Taking up the mantle of what is arguably one of the Marvel Universe’s most heroic legacies is not an easy task. It opens you up to new responsibilities while immediately turning you into a target for some of your predecessor’s most dangerous foes. This is something Carol Danvers, who recently set aside her identity of Ms. Marvel in order to assume the name Captain Marvel, is about to discover.
In “Avengers: The Enemy Within” #1, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick kicked off a storyline that will pit the new Captain and her Avengers teammates against one of the most relentless foes the original Captain Marvel ever faced: the Kree soldier known as Yon-Rogg. Below, DeConnick discusses the ins and outs of her five-part “Enemy Within” storyline which criss-crosses back and forth between the pages of “Avengers Assemble” and “Captain Marvel”
CBR News: In the “Avengers: Enemy Within Special,” you kicked off your crossover between “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Assemble.” The villain at the heart of this crossover appears to be Yon-Rogg, the Kree military commander who was responsible for Carol receiving her super powers. Refresh my memory — has Yon-Rogg been seen in the Marvel Universe since the explosion of the Psyche Magnitron, the device that gave Carol her powers? And what made you want to bring the character back back to your books in such a big way?
Kelly Sue DeConnick: When I wrote him in “Captain Marvel” #6, I wasn’t actually writing him — all of his dialogue from that issue was lifted verbatim from “Captain Marvel” volume 1 #18, but I kind of liked him. I liked that he was motivated by this pure, all-consuming envy. How can I put this? I’m not a particularly envious person, honestly — I have a lot of grievous character defects, so don’t read that as my saying I’m super-evolved or anything — but envy, as it happens, is not my jam. But I’ve known people like that, people who could be so consumed with what someone else had that they couldn’t find perspective on their own lives. And it’s heartbreaking. And so very human. So I guess that made me kind of hurt for Yon-Rogg, in a funny way.
When the idea formed that he might still be around, it was clear that he wouldn’t have found any peace. In fact, he would be worse — now, on top of this constant hunger for what other people have, he would have this fury over what he perceived as having been stolen from him. It would eat him alive!
I talked to [Marvel SVP Publishing Tom] Brevoort about Kree society. I was latched onto the idea that Yon-Rogg would feel like his home was lost to him, and Tom pointed out that because the Kree civilization is so advanced, Yon-Rogg would be feeling the equivalent of someone from today’s world of iPads and and air conditioning finding themselves trapped in the 1400s. It would be that kind of a loss. And Yon-Rogg being who he is — the resentment would be all-consuming.
Yon-Rogg had a long grudge against the original Captain Marvel, and if my research is correct, that originally stemmed from jealousy. Carol’s friendship with Mar-Vell occasionally made her a target of Yon-Rogg’s attacks, but what are his current motivations for targeting Carol in such a big way now?
I kind of addressed this above, but in Mar-Vell’s absence, and particularly carrying his codename as she does now, Carol is both a stand-in for Mar-Vell and an object of derision in her own right. He holds her responsible for his present
Captain Marvel’s origins are pretty cosmic, but the majority of her adventures take place on Earth these days. Where will we see her and the Avengers lock up with Yon-Rogg?
We have a bunch of locales, but the bulk of the action is in New York, as it’s the heart of the Marvel U, Carol’s home, and the place that is particularly endangered by Yon-Rogg’s plan. That said, we’ve got scenes in Niagara Falls, Afghanistan, the Florida Everglades, Canada and Brooklyn.
“The Enemy Within” obviously involves Carol’s Avengers teammates, which currently is a large cast of characters. Can you tell us which Avengers are involved and who will get some time in the spotlight?
Let’s see — Spider-Woman has a big role, surprising absolutely no one. Hawkeye has a moment I’m really proud of. Captain America, the Wasp, Sersei of the Eternals, Wolverine, the Hulk, Banner, Thor, the Black Widow and Falcon — though the latter two don’t have as much screen time as I’d liked to have given them.
Are there any other major antagonists in this story beyond Yon-Rogg? The solicits mention a character named Magnitron. Can you tell us anything about this character and their possible connection to Yon-Rogg?
The Magnitron is super-connected to Yon-Rogg. The Brood and Kree sentries also play important roles.
Scott Hepburn is handling the art on “Captain Marvel” while Matteo Buffagni tackles “Avengers Assemble.” When dealing with a continuous storyline like this, the art has to flow from one chapter to the next – how are their two styles meshing for “The Enemy Within?”
They work well together, but they’re very, very different. Scott dovetails nicely off of Filipe Andrade — he’s a real cartoonist. His art is gloriously expressive. But where Andrade is ethereal, Hepburn is — what? Grungy. Gritty. It’s got tooth. I love it.
And then, on the flip side, there’s Matteo, whose line is pure elegance. Clean. Clear. Crisp like a Granny Smith apple from your grandma’s ice box, you know? It’s beautiful. His stuff feels like reading a dance.
The stakes are high in “The Enemy Within,” but how high, exactly? And once the crossover wraps, what are your plans “Avengers Assemble” and “Captain Marvel?”
[There are] 8 million lives at risk, and Carol makes a great sacrifice. Her relationship with Jessica may be forever altered.
Both books are tying into “Infinity,” and I’m trying to do a thing that, if it works, will be awesome — and if it doesn’t is going to be at least a spectacular failure? I hope, anyway. It’s ambitious for the first time out of the gate on a tie-in, but how can you look at anything Jonathan Hickman does and not feel like you have to up your game?