This December, Marvel’s two major races of super powered beings — mutants and Inhumans — will go to war in the “IvX” miniseries. Readers still don’t know the exact scope and scale of the conflict and how it will impact all the players involved, but we do know that the fallout will have a huge impact on both Marvel’s X-Men and Inhuman lines of books, which will relaunch this spring under the banner of “ResurrXion.”
Today, CBR has the exclusive first word that in addition to the previously announced “Royals” and “Black Bolt” books, Marvel’s Inhuman titles will also include a new ongoing “Secret Warriors” series from writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Javier Garron, which will feature a large cast of Inhuman characters — but not just Inhumans.
The team will include some of Marvel’s best known Inhumans, with a focus on younger characters — Quake/Daisy Johnson (a character currently portrayed by Chloe Bennet on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl (and Devil Dinosaur), Inferno and Karnak; though Rosenberg teases that non-Inhumans will be added to the team. Now that it’s known that the Inhuman royal family will leave Earth as a result of the “IvX” fallout, “Secret Warriors” will tell the story of the Inhumans left to save the world.
What connection will this group have to the original “Secret Warriors” team that was assembled by Nick Fury Sr? How will certain members not used to the clandestine world react when they enter it? And how will the tone of the series compare to other Marvel team books? For the answers to these questions and more, CBR spoke with Rosenberg about his plans for the series.
CBR: Matthew, next year you’ll kick off a new volume of “Secret Warriors.” So let’s start by talking about the significance of the title. Why call the book “Secret Warriors?” I understand the cast features a returning member in the form of Daisy Johnson, a.k.a. Quake, but will this series have a similar tone and feel to Jonathan Hickman’s original “Secret Warriors” series?
Matthew Rosenberg: I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Hickman’s “Secret Warriors.” It is one of my favorite Marvel books of the last decade. And as tempting as it would be to just rip that book off and try to remake it, I am pretty sure nobody, including me, really wants that.
What we have with our “Secret Warriors” is a book that is sort of hard to define. Wil Moss and Charles Beacham (my editors), and I actually kicked around a few different names for the series. I wanted to call it the “All-Winners Squad” for a bit. It is really hard to name a series it turns out. But a lot of the intangible stuff that made the original “Secret Warriors” what it was also finds its way into our book. This is sort of Quake’s team, there is a bigger fight than they can fully see or be a part of, it’s clandestine and full of intrigue. It’s high stakes, who do you trust, behind the curtain stuff. In terms of tone, I think Hickman’s would be beyond hard to replicate, but there will be pieces of it.
Some of the original “Secret Warriors” is definitely in our DNA for sure, but we are forging our own path. People will see similarities and differences, but there are elements of other titles thrown in like the X-Men, The Runaways, The Avengers, Heroes For Hire, The Inhumans, and The Defenders too. But at the end of the day they are warriors and they are working in secret, so it was the obvious choice.
What can you tell us about Daisy’s role in this new team of “Secret Warriors?” It seems like given her experience with the previous incarnation of the group and the fact that she was interim director of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a brief period that people might look to her for leadership, but is she necessarily comfortable in that role?
Daisy is such a great character. When we first met her she was very young and sort of Nick Fury’s secret weapon. During the original “Secret Warriors” she really begins to have some agency and push back against being manipulated. And from there she went on to do bigger and bigger stuff, all while still being younger than most heroes. She is learning the ropes while she goes and all of these very important people have a tremendous amount of trust and respect for her.
In our book she is really looking to take charge and be the leader of a team, not because she wants to. The correct path isn’t going to be easy or obvious, but she is sure she knows it. This is really a chance for her to make mistakes and find out what she is really made of when it’s her reputation on the line.
As for whether she is comfortable as the leader? No, I don’t think so. But she knows someone has to be and she came up under Nick Fury, so she doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.
Your cast also includes two young heroes who have never really set foot in the world of espionage: Moon Girl, who will be joined by her faithful companion Devil Dinosaur, and Ms. Marvel. What’s it like writing these characters within the environment of this team?
