Marvel Fear Itself Panel

Fan Expo in Toronto this Friday afternoon was the place for Marvel Comic’s hints and teasers, as the Marvel: Fear Itself panel dropped talked superheroes and what fans can expect in the coming months from Fear Itself and upcoming spin-off titles.

The panel featured Matt Fraction, writer, Stuart Immonen, art, Fred Van Lente, writer, Jeanine Shaeffer, editor, C.B. Cebulski, Marvel SVP, Creator and Content development and Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor-in-chief in a chat about what’s coming readers way in 2012.

Marvel: Fear Itself - Left to Right, C.B. Cebulski, Jeanine Schaeffer, Axel Alfonso, Stuart Immonen, and Matt Fraction.
Marvel: Fear Itself - Left to Right, C.B. Cebulski, Jeanine Schaeffer, Axel Alfonso, Stuart Immonen, and Matt Fraction.

At the busiest panel I’ve attended yet, the convention room was packed with fans, the buzz in the room an audible roar. The crowd cheered and shouted as things got going.

Fraction and Immonen called working on Fear Itself like a blur. Issue #6, set to be released in October, will mark a breaking point in the series. The entire cast of superheroes bracing for the ultimate.

Fraction and Immonen, seated beside one another, make it clear early on in the panel they work closely together. “‘We’ve had two or three email chains about the upcoming promo posters – ‘Should there be one shell casing or two shell casings?’ – we care that much!” Fraction said of working out the details in epic phone and email conversations.

The series has pumped out nine full issues worth of comics in seven months and all the issues have been on time so far. “Thirty-Eight pages is a lot of work in the heat of summer,” Immonen said.

“It’s a huge piece of work,” Fraction said. “Everything that could have gone wrong to the creative team, has gone wrong. And we’re still on schedule which is kind of amazing.”

“Details Matt, details, you got a new computer, I got a new computer and not because we wanted too,” Immonen counters.

Marvel editors have set up various intersecting titles through Fear Itself. The project has been so large Fraction jokes he’s made a list – Things to do after Fear Itself.

Also tied into Fear Itself is the return of Alpha Flight, a title with Canadian roots.  The series will be a four or five issue limited series with a number of surprises.

“After Fear Itself Alpha Flight embark on a new career as outlaws,” Van Lente said. “We have Wolverine, along with some others, traveling up north to find out what’s going on with Alpha Flight and we learn Alpha Flight is a member of a super-super-team of heroes called the Commonwealth of Superheroes, so Captain Britain and MI-18 are going to be showing up.”

Shattered Heroes is the next line of books that will affect all the major heroes.

Fear Itself 7.1, slated for November release, will set up Captain America for 2012 and is written by Ed Brubaker.

Fear Itself 7.2, written by Fraction, is going to focus on Thor. “I’d much rather tell a story of a war than reconstruction. So, it’s the beginning of reconstruction, the book ends there,” Fraction said about the Fear Itself wrap up. “I wanted it to start fast and end fast.”

The Fearless is a 12-part series launching in October. “This is the story of what happens to the hammers, most simply,” Fraction said. “These are the weapons that are capable of breaking the world open. Who gets them? Who keeps them safe? Who has plans for them? What happens next?”

“I’m honored to be associated with the book, so many talented people are working on it,” Fraction said.

The Hulk issue #1 promo also was release during the panel – “The only one that can save Banner is his better half” the 30-second promo teases. The book centers around Banner and the Hulk who have been physically separated. It promises to be Banner vs. Hulk in a whole new way.

Fraction also takes a moment to assure fans there’s a reason why Fear Itself and X-Men: Schism are ending at the same time.

A huge event is coming in 2012. “It’s very character driven, where these characters end up is how they deal with the changes that have occurred, who’s able to deal with the crisis at hand,” Marvel Editor-in-chief, Axel Alonso said.

“The long and short of it is, I think if you’ve been reading Marvel for the last decade you’re going to be rewarded in a story that ties up a lot of things,” Alonso said. “You’ll see that there was always a tie, there’s always been a plan.”

Alexa Tomaszewski
Alexa Tomaszewski

Alexa Tomaszewski is a freelance journalist and lover of comic books. Previously editor-in-chief of Convergence Magazine - Spring 2011, she now writes for and Wolverine is her favorite Canadian. She is @alexatomasz on Twitter. Fun, flashy and full of information, look for her everywhere soon.

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