The Marvel Creative Summit in New York City is underway, with Joe Quesada, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb, Allan Heinberg, Greg Pak, Dan Slott, Matt Fraction and the full Marvel editorial team all in attendance! Keep checking back on this page for continuous updates on what's going on inside the big meeting and what it means for the Marvel Universe!
Day 3: Wednesday, December 19
3:40 PM—Summit Site (That's a wrap!)
That's it for the December 2007 Marvel Creative retreat. As Publisher/President Dan Buckley winds things down, what did we learn here? You've got a lot of good reading coming up in the next 18 months or so. Even though Skrulls were a big topic this entire Summit – they were far from the only topic. Groundbreaking stuff is scheduled throughout the Marvel and Ultimate Universes – things that couldn't ever happen if it wasn't for everyone meeting together in this room.
3:18 PM—Summit Site
What's a Marvel Creative Summit without a visit from a real live citizen of the Marvel Universe? Let me let him introduce himself... "Hulk here!" See the photos
1:52 PM—Summit Site
Lots of stuff about the Marvel Universe up to this point – of course. But what's coming up for the Ultimate Universe? Well, if you were sitting here right now, you could hear Jeph Loeb lay out the short term and the long term for the Ultimate versions of your favorite characters. So what's he saying? Nothing short of cataclysmic happenings. Really. That's an absolute promise. Sounds like a cliché, but the Ultimate Universe will be dramatically changed. Frankly, it sounds like the Ultimate Universe is ending. But how will there still be an Ultimate line? Ah ha, therein lies a secret that will unfold over the next few years in the pages of Ultimate ___(censored)___. This stuff's so good – you just want the books to get written already so you can just start reading the stories!
12:46 PM—Summit Site
Toys, toys and more toys! In addition to everyone in the room being treated to some actual toys, Hasbro previewed their upcoming products. Here's a peek: a new line featuring Spidey from the coming CW Spectacular Spider-Man animated series; a large expansion of the Superhero Squad; and, two words – Marvel Transformers! Plus, with Marvel movies comes… Marvel toys – of course! Special sneak tease: For those of you planning on attending the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro will be ready with some amazing exclusives. You'll like what you see, everyone in the room sure did.
Lunch Break—Summit Site
Talk about a feeding frenzy! No, not the buffet line of Mexican goodies, we're talking about the tangle over the toys. Toys, you say? Indeed… A few boxes of Marvel Legends, Hasbro's Superhero Squad figures (Fin Fang Foom – cool!) and various Galactuses (or is it Galacti?), Apocalypses, Sentinels, Elektras, Wolverines and more made it around the room. If you thought the debates over storylines got heated – you had to see the bartering going on! Looked like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for a moment – except the commodities being traded were World Devourers and Canuckleheads. No surprise – Hulks abound in front of Greg Pak!
10:35 AM—Summit Site
Think it's all sunshine, lollipops and teddy bears in here? Sure – that and loud, impassioned pleas for plot points. Yes, the group reached an impasse just now on two heated topics and President/Publisher Dan Buckley walked to the center of the metaphorical roundtable – and called for a vote. What was it all about? Half of the argument was about if a certain character is on the list of infiltrating Skrulls. The other part of the argument was exactly *when* a certain character was replaced by a Skrull – snd incredibly passionate arguments being presented by everyone in the room followed. Loudly. Ideas come, ideas go… Some make like Hulk and bust their way through – making it to the big scheduling board at the front of the room. For an idea to make it there, it's a good one because it just ran the gauntlet of Marvel minds. And you think putting these funny books together is easy…
9:15 AM—Summit Site (Somewhere in Manhattan again, 'natch)
Picking up right where we all left off, President/Publisher Dan Buckley – deftly handling a tasty beverage and a red marker simultaneously – began the day by recapping yesterday. Standing at the big board (the huge calendar of projected Marvel storylines) and touching on points agreed upon yesterday, the creative debates began immediately. One of the words heard most often? Same word heard most often yesterday – Skrull. Wow, as if you haven't figured it out just yet – this Secret Invasion is huge. Consequences galore! With Jeph Loeb, Brian Bendis, Greg Pak, Ed Brubaker, Dan Slott, Matt Fraction, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, and Axel Alonso spitballing ideas around the room – major actions and equally major consequences are guaranteed!
