Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman appeared for a video interview at the Marvel booth at San Diego Comic-Con to talk about his upcoming X-Men relaunch taking place in House of X and Powers of X. Through the magic of typing really fast, we’ve transcribed what Hickman had to say, first on the kind of Marvel stories he enjoyed that made him want to write comics.
In terms of stuff I read and I love, and as a fan sparked my imagination and inspired the stories I want to do, the first Secret Wars, way back in the day, was massive. Obviously, I’ve been very clear about what a huge X-Men fan I was. But it’s always been the weird Marvel stories, like Micronauts, that kind of stuff, that really sparked that part of my brain that was like I want to do that kind of stuff. House of ideas, right?
All the best Marvel stories are the big stories. That’s kind of what I’m into. Of course, it ties back down into the characters that you love. The cool thing about Marvel stories is that they’re almost all everyman stories. You can see how you would be Peter Parker and all of that kind of stuff. Or with the mutant stuff. The little thing that makes you different than everybody else. So it’s gotta have those two things, in my opinion. And then modern storytelling wise, it’s gotta be serialized, it’s gotta build to something, it’s gotta matter to the reader and therefore matter to the internal continuity that Marvel perpetuates.
Asked about the relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto, Hickman said:
I think every super massive hero villain or enemy story is based around people who used to love each other or at least respect each other. It’s the same way between Reed Richards and Doctor Doom. Obviously they used to respect each other and that grew into animosity and petty jealousy and all the petty human kinda stuff, and I think Magneto and Xavier work in an even better way because they both kinda agree on what they want. They both want the same thing, they just can’t agree on how to do it.
Then he got into what it takes to make an X-Men story that respects what people love about the history of the franchise while also providing something new and exciting, also casting a little more shade on past X-writers who haven’t lived up to the task.
I think there’s a certain amount of this that’s alchemy. It’s magic of the moment. There’s no hard and fast rule of how to mine continuity and do books that remind people of what they used to love as a kid and do no stuff. There’s not a perfect methodology for it, which is why it fails so much when people try to do it. It’s a really delicate balance. So what I’ve done is I’m doing brand new things that feel like old things. There are tricks. I don’t want to give anything away. There are certain things we’re setting up that make you feel like you’re going to get a traditional experience and then we turn a little left and a little right and we say, you know, we’re doing this new version of it. And it works as exciting people because they’re getting the new thing, but it feels like it was gonna be the thing that was familiar and they loved. But if you’d done that same thing they would have seen that a hundred times and it would have failed. It’s delicatedand it’s hard, which is cool. I guess that’s what makes me a professional.
The thing about this X-Men stuff is it’s been an absolute joy. I’ve felt like a kid doing it, and it’s got that kind of energy. When you read House of X for the first time, it just works. Or not. You could hate it. I don’t know.
Finally, Hickman elaborated on his tweet about Omega Level mutants, claiming what it takes to be called an Omega Level mutant will be explained in the first issue of House of X:
The long answer is super complicated and it’s gonna be covered in the book. The short answer is what I say it is from this point forward. I’m just kidding. It’s absolutely covered in the first issue of House of X and it makes it very clear going forward.
House of X hits stores next Wednesday. Check out the video below if you want to watch everything you just read.
There are always a few changes ‘twixt solicitations and publications for Marvel Comics. Mind you, this week, while they are all sunning themselves in California, there appear to be a few more than usual.
Absolute Carnage Avengers #1 was solicited with art from Salvador Larroca, but instead, the comic will be drawn by Alberto Alburquerque.
Absolute Carnage Lethal Protectors #1 was solicited with art from Alberto Alburquerque, but instead, the comic will be drawn by Flaviano Armentaro.
I wish I could say that Flaviano was off a book now being drawn by Larocca to make a perfect three-way… but I can’t.
Agents Of Atlas #2 will be drawn by Nico Leon and not the previously solicited Gang Hyuk Lim.
Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man #12 will be drawn by Ken Lashley, and not the previously solicited Juann Cabal.
Star Wars AOR: Rose Tico #1 will be drawn by Ramon Rosanas, and not the previously solicited Leonard Kirk.
