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HEROES CON/WW: PHILLY '07 - SPIDER-MAN: ONE MORE DAY PANEL

by Albert Ching

Marvel held the last major panel of the day focusing on Spider-Man and the upcoming One More Day storyline.

One More Day - it’s been hyped as a life-changing event in the life of Spider-Man, although only a scant few details about the story have been released. We’ve seen the preview, but what else is it about other than Spidey webbing up Iron Man? Marvel’s One More Day panel Friday afternoon at Wizardworld: Philadelphia poses to fill in at least some of these blanks, although with the release of the books is still months away, probably not too many.

Leading the panel was Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief and One More Day artist Joe Quesada, who was delayed due to a signing at the Marvel booth. He was joined by editor Tom Brevoort and marketing maven Jim McCann.

The first slides showed the previously seen promotional image of Mary Jane and Spider-Man being separated by the "One More Day" letters. Quesada said the secret of the story is that it's about giant letters that fall from the sky and crush Spider-Man.

Quesada then showed the first two OMD covers, right below…

Some black and white preview pages, showing Spidey visiting Dr. Strange's home, was next.

The announcement that Strangers in Paradise creator Terry Moore is taking over Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane followed. Check Newsarama's article for more details.

The panel quickly loved to the Q&A portion…

Fan: "How many issues of Mary Jane will Moore do?" Quesada: "I think he's in for a nice long run." Quesada further discussed that this is his Moore's first Marvel work, other than an issue he drew of Ultimate Team-Up a few years ago.

Is "OMD" (One More Day, not the '80s new wave band) a real capper for JMS' run? Quesada: "It's a real nice sign off. An incredible exclamation point."

What's the deal with Jackpot, from the Free Comic Book Day story? Quesada and the rest of the panel played dumb, denying the apparent connections between that character and Mary Jane.

Will 'One More Day' make Peter Parker's identity a secret again? Quesada said that there was always a plan for Spidey's unmasking since the original decision was made, but wouldn't say if "One More Day" was a part of it.

"That does not mean we're taking back the unmasking. It may mean we have five, six years of unmasking stories left," said Quesada.

Spidey villains in "OMD"? Quesada: "Ever so briefly, but it's not that kind of story. It's really a Peter-MJ story."

"Are Peter David and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa done with Spider-Man, or just their titles?" Quesada: "They're done for the time being," with Spidey. The same fan also asked about Quesada's take on the Peter/MJ marriage, which Quesada repeating his feelings that a married Spider-Man takes away a big part of the soap opera, and the problems inherent with having them divorced or Spider-Man becoming a widower. He also said undoing it with a "continuity punch" is a problem.

Will Spidey's darker, "Back in Black" attitude continue given that he's back in his classic costume in "One More Day"? Quesada said there's a lot of attitude in "One More Day," but hinted that after the story, probably not.

A fan asked if Spider-Man being back in the black costume was inspired by the third film, and Quesada said it was a fortunate coincidence but the "Black in Back" story had already been planned before they knew about the movie's plans.

Talk diverted again to the Spider-Man marriage, given that it was done in the comic books because it was happening in the newspaper comic strip. Quesada said he believed that decision did some damage to the character, although it was impossible to ascertain how much. They then digressed into how sometimes they make an effort to tie-in their comics to the movies (Sandman appearing in the comics while the movie's out) and sometimes they don't worry about it (Storm and Black Panther being in Fantastic Four currently as the second movie is hitting theaters).

Brevoort then informed the crowd about the history behind Spider-Man being married in the comics, and how the comic strip prompted the decision.

[continued]...

Newsarama's coverage of the 2007 Heroes Con & Wizardworld: Philadelphia is brought to you by GameAlmighty.com - "Truth, Justice, and Videogames by the only website run by superheroes"...

A fan asked about Quesada's perceived aversion to aging Peter Parker, and who would be taking over Amazing (now three times a months) after JMS' departure. Quesada answered the latter question by saying the decision has been made and an announcement will be made soon.

As far as aging, Quesada said it's good for characters to grow if not necessarily age, and that marriage works for some characters - like Reed Richards and Sue Storm, since the FF is a family - but perhaps not others. "I think Spider-Man is definitely a character, when you look at the golden era and what made that character great, it was less about the super-heroics and more about the soap opera.

"In my perfect world, I'd love to bring the soap opera back. And that's what Ultimate Spider-Man does, too. You know that Peter and MJ are destined to be with each other, but here comes Kitty Pryde."

He also said that he likes how Ultimate Peter Parker has grown, but not aged.

Fan: "When you first saw this storyline, did you say 'I want to do this'?" Quesada: "I was in the collaboration process, and yeah, I did want to draw this. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is." Quesada said that his friends have always told him he should draw Spider-Man, but he never thought of himself as a Spider-Man artist. He's glad he did it, since he said this is the most fun he's had drawing a character since he worked on The Ray for DC.

"Is this going to resolve the Aunt May subplot?" Quesada ominously said "Tragically, yes."

A fan asked about how Marvel could reconcile going back to classic-type Spider-Man stories while also making radically different changes like unmasking Spider-Man. Brevoort answered that there's a difference between establishing a certain dynamic and just doing old stories. He also said writing a married Spider-Man is like working with a "club foot." Quesada said this perception is nothing new, and every Editor-in-Chief (namechecking Tom DeFalco and Bob Harras) also dealt with the same problem.

The next question was about how far ahead Marvel plans their storylines. Quesada said, in broad strokes, they're about a year-and-a-half in advance. Brevoort said they're well into 2008 with Spider-Man planning, and in some ideas, up to 2009.

Digressing a bit from the "One More Day" theme, someone asked why there was an Ultimate clone saga given how infamous the original one is in many circles. Quesada said Bendis has the "nads" to do it, and that people still request collections of that story (and added that the main problem with collecting it is how long it is).

When a fan asked in response, “Couldn't you just release a 'Best of'?" to which Brevoort suggested that finding material for a Clone Saga Best-of could be a challenge.

Brevoort then officially announced that the books will now be under his control (so that's why he's there), and that Amazing Spider-Man will soon be the only monthly Spider-Man title and it will start shipping three times a month. See the related Newsarama interview with Steve Wacker for more.

"Will One More Day have ties in New Avengers or any other comics?" Quesada: "It will not."

A fan asked the familiar question of is Marvel is doing too many crossovers and events currently? To which Quesada answered that the individual sections are separate and make sense on their own, but if you read more, that option is there.

Given Quesada's comments about not wanting to make Spider-Man a widower, an audience member offered that he already practically was one when Gwen died, to which Quesada said there is a big difference.

“Besides Peter and MJ's marriage, are there any other storylines recently you've had misgivings about?" Quesada: "No, not really," adding that while not every story might be brilliant, he has "no regrets."

How long will the three issues of Amazing a month continue? Brevoort: "That is our plan as long as you guys keep supporting it."

Supporting cast after One More Day? Quesada: "Part of Brand New Day will be building a supporting cast around Peter," adding that it'll be some old and a lot of new.

The last question was for Quesada, and concerned his appearance on The Colbert Report, which Quesada said was a good time, though Brevoort was disappointed that Quesada gave Colbert Mark Gruenwald's Captain America shield from the Marvel offices.

Finally, one more image was shown, which appeared to show Spider-Man pointing a gun at someone, which can be found on Newsarama's "Brand New Day" article. End of live updates...

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