Day 2: Tuesday, December 18
4:35 PM—Summit Site
Just a quick update before we close down shop here on Day 2. Do you remember postcards? Well, we here at Mighty Marvel sure do. Even though you're reading this on your fancy schmancy gleaming new laptop (or your phone, for heaven's sake), we're here to say the good ol' postcard still has a place! In fact, Special Hulk-themed holiday postcards were handed out here at the Creative Summit. Take a peek here!
Oh, wait – and what the heck did they just say before they closed out the day? Who have the Skrulls had all this time?! See you tomorrow!
2:30 PM—Summit Site
As Brian Bendis laid out his plans for the final phase of 2008's massive Secret Invasion crossover—first phase coming your way in just a few short months!—one thing became clear: once again, the Avengers will never be the same following Skrull-a-palooza (his words). Bendis' proposals for the Avengers in general and a certain Iron Avenger in particular, kicked off the most spirited debates of the day, as everybody seemed to have an opinion of where the Avengers should end up—well, where those who survive war with the Skrulls will end up. 2007 saw the death of Captain America—will another Avengers cornerstone fall in 2008? Things are getting pretty intense…
1:45 PM—Summit Site
Everyone in the room got a top secret view of – darn, of course we can't say. Just got the kibosh dropped on me...let me just say this: come January, the Internet will be the exclusive place to see something Marvel-related you've never seen before. Something that caused the entire room to burst out in applause! (For real!) We'll keep you posted on Marvel.com.
Lunch Break—Summit Site
As everyone loaded up on stuffed chicken breast and cheeseburgers, the whole creative nerve center focused on…YOU, potentially! If you sent in a photo to the Marvel Costume Contest held on Marvel.com not too long ago – you may very well have been on the screensaver randomly showing off some of your awesome costumes! From Incredible Hulks to spectacular Spider-Men to just about every version of Iron Man's armor, the contest might be long over, but all of your efforts did not go unnoticed! In fact, as some of the biggest names in the mortal Marvel Universe lunched, they also sat awestruck as the elaborate costumes filled the screen.
11:15 AM—Summit Site
Right off the bat, the assemblage addressed the jade giant in the room, with HULK writer Jeph Loeb speaking about the twists and turns of the upcoming red phase for the normally green gargantuan and, suffice it to say, surprises abound! As for the rest of the morning, discussion broke out about the super-secret next phases of the sprawling "X-Men: Messiah CompleX" saga and how the story will play out across the mutant world and Marvel Universe as a whole. In that moment, as all of the top Marvel minds eloquently expounded on potential twists and turns and outcomes, you begin to understand the power of these Creative Summits.
10:00 AM—Summit Site
So other than hearing about the numbers and looking at lists and pie charts (mmmmmm, pie…) – what exactly happens at a Creative Summit? Here's the setting: A huge room with tables arranged in a giant square. In the front of the room, a giant chart hangs – broken up by Marvel publishing groups (Marvel Universe Heroes, Ultimate Universe, X-Men and Spider-Man) and then by months (January 2008 – July 2009). Editor-in-Chief, Joe Quesada, and President/Publisher Dan Buckley sit side by side. To their left moving around the circle (ok, square) is Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, C.B. Cebulski, Dan Slott, Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Brian Michael Bendis, a slew of Marvel editors, Greg Pak, more Marvel editorial staff – hello Ralph Macchio – and then Jeph Loeb, Allan Heinberg and more editors and staff than you can shake a Donald Blake walking stick at! So, you can imagine the ideas whirling around the room – and whirl they did…
9:25 AM—Summit Site (Somewhere in Manhattan)
The House of Ideas goes off campus! Sunlight fought to break through the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the wee hours of the morning (well, like 9 a.m. – wee hours for this crew) and the day began with a State of the Marvel Union address by the President of Marvel's Publishing division, Dan Buckley. The good news? Marvel's kicking butt in the world of publishing. Absolutely romping. The bad news? No more complementary bagels left… Those responsible were then soundly beaten. Well, no not really... (The beatings come later.)
Day 1: Monday, December 17
1:00 PM—Inside the House of Ideas
Marvel's multi-day Creative Summit kicked off in the heart of the House of Ideas, the aptly named Hulk Room, the largest conference room—of course—in the building, where each editorial team presented video slideshows of upcoming plans and storylines for the assembled group. The Panic Room—Mark Paniccia's office—kicked things off with a polished presentation of where the Hulk and some of his friends and enemies will evolve in 2008. Who was there enjoying quality pizza and soft drinks? Jeph Loeb, Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Slott, Greg Pak and C.B. Cebulski, not to mention Summit rookies Allan Heinberg and Matt Fraction as well as the entire Marvel editorial staff led by Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada.