Mark Waid and Tom Brevoort opened up to Marvel about what it's like for the last Avengers team and why they assembled the characters together. And what the standalone story on Free Comic Book Day (May 2) is really about.
With Free Comic Book Day coming up on May 2, Marvel's planned a particularly good surprise for comic fans: the first look into the new Avengers on-going series. Writer Mark Waid and editor Tom Brevoort discussed the newest team dynamics with Marvel.com.
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The newest line up of superheroes includes Sam Wilson's Captain America, Kamala Khan stepping into the role Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales as Spiderman, and Thor and Iron Man's identities are still unknown. Not to mention The Vision and teenage Nova in the lineup. If Morales is the latest Spiderman, that means he could survive the Ultimate Universe and be incorporated into the main universe.
Waid believes "a mix of veterans and rookies is number one" priority in creating a good set of cooperative heroes. Adding "the fun of writing any team book is seeing how its members react to one another in the non-action moments.” In other words, chemistry and trust are key in creating a good team.
So how did the new team emerge?
Brevoort pointed out that Marvel "wanted to pull back to a more manageable scale and a tight team of characters whose interactions and relationships could form the backbone of the drama." And Jonathan Hickman's era didn't really allow for many unknowns in the Avengers squad.
Waid agreed, saying, "the generational aspect was something that we backed into more than planned." Limited character pool means limited options. "Once we zoomed in on the three tyros—all of whom I genuinely like, no "settling" to be done—playing up the generational aspect" was only a minor detail.
The only thing really for certain is that Vision leads the team because of the instability. Which plays against the new versions of old heroes. For instance, Sam Wilson represents America, but does he represent all of all America? His experiences are going to be much different than Steve Rogers.
Waid adds America is still "very divided on some very profound matters.” As the face of America, the black hero may face some challenges previously encountered before becoming Falcon. Racism, xenophobia, and biases will have to play a part because of the nature of American exceptionalism—fiction or not.
In a genre facing changes, demographics and readership does, too. So Marvel's inclusion of multigenerational heroes with a diversity in race, gender, and ethnicity is important at the start of a new series.
Yet since Sam doesn’t fit the same apple pie mold of World War II, the challenges may take longer to address. And in a country filled with disenfranchisement, the team make up is a good representation of how times are changes and the need for media to keep up with them.
Which is the opposite of the newest Thor, who simply doesn't "worry that she’s not measuring up to her predecessor." Ms. Marvel, on the other hand, may face a lot of challenges due to her motivation towards joining an Avengers team.
“Being an Avenger is the culmination of all of Kamala Khan’s hopes and dreams, and to succeed, she needs Captain America’s approval,” the writer announced.
But will reality live up to expectation or will the character dynamics be fractured at first? And her need for Captain America's approval may prove to be a letdown in the first story of the series.
What else is store for long-time fans?
Pay attention to the issue because Waid “can think of at least four Easter eggs that should stand out to long-time readers about what’s upcoming.” However, neither man would give away any hints for readers.
Check FreeComicBookDay.com for stores and comic titles participating on May 2 and pick up a copy of the latest Avengers team for free. And then go buy a mini superhero Funko with all the money you saved. Great guardian of books, clearly.
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