Fridays on CBR mean Axel’s In Charge.
Welcome to MARVEL A-I-C: AXEL-IN-CHARGE, CBR’s regular interview feature with Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso!
An editor with years of experience who’s brought out comics to both critical acclaim and best-selling status, Alonso stepped into the chair at the top of Marvel’s Editorial department and since then has been working to bring his signature stylings to the entire Marvel U. Anchored by regular question and answer rounds with the denizens of the CBR Message Boards, each week Alonso will shake things up with special guest stars, exclusive art reveals and more!
This week, we get into Spoiler Warning territory as the end of “Infinity” #3 sent literal shockwaves through the world of Marvel’s Inhumans. How does Thanos’ mad act impact both the ongoing story of “Infinity” and the upcoming “Inhumanity” event? Axel answers those questions and more, plus he goes into Marvel’s theories on how to be capitalize on the incoming “Thor: The Dark World” film as writer Jason Aaron brings its villain Malekith The Accursed to “Thor: God of Thunder.” Plus, your fan questions! Read on!
Kiel Phegley: “Infinity” #3 had literally an explosive ending, but before we get to that, I wanted to talk about the series as a whole. So far, we’ve been watching a battle play out on two fronts — the Avengers and the Buildiers in space and then the Inhumans and Thanos on earth. How closely will these stories tie back together in the end? With Jonathan Hickman writing, I’ve got to assume things fit together like a puzzle.
Axel Alonso: Hell yeah. It all snaps together like a puzzle. This is a story that Jonathan refined over a couple years, adjusting here and there to account new developments in the Marvel Universe.
Well, let’s talk about that ending then. The explosion of Attilan is a huge moment for this story and a huge moment for the Inhumans. They’ve been connected to that location for so long in the Marvel Universe, in which ways does this set them free as a concept?
Alonso: If blowing up the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier rates a five on the Richter scale, this is a ten. The Inhumans are a nomadic people that’s traveled throughout the galaxy in search of safe haven — the one difference being that their kingdom, Attilan, has always traveled with them. [Laughs] Take that away, and what do they have? Let that sink in.
And is the idea of them being adrift or on the run again the thing that drew out Matt Fraction’s story for “Inhumanity”?
Alonso: Who said they’re going to be on the run? [Laughs] Don’t forget that the Inhumans are extremely powerful beings that predate the birth of the superhero. They were here first. In coming months, we are going to reveal new layers of their long and complicated and bloody history. Maybe some of them are sick and tired of running? Matt’s going to be telling a multi-layered story.
How does this all set “Inhumanity” up? Is there a way in which that event and this one will run parallel more so than one after the other considering the impact of this event?
Alonso: The events in “Infinity” are kind of like the shot heard ’round the world that started the American Revolutionary War. One bullet sets in motions a chain of events. There’s a turning point in “Infinity” after which nothing will ever be the same for the Inhumans — or the entire Marvel Universe — again. That’s Ground Zero for enter the Age of Inhumanity.
Let’s shift topics a bit and talk about the just launched story in “Thor: God of Thunder.” Just like we talked about the need for an Electro story to tie to the new “Amazing Spider-Man 2” film, Jason Aaron is playing with the villain Malekith just as “Thor: The Dark World” is getting ready to hit theaters. You guys are always looking for ways to create jumping-on points for movie fans of Marvel in the comics without letting the tail wag the dog, but I was wondering if Thor’s very expansive world has made the task of delivering on that idea even harder since the first movie hit.
Alonso: Not at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. Thor’s rich history just gives everyone — Marvel publishing and Marvel Studios — more to mine, creatively-speaking. Look, we’ve got a synergistic relationship with Marvel Studios. Their success owes to their ability to artfully distill decades of stories that originated on the comic book page into one widescreen that’s fun for fans and non-fans. By the same token, when they blast Malekith’s Q-rating through the stratosphere on the silver screen, we’d be silly not to take advantage of that on the comic book page.
You talked last week about All-New Marvel NOW! and the idea that even the ongoing series that were continuing had to look for new moments to invite readers in. With this arc on “Thor,” it seems like things are getting a bit darker for Jason’s run. What’s been the big hook for this next phase in his eyes?
Alonso: Darker than “The God Butcher”!? [Laughs] That’s more a question for Jason, I think. What I can say is, Jason wanted to write Thor for a while before he was tapped, so he had a couple years’ worth of tales mapped out before his first retreat [as writer for “Thor: God of Thunder].” And Jason knows the value of texturing stories so they inspire a broad range of emotions so he’s not afraid of going into dark territory. For a character that’s steeped in actual mythology — which is chock-full of murder, rape, deceit — that seems kind of appropriate, doesn’t it?
Looking at some fan questions for the week, Spidey616 caught an Inhuman that he hasn’t seen playing into this new event just yet and asks, “Maximus the Mad has been teased as someone to look out for in New Avengers and Infinity and likewise Matt Fraction and Mike Allred introduced a new look and role for him recently in FF? Can we expect to see Maximus as a major player in Fraction’s upcoming Inhumans series?”
Alonso: I wouldn’t be at all surprised, Spidey616!
In another corner of the Marvel U, we had two Thunderbolts-related questions. First, TsaiMeLemoni wonders after the current team while asking, “I know the Avengers will have their hands full for a while, but I was wondering if any branch of the Avengers will come into conflict with the Thunderbolts in the future; surely they won’t approve of the Tbolt’s methods, and I get the feeling that after Infinity the Tbolts won’t be flying quite as far under the radar as they were before.”
Alonso: Well, TsaiMeLemoni, the Red Hulk was an Avenger for a while and still has ties to members of that team, but who knows what the future might bring? Avengers vs. Thunderbolts certainly is a classic confrontation.
Then stalksprout was thinking about the classic team while asking, “Is there any future for any of our previous Thunderbolts, not this new Rulk lead team, past the odd apperance in other comics? Dark Avengers saw the closure of the original Thunderbolts numbering and we’re seeing Mach IV having a cameo alongside the Sinister “Six” in Superior Foes of Spider-man but is there any chance of a revival for the superhuman enlistment program being restored in some form, or some kind of spiritual successor to it?”
Alonso: While we currently have no plans for another villain rehabilitation program, stalksprout, you can currently see former T-Bolts Luke Cage in “Mighty Avengers,” Boomerang in “Superior Foes of Spider-Man,” both Black Widows — Natasha and Yelena — in “Secret Avengers,” Crossbones in “Venom,” and Nuke in “Captain America.”
Have some questions for Marvel’s AXEL-IN-CHARGE? Please visit the CUP O’ Q&A thread in CBR’s Marvel Universe forum. It’s now the dedicated thread for all connections between Board Members and the Marvel Executive staff that CBR will pull questions for next week’s installment of our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer column! Do it to it!