In the Marvel NOW to Infinity panel, Marvel’s creators and editors teased big events in the Avengers and Cosmic families of books leading up to their biggest August event Infinity, which will be written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Jim Cheung, Dustin Weaver, and Jerome Opena. Rick Remender teased the return of dead characters Grim Reaper, Daken, Banshee, and Sentry as Horsemen of Apocalypse in Uncanny Avengers 10. This will be a universe and time spanning epic, but it won’t lead into Infinity directly. In contrast, Nick Spencer said Secret Avengers will tell smaller scale stories and continue to develop the new S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Maria Hill and Daisy Johnson as the Secret Avengers members shirk their missions and go into grey areas.
After his first arc of Young Avengers, Kieron Gillen and fill-in artist Kate Brown will explore the characters of Speed Prodigy who are working at a “call center for superheroes” before the rest of the Young Avengers go on a dimension spanning “backpacking trip”. Editor Lauren Sankovitch teased the upcoming Avengers A.I. series that will come out of Age of Ultron and described it as an Avengers team with robots with feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. She also teased the upcoming Nova storyline that will show Sam Alexander’s adventures in the present Marvel universe in both Arizona and New York City. It was also announced that Neil Gaiman will write more than one issue of Guardians of the Galaxy with Brian Michael Bendis in which his character Angela meets the Guardians.
Marvel Senior Vice President Tom Brevoort announced the Infinity event that will begin in August that builds out of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers books. While the Avengers attempt to intercept a powerful cosmic threat in space, Thanos and his minions attack a relatively undefended Earth where he is looking for something. Avengers 14-15 (co-written by Hickman and Nick Spencer) will act as a “Prelude to Infinity” in which “every issue and scene seems to get bigger”. Spencer was brought to help Hickman balance Avengers and New Avengers with his upcoming work on Infinity. New Avengers 8 will also tie in with “Prelude to Infinity” and will focus on the Inhumans’ reaction to Black Bolt helping the Illuminati choose to either defend the Earth or destroy another alternate Earth. A subplot will involve Black Panther attempting revenge on Namor because Namor destroyed Wakanda in Avengers vs. X-Men.
Near the end of the panel, Brevoort welcomed Charles Soule (Swamp Thing) as the full time writer on Thunderbolts. He will focus each arc on a team member starting with the Punisher, who enlists the Thunderbolts in his one man war on crime in New York City. This story begins in Thunderbolts 14 and will tie in with Infinity as the team experiences something they didn’t expect.
– Marvel plans to end Hickman and Weaver’s run on S.H.I.E.L.D. It will be a two issue story, and one script has been delivered for the first issue.
-Rick Remender said that Scarlet Witch and Rogue are “not friends” in Uncanny Avengers, and that Rogue is regressing as a character after Professor X’s death.
-Remender also teased that Sentry will be the most powerful Horseman and will have a rematch with Thor who he fought during the 2010 event Siege.
-After a fan accused Marvel of not giving Luke Cage, a black character, a big enough death, Brevoort said to another fan that the reason characters like Sunspot and Cannonball are on the Avengers is so that the Avengers are “not just white dudes” like in the 1960s.
-Kieron Gillen said that Cassie Lang is not coming back in Young Avengers and that he uses Wikipedia to help with his research on comic characters.