Whether it’s beginning the new flagship team of the Marvel Universe in “Uncanny Avengers” or concluding the saga of Marvel’s most popular black-ops team in “Uncanny X-Force,” writer Rick Remender has the entire spectrum covered. Remender came by the CBR Tiki Room high above the show floor at New York Comic Con to discuss his career, the developments in “Uncanny Avengers,” creator-owned comics and his new project with Dynamite Entertainment.
On the evolution of his life as relates to comics: “It’s interesting, you’re not the first person who’s hit the analogy that I’m writing Havok and he’s really becoming a representation of me — the underdog, the little brother, he was always in the background and doing his own thing. I always gravitated toward Havok as a character, but now I’m writing Captain America saying, ‘You’e got to stand up and be in the limelight, you’ve got to take the big stage.’ I’ve written five issues of this thing now and I identify with the character a lot. I wasn’t even sure myself why, but there is something there. It’s a very strange transition. It’s nice to have more people read the book, but at the same time the challenge is to keep doing what got you there.”
On the effect his life has on his writing: “There’s going to be a lot less depression in my comics because I’m not anymore. A long time, I was living in Portland and it just didn’t suit me. The environment didn’t suit me. I was pretty beaten up. ‘Fear Agent’ in particular really reflects that I was not very happy. I don’t think that’s going to take the edge out because the things that excite me are still the same. The first thing is always going to be heart and that’s never going to change. I think that’s what’s gotten me where I’m at. I work very hard to infuse the characters with something I identify with that makes them relatable and human.”
On the funeral of Charles Xavier: “We’ve seen these funerals so many times and I know the company is committed to — Charles died and I know my plans are heavily based on that event having happened and not being overturned. You hear this and it’s almost like white noise. Even so, we’ve seen these funerals. That was a hell of a responsibility. Even though we have seen it before, I didn’t want to treat it that way. I wrote it, it took up 15 pages. Like everything I’m doing these days, I write it through and it goes along and I spend days whittling out anything that isn’t absolutely essential. When I whittled away everything that wasn’t absolutely essential, it came down to that five pages. Even then, it’s Logan talking to people with the mausoleum behind him.”
On transitioning from creator-owned to Marvel: “That twist [of creator-owned versus mainstream] was hard to be on the other side of during because I was beating that drum from ’98 to 2007. I did like 22 graphic novels of material in science fiction and horror and other genres. Not to toot my own dick, but I did feel like I was trying to fight to do new things that were creator owned. I don’t feel like Marvel was in any way shape or form was giving in or saying, ‘I failed at this,’ it was another itch I wanted to scratch. I realized I hit a point where I hadn’t done anything that serviced my 12-year-old. The Marvel stuff is that.”