WonderCon LiveBlog: Avengers vs. X-Men Panel

Marvel's panel for Avengers vs. X-Men gears up to tease us about summer fun.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Avengers vs. X-Men #5

Here we are at the Marvel panel for Avengers vs. X-Men, and I'll be liveblogging the tidbits as they happen! Stay tuned! They're filming this for an MTV documentary, and Arune Singh is coaching us to cheer very loudly for every panelist. Haw haw.

Here we go!


On the panel are Tom Brevoort, Jeph Loeb, Mark Waid.

Avengers vs. X-Men, 12 issues, shipping twice per month, from Bendis, Fraction, Aaron, Hickman and Brubaker, edited by Brevoort.

Avengers: X-Sanction #4 from Loeb wraps up next week. Loeb is on a lot of cold medication, and if he blathers in Kryptonese, Mark Waid can translate. Working with Ed McGuinness again has been fun, and Cable is near and dear to his heart, and fans are happy he's back. Does he complete his mission? When this story ends, it goes right into AvX #0, and the first scene from that is in the back of A:XS #4. It stands alone, but it's a road down to AvX, with some really good easter eggs in the last issue that will surprise you.

They have postcards downstairs to let people check out the first issue for free with fancy digital codes.

AvX #0 is focused completely on Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers, and this will set the stage for everybody to catch everybody up on the state of the teams.

The first two issues are amazing, the third issue will knock you off your feet, and you'll be in, says Singh. They're teasing audience members with the chance to read #0 and #1.

Avengers Vs. X-men Vs. is a book from Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert, Kathryn Imonen, Stuart Immonent in April – it is ALL FIGHTING ALL THE TIME. 1 percent story, focusing on all the fighting stuff and blowing out the fights from AvX. "Less chattering, more battering." Namor vs. Thing, Iron Man vs. Magneto are shown. Colossus Juggernautovich vs. The Thing will happen with Loeb and Ed McGuinness.

"The Future of Comics Is Here." The Marvel ReEvolution – Marvel Infinite Comics, spearheaded by Mark Waid and his Nova digital comic which merges the format and gears it up well, and Waid has said IT IS NOT MOTION COMICS. It isn't. I've seen it. It's cool. Waid has been prosletyzing about digital comics for a long time, and computer/tablets are a whole new canvas for storytelling. Nova story comes out at the same time as AvX #1, and you get a digital copy of Nova free when you buy the fancy version of AvX #1. People like free. Or you can get Nova on its own for 99 cents. Loeb loves the Nova story, and it's very extraordinary.

Marvel AR – Augmented Reality. On April 2, you get a free app on your device that you can use throughout AvX, and if you open the app over pages of AvX with the AR logo to get bonus features on your phone, like backstory and commentary and what-not. Eventually, you can take your phone into a comic store and hold it up to a comic with the AR logo, and editors will tell you about the book, or you can see trailers specially made for it, etc. Posibilities are cool and fun. "DVD extras for free." This is just the tip of the iceberg. In a year, we apparently won't remember how comics worked without it.

AvX #5 is shown, Matt Fraction and John Romita Jr., coming in June. Then #6 with Hickman and Olivier Coipel starts Act 2, with Scarlet Witch on the cover. 12 issues in 6 months means they needed three artists on the series. JRJR doing the 1st act, Coipel does the second, Kubert doing the third. Then AvX VS. #3 – Jeph Loeb, McGuinness, Chris Yost, Terry Dodson.

Now some tie-ins, The Phoenix in Secret Avengers, lots of chaos. Avengers Academy #31 has the Generation Hope kids coming in with the AA. Christos Gage gets a great round of applause. #32 notes that AA has a Sentinel, and that will be dealt with by Emma Frost. X-Men don't like Sentinels.

Now the Q&A!

Q: With the huge amounts of power with Phoenix, what are the villains doing AvX? Brevoort says they're quaking in their boots to some degree. Some will take advantage – Uncanny X-Men will focus on that. This story expands to Tabula Rasa, Wakanda, everywhere in the Marvel Universe on a global and intergalactic scale. We'll get a full picture from every angle.

Q: Marvel AR question – will it work on just digital comics without print? It doesn't work on digital comics just yet – only in print at this time, to support retail partners.

Q: What sparks the conflict between Avengers and X-Men? Why are they fighting? You have to read AvX #1 to understand. So they let her read #0.

