Ryan Penagos, co-host of This Week in Marvel, kicked things off with brief introductions. He gave a shout out to his wife in the audience. They were celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary. Lorraine Cink asked the panelists who their favorite non Peter Parker Spider character is. Leah Williams said Spider-Gwen and Seanan McGuire said Spiders-Man. Frank Tieri “The bad boy of Marvel Comics” chose Carnage. Nick Lowe, Executive Editor, aka “The keeper of Spiders” had a tough choice and went with Peni Parker.
We got right into some big news with the announcement of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes from writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and artist Luca Maresca. Coming in January 2020, this series will be a continuation of the video game on Playstation 4.
The conversation moved to 2099. Lowe spoke about the return of these characters. It came about during a Marvel creative summit where Matt Rosenberg pointed out that 2019 is not only the 80 year anniversary of Marvel Comics, but 80 years from 2099. Spider-Man 2099 made an appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #25. We’ll see this play out in issue #32 which leads into the big event with artwork from Patrick Gleason.
Amazing Mary Jane was up next from writer Leah Williams. When asked why she was so excited to give MJ her own book, Williams said “Because she deserves it.” She intends to show what the character can do when left up to her own devices. She can hold her own in a world of super heroes. The series takes Mary Jane to Hollywood with an Oscar bait movie that doesn’t quite turn out the way she hoped. Mysterio is involved so get ready for some illusions.
Williams said that Amazing Mary Jane will happen concurrently with Amazing Spider-Man. The relationship between MJ and Peter becomes long distance and that plays into the stories. It’s described as adorable. They will play into each other in a really interesting way.
Ghost-Spider was next. Writer Seanan McGuire spoke about the relationship with the Jackal in both Earths. We’ll see how these two may work together or fight each other in their obsession with Gwen Stacy. The panel talked about why the Jackal looks like he does since that’s not how an actual jackal looks. There are different color palettes for each Earth, so colorist Ian Herring is working overtime keeping the two separate. This dimension-hopping makes it tough to make friends since she won’t give anyone her phone number and will basically disappear after class ends.
The recently announced Ruins of Ravencroft was the next topic of conversation. Penagos, armed with a wireless mic, walked around the room to moderate the panel. With the destruction of Ravencroft, someone has to build it back up. When asked to describe what Ravencroft is, Tieri said it’s basically Arkham Asylum, much to the chagrin of the rest of the panel. The series will show that it’s much more than that with connections to many different characters over the years. Tieri described it as a creepy book. Lowe said “it’s like history class but without the boring parts.”
More 2099 was up next, with Alpha and Omega issues out in November and December, respectively, with covers by Patrick Gleason. Lowe was challenged to describe these one-shots in a single sentence. In an ominous tone he said “The future is in danger, but who can save it?” For Fantastic Four 2099, Lowe said “In a world without heroes, who are these four crazy people?” Conan 2099’s distinguishing trait is that he has a laser sword and a tech loin cloth. Ghost Rider 2099 is described as “even crazier than Speed 2.” Doom 2099 was “An autobiography of Chip Zdarsky.”
The panel was asked what they would be like in 2099. Nick Lowe 2099 would have at least three jet packs because they’ll break down and he doesn’t know how to fix them. “Frank 2099 would not be on this weird ass panel.” McGuire said she’d be an eco-terrorist in 2099. She had a plan and has definitely thought about this. Williams will give up her body and become a sentient cloud of cosmic gas. Cink said her whole body would be a laser and she’d invent a flying car. Penagos will live inside the skull of MODOK, flying around in the chair.
The panel was turned into a Q&A mixed with Spider-Man trivia and J. Jonah Jameson impersonations. A fan asked about Spider-Gwen, her origins and the potential for her own movie. Lowe described the beginning of the character in Spider-Verse. She began as a one-shot character that blew up online and Marvel quickly saw the need for an ongoing. The movie, Into the Spider-Verse added the ballet slippers. Now she’s in Marvel Rising. They have no news or information about a potential movie. They make the comics.
Someone asked about a return of Spider-Man Team Up. There’s nothing specific in the works, but they’re always open to teaming up the character with others.
After hearing about Spider-Gwen’s origin, a fan asked about how Spider-Ham came about. Lowe said back in the ’80s, someone went into the editor and said they needed a cartoony character for kids. It was made as a lark for a bit and then he came back in a big way in Spider-Verse.
With 2099 coming, a fan asked if there are other characters that have been created since the initial 2099 run that might show up. Lowe pointed out that there are a series of variant covers that show these. There are some plans for other characters to pop up in the books.
A young fan asked what the correct name is for Spider-Gwen. McGuire confirmed that she was once known as Spider-Woman but since she started hanging out with the other Spider folks, she changed her name to Ghost-Spider to avoid confusion.
After many toys and comics were given out and many J. Jonah Jameson impersonations were done, the panel came to a close.