Let's talk a little bit about the two rival villain teams, starting with the Lethal Legion. The team features a few established characters in the form of Captain Glory and the Blood Brothers and one new take on an old villain in the new Metal Master. What made you want to include these characters on the team?
Ewing: They're not super established; I mean, the Blood Brothers are, but this Captain Glory is all-new, although he definitely could be the Prime Universe version of Noh-Varr's Dad. All I had in the original meeting was "Kree Captain America," which is fine for the bare bones, but it's been Jim and Mark who've put the meat on.
I've probably had more to do with the All-New, All-Now Metal Master - originally, that was going to be the old-school Molyb from Hulk #6, but he went on such a journey in Black Bolt that it almost seemed disrespectful to plop him right back into villainy. So now there's a new Metal Master who revered the original as a great conceptual artist and wants to follow in his footsteps, with the conquest of worlds as his artistic medium. (And of course, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about the two Metal Masters having a fight. So there's that, too.)
Zub: Metal Master and Captain Glory were definitely Al's idea. I think Tom mentioned the Blood Brothers and we brought them in.
Creating new stuff in the Marvel Universe is a dream come true for me. That's why I created those little cute Cyttora in Uncanny Avengers #28. That's why Drall screams in a language from the "Endrionic Empire." I want to build as many cool new bits for the Marvel Universe as I can. I'll keep doing it until someone stops me.
Waid: Conversely, I think my strong suit is taking what already exists and showing new layers. Molyb, in particular, has been fun when it comes to breaking Metal Masters apart on a scientific level and putting them back together to come up with new uses for a Metal Master's powers.
The Lethal Legion, of course, features several new characters as well. Who are some of the new members that you especially enjoyed writing? Did you each have a hand in coming up with the new members? Or were specific characters co-created by certain writers?
Ewing: I was the one who yelled "MENTACLE!" in a moment of almost-religious ecstasy, so I take credit for the name, at least. Jim's been the one to give her her personality - in fact, he's also responsible for creating a couple more Lethal Legionnaires out of whole cloth.
Zub: Yeah, I went a bit nuts coming up with the new Lethal Legion members. I talked about bringing a weapon-wielder on to the team, because I love that sword & sorcery $#&@, and that turned into Drall. I wanted some kind of ghost-like/ethereal baddie, and that became Ferene. A discussion about aliens that didn't have two arms/two legs turned into the wonder that is Mentacle.
Waid: Yeah, Mentacle is the Character Find of 2018.
I want to call attention to the fantastic design work by Pepe Larraz. He and colorist David Curiel have done an amazing job establishing the strange mystery that's unfolding and giving the story stakes. What do you enjoy most about the work Pepe and David have done?
Ewing: I love Mentacle's tentacles. I really dug that first splash of all the teams together. And I'm a big fan of Lightning in that suit. (Although fans of his costume - and I'm one - need not worry.)
Zub: Pepe and David have elevated every scene we wrote. No matter how epic I imagined it, they've leveled it up every single time. Pepe manages to mix incredibly dynamic posing with rock solid storytelling. It feels classic in that action-packed superheroic way, but delivered with a contemporary flare, then David comes in and propels the whole thing even higher with so much mood and atmosphere. It's like a billion dollar effects budget on the page.
Waid: What Zub said. Both gentlemen bring the script to life in ways that none of us had imagined.