Q: Ben Grimm vs. Juggernautovich. Will the Hulk get to beat up Juggernautovich? That issue does get taken up. Both Red and Green Hulks will go toe to toe with Juggernautovich.

Q: Beast and Wolverine are Avengers – what happens? That's a very good question – a central question of AvX. Some characters will flip back and forth. Luke Cage and Hawkeye aren't entirely down with the Avengers, either.

Q: What's the deal with moving guys like Captain America into a combat like this while keeping him true to the character? Waid says he buys the questioners premise about how Cap would rather talk than fight, but he says what sparks this, he also totally buys and believes the conflict and feels it's totally in character.

Q: Some guy actually likes Civil War – how is this different? Civil War was more of a metaphor of what was going on with the real world, and AvX doesn't have that. But AvX have each team with a hardline stance in conflict with each other about the best course of action, and thus fighting for their beliefs.  Waid says CW was about how society reacts, and AvX is about how to use power to help the world.

Q: This guy says Magneto is the dealbreaker to tip the favor in the X-Men. The big players are going to be on the forefront. Tony Stark is going to bring his superhero self and his Starky self to the fray, coming up with devices to mess with X-Men, and X-Men excel in telepathy.

Q: What do creators want to do with AR? Perhaps a world where every single page will have something different on it. DIscussions with creators, recaps, history of Ms. Marvel, what-have-you. Would AR substitute preview pages at the end of the book? Maybe, if you're Mark Waid and you actually complete books in advance.

Q: How will wild cards play a role? How does Deadpool fit in? It's not out of the question that he'll be involved in some capacity. Brevoort can reveal no more.

Q: A guy dressed as the Joker asks where this idea come from? Brevoort says it goes back to House of M and 'no more mutants.' And some of those mutants want to know how that crap happened, and they're about to find out and deal with it now that Wanda is back on the table, Hope is torn between Cyclops and Wolverine's Schism. They've been leading up to this for years and talking about it for many years. It is completely accessible to new readers.

Q: Will the X-Men get help from Magneto's former evil mutants, since this is the war he's always wanted? It's not impossible. There are only so many mutants left, and Cyclops has to look to all possibilities on the bench, but the focus is on Avengers vs. X-Men and not Acolytes or the Fantastic Four.  Exodus is in X-Men Legacy right now, yo.

Q: Will Scarlet Witch do 'no more superheroes' now and do a New 52 reboot? Brevoort insists there's no reboot or reset coming. They will turn things upside down and crazy, but nothing like that.

Q: This event doesn't seem to be hitting the single-heroes series as tie-ins, and thanks for that. It was an editorial decision, as they've heard complaints that they go too deep with tie-ins and event fatigue, so they wanted to just do the main book and the VS. sister book,and the only tie-ins would be Avengers and X-Men books with those names in the title. They let a lot of creators in without being too unwieldy.

Q: Which side are the panelists on? Brevoort has edited Avengers for a dozen years and "I can't stand those fuckin' X-Men." Loeb says his Cable connection is toward the X-Men, but Avengers movie is the coolest superhero movie ever made. Waid chooses whatever Daredevil would choose.

Q: What's up with Wolverine and the Jean Grey School? The others in the school may not agree with Wolverine's choice. Jubilee is a vampire – is the Scarlet Witch going to turn her back? Brevoort doesn't think so.

Q: Will Jean Grey have anything happening? Brevoort says 'tell you what, do you want to come up and read AvX #1?" Kid is happy – and Marvel Infinite Comics #2, after the Nova story, will shed light on that as well.

Q: How will the government or society react to AvX?  They won't be too happy as the battle escalates and causes general carnage. The question is how will the governmentS react?

Q: Will Cyclops turn into a Magneto-style villain? That's a good question – your POV on Cyke right now depends on your take on what's right or not right. Brevoort defends Cyke's recent M.O., but you'll be able to decide for yourself if what he's doing is right as it develops. This is his D-Day, his future is coming – possibly.

Q: Will the Dark Avengers be in this? No.

Q: Is Wanda going Avengers or X-Men? Wait and see.

Q: Does anybody die? If they did, would we tell you?

Q: Young Avengers showing up? No.

Q: Will this be an animated series in the future? Yes, they're thinking about it.