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.
Okay everybody, this week marks the return of "Fan Appreciation Day." on MCOJ, so that means that it's nothing but your questions, no junk, no filler. However, if you're wondering what we did with good old Jimmy Mac this week, well, we gave him the week off as his lovely wife gave birth to their first son, Logan Turner McLauchlin. Both Mom and baby are in great health and the boy is so outstandingly handsome that everyone, except Jim, know that he's not the father.
One other reminder, I'll be off the next two weeks as we have our legendary Marvel Creative Summit coming up next week, so my plate is going to be pretty full wining and dining the likes of Brubaker, Pak and Bendis, making sure Fraction's spa appointments are confirmed and that the chocolate-covered strawberries and rose petals Loeb is expecting in his hotel room are placed in the proper Feng Shui manner. And don't even get me started on Slott, sheesh. On the bright side, stay tuned to Marvel.com as I'm sure there will be constant reporting, picture taking and blogging from the summit and there are always great tidbits that manage to sneak out.
And remember, in my abensce next week, Brian Bendis will be hosting MyCup o' Bendis next week so be sure to send him any questions you might have on Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, the Ultimate Universe, hair care, or anything else that your inquiring minds want to know.
Okay, gang, what's on your mind?
Joe, are there any plans for the "Dark Tower" series after Treachery? Now that im hooked on the Dark Tower mythos, I don't want it to end!
So glad you asked, Boromir, while I can't say much at this point, look for a new "Dark Tower" series to launch in '09...and more to come.
Please thank Joe Kelly & Chris Bachalo; AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 575 was an awesome issue. The opening was hilarious and Spidey's facial expressions were great. What do you have lined up for them after they're done with ASM?
Thanks for the kind words, Drew, I'll make sure to pass them along to Joe and Chris.
Currently, Bachalo is working on an Anti-Venom story with Dan Slott for January's ASM: EXTRA! 2 and Joe is hard at work on a big Spidey story coming out next spring. More info on that later, but you're going to love it.
Yoda is my homeboy:
Whats the deal with the Blue Marvel? I remember a while back you mentioned him coming to the Marvel universe and being a long lost hero. How did this come about?
Yo, Yoda! Kevin Grevioux came up with the initial concept for the Blue Marvel a year or two back. Kevin shared his ideas with Paul Jenkins, in the mistaken belief that we pay any attention to Paul--but in this instance, Paul grabbed a few Marvel editors while they were attending a convention, put them together with Kevin, and everything worked out from there.
Where's Juggernaut at the moment? Seems to me he should be rampaging through Skrulls in a carefree manner.
OF THE BLUE
Hey there, Psychofish. Juggernaut's doing a whole lot of soul-searching right now. You saw some of it in a story in X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY 2 written by Skottie Young (is there anything he CAN'T do?) and he's a HUGE part of X-MEN:LEGACY 219 that will redefine his and Professor X's relationship. As for why he wasn't fighting Skrulls, you know when you go on vacation and all this stuff happens back home when you're away? It was kind of like that.
Joe where can I get my fix of John Romita Jr? He's such an awesome artist and I loved him on Spider-Man.
Well, tno, you could always buy "Kick Ass," but that would only make Millar happy and even more wealthy and no one wants that. But, that notwithstanding, you'll have more JRJR goodness soon enough in his next big Spidey arc called CHARACTER ASSASSINATION starting in January.
So its no secret that Captain America is one of the best books you guys are putting out. Now that it seems bucky has made the full transformation into Cap and the Red Skull is seemingly not going to be causing any trouble in the near future, what can we expect next from Brubaker and Epting?
KICK ASS #5
Okay, how about this - - -
The Man With No Face!
A threat from the Winter Soldier's dark past!
A mission to China in honor of a fallen comrade!
And the big ramp-up to issue 50 and beyond!
Excuse me for a second, Reggie, just thinking about it makes me have to catch my breath.
we find solice in our brutality:
Who would win in a fight, regular universe wolverine or a predator?
