Fridays on CBR mean Axel’s In Charge.
An editor with years of experience in comics receiving 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 Community, each week Alonso will shake things up with special guest stars, exclusive art reveals and more!
As of next week’s “Spider-Man” #1 from Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, Miles Morales — the former Ultimate Spider-Man — will officially be a solo star in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Alonso discusses the impact of that movie and the series itself, including why February — several months after the start of the All-New, All-Different Marvel publishing initiative — was the right tiem for the series to debut, and the different roles that Peter Parker and Miles Morales will occupy in the wide world of web-slinging. Staying on the Spider-Man side of things, Alonso addresses — a little bit, at least — the latest “Dead No More” teaser, which rather strongly suggested the story in question is Spider-Man-related. Plus, Alonso gives his thoughts on the freshly debuted “Old Man Logan” series, from the former “Green Arrow” creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. All that and more, including answers to your questions, direct from the CBR Community.
Albert Ching: Axel, next week is the release of “Spider-Man” #1, officially establishing Miles Morales as a solo star in the Marvel Universe proper, now that the Ultimate Universe is a thing of the past as of “Ultimate End” and “Secret Wars.” It’s a big part of the All-New, All Different Marvel lineup, but also coming near the end of those launches — what was the strategy behind that timing?
Axel Alonso: A couple reasons. We wanted Sara to draw this. So we figured out the earliest date she could start to determine what launch dates were realistic. And we wanted to launch the series in a month where we could really shine a spotlight on it. With “All-New All-Different Marvel,” we wanted to spread the wealth — to make sure that we parceled out the big launches, and this is one of them, over several months. Launching “Spider-Man” in February was our best option.
Of course, Brian Michael Bendis has been with the character from the beginning. Sara Pichelli has as well, as Miles’ co-creator, but she’s been mostly away from the character in recent years, since “Spider-Men.” What does it mean to you to have Pichelli on this series, and returning to Miles Morales?
Alonso: Sara is one of my favorite artists. Her work has incredible subtlety and incredible scope. She is the full package. Plus, she really enjoys working with Brian and loves Miles Morales so this was a no-brainer. When we decided to bring Miles to the Marvel Universe, Sara was option number one, two, three and four.
She’s certainly a stylish artist, too — her people look distinctly modern.
Alonso: Without a doubt. Sara clearly pays attention to current fashion and street styles. There is nothing dated or corny about her characters — their clothing, hairstyles or body language. For a book like this, that is very important.
Though there have been glimpses in books like “All-New, All-Different Avengers,” this will be the first real spotlight for Miles Morales in the classic Marvel Universe. As someone who’s been involved with this character from the beginning, what do you like about that, and the doors it opens?
Alonso: It’s a whole new ballgame for Miles. In “Spider-Men,” he took a peek through the looking glass, but it was a quick trip, and he didn’t really unpack his bags. Now Miles is here to stay. He’s unpacked his bags and he’s brought some baggage. How he got here? What came with him? That’s what you’re going to find out. But Miles is now woven into the fabric of the Marvel Universe, and for all intents and purposes, he will now be its “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.”
In the Ultimate Universe, Miles was “the” Spider-Man, since Peter Parker was dead. Now with Peter Parker and Miles Morales on the same Earth, it becomes more important to keep the differences between them clear. Picking up what you just said about the Friendly Neighborhood aspect, is that the key separation between the two Spider-Men at this point?
Alonso: I think so. Brian and Dan [Slott] worked hard to create an environment where both Spider-Men can flourish. Over in “Amazing Spider-Man,” Dan has taken Peter Parker to the top of the food chain, and you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg so far — wait’ll you see what happens in “Civil War II.” And with Peter Parker doing his best Tony Stark impersonation in “Amazing,” there’s plenty of crawlspace — pun intended — for Miles to be the street-level Spidey in “Spider-Man,” to bounce off of other heroes and villains as he finds his place in the Marvel Universe.
Sticking with Spider-Man, a second “Dead No More” teaser was released this week, and it certainly appeared to be Spider-Man themed. Subsequently, Dan Slott’s been talking about it all over social media, so I’d say it’s fair to say this is Spider-Man-related. But, acknowledging you likely can’t say much at this point, is it a Spider-Man-specific story, or something larger in the Marvel Universe that involves Spidey?