Marvel Comics Presents #8 will also be written by New Warriors TV writer Emily Lerner, probably the story with Spider-Woman battles with disinformation on social media, which means also-additional writer Ethan Sacks will write the White Fox story – while the solicited Charles Soule will continue his Wolverine’s Daughter epic.
And Daredevil #10 will be drawn by Jorge Fornes and not Lalit Kumar as solicited.
Chuck Rozanski is a well-known name in comic books, behind Mile High Comics, one of the most prominent comic book retailers in America, with the largest back issue comics warehouse. The backbone of the US comic collecting market throughout its history, visibly moving from large detailed print ads running in the comics themselves, to moving online and finding a global print audience for American comics.
Mile High Comics has set up at San Diego Comic-Con for decades but pulled out three years ago, very unhappy at how the show was being run. This year, Chuck Rozanski was an invited guest at the show rather than a retailer. But it appears that San Diego Comic-Con will be getting two for one.
Posting as Charles Rozanski on Facebook, we learned about the change a couple of days ago.
After the truly horrendous manner in which we were treated while exhibiting at the convention three years ago, I swore that I would never again return to San Diego Comic-Con. Well, it’s the 50th anniversary this year, and I am an invited guest. In a spirit of reconciliation I agreed to attend. I do sincerely hope that this journey helps to heal all the remaining bitterness. So far, the convention staff has been incredibly kind to me.
But there were other changes to make. And on the floor of San Diego Comic-Con, we got to meet Bettie Pages. And, for the first time, so did many fellow prominent members of the comic book industry.
In today’s report about my adventures here at the 2019 50th San Diego Comic-Con I am going to breach forbidden walls by talking about both politics and religion. If you’ve heard about too much of both (as many of us have…) feel free to jump to the amazing list of great comics at the end of the newsletter. I won’t blame you one bit.
Chuck in 1974 at San Diego Comic-Con (photo by Jackie Estrada)
I want to start today by drawing what may at first seem like an odd parallel between 50th San Diego Comic-Con and Pride Parades. While it is nearly forgotten today, there was a point in time, long before Hollywood legitimized geekdom, that fans of popular culture (and most especially the readers of comic books) were viewed as either degenerate, moronic, or both. As a teenage comic book dealer in the early 1970’s, I suffered innumerable insults and slights when members of the “straight” community learned of my chosen profession. When I dropped out of college in early 1974 to live in a borrowed 1963 Chevy, I was deemed by my peers to be beyond the pale of stupid. Those were hard, hard days, where only my ironclad personal resolve allowed me to persevere.
Vincent Zurzolo, Robert Beerbohm, Bettie Pages, and Steve Geppi
Within that 1970’s environment of open hostility and denigration toward geekdom, conventions were our only refuges. Much like Pride Parades, conventions were the one moment in a year where geeks in a given city could feel a part of a greater Community.Conventions were the place where we could openly celebrate with our fellow travelers that which enriched our spirits, and brought joy to our hearts. Tucked away in oftentimes seedy hotels and convention center basements all around America, we shared our love of comics, science fiction, old movies, and even early radio programs. Blessedly, we eventually enchanted a young filmmaker by the name of George Lucas into joining our despised tribe, and the tides of history, and public opinion, finally began to shift in our favor. Today a degree that exceeds even the wildest imaginings of our teenage years…
Michael Carbonaro and Bettie
I am now a member of another socially questioned tribe. While absolutely no one today would question the legitimacy of my company, Mile High Comics, the fact that I am also a gender-fluid drag queen still raises some eyebrows, and provokes a few homophobes into outright hostility. I do understand those reactions, as the norm in our country has been to always put everyone into the either/or binary male/female boxes. Truth be told, however, Kinsey figured out decades ago that both gender and sexual orientation are spectrum, and that many people are outside of the norms. As for myself, I present primarily as male, but my female side, Bettie, has become such a joyful extension of my core persona that I can no longer deny her existence. We are one, and will always be.
Bettie doing an interview at San Diego
So here I am at 50th San Diego Comic-Con, the greatest gathering of the tribes of geekdom, in a bright red sequined gown and covered sparklies. Why in the world would I do that? The “smart” (and safe) thing to do would be for Bettie to stay hidden, only to emerge in the company of those who already understand my gender fluidity. I have never in my life played it safe, however, and I’ll be damned if I will begin now. Especially considering that those in control in Washington today have chosen Transgender and non-binary people as their new whipping boys (and girls). If I have been forced into standing up for the rights of my brothers and sisters of my newly embraced Community, then so be it. I will be out and proud as Bettie, and I will gladly share the pure joy that she brings forth from my heart.