C'mon now, Solice, the poor predator wouldn't stand a chance. Besides, Wolvie be so angry over the Predator ripping off his claw thing, well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.
WITH REGARD TO THE NOIR LINE, AREN'T THERE CERTAIN CHARACTERS, LIKE PUNISHER, DAREDEVIL AND WOLVERINE, THAT JUST COULD NOT BE ANY GRITTIER IF YOU STUCK SANDPAPER ON THEM?
Jesse, grit is in the eye of the beholder and you have no idea how gritty these characters can actually get. I bet back in the day no one would have thought that the Punisher could get any grittier and then along came a guy named Garth Ennis.
Oh man! Joe Quesada!
First off I love your work! It's just plain amazing! To look at your artwork it's an honor, for real!
I loved your work especially in: Amazing Spider-Man One More Day. I have the TPB and it's funny because I told myself (after I read it) What would I want to ask Joe, if I had the opportunity, about how he felt when he made the art for this comic?
So now that I see this, I'm really thinking...
Ok, here we go:
Joe: How did you feel when you did the artwork? Like, while reading the script how did you imagine Peter's emotions and MJ's? How were you able to draw out their emotions (you did an excellente job by the way!) How hard was it for you, knowing that you were going to make Peter's one true nightmare come true?
All I have to say that this is one of my favorite comic book series I've ever read! And to be honest I dont think anyone else could've done this job as good as J. Michael Straczinski & Joe Quesada! Great job guys! Appreciate your hardwork and this wonderful opportunity!
Hey, Steve, if it's an consolation, I'm always thrilled just to have the opportunity to speak to you guys. Thanks for the kinds words, I worked my tail off on those four issues, so I'm glad you dug it. One of the tricks that I use when either staging emotional scenes for illustrating or when writing them, is I act it out. Of course I close the door to my studio when I do this because it looks pretty silly, but it works for me and helps me get into the mood of the scene.
I've always wanted to be an editor at Marvel Comics. Most people want to be writers or artists but my dream job would be to keep everyone on schedule, watch for continuity errors, and just help push the story in the right direction. So what does a young, nearly-graduated, enterprising young man like myself to do? Do I start out as your personal coffee liaison extraordinaire?
No, the simple answer is that you get yourself graduated and then you can apply for an editorial position by sending in your resume, when one becomes available. I'll be honest with you, Editorial gigs don't come around very often and we run a rather small crew, so each available position is highly coveted and the competition is tough, so you have to bring your A game.
Good Luck Buck:
Mr. Quesada, Avengers: The Initiative Secret Invasion tie-in has shed some light on some of the lesser known Marvel super heroes. Will we now be seeing characters like 3-D Man, Gravity, Ant-Man, and Spinner play more prominent roles in a post Secret Invasion universe?
Not all of them, Buck, but some of them, yes. In fact, one of the four characters you listed will be turning up in Andy Diggle's THUNDERBOLTS before too long! And speaking of Andy Diggle's Thunderbolts!
Middle Management Red Skull:
Joe youve been giving out snippets of scripts here and there so ive gotta ask. As a fan of Andy Diggle, is there ANY chance that we can get a snippet of his Thunderbolts stuff? Or really anything T-bolt related that's got diggle involved? I love his stuff and am super stoked that you guys picked him up.
All right, Red, you win--here's a page from Andy's second THUNDERBOLTS issue that'll give you the merest taste of what's to come, but do me a favor, don't show this to anyone, okay:
1) SONGBIRD speaks into a wrist communicator as she hobbles along a dimly-lit service corridor, deep in the bowels of the mountain. She has torn off the right sleeve of her costume and tied it around her injured hand as a makeshift bandage. Blood drips from it. She can't put any real weight on her injured leg, so she's limping badly. Unlike the narrow duct she crawled into earlier, this corridor is big enough to stand up in. Rows of pipes and cable conduits snaking along the bare concrete walls.
Security! This is Songbird, do you copy?
We have a Code Black emergency -- Bullseye is off the leash! Activate his nanochain immediately!
