The panel kicked-off with a teaser for the upcoming “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” television show, showcasing a very alive Agent Coulson and his team, some super-powered and some non. The audience”s cheers were cut shorts as moderator and Marvel Director of Communications Arune Singh then showed a teaser for Disney XD”s “Avengers Assembled” and another teaser for the six-issue event “Infinity,” beginning in August.
Singh then introduced the creators joining him onstage: “Superior Carnage” writer Kevin Shinnick, “Superior Foes Of Spider-Man” writer Nick Spencer, editor Steve Wacker, “Daredevil” artist Chris Samnee, artist Chris Yost, artist Humberto Ramos, writer James Robinson and writer Christos Gage.
Declaring July “Superior Spider-Month” Singh pointed to the all-new “Superior” comics line debuting this month. Gage then spoke about writing Doc Ock as Spider-Man, praising writer Dan Slott for turning the comic and super villain tropes on their heads. Showing the JG Jones variant cover for “Superior Spider-Man,” the next image for “Superior” #20 showed Black Cat and Spider-Man. “Dan keeps talking about this issue is as big as [Doc Ock discovering Peter Parker],” Wacker teased.
Turning to “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man,” Spencer and Wacker recalled Spencer”s original pitch for the comic, which was for the series to be driven entirely by the villains. “Nick has made the characterization important more than the plot…it just feels like a cool Marvel comic to me,” Wacker said. Continuing on, Singh announced Chris Yost and Marco Checchetto have a new series, “Superior Spider-Man Team-up,” which Yost explained, “All the changes that [Superior Spider-Man]”s going through, you”re going to see it in the book.”
“Every issue of Spider-Man you get to see this new Doc Ock take on Spider-Man, but in the Marvel Universe…and be an utter, arrogant jerk,” Yost continued. As well, while readers have seen Superior Spider-Man collecting Doc Ock”s old team that will pay off in the new series as “Spider-Man thinks he may need a new team” after being put on probation from Avengers, Yost explained.
Turning to “Superior Carnage” with Shinnick and artist Stephen Segovia, Shiniick said his goal was to do something different with Carnage than readers have seen before. “Kevin”s picking up some storylines from Hickman”s ‘Fantastic Four,”” Wacker added.
Moving onto “Daredevil” Samnee laughed as he explained that Mark Waid agreed to a Halloween issue before he quite figured out what that issue would be. More seriously Samnee explained that he and Waid did not want to give Foggy a magical cure to cancer because, “the fact that Foggy”s dealing with this gives us a chance to see Matt and Foggy as two great friends…we wanted to twist it so Foggy was the one who needed help.” Moving onto “Scarlet Spider” with Yost and artist Carlos Barberi, Yost thanked everyone for reading the book, adding, “This is a guy who”s been dying since the day he”s been born and actually things are pretty good…of course, things are going to go bad.” Yost also promised the return of Craven the Hunter very soon. “I can”t help but notice the word ‘Superior” is not in this title,” Wacker laughed, joking, “That is bad editing!”
Turning to the character Venom, in November Venom will fight Superior Spider-Man in the “Superior Spider-Man” arc “Darkest Hours” written by slot with art by Ramos. “These [version of the] characters have never actually met…there”s going to be a certain amount of friction and this is leading to something pretty massive in the book…that will leave Venom in a very different state,” Wacker added. Singh then called Slott, putting him on speakerphone, Slott telling the audience, “This is the first time Flash will see this Spider-Man,” before praising Ramos as “The hardest working man in comics.”
“Are you looking at the cover? Isn”t it gorgeous?” Slott yelled as the audience laughed. “He tells me about what”s going to happen in the next three years,” Ramos laughed, adding, “Things are coming in a big way.” Wacker then told the audience that Slott works collaboratively with Ramos using the Marvel method rather than full scripts. Robinson then spoke about “Family Business,” his upcoming Spider-Man graphic novel that introduces a character claiming to be Spider-Man”s sister. “It”s very much a globe-trotting world where Peter Parker has to wear a tuxedo and do things he doesn”t usually do,” Robinson said, labeling it a “spy” story. “I got to do my first Spider-Man making a witticism while he fights and it was fun.”