Billy Tucci and Bettie
As regards politics and religion, I will state unequivocally that no religion or creed gives anyone the right to tell us here in this great nation built upon ideals of freedom that we have to use separate drinking fountains (or bathrooms), sit in the back of a bus, hide in a closet, or find another lunch counter. We will cross whatever Edmund Pettus Bridge that is thrown in front of us, and brave those dogs and cudgels of repression. We have a right to be who we are, and dress in whatever attire that we find most comfortable, without any fear or intimidation, public or private. Period.
Ted Abenheim and Bettie
What I just said may sound overly dramatic, but word has already reached me that my advocacy for Transgender and gender-fluid children in Denver has potentially put me in the gunsights of some very dangerous people. White Nationalists and Proud Boys are not pleasant adversaries. So be it. I will not back down and I will not hide, but I will continue stand up and give voice to all my people. Most especially here at the 50th San Diego Comic-Con, where all are welcome and loved. Walking around this show in a beautiful gown is my public statement of commitment to my people, and most especially to our children, many of whom contemplate suicide on a daily basis. Never, ever, will I abandon my responsibility to give hope to those who most need to see it in the adults in their lives.
Bettie next to Lego Iron Man
Returning to the topic of 50th San Diego Comic-Con, my experience here during Preview Night last evening was nothing short of euphoric. I am asking Will to provide you with a link to the 24 photos I posted to FB last evening so that you can bear witness to my joyful countenance throughout the Preview night. I was just so darn happy! Everyone here has been kind, accepting, and almost unbelievably welcoming to Bettie. We are really and truly grateful that we have returned to our beloved home, at last. Love is love.
Identifying as gender fluid, Chuck/Bettie has told people at the show that in the mornings, they’ll likely get Chuck but in the afternoons and evenings, they’ll most probably see Bettie. And she’s gone down rather well.
Bettie Pages visits San Diego Comic-Con! None of my many thousands of clients (and fellow dealers…) who attend this immense annual popular culture event had ever met Bettie, so it was truly a delight when she was greeted with such universal warmth and friendship. Thank you Ricci Velasquez for all your expert help with painting, and for taking these delightful photos. Love is love.
Star Trek: Voyager is about to go where no Voyager comic book has gone before. IDW Publishing has announced a new comic book series launching in October, billing it as the first-ever comic book foray of Star Trek: Voyager into the Mirror Universe, because everything is a first of something. The crew of the ship actually never had Mirror Universe versions on the television show either, though Mirror Tuvak did appear in the Deep Space Nine episode Through the Looking Glass, at least according to the Memory Alpha wiki. Star Trek is for nerds, so we don’t personally know anything about it. Unlike Star Wars, which is for cool people. Eat it, Trekkies!
Star Trek: Voyager: Mirrors and Smoke will be a one-shot written by Paul Allor with art by J.K. Woodward. It will kick off a series of one-shots that will also explore the Mirror Universe for Star Trek: The Original Series and Deep Space Nine. Check out the press release below for more info.
SAN DIEGO, CA (July 18, 2019) – IDW Publishing is proud to announce the first-ever comic book foray of the starship Voyager into the Mirror Universe under the license of CBS Consumer Products! This October, the Star Trek: Voyager: Mirrors and Smoke one-shot serves as the first of several excursions into the realm of dark doppelgängers, followed in time by one-shots focused on The Original Series and Deep Space Nine, respectively.
Written by Paul Allor (G.I. Joe) with painted art by Star Trek fan-favorite J.K. Woodward (illustrator of the beloved Mirror Broken storyline), Voyager: Mirrors and Smoke introduces Captain Janeway of the Voyager, a rebel ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant, far from the ruins of the Terran Empire. When Janeway crowns herself Pirate Queen of the Quadrant, the locals – including scavengers Neelix and Kes – won’t give up without a fight. Amid this conflict, the crew of the Voyager has a second problem on their hands: just who is the Terran calling herself Annika Hansen, and can she be trusted?
