Marvel held their NOW! To Infinity panel to talk things Avengers and cosmic. At the panel were SVP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, writer Kieron Gillen (Iron Man, Young Avengers), Editor Lauren Sankovitch, editor Jordan D. White, writer Nick Spencer (Secret Avengers), writer Rick Remender (Uncanny Avengers), upcoming Thunderbolts writer Charles Soule, editor Ellie Pyle and Director of Communications Arune Singh.
The panel started out with Marvel NOW! talk and the Uncanny Avengers. Remender confirmed that the characters already shown previously on the cover of Uncanny Avengers #10 are Sentry, Daken, Grim Reaper, and Banshee who will be the Horsemen of Death. The Apocalypse Twins will take the corpses of these characters and turn them into the servants of Apocalypse.
Next was discussion of Secret Avengers #6. Spencer teases that there is a lot of shady stuff and the team is struggling with how to deal with it. He also says things will get pretty catastrophic for the team and drama will ensue.
Gillen says that the Young Avengers is his "nervous breakdown on the page". He tries to reinvent super hero comics. Young Avengers #6 is a one-off with guest artist Kate Brown which will focus on Prodigy. Issue 7 will start after a three-month story gap and will begin a backpacking trip across multiple dimensions.
Avengers AI will birth out of the Age of Ultron event in July. Sankovitch says that after issue #1 "you are going to believe taht robots are people too". Hank Pym will have a big role in the series and will see the rise of artificial intelligence in the Marvel Universe.
Avengers Arena was next on stage. Issue 14 will start the conclusion of the "first season" with a story called "Boss Level". "It's about who lives, who dies and who wins".
Avengers Arena #14 cover by Mike Deodato
Avengers Arena #14 variant cover by Matthew Waite
Onto the more cosmic side of the Marvel Universe, Nova #6 will catch things up to the present day. There was brief talk about Neil Gaiman's Angela in the Marvel Universe. Editor Pyle says that Thanos Rising #4 is "as sick and twisted and dark as you'd hope in the depths of your heart that it would be".
For the Infinity part of the panel, Marvel reminded us that Saturday May 4th is Free Comic Book Day and that there will be an Infinity tie in comic available to pick up. It will be 10 pages of new content, brought to you by mini-series writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Jim Cheung.
Marvel says Infinity will have tie-in issues that will count, but will not be necessary (unless designated) to read. In August, Avengers #14 and #15 will be a prelude to Infinity by Hickman, Spencer, and artist Stefano Caselli.
Brevoort says that there will be two fronts in Infinity, with the Avengers in space and Thanos on Earth searching for something important. It was also teased that Black Panther and Namor will throw down soon.
Thunderbolts #14 will also tie into Infinity in August. That issue will be brought to you by new series writer (ongoing) Charles Soule and artist Jefte Palo.
Thunderbolts #14 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Finally the panel moved on the fan Q&A. A few tidbits:
The last two issues of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be released
When asked about Quasar, Brevoort said that he likes the character and will talk to HickmanSi
Singh teased a big Thor announcement at tomorrow's Next Big Thing panel
When asked about Cassie Lang (Stature) coming back, Gillen says that he doesn't want to bring back characters from the dead unless he killed them
Phil Coulson will be an integral part of Secret Avengers
Brevoort says "I don't want to say" when asked if we'll see Warlock in Infinity