You may know the Avengers as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but Marvel’s “All-New, All-Different Avengers” are a mix of team veterans like Iron Man and the Vision and youthful one hearing the call to “Assemble!” for the time. Some of the team’s young members include Ms. Marvel (AKA Kamala Khan), Nova (AKA Sam Alexander) and Spider-Man (AKA Miles Morales), and they’ve recently welcomed yet another new hero to their ranks. Following her introduction in writer Mark Waid and artist Alan Davis’ Free Comic Book Day special, the all-new Wasp joined the squad in “All-New, All-Different Avengers” #9 by Waid and artist Mahmud Asrar.
After months of mystery and speculation by fans, we now know the newest woman to take on the iconic Wasp mantle is Nadia Pym, the daughter of founding Avenger Hank Pym and his first wife Maria. Now that she’s an Avenger just like her father, where does the Wasp go from here? And with the team headed on an intergalactic adventure to rescue Nova’s missing father that will lead them into a showdown with Annihilus, is she ready for what being an Avenger really entails?
CBR News spoke with Mark Waid about the latest developments in “All-New, All-Different Avengers and what he has in store for the all-new Wasp. He also discusses his upcoming arc that sees the team trapped on a prison planet by Annihilus and how some of his youthful cast members not named Nova will react to their first outer space adventure, plus how “Civil War II” will affect the team.
CBR News: This year’s Free Comic Book Day special and “All-New, All-Different Avengers” #9 introduced readers to Nadia Pym, the all-new Wasp. What inspired Nadia’s creation?
Mark Waid: Editor Tom Brevoort and I both have a great love for the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, and in the wake of the “Ant-Man” movie (which was great), Tom suggested there might be something to introducing someone who was a nod to that film’s Hope van Dyne without in any way minimizing Janet’s role in the Marvel Universe. And I think we’ve succeeded.
What’s it like bouncing Nadia off of the other characters in the book? Are there any characters she’s especially fun to write interacting with? And how would you describe her dynamic with the team going into issue #10? Will she have a major role moving forward?
I love having more women on the team, and I especially love having a Big Brain — too many of the MU’s geniuses have that Y chromosome. The great joy to me is to see her interact with Jarvis, who’s warmed up to her but still feels as vexed and frustrated by her as any man his age would be with a rebellious teenage girl. Wasp won’t accompany the Avengers on their interstellar adventure in issues #10-12, but she’ll still be in the book, being introduced to Janet by Jarvis, and much comes of that. And of course, she’ll be back to the team once — or if — it returns from space!
Janet and her father, who is returning from space in the new arc of “Uncanny Avengers,” aren’t the only characters readers want to see Nadia interact with. Issue #9 delivered her origin and also revealed her connection to both the Winter Soldier and the Black Widow. Are there any concrete plans for her to encounter either of them in the immediate future?
No immediate plans, but both are cooked into her backstory and should show up sooner than later.
As you alluded to earlier, “All-New, All-Different Avengers” #10 kicks off a cosmic adventure that sends the team into space on a mission to rescue Nova’s missing father. What made you want to make that a priority for the Avengers and how does Sam feel about his teammates offering to help?
Sam’s all for the help, but he didn’t ask for it — it was given to him by selfless Avengers. It was Brevoort’s idea that the Avengers traditionally very rarely got involved in each member’s Dilemma Du Jour, and maybe we could switch that up.
A journey into space isn’t all that extraordinary for someone like Sam who goes there routinely, or other veteran Avengers who have made the trip before, but I think this will be Miles and Kamala’s first time in space. What can you tell us about their initial reaction to going on an intergalactic adventure?
Kamala digs it. Miles most assuredly does not. And that drives a lot of our story, believe it or not.
What kind of action can we expect from the story? The solicits make it sound like this arc will become a sort of sci-fi prison break story.
Without giving away too much, they never dreamed they’d end up trapped on a prison planet by Annihilus — who, I remind you, has gone toe-to-toe with Thor, so he’s no lightweight. There’s only one potential way home for them — and it’ll mean having to make a heartbreaking sacrifice.
Who will be helping Annihilus imprison the Avengers?
Annihilus needs no allies, you fool! Annihilus is All!
[Laughs] That is a fair point.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two great artists behind “All-New, All-Different Avengers,” Mahmud Asrar and Adam Kubert. Which one will be tackling the cosmic arc? Are there any worlds or characters you were especially excited to write and see them bring to life?
This is a Mahmud arc, and that I didn’t break the poor man by asking for, like, a million different and distinct alien prisoners is a testament to his talent and to my ability to make sure he’s never near anything resembling a weapon.
[Laughs] Looking down the road at “All-New All-Different Avengers,” will “Civil War II” have a major impact on the series? Any chance you’ll be exploring the fallout from Tom King’s “Vision” series?
Both, though “Civil War II” first — three issues that are mostly solo stories focusing on those Avengers whose books aren’t tying directly into the event.
Also, Alex Ross’ stunning string of covers continues unbroken as we move into 13-15 and beyond. They’re gallery-worthy!
“All-New, All-Different Avengers” #10 is scheduled for release June 1 from Marvel Comics.
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