“As a child, Star Trek taught me about the power of exploration, the value of kindness and empathy, and the triumph of intelligence and logic over violence and anger… and now, I am so excited to throw all of those values out the window and tell the story of the Mirror Universe Voyager crew pillaging and plundering its way across the far reaches of space!” says Allor.
“The Mirror Universe looks at characters – and Star Trek as a whole – in a way that’s unique and exciting. There really is no greater reward creatively,” says Woodward. “I was very excited when IDW approached me about working on a Mirror Voyager story. I’d given considerable thought to what a Voyager crew would be like in the Mirror Universe, and based the look of the characters on designs I’d already completed. With suggestions from IDW and CBS, we developed new ideas and alterations to create a look that I think exceeds anything we’ve done previously.”
Editor Anni Perheentupa says, “Voyager has been my personal favorite Star Trek series since I first saw Captain Janeway in action, so I’m very excited to be a part of bringing Mirror Janeway to life! Paul Allor’s charismatic Pirate Queen and J.K. Woodward’s stunning, fully-painted interior art make for a winning combination. There’s a couple of real curveballs, too, so I can’t wait for this one-shot to hit the shelves.”
Star Trek: Voyager: Mirrors and Smoke will be available with a cover by J.K. Woodward and a special retailer incentive variant by George Caltsoudas (Star Trek: The Q Conflict).
Yesterday saw the final issue of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill‘s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with Tempest #6 providing the final cap as the book headed towards the Dalek Invasion Of Earth. We mentioned a few favourite surface-moments right here, and Moore-ologist Adi Tantimedhtook a deeper look here – reminding us that Alan Moore still has a number of unpublished comic book projects still to be announced and scheduled. But this has been represented as their final work in comics together, and he and Kevin took the chance to thank a few folks and give a final goodbye.
But he does know who reads him and who does not. Such as a certain Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
To quote Alan Moore: “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.” 🤣 https://t.co/8TCmKNJlkD
Which made an interesting note in a faked letter at the back of the issue, from a certain Hiram J Comicsgate III, from the likely-sounding town of Oklahodahio.
They’re not that old… not yet anyway…
LOEG TEMPEST #6 ONEILL
(W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Kevin O’Neill
In Moore and O’Neill’s final comic book, this issue masquerading as a British science-fiction weekly, the plot-strands of our concluding volume and loose ends from twenty years of continuity are tied in an ingenious starry bow, as Mina Murray and her legendary confederates transition from the world of fiction past and present to the world of fiction future. Planets end in visual spectacle, lovers are united in the matrimonial event of the millenium, and deadly enemies draw close in the conclusion of their fatal dances. This is your last call for the immaculate crescendo of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. IV, The Tempest.In Shops: Jul 17, 2019
Read Only Memories is a cyberpunk adventure game developed by MidBoss and released in 2015. Renamed 2064: Read Only Memories for the PlayStation 4 in 2017, it looks as if it is getting a new comic book series from IDW. And written by Sina Grace of Marvel’s Iceman (or at least he was) and drawn by Stefano Simeone of GI Joe, Clankillers and Eternal.
And out in December 2019…
UPDATE with PR:
Return to the colorful cyberpunk future of Read Only Memories in a brand new story involving sentient AI, love and a web of conspiracy. Taking place in the years between 2064: Read Only Memories and Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, the next upcoming mystery adventure game in the Read Only Memories universe, IDW’s series features Lexi Rivers, formerly a detective and now a private investigator. When a robot arrives at her door seeking a lost lover, she is drawn into a journey to the seemingly peaceful beaches of Santa Cruz.
There may be more from Marvel Comics to announce later. But for now, the word that Captain Marvel #8, a sellout in stores this week is going to a second printing, as copies are still selling from $15 to $25 on-line.
While the previous week’s War Of The Realms: Omega #1, concluding that particular event storyline (aside from an Unbeatable Squirrel Girl holdout) is going to another printing. Both in stores for August the 21st.
