Marvel held a chat today to announce their Next Big Thing. Jonathan Hickman will rock your world. Here’s a transcript and some art. Thoughts later!
Avengers kicks off with the three-issue “Avengers World” with art by Jerome Opena and Dean White which establishes the Avengers’ new mission statement of becoming “something bigger, something more” to deal with “threats larger and different than anything they’ve faced before.”
“We will see the back story of how Iron Man and Captain America have been quietly building a contingency plan for the day that comes in issue #1.” – Jonathan Hickman
“One of the first things we all agreed on is that the roster should look more like the world. So far we’ve seen the biggest and most iconic characters, but as we reach issues #7 and #8, we’ll see more new characters and characters we’re reviving or recreating. Eventually there will be 24 characters. 12 will be either female or minority characters.” – Jonathan Hickman
New Avengers will be about the Illuminati.
It’s about the guys who quietly, secretly run the world. It’s thematically much different than Avengers. The plan I’ve worked out is that the Avengers are the utopian Avengers, the ideal ones we want, whereas the New Avengers are real world, they live in the dark, apocalyptic world as it is.” – Jonathan Hickman on New Avengers
“The books will work in tandem. You don’t have to read both, but they are two sides of the same coin. Two different stories.” – Jonathan Hickman
The New Avengers/Illuminati roster is Captain America, Iron Man and Doctor Strange, plus the return of Black Bolt and Namor still being involved.
“The catalyst is an event in Wakanda with Black Panther, the only man who told the original Illuminati it was a mistake. Something occurs so earth-shattering he sees no other course of action than to call on them.” – Jonathan Hickman
“This event is so huge than even the people in the Illuminati who do not currently like each other are forced to put differences aside.” – Jonathan Hickman
There are still other members of the New Avengers that Jonathan has not mentioned (yet) as you can see from that cover.
“Going into Fantastic Four, Jonathan hadn’t even wrapped up Secret Warriors. Going into this, people know from FF what a big thinker Jonathan is and how he plays the long game. It’s an even bigger canvas here.” – Tom Brevoort
“How big must the crisis be versus what happens in the Marvel Universe on an average day to bring these characters together?” – Tom Brevoort on New Avengers
“My Avengers pitch probably could have gotten approved as is on its own, but if I hadn’t done FF, I don’t think there’s any way my New Avengers would have gotten approved. I think it’s gonna be a sleeper hit. It’s so cool. I’m so jacked that I get to write it.” – Jonathan Hickman
“You’re talking to the man who took Fantastic Four and made it a book about 27 people.” – Tom Brevoort on the large Avengers roster
“We have monthly books with a lot of these characters, so if you write an Avengers book with only those guys, you limit yourself in terms of what you can do with character development. We’re creating a structure where those characters develop in their own books, and I’ll read those books, but it’s the other characters who really evolve in Avengers.” – Jonathan Hickman
To start, there will be three issue “big” arcs broken up by three one-and-dones focusing on individual characters.
“You’ll get an issue where Cannonball and Sunspot get to spend time with Captain America.” – Jonathan Hickman
“We need new bad guys. I’m making a lot. Will you see some traditional Avengers favorite villains? Of course.” – Jonathan Hickman
“I’ve always really liked them. I wish it was more complicated than that. I pitched a Bobby and Sam in Mojoworld book, and somehow it got made.” – Jonathan Hickman on why he wanted Cannonball and Sunspot on the Avengers
“Cannonball and Sunspot are at least chronologically younger characters. It’s always good to have those types of figures in Avengers to bring a fresh viewpoint. That said, they’re also established Marvel characters.” – Tom Brevoort
“When Brian Bendis brought Luke Cage and Spider-Woman into the Avengers, they weren’t the most popular characters, but they had legitimacy. I think it will be the same thing with Cannonball and Sunspot.” – Tom Brevoort
“When we get to 24 characters, their will be several subgroups of characters, and one tier will be a group of younger, more idealistic people like Cannonball and Sunspot.” – Jonathan Hickman
“I just made an economics joke and it bombed. Shocking.” – Jonathan Hickman
“If I come on the book and people don’t love it, I’ll have failed. I have a responsibility to Marvel to sell copies and a responsibility to the fans to entertain them.” – Jonathan Hickman
Marc asking about the Omega symbol mixed with the Avengers logo we sent out as a teaser, Tom replying that is the New Avengers logo.
“Avengers is the day book and New Avengers is night. Avengers is how we want the world to be, New Avengers is how it is. One book is about life, one is about death. The logos reflect all this.” – Jonathan Hickman
Jonathan confirming Mr. Fantastic and Beast will be on the New Avengers and that that is Hyperion on the Avengers cover we showed earlier.
“Do Black Panther and Namor get along? No. Do Namor and Beast get along? No. Do Iron Man and various characters have problems as things get revealed? Absolutely.” – Jonathan Hickman
“I don’t think people will be surprised to learn that even as these guys go about their job, some will grow to hate one another. This is not a cheery happy story. This is the ‘Death Avengers.’” – Jonathan Hickman
Eden Fesi from Secret Warriors will be in Avengers.
There will be S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff from Jonathan’s series as well.
Comment From Caoimhin
Is there any new member(s) of the Illuminati?
@Caoimhin Beast is a new member
Jonathan says he has been dropping New Avengers hints in Fantastic Four and FF with Black Panther, Black Bolt and Reed Richards stuff.
“Black Panther is the lynchpin character of New Avengers. The central character. He’s very important to the Avengers franchise as a whole.” – Tom Brevoort
“Black Panther is certainly the moral center of New Avengers.” – Jonathan Hickman
“Avengers #1 starts with a big bang. Then we proceed from there.” – Jonathan Hickman
“This is a new day, a new direction, the next step for the Avengers.” – Jonathan Hickman
“That the Avengers are the A-team of the Marvel Universe, the best of the best, all of that will be there. There are no B-players in Avengers.” – Tom Brevoort
“Cap is in charge, of course, and he has two vice-captains in Captain Marvel and Iron Man. For bigger stuff, it splits into three teams. There are other factions within that, but generally, that’s the command structure. In New Avengers, they all think they’re in charge and none of them are.” – Jonathan Hickman
“I promise a chart or graph of some sort in Avengers.” – Tom Brevoort
“I don’t want to oversell, but there may be three graphs in Avengers #1.” – Jonathan Hickman
Avengers #1 and #2 coming this December, New Avengers #1 and #2 coming January.