic made little sense to me, but it didn't have to. It was reality. So I covered those bases with a Superman story as single-character, and an X-Men story as a team. Again, the little romantic story kinda stood on its own. The final three pages were a cover that pertained to each of those three stories. Hence 3x3x3! JM: And the rest, as they say, is history. JQ: Yeah! [laughs]. That was it! I got hired on the spot at DC. Now I'm not saying this is the magic formula, but it worked for me. And while I've spoken about this over the years I'm still surprised at how we still see portfolios that are 30 or more pages long, so I really encourage people to focus, but maintain the variety like this. Focus on 12 pages, and make them the best 12 pages you can. You'll be surprised at how much more focused the editor will be, and even if you don't get work out of it, how much more focused their feedback will be. And there's great value in that as well. JM: Anything else. JQ: Yeah actually. If you're trying to get a penciling job, don't get your work inked. Certainly don't color it. And never letter it! You run the risk of hurting your chances. What I see way too often is someone who might be a great penciler, but they're a lousy inker like I am. They end up destroying their samples, and an editor has to try and decipher if maybe there was good pencil work under there. Lettering is also a big no-no, because it's so easy to look amateurish. And there's nothing that sticks out like a sore thumb more than amateur lettering. You could take a master, you could take John Romita Jr.'s work, and if you put amateur lettering on it, it makes the entire page look amateurish. You can actually diminish great art with poor lettering. Avoid it all costs. That's not what you're there to show anyway. You're there to show off your drawing. JM: And with that, reader questions? JQ: Okay. Enrique says: I've been a big fan of the Thunderbolts from the beginning. I have every issue they've ever appeared in and I love all the changes that have come from the book. One of my favorite moments in the book is when Hawkeye left the Avengers to lead the team, and the budding romance that arose between he and Moonstone. Now that he's leading the New Avengers, and Moonstone is Ms. Marvel in Dark Avengers, both teams seem to be ready for a big clash. Any chance we'll be seeing any clashes that may touch upon their prior relationships? And with Mockingbird in the wings, that could make for an uncomfortable situation for Hawkeye/Ronin! JQ: Sounds like there's good fodder there for a potentially interesting match-up, Enrique. But at this stage we can't tell you when—or if—anything like this will come to pass in the coming months. However, I can give you a look at what Moonstone will be up to as the new Ms. Marvel over in MS. MARVEL #38

MS. MARVEL
#38

MS. MARVEL
#38 interior
art

MS. MARVEL
#38 interior
art

MS. MARVEL
#38 interior
art

MS. MARVEL
#38 interior
art

Omni asks: I see that Marvel is doing a Hercules collection in June by Bob Layton, but one thing bugged me in the art. What is that is that hammer/club looking thing he carries? Also, any chance we can get a hint at what's upcoming for Herc and Amadeus Cho? The last page to the last issue was awesome! JQ: I just work here, so I'll go straight to the INCREDIBLE HERCULES writers, who say… GREG PAK: "That "hammer/club looking thing" is Herc's awesome adamantine mace! Yeah, you read that right—adamantine, which kicks adamantium's ass! "And we may actually see that mace again in an upcoming Herc adventure…."

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES #133
interior art

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES #133
interior art

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES #133
interior art

FRED VAN LENTE: And as for what's coming up in iHerc, a massive throwdown with the DARK AVENGERS rocks next month's #128, to be followed by a harrowing three-issue jaunt into the Land of the Dead, where Herc and Cho learn the terrifying secret why death is so…impermanent in the Marvel Universe. That storyline causes a major change in Herc and Cho's friendship—and major change in status for the Incredible Hercules title! As for what those changes entail, exactly, stay tuned.

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES
#128

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES
#128 interior
art

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES
#128 interior
art

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES
#128 interior
art

INCREDIBLE
HERCULES
#128 interior
art

Prism Pirate asks: Are there any plans for Storm to come back into the X-fold outside of ASTONISHING X-MEN or BLACK PANTHER? I know there's a lot going on in the X-Books right now but I think she needs to come back to rein Cyclops back in. Emma just isn't cutting it. JQ: Storm's got her hands VERY full out in Wakanda right now, but she'll be popping up here and there in UNCANNY X-MEN and elsewhere. TOBY asks: Joe, Which, if any, of these mutants actually still have an X-gene: Magneto & Quicksilver (Repowered in some capacity) Madelyne Pryor (if it's her, does she have an X-gene?) Cecilia Reyes (does she have an X-gene?) Nanny & Orphan-Maker (Mutant abilities never shown)? JQ: The X-Genes are still out there, Toby. They are just inactive. Know what I mean? What you saw in "Messiah CompleX" was the first newly activated X-Gene since the Scarlet Witch's "NO MORE MUTANTS." But it won't be the last. Keep your eyes peeled. As for your list, the only two I'll address are Magneto (that scene in UNCANNY #507 was pretty definitive to me) and Cecelia Reyes…you're the only person who cares. Butcher Brannigan asks: Can you fill me in on what's going on in UNCANNY X-MEN? Since they've moved to San Francisco, they're treading water. I'm excited for Magneto but I don't want to have to wait much longer for it. Can we expect some classic X-Men action soon? JQ: Sorry that you see the current run as treading water. Hopefully the Sisterhood arc will satisfy your sweet tooth. Is Madelyne Pryor classic enough for you Butcher? Because she's back and her plan is pretty scary. As for Magneto, did you read UNCANNY #507 yet? He's in there!

