The Marvel panel was a fairly uneventful one, short on news and announcements, opening in a Q&A format with some of Marvel's top talent, Daredevil writer Charles Soule, Champions writer Mark Waid, Totally Awesome Hulk writer Greg Pak, and FF artist Barry Kitson on stage.
Hey! Note to all reading this: Mark Waid REALLY would like for you to stop asking him about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He can't help you with that. At all.
An audience member asked if there's any pressure for them to jibe their stories with that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Waid answers that he's never felt any sort of pressure and that he's been fortunate with little coincidences that have just happened on their own, saying no one ever proclaimed, "You have to make The Wasp Hank Pym's daughter but had happy coincidences with naming the comics Hank Pym's daughter, Nadia which means "Hope" in Russian.
Pak is asked if he can still come up with ideas using characters he's done before. He says that it's fun to find new things to do with those characters and find new things to do with them. Amadeus Cho is the world's greatest Hulk fan and now he's The Hulk and he's very angry about it.
Another audience member asks about movie/tv stuff and reiterates that they need to stop asking comics writers what the movie people are doing. Waid wasn't mean about it. It was more just him saying that he writes comic books. Not movies.
Personally speaking, I have no idea why attendees seem to think freelancers are going to be the ones who hand them the keys to the Marvel movie universe.
Waid is asked how he keeps track of what his characters are doing and how he's dealing with not being able to use Doom. He legitimately uses the action figures on his desk to help him figure out where characters should physically be within the pages of the books he's writing. Like if Nova won't be in an issue of Champions, Waid physically moves him from the desk. As a fan, I would love to see this more than you know. He then expressed some frustration that he can't move forward with some plans due to Bendis' using Doom in the upcoming Indestructible Iron Man book but notes it's all fair in the game of storytelling.
An audience member asks about collaboration with artists and Waid cites his work with Black Widow artist, Chris Samnee. He told him that going forward on Black Widow he needed him to do more of the heavy lifting plot-wise and the collaboration has been good for both as he's seen great growth from Chris as a storyteller.
Another audience member asks if there's ever a time where they just not feeling a character and had to turn it down.
Charles Soule says one of the the greatest things to remember as a writer is to learn to say no. Doing work on a character you have no affinity for serves no one in the end.
An audience member asks about where things are headed for Cyclops. Waid enthusiastically says he loves Cyclops and will do everything in his power to make even Gail Simone love him.
A member of the audience asks what's the most under appreciated part of being a creative. Waid remarks to the questions thoughtfulness of the question. Waid said its the simple act of identifying your characters. It sounds simple but asks how many comics you've read where seven pages in you have no idea who these characters are. Waid recalls the first five minutes of Star Wars and how it defined the entire saga. He feels, as a writer, he need to give you a moment like this in every book he writes.