I love Ms. Marvel and Moon Girl. Reading both of those series has been one of the best parts of being a Marvel fan for me in the past few years. And I have a tremendous amount of respect for what G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona have made with “Ms. Marvel,” and what Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, & Natacha Bustos have made with “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.” I am going to do my best to try and live up to the intimidatingly high bars they set.
But yeah, we are seeing Ms. Marvel and Moon Girl in a new situation for them. Both of them are big personalities and what is happening to them, what they have to do, they are going to do on their terms. Ms. Marvel and Quake are really fighting for the soul of the team in a lot of ways, while Moon Girl will continue to really do her own thing. They will all be tested and challenged, they are superheroes after all, but they are going to do things their way. So what you may see is some conflict and friction on the team, some inner turmoil as they struggle with how to get certain things done, but it will very much be the Ms. Marvel and Moon Girl fans love.
And Devil Dinosaur is just going to do dinosaur-y stuff.
Your cast also includes two veteran members of the Inhuman royal family, Inferno and Karnak. Both of these guys have interesting perspectives with Inferno being sort of an everyman and Karnak’s ability to see weakness. How do these guys fit into the overall dynamic of the group?
With what is going on in the world in general and with the Inhumans specifically, Inferno is really looking to step up. He sees the way Ms. Marvel is identified as a hero first and foremost and he wants that as well. He will look to her for guidance in a lot of ways, but she is a pretty extraordinary role model to try and follow. Inferno is new to the superhero thing and new to the spy thing, so he is just trying to keep up.
Karnak will have a role in the book, but more than that I can’t really discuss. I hate to be mysterious, but it is pretty appropriate when discussing Karnak.
[Laughs] That is very true! Is this your entire cast of characters? Or is there more you’ll reveal later? And if so are all your characters Inhuman?
Some more folks will be added to the fold as we go, some are even fan favorites, but we aren’t giving out any clues just yet. And no, they aren’t all Inhumans. For what this team has coming they will need all the help they can get. Or rather all the help they can trust.
Drawing “Secret Warriors” is artist Javier Garron who is probably best known by Marvel fans for his run on the recent “Star-Lord” ongoing series. What do you enjoy most about Javier’s style?
Javier is amazing. He has such a great style, so full of energy and fun. I love how expressive his characters are, how good the acting is. It gives me as a writer a real shot at making the characters connect with the readers. We need you to like the Secret Warriors and care about them. It’s much easier to ask that of the reader when someone like Javier is bringing them to life.
Also his fight scenes kick ass.
Finally, let’s talk a little more about the initial stories and larger dynamic of the team. What sort of mission statement will the new “Secret Warriors” have? What does that means for the types of stories you can tell in the book? And initially is this a group that’s necessarily happy to be together?
The Secret Warriors are a team that is being pulled in two directions at once. On one side is the clandestine spy element, represented by Quake. On the other is the superhero side, represented by Ms. Marvel. This book is sort of a tug of war between these two approaches — what is acceptable, what is necessary. Why do we need people flying around with capes on? What does that get us? And why do we need people operating in secrecy? How does that help? That will be their struggle as they try to answer those questions.
As for what it means for what kind of stories we tell with them? All kinds. They are versatile characters who are complex, relatable, and interesting. We want people to pick the book up for the crazy adventures and high stakes action, but also for the personal moments. I hope just as many readers appreciate the struggles of these characters and how they deal with it. I’ve really been looking to Chris Claremont’s X-Men as a big source of inspiration in a lot of ways with that. It’s about who the Secret Warriors are as much as it’s about what they do.
Are they happy together? No.
I just really hope people give the book a chance. We get to use some amazing characters that I hope we can bring to the attention of some new readers. I hope longtime fans of Ms. Marvel, Quake, Moon Girl and Karnak come along for the ride. I have a feeling we’re going to give you something a little different from what you expect with this book.
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