As a veteran artist, writer and editor, Joe Quesada knows quite a bit about a number of different things. But there are few things he knows more than Marvel Comics and New York City. Marvel’s current Chief Creative Officer and former Editor-in-Chief spent some time during his hometown show, New York Comic Con, chatting with CBR TV’s Brett White about the intersection between Marvel and New York via the company’s slate of Netflix series that began with “Daredevil” and continues next month with “Jessica Jones.”
Quesada spoke to the importance of NYC to both Marvel’s comics and its characters, and how fitting it is that the Netflix shows are all filming in various New York neighborhoods. He also talks about being blown away on the set of “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage” star Mike Colter and the importance of giving each Netflix series its own identity while working together in a larger, shared universe. The CCO also gives his take on just how many series Marvel TV can support at one time, and what other street-level characters he’d like to see graduate to their own Netflix series.
On what it feels like to have “Jessica Jones” and Marvel’s other Netflix series shooting in New York:
Joe Quesada: It feels right. This is, first of all, New York is where comics publishing really started, it’s where it still remains with Marvel. The fact that we were able to film these shows with [New York] as the backdrop as opposed to Toronto [Laughs] or some foreign country replicating New York City, it is New York — it’s Hell’s Kitchen, it’s Brooklyn, it’s Harlem — we’re filming all over the city. It’s hard to keep track where we have all our units at one time. But it is, again, it just feels right. This is where these characters belong.
On seeing characters he worked on come to life outside of comics:
When we were creating this stuff — I hate to sound like this — but we were creating this stuff with the goal that we knew these properties could some day have a life outside of comics. I think it’s a period at Marvel’s that’s very cinematic in the comics, so it sort of makes sense that they’re now being adapted in this way, whether it’s in cinema or on the small screen. So it is incredibly fulfilling, and there’s also a part of me that goes, “Yeah, we were right! We were right!” There is some vindication to what we were thinking.
On the upcoming “Luke Cage” series starring Mike Colter, which is now filming:
I haven’t been on the set of “Luke Cage” yet because I was away for quite [an] amount of time this summer, I plan on going in the next week or so, but I met Mike Colter who is an amazing dude, and the show, watching the dailies come in — first of all the scripts are unbelievable and the dailies are coming in and it’s just — I think people will understand more of what I’m saying here when they see “Jessica Jones” because “Jessica Jones,” while it lives in the same world as “Daredevil,” it feels completely different. The type of story that it’s telling is completely different. It’s the same thing with “Luke.” There’s a whole different feel to it, the color palette, the cinematography, and the story we’re telling is very, very different. It’s still a superhero story, but with the context wrapped around a different genre, so to speak.
On what he sees as the ceiling for how many shows Marvel can produce per year:
It’s a great time right now to do be doing this stuff, and I think the limit is really the audience’s appetite for this. And let’s not forget, we also have two ABC shows and they’re filming at the same time right now. We have “Agent Carter” and the mothership, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, that’s the baby that kicked us off. A few years ago, Marvel Television had zero hours on the hour and now we’re in the process of working on five shows. Some have been done, some are doing Season 2s and Season 3s, so it’s an amazing time for us. I think, really, it’s a matter of the audience’s appetite and if we can continue producing really quality material. I think as long as it’s of the highest quality the fans will be there and we’ll be doing well.
On what other street-level Marvel characters he wants to see get a Netflix series:
Yes, but I can’t tell you. Yes. There are certain ones that stick out — as you say this, I can see them. If you can read my mind… There are certain things that in my mind would be perfect, but, you know, I just can’t speak to them.
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