At WonderCon Anaheim, writer Sam Humphries stopped by the CBR TV Tiki Room to discuss his upcoming Marvel project, the "Age of Ultron" spinoff "Avengers A.I.," the challenges in building his first Marvel ongoing series from scratch, the Dark Horse-published hardcover edition of his creator-owned "Sacrifice" and more.
On his newly-announced Marvel title "Avengers A.I.": This is a special team of Avengers. Earth's Mightiest Heroes who are dedicated to countering a unique and new Artificial Intelligence-based threat that comes out of "Age of Ultron." ... We got the Vision, who I love. he's such a great character, a classic Avenger. This is a character who hasn't really found a new status quo since he was killed in "Avengers: Disassembled." He's popped up a couple times, he's rejoined the Avengers and he's been out finding himself recently. He's been meditating as a robot is wont to do, he's been upgrading himself -- so he's got a new power set. He's got a new role not just in the Avengers, but in the larger Marvel Universe now that we have this brave new world of Artificial Intelligence that is colonizing the world of humanity.
On constructing "Avengers A.I." from scratch compared to taking on "Uncanny X-Force" post-Rick Remender: "Uncanny X-Force" kind of sits in the middle of ["Ultimates" and "Avengers A.I."] because I was following up on Rick Remender's insanely fantastic run on "Uncanny X-Force," but at the same time, it was Marvel NOW!, it was a new #1, it was a new creative team, it was a new team of mutants. So there was a bit more of a break when I took over "Ultimates" from Jonathan Hickman. There was a new status quo for the team, a new vibe for the book, but we picked up on a lot of the plot points that Rick so generously left for us -- the question of the Fantomexes, the new status for Betsy -- all sorts of things. It was like low-hanging fruit. With "Avengers A.I.," this is a brand-new milieu for not just Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but for the Marvel Universe itself. So we're really building a lot of what you're going to see in the book from the ground up.
On the hardcover edition of his creator-owned book "Sacrifice": "Sacrifice" is book I've been doing with Dalton Rose that's very near and dear to my heart. It's about Aztecs and time travel and epilepsy and Joy Division. So, it's very similar to my Marvel work. Basically the same thing. No, but if you like the weirdness of my Marvel work, you'll love "Sacrifice." We've been self-publishing it in fits and starts. We just wrapped up, the sixth issue just got released. We did the last three issues bi-monthly, so it's felt kind of like finishing up a marathon, but the race is not over because Dark Horse is picking up the book, they're collecting it in a deluxe hardcover edition. It's going to be beautiful and it's coming out in early September.