2) Move in on Songbird, pained but stoic and grimly determined. She pulls off her damaged sonic harness.
3) Worm's eye POV. Songbird limps away from us, leaving a trail of little blood drops along the concrete floor. Her broken sonic harness lies crumpled on the floor in the foreground, abandoned. The corridor stretches away into darkness ahead of her. Stencilled on the wall is an arrow POINTING BACK THE WAY SHE CAME and the words SERVICE JUNCTION CSA-TB 04-09. In other words, the service junction is behind her...
Damn you, Norman...
And here's the page of art to go with it.
Where IS Howard The Duck? Especially in all this madness that is Secret Invasion (you'd think Howard would be battling Skrulls in Cleveland or something).
By the way...RIP Steve Gerber, Howard's creator who passed away earlier this year.
Well, Jabbajaw, despite everyone's best efforts, Leinil drew a gun-toting Howard into SECRET INVASION #7--so look for him there! (Lower left corner of the attached page)
And, yes, we were all saddened by Steve's passing, he was a brilliant creator who is sorely missed in our industry.
Elaine and Aaron:
Diamond on October 22nd announced some rather big delays for "Ultimatum." Issue 2 bumped from November to December.
Issue 3 bumped from December to February(!) After more than a year of hype and teases, why does your biggest story for the Ultimate Universe have delays right off the bat? Shouldn't this book have been complete or near complete before solicitation? Is this from Jeph Loeb? David Finch? Needing more time to get the new Ultimate titles ready after Ultimatum? Something else? Will Ultimatum 4 be solicited in February with the now issue 3 or will it be solicited in March?
The honest truth E and A is that our Sales and Marketing folk were too aggressive in our release schedule of this series, so it had nothing to do with the talent. It quickly became apparent that we'd have to shift the schedule a bit to take into account some tie in titles and yes to make way for a new Ultimate Universe. It happens from time to time and for that we apologize.
With the growing rate of graphic novelization above individual comic-book subscriptions -- how do you feel about your company's pacing as far as the amount of material and variety of material that is released on a yearly basis -- in comparison to that of other companies like Vertigo, TOP COW or DC?
With Marvel being so strictly based on canon and all of the events take place in one linear universe, do you feel that this cripple's your competition to deliver fresh, truly 'character based' media to True Believers at an admirable rate?
No, Phil, not at all. If you look carefully you'll notice that outside of the collections we do of our regular in continuity titles, we have a huge list of books from Marvel Knights, MAX titles, Marvel Classics, and other separate mini series that certainly fill up the racks. Our line of books today has more variety of genre whether in continuity or out than any other time in our history.
Would it be at all possible for Jason Aaron to do anything with the Punisher? I think he does a great job with the darker characters and he'd fit nicely with the Punisher.
And, I'll give you 5 dollars if you NEVER allow Brian Bendis to leave ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN.
Hmmm. Jason Aaron and PUNISHER? An interesting fit. Well, Pirate Pat, you definitely want to check out the PUNISHER (MAX) X-MAS SPECIAL, written by Jason and illustrated by Roland Boschi. It's titled "And On Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men." If there were every an ironic title, this is it.
After the mini concludes, does Marvel have any plans to keep the Blue Marvel and Anti-Man around and work them into mainstream titles like the Avengers and X-Men? Also, something that's been on mind - did the Blue Marvel and the Sentry ever cross paths?
You're going to have to wait and see, Oprah--but really, would we introduce two new characters only to immediately get rid of them? As for the Blue Marvel and the Sentry, Kevin Grevioux and Paul Jenkins spoke about this very thing months ago, at the convention where Kevin first pitched the idea to Marvel, so I wouldn't be at all surprised.
Supah Street Fighter 2 King:
A serious question for ya, Joe - How do you feel about the progression of technology and its influence in the comic entertainment medium? Are you for the transition of paper comics to digital comics? Will comics ever go completely digital? How does this affect your responsibilities?
