New York's Javits Center was packed to the gills on Friday as the first official day of New York Comic Con kicked off. Jaded New Yorkers looked on with bemused befuddlement as cosplayers descended on Manhattan's West Side. It's no secret that the major comic cons are hardly primarily focused on comics anymore, but NYCC's organizers didn't even try to hide it. The ghettoisation of Artist's Alley was such that one practically had to cross the river into New Jersey to get to it. But at the day's panels, comic reigned supreme as DC and Marvel engaged in their customary friendly, yet barbed, rivalry. Here's Starburst's first update on NYCC's juiciest news thus far. We must warn you that these panels were not entirely spoiler free, so proceed with caution.
DC NEW 52 SUPERMAN
Fire and brimstone are on the horizon for DC as they announced a massive crossover event that's set to dominate the Superman family of comics in the coming months. Dramatic changes are in store for the Man of Steel as he tests his powers against a powerful new foe.
Supergirl will be pulled closer into Superman's orbit as she tries to figure out where her loyalties lie. The cover of Supergirl #16 features The Flash but the team up looks less than amicable. The Superboy Annual will roll out of the events of Hell on Earth and the cover shows Superboy and Rose (Ravager) locked in a passionate embrace.
Jim Lee and Scott Snyder made a surprise appearance as DC announced that the two would be teaming up for a new Superman book in 2013. Snyder said: "We can't tell you much but we're going to try to deliver the biggest, most kickass Superman story ever... it'll be game changing but with a lot of intimacy." Snyder and Lee will explore what makes the Man of Steel tick both as Clark Kent and Superman.
DC's head of sales Bob Wayne brought along with him the soon to be published Earth One Volume 2. Newsarama editor Lucas Siegel told me it was good, better than the first, and featured a new L.L. love interest that was neither Lana or Lois. I guess everyone has a type.
Grant Morrison said that he originally intended to write only 6 issues of Action Comics but his story took 17 to tell. His favorites were the one-shots, including Action Comics 13, and he looked forward to explaining what happened to Superman in that five year gap between Justice League #1 and the current continuity.
When the floor was opened up for questions, several fans had queries about the pre-reboot continuity and classic costumes. Jim Less responded: "I don't think history is all about looking back. To keep these characters relevant and modern, you have to be fearless and keep looking forward." Cully Hamner added: "You have to evolve these characters. Evolution is a good thing. I don't think you should shy away from it."
When asked if Superman had died in the new continuity, Grant Morrison said: "As far as I'm concerned, yes, there was a death." Jim Lee added: "Grant is so talented that everything exists at the same time."
MARVEL ALL NEW X-MEN
Marcel's X-Men panel was marginally more diverse than DC's, which was overwhelmingly white and male, with Astonishing X-Men writer Marjorie Liu and Editor Jeanine Schaefer.
Marvel editor Nick Lowe said that All New X-Men, coming in November, will be biweekly for the first six issues and David Marquez will be filling in on art duties for Stuart Immonen on a few issues.
Jason Aaron's Wolverine and the X-Men will include Storm in the near future and Wolverine will battle Frankenstein at some point. New mutants will be introduced in the series. Artist Nick Bradshaw will be back with January's issue 23.
Rick Remender's Uncanny Avengers story will see Red Skull take on the powers of Xavier's mind and the story will not be resolved anytime soon and will be mingled with the Apocalypse mythology. Remender's Uncanny X-Force run will end with #35. Nick Lowe said the finale was "gross. Rick is one of the grossest men in comics."
A new Uncanny X-Force will launch in January 2013 with issue #1 featuring the creative team of Sam Humphries and Ron Garney. Storm will have a totally sweet Mohawk. Lowe described it as such: "It's as if David Lynch directed a Bond movie."
X-Men Legacy #1 will star Legion, who is dealing with the death of Xavier at the end of AvX. Writer Si Spurrier said: "He's a very screwed up character. He's kind of broken in his brain."
Dennis Hopeless, writer of the upcoming Cable and X-Force said that Cable wants to retire but finds himself and the X-Force on the run from the Uncanny Avengers.
Jeanine Schaefer said Frank Cho's Savage Wolverine will feature "babes, brawls, and Brachiosaurs on the Savage Lands."
Gerry Duggan's Deadpool #1 will pit the Mercy with the Mouth against US Presidents including Richard Nixon and FDR. "You can't send the Avengers after a guy in a wheelchair. Deadpool isn't the hero you want. He's the scumbag you need."