UNCANNY
X-MEN #510

UNCANNY
X-MEN #511

X-MEN
LEGACY #225

Timo McShade asks: There was a major Spider-Man event recently in NEW AVENGERS. Did writer Brian Bendis have to run that by the Web-Heads? Secondly, will AMAZING SPIDER-MAN start integrating into the Marvel Universe more, or is it still going to be relatively self-contained like DAREDEVIL and CAPTAIN AMERICA? JQ: Yes, Timo, the team of Spidey writers known as the Web-Heads were well aware of the events that transpired in New Avengers—and over the next two weeks, in Amazing Spider-Man #590-591 you'll experience a story that relates to those revelations in a slightly different way.

AMAZING
SPIDER-MAN
#595

AMAZING
SPIDER-MAN
#596

And I'd have to say that Amazing is already more plugged into the main Marvel U. than titles such as Cap or DD, though it's way harder to machinate an actual crossover or tie-in with Amazing due to its production schedule. Still, the upcoming "American Son" arc in AMAZING #595-599 will be a "Dark Reign" tie-in featuring Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers and a few surprises as well. Maximus Venor asks: A Spidey retreat and we get no Spidey-previews? Nothing? Not even something about the return of Ben Reilly that you keep teasing? Do you guys invite artists to these retreats or is it just writers? When can we see Black Cat returning to the Spidey-quo or the Marvel U. in general? JQ: Maximus, you should see the Black Cat back in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man within the next year, though we're not ready to spill on precisely where or when just yet. And while we have had artists such as Phil Jimenez attend the Spidey Summits in the past, they're really more meant for the writers. There comes a threshold when you've got so many voices in the room that it's impossible to agree on anything. Finally, I've got nothing to tell you about Ben Reilly at this point, outside of the fact that it's really astonishing to see how a character who was once the most reviled figure in the Marvel pantheon is now being requested to return. Goes to show you that, with enough time, there are people who love everything. The Hooded Sweatshirt asks: Hey Joe, This question may be a bit inside or really just for continuity nerds, but just how fast can Captain America's shield be thrown? I mean, it's gotta be fast enough to take someone out and make the distance it does.

CAPTAIN
AMERICA
#600

JQ: In science class, I was always the kid drawing pictures of superheroes. So in matters such as this, I usually ask the expert, Dr. James Kakalios of the University of Minnesota's Physics and Astronomy Department, and author of The Physics of Superheroes. The good doc says: "Assuming that the shield has a diameter of 3 feet and an average thickness of 1 cm, and making some reasonable assumptions about the density of steel/vibranium alloys, the star-spangled disc would have a mass of 65 kilograms, weighing 143 pounds. Presumably Cap can throw his shield as fast as a major league ballplayer can pitch a fastball, which is more impressive than it sounds, as the shield weighs nearly 450 times more than a baseball. At 100 miles per hour, if the shield ricochets off the noggin of Hydra henchmen or Batroc (ze Leapair!) with a collision time of a hundredth of a second, the force it exerts is roughly 65000 pounds! No wonder all those who deal with the mighty shield must yield! "As shown below, in a panel from Tales of Suspense #83, when thrown this hard, the shield can slice a solid oak table like a hot knife through butter. Could the shield really do this? Only when Cap is drawn by Jack Kirby!

TALES OF
SUSPENSE #70
panel

"Captain America's shield has sometimes been described as being an alloy of vibranium and adamantium, but this is impossible. Cap used this shield throughout World War II, and had it with him when he was frozen following the mishap with Baron Zemo's rocket bomb. He had this same shield when found by the Avengers and for the next 62 issues of their comic, up to AVENGERS #66, when adamantium was invented! Cap can throw his shield pretty hard, but it can't go backwards through time!" Thanks, Doc! Go out and buy his book kids!!! Josh asks: So with most of the Dark Avengers getting their own mini-series (Venom, Bullseye, Daken, Moonstone with getting the lead in Ms. Marvel), any chances of the Sentry or Marvel Boy getting one? Or at least a one-shot? I loved both of the Sentry minis by Paul Jenkins, and the decidedly weird Marvel Boy run by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones. I'd love to see what they're thinking about all of this Dark Reign business. Especially Marvel Boy; I wonder what he thinks he can gain by staying with Norman. And is the Sentry dead after issue 2 of Dark Avengers?

DARK
AVENGERS
#6

JQ: Josh, Noh-Varr is the central figure in DARK AVENGERS #6, where you'll learn a lot more about what he's thinking and why he's been siding with Norman's crew. As for the Sentry, the Age Of The Sentry limited series just wrapped up, and we don't have any current plans for another Sentry book (but as you've no doubt seen by now in DARK AVENGERS #3, he is still alive—whew!) Cydonia asks: Any chance we'll see an Andy Diggle/Ed Brubaker co-written issue of DAREDEVIL before Diggle takes over? I'm excited to see how Bru's arc ends and cant even imagine where Diggle plans on taking it. Think we'll get new villains? Or since Elektra is back, maybe have the two meet? JQ: Hi Cydonia, We're all extremely excited about what the guys have planned, and while I don't want to give too much away just yet, I can say that it will have major repercussions on multiple heroes and villains throughout the entire Marvel Universe…and individuals from Matt's past.

DAREDEVIL
#118

DAREDEVIL
#118 interior
art

DAREDEVIL
#118 interior
art

DAREDEVIL
#118 interior
art

DAREDEVIL
#118 interior
art

DAREDEVIL
#118 interior
art

Andy will take over in the fall, and although it sounds like it would be very dark and very terrific, the guys will not be co-writing the title. Thanks for the kind words, and keep your eyes peeled! 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! Download episodes of X-Men: Evolution Season 1icon now on iTunes!

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