Since launching his run on "All-New, All-Different Avengers" last November, writer Mark Waid has put his multi-generational team of mighty heroes through the wringer. They've gone up against aliens, combatted money woes and traveled to the combustible town of Pleasant Hill -- and pretty soon they'll have "Civil War II" to deal with. Live on the show floor of C2E2, just south of Artist Alley, Mark Waid talked all things "All-New, All-Different." You can watch the event unfold live, right now, on C2E2's Live Stage site.
Hosts Zak Kreiter and Meredith Placko kicked off the livestream event by running through Waid's many achievements and kicking off the discussion of "All-New, All-Different Avengers." "What happened was, we knew we wanted to do a classic Avengers team, which means Thor, Captain America and Iron Man," said Waid, pointing out that two of those roles are now inhabited by different characters. "That's an interesting, diverse cast. Who else do we have in the Marvel Universe? Miles Morales Spider-Man, Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel and Sam Alexander Nova. Diversity is not a trend, it's the real world. Being able to lean into that has been great."
The hosts discussed the tradition of changing out mantle-holders for superheroes, which goes back to DC heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern. "The Flash was Jay Garrick for 20 years before Barry Allen," pointed out Waid.
Placko mentioned that they've wrapped up the first arc of "Avengers," which brought back a new version of Kang. "We wanted people to think it was Loki, because Loki was the guy in the first Avengers story," said Waid. "The Avengers has not had an origin story for a long time. They had one in 1963 and there's always been an Avengers. I wanted to do this and have them pick up from scratch - unfortunately they don't have any money," added Waid, saying his team is the "budget conscious Avengers... They can still have big adventures, but at the end of the day they might have to take a bus back."
Waid teased an incoming new member, an all-new Wasp. "I was asked by Marvel to develop a new Wasp, and my first instinct was to hesitate because I always loved Janet Van Dyne. I wanted to do this and connect her to Hank and Jan, and one of her first storylines will be teaming up with Jan so there will be an official handing off of the mantle." Placko and Waid talked about the new Wasp's design, which was done by artist Alex Ross. The storyline will come out on May 4, on this year's Free Comic Book Day. "She then shows up full force in the issue of 'Avengers' that comes out a week or two after," said Waid.
Waid talked about his decision to join the Avengers creative team, saying that the Avengers was the only part of the Marvel Universe that he had yet to write yet. His initial instinct was to say no because following Jonathan Hickman's run seemed too daunting. "He has these notebooks like out of 'Seven,' with years worth of stories. I don't plot that way at all, it's very seat of the pants, and I didn't know where to go after 'Secret Wars,'" said Waid. But the notion of mixing up the team with old and new heroes was appealing to him.
"Avengers" #7-8 will be part of the current "Standoff" crossover, the new Wasp will get featured in #9, and a three-part arc (issues #10-12) will get the team mixed up in Sam Alexander's cosmic corner of the Marvel U. Waid revealed how they plot out the Marvel Universe, saying that the publisher gets many of the writers together in a room to "throw out ideas. At that time, we get some structure for what we want to do, and then Tom Brevoort and [the editorial] office figures out how to execute it."
Waid's 15-minute live-chat on the C2E2 stage wrapped up with the writer running through his many current projects ("All-New, All-Different Avengers," "Archie," "Black Widow" and "Strange Fruit"). The first trade of Waid's "Avengers" run will also be out in a few months. Waid thanked the crowd even if, as he joked, "most of them are probably just looking for a place to sit down."