By Joe Glass
The panel was hosted, as ever, by Ryan Penagos, executive editorial director of Marvel Entertainment's Digital Media Group. Also there was Jordan D. White, playing music for us even while we wait for VT to be set up, including an interactive rendition of the Imperial March and the 90s X-Men theme. The panel was rounded out by Danielle Campbell, Ben Morse, Gabe Frizzera, Fabian Nicieza, Bill Rosemann, and Mike Jones.
The hour started with a look at the scope of the digital side of the Marvel operation, including Unlimited, Infinite, games and more.
Campbell asked for hands raised for those who read digital comics and pointed out she loved that as each time she asks more and more people lift their hands to the air. She talked a bit about the Marvel Unlimited app, and how useful it can be to new readers and those wanting to try new series, by making suggestions based on what you've read. She also mentioned that the panel by panel reader has been upgraded and should work much better, which Penagos further elaborated as something that has come about by listening to the readers.
Penagos discussed how the idea of their digital comics plan is to create new readers who then go and buy books in print, supporting brick and mortar stores.
Unlimited Plus was talked about, as being all the usual Unlimited benefits PLUS 'a box of awesome stuff'. They pointed out that you can sign up online and at the Marvel booth during NYCC. They also discussed a special panel just for PLUS members, though Penagos did point out that he has conflicting information for when that is, which seems common at this NYCC.
One of Campbell's roles is to expand comics readers, and how to get kids into comics, and there's special events and deals for kids coming up to bring them into comics, as they will all be free.
Marvel games were next. They showed a slide listing all their games, which is an impressive amount now, including Disney Infinity, Lego Marvel's Avengers, Puzzle Quest, Contest of Champions and Spider-Man Unlimited to name but a few. For the latter, they announced Spider-Ham will be as a new addition, including various iterations of Spider-Ham, all silhouetted out, but seeming to include a Carnage Spider-Ham among others.
All New Wolverine (X-23) and Old Man Logan will be coming up for Puzzle Quest, which will be the first Marvel games appearance of Laura Kinney in her new costume, and we'll also see a Totaly Awesome Hulk in Puzzle Quest, coming out in the game before the comic is out. Puzzle Quest will also be coming to console systems later in the year.
Marvel Future Fight was next, and includes the first major TV integration in Marvel Games of Agents of SHIELD content, including Coulson, Sif, Mockingbird, Quake and Deathlok among others. Two story chapters written by Peter David, nine new characters and four levels included. Ward, Raina and Lincoln will also be in game. It's not a retelling of the show, but an original story.
Launched ten months ago, Frizzera talked about the popularity of Contest of Champion, and new characters coming to the game like the Jane Foster Thor, Venom and Spider-Gwen. They talked about how the comic was born, inspired by the game, itself inspired by the original three issue mini-series from years ago. Rosemann talked about the touchpoints between the game and new comic, making readers wanting to get the game and players wanting to read the book. The Joe Fix-It redesign was shown, and Frizzera talked about how they approached it as ' what if Don Draper became the Hulk'.
Frizzera talked about how they want the characters they include to feel authentic to fans. They showed off Guillotine, who is a new character added through the game and new comic, as a legacy character with a enchanted blood-thirst sword. Art was shown, which was in fact done by Frizzera. Penagos called out for some Guillotine cosplay for next year. They showed a trailer for Act 4, titled 'Rebellion'.
Lego Marvel's The Avengers was next, there'll be a lot of awesome announcements and reveals at their own panel tomorrow, and the game is playable at the Marvel booth. The game expands both from the films and the comics. There may in fact be giveaways too.
Disney Infinity was up next, as 3.0 is recently released, the first four-player game experience in Infinity. Hulkbuster and Ultron will be new characters released in November, along with the Battlegrounds playset including a Civil War Captain America…they then showed a brand new trailer only finished an hour prior to the panel. The game is looking impressive and should have fans excited. The game will be shown live at the Disney Infinity panel.
Beginning last week and every other Friday, there will be a Your Man at Marvel discussion on Marvel.com with Rosemann all about Marvel Games. He teased that there will be a ton of announcements over the next two years.
New footage was shown from The Watcher and Marvel Super Heroes: What the–?!, the stop-motion animation series involving Marvel action figures. The new episode showed what happens to all the other Avengers after the All New, All Different team is introduced, which is actually really funny, so well worth checking out.
They talked about their podcasts including a Women of Marvel podcast, which got a few whoops. There will also be theme songs for the podcasts This Week in Marvel and Women of Marvel, coming soon.
Turn to Infinite Comics, the group talked about how they make comics which really only work in the digital format, creating a new and enhanced reading experience. The next title is Deadpool & Cable: Split Second, which will involve Cable getting a premonition of Deadpool assassinating someone. It will also feature a sequence which will read as one story going one way, but a different story in reverse. They discussed how Infinite Comics allows creators to use really interesting story techniques and tricks you can't do in a standard comic.