CCXP Marvel Run-Down: What Did We Learn?
CCXP Worlds: A Journey of Hope took place this weekend from December 4th to December 6th. Since it is 2020 and we are in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event took place online. Over the months of social isolation, the convention worked tirelessly to create a space where fans could meet up and discuss their favorite heroes in a safe setting.
Luckily for us, there is plenty of news from the surprise CCXP Marvel panel this weekend!
What’s CCXP Worlds: A Journey of Hope?
If you’re not familiar with CCXP, the annual convention has been taking place in São Paulo, Brazil, since December 2014, and each year, it has grown in size. The first CCXP convention had approximately 97,000 attendees. However, in 2019, over 280,000 people attended the event, which featured world premieres of tons of cool footage and trailers and the opportunity to meet some of the industry’s biggest names.
However, this year, CCXP went virtual due to the global pandemic, and the 2020 edition reached an even wider audience of 1.5 million people in 113 countries. Not only were attendees treated to over 150 hours of content, but they also had the opportunity to enter the lives of the 250 comic book artists who participated in virtual booths.
Obviously, although virtual conventions do no offer the same experience as in-person events, fans were excited to participate in the show. So, without further ado, here is what we learned this weekend at CCXP!
1. Marvel Teases 2021 Rebirth After ENTER THE PHOENIX Event
Marvel Comics hinted that change is coming to Earth-616! In a surprise CCXP panel on Saturday, December 5, 2020, Marvel Comics’ Executive Editor Tom Brevoort teased an upcoming “rebirth” in the Marvel Universe’s next phase.
The CCXP Marvel panel was scheduled to discuss the upcoming Enter the Phoenix arc by Jason Aaron (writer) and Javier Garron (artist), and it mostly focused on the forthcoming event. However, according to GamesRadar, the host concluded the panel by asking about last month’s Avengers #38, and what that means for the future of the Avengers.
A few days before the release of Avengers #38, Marvel Entertainment tweeted a preview panel of the issue reading, “the road to Marvel Comics 2021 starts here,” teasing a future line-up in which “the past, present, and future of the Marvel Universe collide.”
The road to Marvel Comics 2021 starts here.
Pick up "Avengers" #38 this Wednesday! pic.twitter.com/kUEB8v5wnl
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) November 2, 2020
I haven’t had the opportunity to read the Avengers #38 page in question because my local comic book shop is closed. Apparently, however, the set-up for the future of Marvel features Mephisto as he jumps from panel to panel, meeting Apocalypse, Hulk, and space sharks!
2. The ENTER THE PHOENIX Event
This December, the Avengers will face the firebird once again as they vie for which member of the team will possess the Phoenix’s cosmic power.
The next phase in the Avengers’ series will re-introduce readers to the Phoenix Force. According to Aaron, there are “few forces in the cosmos [that] are more world-shaking and potentially world-destroying than the Phoenix Force.” He continues on, saying, “its legacy on Earth goes back to the Stone Age, as we’ve seen, but we haven’t seen much of the firebird in the present day.”
I grew up on the legend of the Phoenix – or the firebird – because of my heritage. So I’m excited for the legendary creature to finally return to Marvel Comics!
3. Marvel Rebirth…Again…
Although Brevoort did not mention any of the Avengers‘ characters or storylines at the CCXP Marvel panel, he had some general comments about what’s next for the series. According to GamesRadar, he said “that in the Marvel Universe, storylines involving the Phoenix usually bring destruction, and what follows destruction is ‘rebirth,’ indicating that will be the theme of the Marvel Universe after the conclusion of the Enter the Phoenix arc.
3. Gail Simone Stressed that “Representation Matters”
This Sunday, CCXP also featured Gail Simone, known for her screenwriting and comic writing talents, including Marvel Comics’ Deadpool, Domino, Tony Stark: Iron Man, Agent X, and Savage Wolverine.
At CCXP, Simone recalled her long personal history in the comic book industry and commented on women’s rise in the industry in recent years. Notably, she said during the event:
In the past, women did not participate effectively in stories. They were not part of it. They were not adventurous, but victims. Always secondary. Until I started asking the executives: ‘Why do you discard 50% of revenue when deciding not to invest in different stories aimed at women?’
Simone also said that the comics’ pages are limitless, that minds can be changed and stressed, and that “representation matters, representativeness matters.”
4. Gerry Conway Talks Gwen Stacy and Punisher
Gerry Conway also talked about his experiences as a comics creator working with legends like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. At 19, Conway began scripting one of Marvel Comics’ flagship titles, The Amazing Spider-Man. His run included the landmark issue, The Night Gwen Stacy Died #121 (1973), about the death of Peter Parker‘s beloved, Gwen Stacy.
Conway revealed that he avoided comic book conventions for almost 20 years after the issue’s publication because fans didn’t take it well. He revealed that he had to stop reading the letters he received about the character’s death. He said it was traumatic and defended himself, saying, “And the idea wasn’t even mine.”
Eight issues after the death of Gwen Stacy, Conway and comics artist Ross Andru introduced the world to Frank Castle, the Punisher. The character became so popular that he has starred in numerous comic books, movies, and television shows.
However, Conway does not always like how his character is represented in popular media as a symbol of oppression. In the sequence, he spoke about wanting to reclaim the iconic skull logo because he feels it does not belong on police and military uniforms. In our current political climate, he has said it is used as a symbol of repression of protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, and launched a fundraising drive called Black Lives Matter: Skull for Justice.
In the panel interview, Conway reiterated these beliefs, saying:
The Punisher symbol represents a flaw in the system, something that has failed and was never created to mean oppression. I believe that the Punisher would be on the side of the population, against the police and not in favor.
If you want to learn more about what happened at the CCXP Marvel events, the panels are still posted online for attendees. People who purchased the Digital, Home, and Epic Experience bundles but were unable to attend the event this weekend can view all of the event content before December 13, 2020.