The T&A Panel
at New York Comic Con, named for Marvel Comics
editors Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso and featuring Arune Singh, kicked off Friday with a couple of bangs. Captain America is getting a deluxe miniseries just in time for his movie in Summer 2011 in the form of "Astonishing Captain America," with Andy Diggle on words and Adi Granov on art. The second bang is that Warren Ellis's time guiding the good ship "Astonishing X-Men" is over, and now it's Daniel ("Wolverine," "Deadpool") Way's turn to blow our minds as of issue #36.
Joining Way on the X-Men book is Jason Pearson, an astonishingly (get it?) talented artist whose cartoony style is a more than appropriate choice for "Astonishing X-Men." The art style signifies not just a change in creative team but also possibly the fact that the new "Astonishing X-Men" take is going to be different from Ellis's hard sci-fi approach to the concept. Way and Pearson are going to take the X-Men to an often ignored corner of the Marvel Universe -- Monster Island. In the story, the X-Men are attending a funeral in Japan when a mass exodus of monsters from Monster Island invade. Rather than attacking, though, the monsters are running in fear from an as-yet unknown entity.
Details are still scarce on exactly what "Astonishing Captain America" will be about, but Diggle's plot involves a bit of unfinished business from Captain America's past coming back to haunt him. Something and someone from World War II has put the 21st century in jeopardy, and Cap has to take down this old foe and avoid a deadly new weapon at the same time.
Finally, Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting's "Fantastic Four" is building up the story arc "3," which involves the death of a character. "Fantastic Four" #587 is going to come packaged in what Tom Brevoort described as a "death bag." Similar to the classic "Superman" #75, which contained the death of Superman, the cover to "Fantastic Four" #587 is all black, save for a number three inside the Fantastic Four logo. Brevoort explained, "It will be bagged so that if you want to know who dies, you will have to open the bag. We're hoping that this will keep the online scalpers from posting it for five minutes longer."
To wrap up the panel, Brevoort spilled something that he says he may not have been allowed to. In January, Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca's "Invincible Iron Man" will resume its original numbering with #500. Brevoort insisted that the Avengers will maintain its current numbering, but mentioned that if they were going to go back to the original number, it would be with issue #600. For the purpose of numbering, Brevoort includes "New Avengers" and the new "Avengers" series, but not "Mighty Avengers," "Dark Avengers," or "Secret Avengers."
Brevoort also teased a "Secret Avengers" story that begins with issue #6. Max Fury, a rogue Nick Fury life model decoy, and his cadre of villains are trying to raise Shang-Chi's un-nameable father (hint: his name rhymes who Pfoo Manchu and Marvel can't legally say that) and their plot draws in the Secret Avengers, Shang-Chi, and the Prince of Orphans from "Immortal Iron Fist." Shang-Chi and Prince of Orphans both have strong roots in pulp fiction, so it will be interesting to see how that story shakes out.