By Joe Glass
One of the first panel's of the day on Friday at San Diego Comic Con 2016, which has proved a popular panel, with the large room filling up well before the panel start time.
Everyone is here to see what Marvel intend to reveal next about their current Civil War II event.
Panellists include G Willow Wilson, David Walker, Axel Alonso, Sana Amanat, Marc Guggenheim, Matt Rosenberg, moderated by Rickey Purdin.
Talking about the general premise of the Civil War conflict this time, Alonso mentions there may be a couple major turns and deaths yet to come. There won't be a winner or loser, heroes will come out on a high, and some will lose everything.
Talking about the Kingpin Civil War tie-in, it follows the rise of Kingpin back to height of power, in the backdrop of the new Civil War. Alonso elaborates that Kingpin will be HUGE in the next couple years.
Rosenberg teases the Kingpin ongoing, coming in January, the beginning of his true play for total control on NYC, it's dark, nasty but really fun book. He very nearly says Kingpin wants to make America Great Again…or New York great again. Take from that what you will.
Wilson goes on to describe how this event is particularly emotionally difficult for Kamala Kahn, and how she was initially naturally loyal to Captain Marvel at first, but her growing closeness and respect for Tony Stark is making her question these things, and her own growing realizations of her own thoughts on the conflict. Next week has a couple big twists in it. Amanat describes how they've also been able to explore Kamala's past a bit more.
Walker talks the Power Man & Iron Fist, and tearing them apart by showing them reacting to the new fight amongst their friends and deciding to take a neutral position, and will look at how it will suck them in and it will literally destroy their lives. They will spend of their time apart during the tie-in. Walker is interested in the idea of apathy being the same as being evil.
The Fallen is up next, and Alonso talks about the ripple effect among those closely connected to the Hulk and how his death affects them. Then The Accursed, Guggenheim, who used to practice law, Guggenheim praised Brian M. Bendis' script for issue 3 of the main event, and he says the verdict in issue 4 is surprising (unless you've been following Bleeding Cool, of course).
They will address the hearsay issue of evidence in Hawkeye's trial, but also how it is for Matt Murdock to prosecute a fellow hero, and is he doing it of his own accord or following orders.
Ulysses Infinite Comic up next, about his training with Karnak and first chunk of time with the Inhumans, and then CWII: Choosing Sides, and looking at how heroes chose sides.
Captain Marvel up next, about how Stark went about showing his opinion, and that's unlike Carol Danvers methods and how she's taking a more clinical and methodical way of recruiting and also using the predictions to prove the bad guys are bad guys. Amanat says it will be a really great political thriller. It will take her to a whole other level, particular her position in the MU at large.
Alonso asking who's side everyone is on, and a lot of people didn't raise their hands at all, maybe implying they still can't decide on a side.
Totally Awesome Hulk up next, Black Panther will step in to try and help the situation, but it won't end well. Alonso and Amanat praise the series and highlight how Amadeus Cho is a very different Hulk.
September sees the first meeting of Riri Williams and Tony Stark in Iron Man #12. When they were making plans for the future, Bendis already impressive plans for Riri had to change, and her role became even bigger as she gets to be the new Iron Man.
They again plug the Cup o' Joe panel tomorrow, it seems the actual news and announcements will be made there.
Q&A section: Why is precognition a big deal now when others had the same power before? Alonso says its to do with scope and level of Ulysses' powers and that some of those haven't even been revealed yet. But also its about commenting on the world we live in, and so its maybe a timing issue.
Favorite moments from the series? Guggenheim loved the trial of Clint Barton, Walker liked issue 3 a lot, and seeing how David Marquez executed it. Rosenberg praises Bendis as a favorite writer who does the big ideas but has the awesome human moments too, and he mentions the scene where Stark learns of War Machine's death. Alonso says confrontation between Danvers and Banner. Amanat says the Carol and Rhodey make out scene in Captain Marvel, but also Carol's response to his death.
Hawkeye's history as a villain did factor into the decision to make him land the killing shot, but there's a lot more that goes into it too, which we haven't seen yet.
How did Hulk dying affect you? Walker says he views it through the character, and how Cage saw Hulk as being like him and he thinks if someone can kill the Hulk, he starts to think is he not as invulnerable as he thought, and Danny sees how it affects him.
How much thought is put into the fact comics can be used as educational tools? Alonso says they think about it all the time, and points towards the diversity of characters in their line, admits they stumble, but they course correct and move on. They're trying to create different books for different people, and reflect the world outside your window. Amanat furthers that is incredibly important to them, and how the heroes are aspirational so they of course have to be mindful to what that means.
Walker thanks the teachers and librarians in the audience.
How did people react to the premise of Rhodey being tapped to be a potential next Secretary of Defense? Walker loved that scene because of how ruthless Bendis is in that scene, giving out such hope and potential and then taking it all away in a death.
Will we see Ulysses own stance on the use of his powers? Alonso says its a huge part of the story going forward, he's not even certain what his powers are and again reiterates there's some we haven't seen yet, but assures Ulysses has a full arc, he's not just a narrative device.
Who decides who dies and if they stay dead? Alonso says it doesn't come down to one person. He's Editor in Chief, but it's a collaborative decision. He didn't want to see Jim Rhodes die, but Bendis explained and talked him through the impact and size of it and also bringing in Riri, and it was enough for him to agree to that going forward. Amanat reiterates its always a negotiation, comes down to what is best for the story they want to tell. Rosenberg discusses who as a storyteller, a character he killed in his series wasn't done nonchalantly, it affects the creators too, and it is often characters that the storyteller loves. Walker reiterates it doesn't feel good to kill a character as a writer.
The group is thanked for bringing new characters to reflect different people, but asks what was the inspiration to bring back a Civil War story. Alonso again talks about as has been covered many a time before how it started as an off-hand conversation about what a Civil War style story would be about now.
Will we see more of the generational divide in the heroes? Alonso can't delve into it but says to look at the promotional image for the answer, and says that yeah, we will maybe be seeing a generational rift form. More will be talked about at the Divided We Stand panel.
Whose side are you on? Guggenheim is on Team Tony, Willow too, but she made a concerted effort to understand Team Carol. Walker says the same, but is more Team Tony, Rosenberg is Team Tony, Alonso is Team Tony but is surprised at how many of Carol's arguments resonate with him, and Amanat is Team Carol. Walker says that was what makes Carol's position interesting to write, because she's being a soldier, she's doing her job, and it makes sense in a way. Rosenberg before he knew more about the story immediately thought he'd be Team Carol.
Joe Glass is a Bleeding Cool contributor and comic creator. He writes the LGBTQ superhero series, The Pride, available on Comixology and here. He also co-writes horror comedy Stiffs, featuring zombies and a talking monkey. Stiffs is also on Comixology and here.