MARVEL’S NEXT BIG THING (Saturday – 6A) – While Marvel Studios was entirely absent from Comic-Con for the first time in a while, Marvel Comics did have a fairly strong presence. At the Next Big Thing panel, specifically, they certainly covered a lot. It opened with a conversation of Infinity Wars, the event spinning out of Infinity Countdown which will change the status quo of the Marvel Universe; take a shot for everytime you’ve heard that in recent memory and see if you can make it out alive. It will all begin with Infinity Wars Prime, which Donny Cates described as game-changing (repeat the previous drinking game for this statement). I will say that this event seems like it could be good, regardless of how I feel about Marvel’s apparent inability to choose a direction and stick with it.
The most interesting part spinning out of Infinity Wars are Infinity Warps — amalgams of Marvel characters that are reminiscent of the Marvel/DC amalgam characters of the 90’s. The characters they showed were Iron Hammer (Iron Man/Thor), Arachknight (Spider-Man/Moon Knight), Weapon Hex (X-23/Scarlet Witch), and the star of the show, Ghost Panther (Ghost Rider/Black Panther with a flaming F***ing Panther!!). Almost as cool as Ghost Panther was actually an idea that Cates had that surprisingly was scrapped: Deadbolt, the Merc with a mouth who could tear down cities with a whisper. The Amalgams didn’t really end there, however, as they brought up some Amalgam heroes in Cosmic Ghost Riders, including Juggerduck (Howard with the gem of cyttorak) and Kamala Khan as Captain Marvel with Captain America’s shield.
Cates and company brought up the newest Captain Marvel series, which won’t be a reboot but rather another side to her origin story. They also announced a new Vision series by Chelsea Cain (Mockingbird), Marc Mohan and Aud Koch which will pick up after Tom King’s series. Outside of the Infinity Warps and Vision, the other new announcement to come out of this panel were the titles coming to Marvel Digital Originals: Cloak and Dagger, Jessica Jones, Daughters of the Dragon, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist: Phantom Limb, which most people on stage seemed the most excited about.3/5
Flaming Panther Bibles.
IDW’S BIG NEWS (Saturday – 25ABC) – There was actually some interesting Marvel news that came out in a different panel, The IDW’s Big News Panel, IDW announced a partnership with Marvel to publish a Young Readers Line, beginning with Spider-Man in November, followed by Avengers in December and Black Panther in January. The creative team was also announced for Young Readers Spidey, with Delilah Dawson writing and Fico Ossio drawing. The title will not only star Peter, but would also include Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen. The only other character confirmations for the Avengers and Black Panther comics are Captain Marvel and Shuri, respectively.
There was another announcement IDW made during this panel that at least tangentially ties to Marvel, announcing a Star Wars mini-series called Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle, a weekly 5 issue Halloween themed series that will come in October ending on Halloween day. It’ll have age appropriate horror set around the time of Rogue One. They also announced Lodger, a serial killer love story, by David and Maria Lapham as part of their Black Crown imprint. As part of their main imprint, there other announcements were Go-Bots by Tom Scioli, George Romero’s Road of the Dead (described as Death Race 2000 meets Night of the Living Dead) written by Jonathan Mayberry, V-Wars (a prose anthology about science fiction vampires), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder in Hell with art by Mateus Santolouco. This panel was the opposite of the other comic briefings I went to, being heavy on news and light on entertainment, but still enjoyable. 3/5 Licensed Bibles.