Amidst all the hullabaloo about DC's New 52, there's all that mess with the hammers going down over in the Marvel Universe, and even though DC went panel-happy, there was plenty to learn about Marvel's efforts, too. We've seen images revealed from the post-Fear Itself branding of Battle Scars, and we've seen a couple images of some Shattered Heroes one-shots dealing with the aftermath of the world-breaking event, but all we know there is that there's some mystery man that we need to keep an eye out for who will make a big splash. (Anyone taking bets on Nornan Osborn there?) There will also be some Avengers: Origin one-shots that should make for some interesting reading, Valkyrie's going to get a lot of play, and Deadpool's going to fight Evil Deadpool, who will be made up of Deadpool's old discarded body parts that coalesce in a dumpster somewhere. Hyuk!
If you take anything from Comic-Con, though, be aware of these five things. Oh, and an honorable mention goes to Heroes For Hire becoming Villains For Hire. Everybody wants a piece of what the old Suicide Squad started these days.
5. CABLE IS COMING BACK
That's the big reveal from Marvel's Cup o' Joe panel – Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness liked working together on Red Hulk so much that they wanted another project, and since Loeb wrote Cable for a few years a ways back, this was what they settled on. Of course, since Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring Askani'son 2 Legit is a part of the infamous Summers clan, no one really expected him to stay dead once he sacrificed himself during Messiah Complex. Not even Fabian Nicieza, who was sorely inconvenienced by the X-team offing one of the co-stars of Cable & Deadpool, which he was writing at the time. Now he's coming back, and Loeb thinks of him as "the Captain America of the X-Men" thanks to his life as a soldier. Will it be the complete train wreck Loeb's Red Hulk was, or does Loeb's history with the character mean he'll have a better handle on things? If it is a catastrophe, will it be worth the rubbernecking? Somehow, I get the feeling Cable fans will care less about what Loeb does with him than Hulk fans did about the early Red Hulk obnoxiousness.
4. AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE IS GOING TO MATTER
Avengers: The Children's Crusade is a series that, so far, has contained the X-Men, the Avengers, the Young Avengers, callbacks to Avengers: Disassembled, a giant fight in Latveria pitting Dr. Doom against Magneto, and the apparent rehabilitation of one of the most maligned characters in Marvel history, the Scarlet Witch. Yet, it's come out so intermittently that it's not been getting the attention it deserves. After this weekend, however, that should be remedied, as several Marvel panels have noted that Fear Itself, X-Men: Schism, and A:TCC have all been designed to end at the same time (hence the intermittence). That implies that Wanda Maximoff's attempts to remedy her wrongs against mutantkind by restoring the powers she took from all those mutants will have a major impact on the future of the 616.
3. THE HULK AND BRUCE BANNER WILL BE SEPARATED ONCE AGAIN
It's been done before, the physical separation of Bruce Banner and his alter ego, the Hulk, but not the way Jason Aaron and Marc Silvestri seem to be teaming up to do it starting in The Incredible Hulk #1 this fall. We don't know the mechanism that's going to make this impossible thing possible again, but in the past, dividing them like this threatened to be fatal to both of them, and extracting Banner's conscience from the Green Goliath usually proved disastrous. This time, however, they're saying that Bruce will be driven to madness, and it will be up to the Hulk to stop him – an curious twist. Before that, though, they'll have gone their separate ways, and Hulk will grow long hair and a beard and fight monsters and apparently wear pimp chains, according to the Battle Scars teaser.
2. THE DEFENDERS ARE GETTING THE STAR TREATMENT
For the longest time, The Defenders have been a cool and beloved counterpart to the big, showy Avengers, but they always seem to wind up also-rans in books that never manage to survive. Now, however, Fear Itself writer Matt Fraction and the always great Terry Dodson are teaming up to roll out the red carpet for this team and hopefully make them viably awesome. Core Defenders Namor, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange are on board, and Iron Fist and Betty Ross (I just can't get behind 'Red She-Hulk' as a legit name) will make their presences felt as well, and these folks on the cover aren't even the whole team. How did this motley crew get back together again, and just what is it they're gonna have to do? How many members of the team will the newly libido-encrusted Betty end up schtupping? Oh, jeez, Fraction… for the love of pete, dial this down, would you? It would be much easier to swallow the end of the Bruce Banner/Betty Ross relationship if she wasn't out banging Tyrannus of all people. There's a difference between 'no inhibitions' and 'no standards.'
1. CYCLOPS IS PROBABLY GOING TO DIE
One Summers up and One Summers back. We've been told repeatedly that X-Men: Schism will lead to a huge ideological divide between the followers of Cyclops and the followers of Wolverine, putting the "crusty old grandpa" Xavier/Magneto debate out to pasture. What was heavily implied more than once, however, was that Cyclops will not be around to actually lead his followers once the new Uncanny X-Men #1 rolls around. He was even directly compared to Martin Luther King Jr., and if that doesn't a martyr make, we don't know what does. They didn't outright state he was going to die, so there's the chance he'll take an anonymous walk across America or something, or maybe he'll somehow sacrifice himself to the Scarlet Witch to grant everyone else their mutant powers back and thus live on in all of them or something. But odds are he's going to bite the big one… or at least a sizeable one that can pass for the big one until someone else decides to trot him back out in a few years. But let's not be cynical! Maybe Wolverine will kill him, bub. Let's just hope he goes out on panel (that's right, Alpha Flight will never forgive Bendis).