No covers yet, but we presume the Captain Marvel #8 2nd printing cover it will look something like this…
CAPTAIN MARVEL #8
(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Carmen Nunez Carnero (CA) Amanda Conner
CAPTAIN MARVEL: FALLING STAR! From the moment she returned to full-time Avengers duty in New York City, Captain Marvel’s life has been nonstop…and slightly weird. But she’s about to take on a brand-new threat – and a very old one! When her Kree heritage is exposed to the world in dramatic fashion, Carol goes from most beloved hero to public enemy number one overnight – and it’s pushing her to the darkest edge. Can she save the day even while the world turns on her? Does she want to?
Rated T+SRP: $3.99
WAR OF REALMS OMEGA #1 WR
(W) Daniel Kibblesmith, Al Ewing, Jason Aaron, Gerry Duggan (A) Juan Ferreyra, CAFU, Oscar Bazaldua, Ron Garney (CA) Phil Noto
THE WAR IS OVER – AND THE MARVEL UNIVERSE MUST PICK UP THE PIECES! Midgard is broken, and as heroes of Asgard and Earth alike start to sift through the pieces, new heroes – and villains – emerge. What’s next for Jane Foster, now free of the hammer she was willing to die to hold? Thor’s brother Loki faced a terrible fate in the War of the Realms – and now the god of mischief must make himself anew. For the Punisher, the war isn’t even close to finished – but this time, he’s got his own army. And for Thor himself, destiny has finally arrived. The God of Thunder strikes out for a whole new adventure!
Rated T+ SRP: $4.99
Marvel has given us Immortal Hulk discovering General Ross in Hell, after he died in Captain America, and leading that into Absolute Carnage. Or Jason Aaron and Donny Cates throwing Necroswords across all their respective books, and tieing Venom in with Norse Legend and cosmic myths.
While DC Comics has doubled down with Year Of The Villain, spinning out of Justice League, but also embedding itself in with Event Leviathan and City Of Bane.
DiDio has admitted that in 2011, they failed in this regard. There was too much contradiction, too much replication, to much retconning as a result and he says that the New 52’s failing was that they never took the time to work it out. Just shoved Pandora in the background in every first issue.
Well, they are currently creating an official timeline of the DC Universe, between books, so they can work out who is where, what they are doing and how everyone interconnects and relates to one another. And not wanting to have to keep undoing and redoing everything every five minutes.
Remember Aquaman’s and Mera’s marriage? Whether or not Red Robin had been a Robin? Who had been in the Titans? When was Damian Wayne born? What Crisis had or hadn’t happened?
Marvel is commemorating their 80th-Anniversary by releasing a series of frame variants homaging the special cover frames they used when they celebrated their 25th-Anniversary 33 years ago.
Wait, what? Look, it’s Marvel math, and it all depends when you consider the starting point, just like with legacy numbers. Okay, fine. How about this. It’s magic. They don’t have to explain it.
Anyway, remember these?
Well, now you’re getting these:
New York, NY—July 18, 2019—This August, ring in Marvel Comics’ 80th Birthday with a celebratory selection of variants! Each 80th Anniversary ‘Frame Variant’ features a character head shot from their titular series, framed by a host of characters that represent the present and future of the Marvel Universe! Depicted by an all-star roster of artists, these unique covers pay tribute to the modern face of Marvel!
Peek at a select few now, and stay tuned for more updates!
THOR 16 MIKE MCKONE MARVEL 80TH FRAME VARIANT (MAY198880)
TONY STARK: IRON MAN 15 JIM CHEUNG MARVEL 80TH FRAME VARIANT (MAY198881)
VENOM 17 LEE GARBETT MARVEL 80TH FRAME VARIANT (MAY198882)
For 80 years, Marvel has reflected the world outside your window – inspiring millions of fans with iconic characters and timeless stories that brought the Marvel Universe to the forefront of pop culture today. Celebrate Marvel’s historic 80th anniversary all year long with your favorite Marvel comics, games, shows, collectibles, fashion, and more. Visit marvel.com/marvel80 or follow #Marvel80.
Mike Sangregorio reports for Bleeding Cool from the IDW panel at San Diego Comic-Con that Zoe Quinn, video game developer, and writer of DC Vertigo’s Goddess Mode comic, will be writing an Addams Family one-shot comic for the publisher.
Which is one way of announcing that IDW has the Addams Family license for comic books.
Phil Murphy of Adventure Time, Back To The Future and Teen Titans Go will draw the Addams Family one-shot which will focus on the character of Wednesday Addams.