At one time, the only place to go if you were a super-powered teen was Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and even then, it only trained mutants. However, the modern Marvel Universe is filled with options to combine higher education with courses designed to train super-powered adolescents in their powers. Among the plethora of schools are those run by Wolverine and Cyclops’ factions of the X-Men, the West Coast-based Avengers Academy, and New York City’s Future Foundation of teen geniuses. Beyond the borders to the United States, learning institutions have opened across the globe in places like Great Britain, Wakanda, Atlantis and even Latveria.
These schools came together for a Contest of Champions in the first issue of Matt Kindt’s “Infinity: The Hunt,” and once the series concludes, a core group of young heroes from the games will continue to work together in “Inhumanity: The Awakening.” The events of Matt Fraction’s “Inhumanity” series sets off a chain reaction of teenagers around the world finding themselves newly endowed with strange powers, and it’s up to the students of the Jean Grey School and Avengers Academy to help them adjust to their new reality. Editor Bill Rosemann spoke with CBR News about the two-issue miniseries, how it relates to the bigger picture being painted in the pages of “Inhumanity” and why Kindt is the perfect writer to introduce the next wave of young heroes to the Marvel Universe.
CBR News: Matt Kindt’s lust-launched “Infinity: The Hunt” miniseries features the teen heroes of the Marvel U, and “Inhumanity: The Awakening” is another story featuring teen protagonists. What is it about Matt’s writing that makes him the right man to tell these stories?
Bill Rosemann: While reading Matt’s script for “Infinity: The Hunt” #1, I was blown away by the smarts and humor he showed in conceiving so many fun new teen characters. “The Awakening” gives Matt another opportunity to showcase his imagination.
For this series, you’ve paired artist Paul Davidson with Matt Kindt. What is it about Paul’s art that made him the man for this job?
When assembling the creative team, one overall feeling I was shooting for was “quirky.” In the best of Marvel traditions, this isn’t a story of buff, square-jawed, two-dimensional do-gooders — this is a story about what it’s like to be scared and desperate, what it’s like to have the world pull the rug out from under you, and then you stumble to the mirror and see a freak staring back. I was a big fan of the off-balance attitude and left-of-center heroism Paul Davidson brought to books like “X-Men: Legacy” and “X-Club,” so when I heard he might have a window of opportunity to take on a new assignment, I knew he’d bring an imagination to match Matt’s.
“Inhumanity: The Awakening” spins out of the events of “Infinity the Hunt.” Can you clarify what that means? Is the series new reader friendly?
While Matt won’t be directly continuing the Contest of Champions plot thread introduced in “The Hunt,” he will — in an accessible and new reader friendly way — be revealing what certain students of the Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School are up to next. As you can guess, some of them will get along and some won’t — which, come to think of it, may very well come to fruition in the Contest of Champions. That is, if they and the schools survive long enough for the games to happen!
I know you’re wary of revealing which teen heroes will be featured in the book for fear of spoiling the current mini, but can you talk about the size of the core cast in “Inhumanity: The Awakening?” Will students from schools other than Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School be part of the series? And will any of the survivors of Season One of “Avengers Arena” be part of the book?
Fans of the Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School should be happy to hear that our story focuses the spotlight on Striker, Finesse, Quentin Quire and Pixie. When we unveiled the cover to “The Awakening” #1, we were pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction from Pixie’s online fan base, so if you want more Pixie, spread the word to check out “The Awakening!”
The solicitations suggest that the core cast will be dealing with newly-created super-powered adolescents due to the events unfolding in the core “Inhumanity” title. What can you tell us about the new teens?
Often, stories about adolescents gaining powers quickly show them choosing to don a costume and fight crime. But think back to when you were 16 and what you would have done if you suddenly sprouted feathers or gills. Would you have freaked out? Lashed out? Not everyone is born a hero–but for some of us, sometimes that inner hero is — you guessed it — awakened.
The beautiful thing about the stage “Inhumanity” provides is that it allows creators to tell stories that are both global and intimate. We start with a widescreen superhero situation, and then quickly see the impact it has on the individual. We’ll explore themes that readers around the world can relate to, but in a way that’s intensely personal.
From “Avengers: The Initiative” to “Avengers Academy” to “Avengers Arena,” I’ve been lucky enough to be able to shine the spotlight on many of Marvel’s most fascinating young heroes. “Inhumanity: The Awakening” is another opportunity to climb inside their ever-surprising heads and tee-up what’s next for the next generation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.