OF THE BLUE
While it's tough to predict if digital would ever replace paper, I think it's safe to assume that the two will exist nicely side by side just as the trade has coexisted with the monthly comic. There are many more people that don't live anywhere near a comic shop and I think for those, the digital world will be a great way for them to get introduced to what it is that we do.
As for how technology has effected comics, it's pretty obvious to see. Just look at what's possible today with respect to printing, coloring, drawing and design, new technology has really advanced what comics look like to a level that is nearly unrecognizable and infinitely more detailed and meticulous when compared to work from previous decades.
Beta Ray Jill:
With Exiles going strong, you gotta tell me, will everyone's favorite pink skinned teleporting mutant be making a return? **Cough** **Cough** Blink?
Well, Jill, why don't we ask Senior Editor Mark Paniccia since he knows all things Exiles.
You sound a little under the weather, Beta Ray Jill. Make sure you take plenty of vitamin C, have a bowl of chicken soup and gander at this nifty Dave Bullock cover. Hope you feel better soon.
Grey Matters 87:
I love MAGNETO: TESTAMENT! Marvel is really doing the subject material justice and the artwork is beautiful. After the success of the first two issues, does Marvel have any plans to explore the origins Professor Xavier too?
Grey, I have to agree with you, MAGNETO: TESTAMENT is just an amazing work of art, from the brilliant writing by Greg Pak to the art to the beautiful art by Carmine Di Giandomenico. Currently I can't say that we have any plans for an Xavier origin story, but you never know.
Froggy. The Froggy-ist frog that ever frogged.:
Please don't cancel Amazing Spider-girl! And if the series is gone, where else can we find Mayday Parker?
Froggy, while all good things must eventually come to an end, I'm going to make a big announcement here - - -
While Spider-Girl the comic is no more, you'll still be able to read her ongoing adventures as she'll be a feature in each issue of The Amazing Spider-Man Family.
Joe, it appears in X-Force Angel has the ability to transform into Archangel then change back. Will we start to see him utilizing this ability at all in UNCANNY X-MEN?
Who's to say that you haven't already, Joe the Plumber? How do you think he defeated the Sentinel in UNCANNY 500 all by his lonesome? You'll be seeing more and more when "Lovelorn" kicks off in UNCANNY 504.
If this is a big year for returns, where is Cecilia Reyes? I heard that she is still alive; it would be awesome to see her again with the X-men. Greetings from Mexico!
Did you miss the news, Hernie? She's coming back in NYX 4!
Oh, and say Hola to Mexico for me.
Guy the Gardner:
I'm a huge X-Force fan and love the new series. It was great seeing Domino make appearance last week! Any chance we'll be seeing the return of any other original X-Force members? Maybe Shatterstar?
No Shatterstar for now, Guy. As for the rest of them, ummm, when's the last time you visited the optometrist? Warpath is in X-FORCE. Cable has a little series called CABLE, Cannonball has been in UNCANNY X-MEN and SECRET INVASION X-MEN. Boom Boom showed up in X-MEN: MANIFEST DESTINY 1. And Domino's going to be in UNCANNY as well, starting in 508. That just leaves Feral (RIP) and Shatterstar. ISN'T THAT ENOUGH FOR YOU, GUY? WHAT MORE CAN YOU WANT?!?!
The Mighty Mutt:
HEY MR. Q Do you mind being called Mr. Q? I think it sounds sort of spyish. Anyway, my question: I was thrilled when I saw the solicitations for January, and that Thor is going back to its original numbering. Any plans on changing any other titles to their original numbering? Maybe Captain America?
As is usual, we'll be weighing the pros and cons of going back to the original numbering on a case-by-case basis--but don't be too shocked if one or two other titles celebrate a similar centennial celebration this year!
And it's a little known fact but I did have a short stint in Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond pulled some strings, called in some favors and had me fired, I was getting all the ladies.
All right, that's all for this week. Remember, next week Brian Bendis will be sitting in my chair so make sure you send in any questions that you have for the man that killed Hawkeye, just about ended mutantkind, and won Marvel's version of "So You Think You Can Dance!"
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.