Peter David's new X-Factor storyline, starting in issue 250, is called "Hell on Earth," like DC's upcoming Superman arc. Bit like showing up to prom in the same dress.
Marjorie Liu continues to keep Astonishing the most topically relevant X-book. Upcoming issues will explore the theme of immigration.
Fans asked questions about seemingly constant rebranding, renumbering. Editors and writers tired of that question. Marvel director of communications Arune Singh said: "The number on the front doesn't matter. What matters is the story between those covers."
MARVEL NOW: JOIN THE RE-EVOLUTION
This panel was significantly diverse as it was predominantly white and male, which was fairly par for the course for the con, as bloggers like Sue of DC Women Kickin' Ass have discussed. Speakers included Axel Alonso, Tom Brevoort, Jason Aaron, Rick Remender, Mark Waid, and Kieron Gillen.
Arune Singh took the opportunity to make a dig at DC: "Don't call it a reboot. Unlike some people, there's nothing broken here."
Jason Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder explores three different stages of Thor's life as he battles the same villain throughout, who Aaron describes as a serial killer of gods.
Remender's Captain America will look at the evolution of Steve Rogers as he grew up in New York and became the hero that he is.
Mark Waid joked around that he was tapped for Indestructible Hulk because DC needed a writer with severe anger management problems. Waid will explore Bruce Banner's cognitive dissonance between his human and Hulk forms. Waid said: "Banner doesn't want his gravestone to say HULK SMASH... so, Hulk smashes and Banner creates... Don't think of Hulk as a bomb. Think of him as a cannon." Bruce Banner will be working with SHIELD resources and if he hulks out, SHIELD aims him where he needs to go.
Brevoort spoke about Matt Fraction's Fantastic Four which will see Reed Richard's relationship with his children. Fraction will also be writing FF which follows the adventures of the motley crew of misfits that Reed Richards recruits to cover for the team in their absence, as they travel through the universe with the Richards children.
Thunderbolts #1 looks incredible with the creative team of Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. The new team includes Red Hulk, Punisher, Electra, Deadpool, and Scarlet Spider. Axel Alonso said: "These five really cool characters are linked by one thing... they will kill you. They will kill you dead."
Arune opened the floor to questions and joked about how they would also provide dating advice. One fan made a rape joke involving tape and rope as appropriate accessories for a first date. The entire panel facepalmed as one and the audience booed.
Alonso announced, ahead of schedule, that an all-women team book was in the works for a 2013 release but he wasn't ready to divulge any details. He jokingly said: "As much as we dislike women, we understand that you buy comic books." He stressed that Marvel has heard fan complaints about the lack of female solo titles and representation in team books.
Brevoort said: "The most popular Avengers are men," citing factors like previous continuity and the movie so that was how they roll them out. Seemed an inadequate response considering character popularity is something they play an essential role in determining based on who they choose to situate at the forefront of the franchise but oh well.
DC NEW 52 GREEN LANTERN: RISE OF THE THIRD ARMY
This was a very low key panel compared to the Marvel ones before it. Geoff Johns couldn't make it so Peter Tomasi did a lot of the talking. Tomasi warned that some heavy stuff is in the works for Green Lantern Corps and implied that Guy will struggle with the loss of his ring.
Aaron Kuder, the new artist on Green Lantern and the New Guardians, said that Star Sapphire Carol Ferris will make an appearance to help out Kyle Rayner though she is not without ulterior motives. She wants Hal back which Kyle should be able to do if he's a White Lantern. Kuder warned that Kyle would not be a White Lantern when the Third Army rolls up.
Everyone's favorite feline Red Lantern, Dex-Starr will have his own story line coming up in Red Lanterns which focuses on a quest for revenge, though he will get distracted by cosmic balls of twine on the way back to Earth. Atrocitus will also have a revenge arc and he'll deploy an army of blood magic fueled Manhunters against the Third Army.
The panel was met with a lot of continuity questions, to which Tomasi responded: "Those stories exist if you enjoyed them."
A fan asked about Mogo, the planetary Green Lantern who met his ostensible end in the pre-reboot continuity. Mogo will make an appearance of sorts in Green Lantern #14 though mum was the word on details as to the nature of this appearance.
With another male Earth Lantern being added to the mix with the character of Baz (bringing the grand total of male Earth GLs to five), one fan was wondering if we would ever see a female Green Lantern from Earth or a male Star Sapphire. The question was shrugged off without a real answer but judging from the riotous applause that the question received, there is popular support for the idea.