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NEW YORK -- Marvel Comics kicked off its New York Comic Con programming on Friday with a War of Kings panel, dedicated to its cosmically oriented event.

Following are highlights:

* Panelists include Bill Rosemann, Ben Morse, Christos Gage, Nick Lowe, C.B. Cebulski and Jim McCann.

* War of Kings: Warriors will an online-exclusive mini-series written by Christos Gage and Jay Faerber. Gladiator, Crystal, Blastaar and Lilandra will be featured. There will be eight total chapters, all occurring before War of Kings, and they will be released every two weeks.

* Artists will include Carlos Magno on Gladiator, Adriana Melo on Crystal, Timothy Green on Lilandra and Mahmud Asrar on Blastaar.

* Paul Pelletier has provided a variant cover to War of Kings #1, pitting Black Bolt vs. Gladiator.

* Cebulski said that Darkhawk will play "a huge role" in War of Kings. Rosemann added that Darkhawk's journey is similar to Nova's in Annihilation, except "flipped on its head."

* Gage said Gladiator is a favorite character of his and his story will be an origin, explaining why Gladiator is so faithful to the Shi'Ar, no matter who occupies the throne.

* Faerber is writing the Crystal story. He said she has a unique and human perspective among the Inhumans because of her time spent with the Fantastic Four and Avengers.

* Gage will show how Blastaar become king of the Negative Zone.

* Faerber said he will explore the heart of Lilandra and why being queen is so important.

* War of Kings #2 will see Lilandra fight Gladiator. "She is in ass-kicking mode," Lowe said.

* War of Kings: Ascension is a four-issue series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with art be Welliinton Alves, with the story following War of Kings: Darkhawk.

* War of Kings will not cross into Dark Reign, McCann said.

* Rosemann said the Nova Corps will have a presence in War of Kings.

* Rosemann said a new title could launch out of War of Kings, depending on reader reaction.

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