“You”re seeing Spider-Man outside of New York…It”s the first full graphic novel I”ve worked on,” Wacker added as Singh said readers should keep their eyes peeled for more graphic novels from Marvel in the near future.
Opening it to fan questions, the first person to the microphone asked Ramos about his costume redesign, to which he said he tried to honor both the comic and movie. Answering a fan who wanted to know why he made Shocker a coward, “That”s an old-school read on Shocker,” Spencer said, adding, “He wants to play it safe…and that comes off as cowardice to the group.”
“Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man are going to meet in August,” Yost told another fan, adding “Cain tried to kill Doc Ock before, so…” as the audience laughed.
Speaking about whether he felt Doc Ock was less relateable than Parker, Slott said “No, he”s the underdog, he”s the villain losing all the time!” The panelists also joked that the pitch was originally called “Jerk Spider-Man.”
“Peter Parker would have run around trying to save everyone one by one…Doc Ock killed Spider-Slayer and shut everything down at once…that”s the guy I want on my side!” Gage added. Speaking about the Annual, Slot also teased that there is a part that ties in very intimately to “Superior Spider-Man.”
“Do not miss the Annual!” Slott shouted over the phone as the audience laughed.
Talking about Jonah”s political career and Spider-Man blackmailing him, “It”s not looking to the people of New York that anything”s changed…only Jonah knows he”s been totally screwed over,” Slot added. The next fan to the microphone asked if Slott wasn”t present because of the death threats, the audience and panelists laughing as the same fan reassured Slott that people like him.
A young boy named Johnny asked why they settled on Doc Ock to best Spider-Man. “Doctor Octopus seems like a messed up version of Peter Parker,” Wacker said. “When you look at Doc Ock”s origin…their dialogue is so similar. Peter, before he gets bitten by the spider, is talking about how everyone will pay…that”s so Doc Ock!” Slott continued, adding that if it wasn”t for Uncle”s Ben death, Peter Parker would have been Doctor Octopus. “So Johnny, there”s a villain in all of us!” Wacker said as the audience laughed.
Another young fan dressed as Deadpool asked about Green Goblin, to which Wacker said the return of the Green Goblin will be a “huge” part of Slott”s comic later in the year.
The next fan wanted to know how Doc Ock will now act minus Parker”s memories. Gage explained that while Octavius remembers the memories he investigated, like those about Aunt May, “Anything he didn”t actively look at he no longer can,” Gage said.
Another fan wanted to know if there were plans to have Spider-Man 2099 spinoff into a solo book. “I”m not even sure if we will be able to do a Spider-Man 2099 book…but if there were, everyone here would work on it together. Seven writers!” Wacker said, the audience laughing as Slot”s time-delayed chuckles came through the phone.
To a fan who asked if the new Green Goblin is going to ruining Superior Spider-Man”s life like he did Parker”s, Slott laughed, “You have to read the book!”
“It would be awesome if Green Goblin showed up with a basket of muffins!” Slott joked as the room cracked up. Going down the line, Gage said he”d love to see Stego the Dinosaur Man in Thor”s head, Spencer suggested Sabertooth in Kitty Pryde”s body and Samnee wanted a Thor/Loki.
Another young fan asked Robinson if Peter”s possible sister knows more about the Parker parents. Robinson said she was interested in learning more about the family and that the idea of exploring the Parkers was central to the book.
A Mexican fan told Ramos it was great to see a fellow Mexican on the panel and Wacker to the next fan to the phone that Peter Parker”s ghost is gone for good.
Slott concluded by confirming there would be more Betty Brant sometime in the comic, ending the panel as the room cracked up for the last time.