Marvel has just kicked off its new Judgment Day storyline, and executive editor Nick Lowe and editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski presided over a Saturday panel discussing the Avengers/X-Men/Eternals (“AXE”) mega-crossover event at Comic-Con International: San Diego. Editor Darren Shan, artist Mark Brooks, writer David Pepose and writer Mark Russell were also featured on the panel, discussing the story’s beginnings and what fans can go forward.
“Are you ready to be judged?” Lowe asked the crowd, thanking them for coming, and introducing the panel.
Cebulski described the upcoming Judgment Day #1 by Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti. “We wanted to make a story featuring the X-Men and Eternals, who have different variant genes, and decided we needed to add the Avengers.”
Lowe brought up a new group of characters called The Hex, which Cebulski described as what the Celestials turn into when they “Hulk out” before showing concept sketches of the amped-up god-like beings.
Lowe then previewed some of Schiti’s art from issue #2, which included six new seemingly normal characters, with the banner “You are all important.” Cebulski said, “These are the people right outside your window. Kieron and I decided to bring in some PoV characters. These will be very important characters we’re introducing.”
Lowe discussed some of the upcoming one-shots and tie-ins, including X-Men Red #5 and 6 by Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli, and Death to the Mutants #1 by Gillen and Guiu Vilanova. “The Eternals need to elect a new leader, who is Druig,” Shan explained, “which leads to the idea of destroying all mutants.”
“Druig is the most fun villain,” Lowe added.
“Prove your worth” is a mantra that will soon be relevant in the series, Lowe said.
Immortal X-Men #5-7 will also tie into the event, and will spotlight Nightcrawler and Sebastian Shaw, according to Brooks.
Amazing Spider-Man #10 by Zeb Wells and Nick Dragotta is also a tie in, and a John Romita Jr. cover features none other Gwen Stacy. “It looks like Peter’s getting judged by Gwen here,” Lowe said. “Whatever you think is gonna happen, you will not guess where it goes.”
Captain Marvel #42 by Kelly Thompson and Andrea Di Vito comes with a cover that features “Carol’s mom,” according to Lowe.
Wolverine #25 by Benjamin Percy and various artists, was described by Cebulski as “an anniversary featuring the third generation of Kubert artists,” in particular Emma Kubert, who is among the issue’s illustrators.
Brooks is also writing Blade: Vampire Nation #1, drawn by Dave Wachter. “It’s about Blade being called in by Dracula to find out and eliminate a conspriacy within the vampire community,” Brooks said.
Iron Fist #1 by Alyssa Wong and Michael YG will also be introduced as an event tie-in. The cover by Phillip Tan curiously features Loki.
Judgment Day: Omega #1 by Gillen and Vilanova will “bring everything to a head” and serve as the epilog to the event, Lowe said.
A trailer was shown for All-Out Avengers #1 by Derek Landy and Greg Land, a series which Lowe described as “every issue is an event.” “Pulse racing, heart pounding, non-stop brawls” and “all-out action” are among the captions sprinkled throughout the promotional video, which contains a mutated and clearly hostile Carol Danvers fighting the Avengers.
When asked by a fan about whether Judgment Day would include the Hulk, Cebulski said the Hulk would not be part of the event, and in fact this was a deliberate decision made at the last Marvel creator retreat.
Cebulski clarified All-Out Avengers would be a self-contained, standalone series, and not have any impact on future developments in the Marvel Universe.