By Zack Quaintance — If you’re reading this the day it posts (Wednesday, October 2!), chances are I’m currently en route from Washington, DC, to New York City, headed for my first ever New York Comic Con. Yes, I’m going for my first time this year after having spent the bulk of my adult life living out west and actively avoiding cross-country air travel. How times have changed.
Anyway, with the show about to start tomorrow, I thought it’d be fun today to make some guesses at what some of the biggest news that will be announced at NYCC 2019. If last year is any indication, superhero news will dominate the cycle (as it always tends to do at this type of affair), but, hey, we can dream of some interesting surprises in terms of creator-owned direct market comics, too...always a favorite of this site.
Keep in mind, of course, that TV and movie news (if there is any) will be the real story, but our interest here is the comics...
5 Things to Watch for at NYCC 2019
Marvel’s Next Big Thing Panel: Set to take place at 4 p.m., Friday in Room 1A06, this panel will feature Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski, as well as writers Al Ewing, Dan Slott, and Donny Cates. Marvel really brought it earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con, rolling out an entire new line of X-Men comic books. By comparison, NYCC 2019 may feel like a bit of a comedown. There is a Dawn of X panel, but X-Men mastermind Jonathan Hickman is not on it, and it’s entirely too soon for a promised second wave of new X-Men comics to be unveiled.
So, what then can we potentially expect Marvel to announced? The die-hard Marvel fans who write for this site say a new creative team and a future Thor comic seems most likely to them, with Jason Aaron’s King Thor wrapping up his massive run on the character. Both Ewing (with his success on Immortal Hulk) and Cates (who has essentially been guiding Marvel cosmic) seem like viable candidates. A new Young Avengers title is also being rumbled about at some point, but this also seems like an unlikely announcement for this show. Finally, this is Marvel Comics, so one must always entertain the notion of the publisher rolling out its NEXT BIG HELLA GIANT LINEWIDE EVENT.
DC Comics’ Wonder Comics Panel: Brian Michael Bendis was pretty emphatic earlier this year on the comics insider Word Balloon podcast that he would not be attending many (if any) shows in 2019. He even skipped his hometown con, Rose City, this year, citing how large a presence his creator-owned DC imprint, Jinxworld, had at the show the previous year. And yet, Bendis is the loan creator slated to appear at DC’s Wonder Comics panel, which is actually opposite Marvel’s Next Big Thing at 4 p.m. in Room 1A24.
To me, this almost certainly means that Bendis has come east from Portland to roll out a new wave of books for this teen imprint, Wonder Comics. Since first announcing the imprint last year at NYCC, he’s been clear that a second wave was in the plans, going so far as to say one of those titles would be Amethyst. That in mind, it seems entirely likely that book will get an official creative team here. In other DC news, we’re hoping Bendis has some surprises for the imprint as well. One of his biggest contributions since arriving at DC has been returning fan favorite ideas, tones, characters to the publishing line (see Legion of Super-Heroes, The Question, Young Justice, Dial H For Hero, and general levity). He’s also been great at attracting talent. Anyway, all I’m saying is Mariko Tamaki writing any Wonder Comics book would be a very good get.
A return date for Saga. Saga has been on hiatus since 2018, with the only news since then being a volume that collects all 54 issues to date, and an announcement that the story was now half done, meaning that it will total 108 chapters when finished. But when will we start moving toward that ending? With writing Brian K. Vaughan in attendance at the show — doing panels about his concluded series, Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls — we may get our answers. Vaughan is doing an off-site Saga Q&A at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes and Noble Tribeca on Warren Street. Hmmmm.
Anything at all about Monstress. One of my most highly-anticipated panels for the show is one early in the day on Thursday at the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue, in which writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda will discuss their critically-acclaimed creator-owned fantasy comic, Monstress. I’m covering that one for ComicsBeat, and I’m just happy to have the chance to share insights about one of my all-time favorite comics with all of you. The level of artistry and imagination in this book just blows me away. If there is news to this one, it seems likely it will be an ending date. But that’s a big if. The real thing to watch here is just the insights they’ll share about the creation of this intricate story.
More info about The Seeds. The Seeds by Ann Nocenti and David Aja is out favorite book that has gone totally MIA. It released two issues (of a planned four) before going totally off the schedule for publication in March of this year. With Nocenti on the Berger Books panel at 2:45 p.m. Friday in Room 1A24, it’s probably okay to expect just a bit of clarity on when the last two issues might be coming. This isn’t the sort of thing that would make this list under usual circumstances, but we just loved The Seeds #1 and #2 so much, that this feels important.
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as Comics Bookcase.