Alonso: All I’ll say is the teaser’s out there for a reason: to fuel paranoi — I mean speculation. [Laughs]
Let’s talk about a new book from this week — “Old Man Logan” #1 from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. It’s still striking to see a story arc that was seemed like a one-time thing — albeit a high-profile and popular one-time thing — have this extended life, and now a new series set in the present day. To you, what does this book represent in Marvel’s current line?
Alonso: One of our goals with “Secret Wars” to bring characters into the Marvel Universe that we thought would make it a lot more interesting. “Old Man Logan” was somewhere at the top of that list — especially with Logan dead.
When we killed Logan, we knew we were going to need to fill some pretty big shoes — actually, he’s got small feet, but you get the point. X-23 and Old Man Logan were the frontrunners, but it made more sense for her to don the blue-and-yellow tights and assume the mantle of Wolverine, and for him to carve out his own space in the Marvel Universe. The first question we asked ourselves is, “What would be do if he were to land in the Marvel Universe?” And Jeff Lemire pretty much answered that: He’d do everything he could to stop his future Marvel Universe from happening. That’s where Logan’s kill list came in. He’s like the “The Terminator” with claws.
Looking at the creative team, Sorrentino is continuing on from the “Secret Wars” “Old Man Logan” book, but Jeff Lemire, it’s striking that between this, “Extraordinary X-Men” and “All-New Hawkeye,” they’re all pretty different flavors from each other — how are you liking what you’re seeing from Lemire in terms of his versatility?
Alonso: Our goal here is to put writers in a position to succeed. To find out what characters — big or small — will play to their passions and strengths. When we first started talking with Jeff, the idiosyncratic “Hawkeye” was right up his alley, but we knew he was versatile and he made it clear he loved the X-Men, so we took note of that. At a “Secret Wars” editorial summit, “Extraordinary X-Men,” “Old Man Logan” came into shape, and Jeff had great ideas to drive them, simple as that.
This is news from a couple weeks ago, but we haven’t gotten a chance to talk about it yet: The new creative team on “A-Force,” Kelly Thompson, and Ben Caldwell. That’s certainly a big vote of confidence in Kelly Thompson, who is still early in her Marvel career. What made Thompson and Caldwell the right candidates for this series?
Alonso: Kelly’s got a unique voice and sense of fun. She’s really digging into the personality of each character and finding ways to bounce them off each other in ways you don’t normally get to see in team books. Ben’s storytelling sense is off the hook and he does an incredible job translating Kelly’s wacky energy to the page. Plus he draws amazing, badass, funny women, so he was a natural fit here.
With G. Willow Wilson leaving “A-Force,” is there a chance of a new Marvel book from her, or is she focusing on Ms. Marvel for now?
Alonso: Focusing on “Ms. Marvel,” but the door is always open for Willow to do more work here.
Let’s wrap with fan questions. Fairyprincess remembers a specific Marvel retailer presentation from back in July, and asks, “I noticed that my favorite bounty hunter — er, ‘freelance peace keeping agent’ — was pictured amongst your promos for the post ‘Secret Wars’ titles. Is it too early to discuss your plans for Deaths Head?”
Alonso: It is.
rwe1138 has a question tied to this month’s “Secret Wars” finale. “If the world believes Reed (and by extension I assume Sue, Franklin & Val) to be dead, do they think the same about the Future Foundation kids? Specifically, do the Powers family think Alex is dead?”
Alonso: They do.
Let’s call it a week with Sasquatch by Night who, inspired by last week’s “Captain Marvel” #1, asks, “Will Captain Marvel delve into where the other members of Alpha Flight are at?”
Alonso: The creative team does intend to explain why Puck, Sasquatch and Aurora are there, but we are still thinking through where the other team members are.
Have some questions for Marvel’s AXEL-IN-CHARGE? Please visit the AXEL-IN-CHARGE Q&A thread in CBR’s Marvel Comics community. It’s the dedicated thread that CBR will pull questions for next week’s installment of our weekly fan-supported question-and-answer column! Do it to it!