Writer Nick Spencer journeyed to the world famous CBR Tiki at New York Comic Con to talk with Steve Sunu about his work on Marvel Comics’ upcoming “Ant-Man” series starring Scott Lang, the same man who will make his diminutive debut in 2015’s “Ant-Man” movie from Marvel Studios starring Paul Rudd. The fan-favorite writer talks about his very flawed hero, injecting the series with comedy, and comments on his other comedic series, the wildly popular “Superior Foes of Spider-Man.” He also hints at Marvel’s year-long “Secret Wars” event, how it might affect his run on “Avengers World” and promising that the book and its fallout will live up to the hype. Finally, he discusses the first five years of his Image Comics series “Morning Glories” and where the enigmatic series is headed next.
On writing Marvel’s new “Ant-Man” ongoing series and whether it will be affected by next year’s “Ant-Man” movie:
Well, it’s a huge deal obviously. I can’t believe Marvel is letting me do it. It’s really great. Obviously there is going to be this multi-billion dollar promotional machine that’s going to be in full effect promoting all things Ant-Man, so it’s like having a nice big paid commercial for your book. So Scott Lang finally has this potential to have a book that wouldn’t be cancelled by issue #4. It’s really exciting to be a part of this, and to kind of get a little bit of a peak into how all this stuff works. It’s a huge honor and I’m really, really excited about the project.
On his ability to adapt to different genres and the focus of “Ant-Man”:
Yeah, well that’s a big goal in my career, to never really repeat myself. Back when “Morning Glories” hit and we got off to a great start there. The phone kind of rang off the hook for a while with everybody offering whatever 16 year-old girl character they had, to write that, I said yes to “Supergirl” on the basis of that, and some other things. But I also had to turn some stuff down. It’s always been important to me that I keep you guessing. That you think I could write anything in any genre. So yeah, I never like to stay in the same place for too long. “Ant-Man” is a bit more of a comedy, so if you have been enjoying my work on “Superior Foes” I would definitely say check it out. But it’s got it’s own vibe in the same way that “Jimmy Olsen” was also a comedy, but it’s a little bit different than “Superior Foes.” Tonally, if you were a “Foes” fan I think you’ll dig this, but it’s its own thing as well.
On using humor in “Ant-Man”:
It’s a comedy. Scott is a flawed guy, a guy who is prone to taking shortcuts, a guy whose moral compass is not always as straight as it should be. He’s not a bad guy per se, but sometimes he like to take the easy way out. It’s fun to get to write a superhero who wants to be a good guy, wants to be a hero, but kind of gets in his own way. Makes a lot of mistakes. So it’s fun to kind of watch him go through the trial and error of his life.
On bringing in new readers to “Morning Glories” after all this time:
It’s a challenge for us. It’s a very intensive read that requires a degree of dedication. I always say that “Morning Glories” is not a great book for reading in the stack. On Wednesday when you grab your new books and you read ten, or a dozen, or fifteen books at once, “Morning Glories” might lose you a bit because of the nature of the book, and the structure of the story we are telling. It requires you to go back and look through previous issues and connect the dots on your own. And so we’re always struggling to find out how to bring new people in. They have to start at issue #1. We do a lot with digital outreach through the 99-cent sales. We’ve got some big things planned on that front for here 2015. We’re coming up on the fifth anniversary of the book, so we want to make sure we commemorate that sufficiently. Yeah so, I just came from — we did a panel “Morning Glories Study Hall Live” with a nice full room, with really engaged readers who had amazing questions. That’s the thing about the book, it does require a certain dedication, but what you get out of that is just the best fans. We just have folks who are really poring over the book and really looking for any mistake that I have made, or any continuity error. When they are really poring over it to play “Gotcha” that’s when you know you’re doing okay.
On “Morning Glories'” upcoming five-year anniversary and telling the story he truly wanted to tell:
It’s really surreal. We still kind of think of ourselves at the newer guys, and kind of — but actually at Image we’re one of the longest running books. So it’s a little weird making that uneasy transition into comic adulthood, if such a thing exists. It’s amazing to have a book last this long, and to be able to last a lot longer, and be in the middle of a journey like that. It’s gone beyond my greatest expectations.
On how far along in the story “Morning Glories” is and how much longer it will run:
We’re approaching the midway point. So it’s a really long story. It will end in the triple digits. So we’re getting near the halfway point. We’re still on outline. We’re still on initial plot so I feel good about it. We’re kind of in that murky middle. The big stuff is coming. We on kind of the big run up to #50. And obviously that’s going to be a big deal, and with that the fifth anniversary. 2015 is going to be a big deal year for the book.
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