Fridays on CBR mean Axel’s In Charge.
An editor with years of experience who’s brought out comics to both critical acclaim and best-selling status, Alonso stepped into the chair at the top of Marvel’s Editorial department and since then has been working to bring his signature stylings to the entire Marvel U. Anchored by regular question and answer rounds with the denizens of the CBR Community, each week Alonso will shake things up with special guest stars, exclusive art reveals and more!
This week, with “All-New Inhumans” recently announced, Alonso talks about the increase of Inhumans-based books on the horizon in the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” era: the new series from Charles Soule, James Asmus and Stefano Caselli, plus “Uncanny Inhumans,” “Ms. Marvel,” “Karnak” and “Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur.” Marvel has prepped fans for a while now that Inhumans would become a much bigger deal, and now that’s coming to fruition, with Alonso sharing some insight into the perspective behind the scenes. Alonso also talks the new “Amazing Spider-Man” #1.1″ from Jose Molina and Simone Bianchi — and the value Marvel sees in the “Point One” numbering on that series. Alonso also talks “House of M,” new and old, plus more — including answers to your questions, straight from the CBR Community.
Albert Ching: Axel, earlier this week saw the announcement of the new series — so new it’s in the title — “All-New Inhumans,” coming in December. Fans knew this was where Marvel was heading — multiple Inhumans ongoing series — but it still feels unprecedented to have two Inhumans team books, not to mention “Ms. Marvel” along with “Karnak” and “Moon-Girl & Devil Dinosaur” on the way. It feels like the talk people have been hearing about the importance of the Inhumans is starting to galvanize. What does that say to you about the faith that Marvel has in the Inhumans, and the potential clearly seen in these characters that they’re expanding in this way?
Axel Alonso: Well, it’s like I’ve said before: We’re playing the long game with the Inhumans. They have been the subject of countless discussions over several years of editorial meeting and retreats. We are not only sculpting their future, but their history — much of which has not been revealed. The Inhumans are a unique and important species in the Marvel Universe and they the fact that they are major facets of our three creative platforms — publishing, TV and movies — proves that.
You say “long game” — this current wave started nearly two years ago, with “Inhumanity.” Is it fair to say now that’s paying off — coming to fruition starting this fall?
Alonso: Yeah. We’ve only told a very small part of the story. Remember, the Inhumans were here first; they predate the birth of the superhero and the mutant. They were a botched — or, you might say, aborted — experiment by the Kree, so they were abandoned by their parents. They’re bastards. There’s an existential question at their root. And they have a very long and complicated history we’ve only begun to explore. All of this is going to be explored, a lot is going to come to a head in the Marvel Universe over the next few years.
But it’s not like this concept came out of nowhere — they’re 50-year-old characters that were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Do you find it surprising it’s taken this long to explore the Inhumans to this full of an extent?
Alonso: Well, consider the “Guardians of the Galaxy,” who’ve existed in various forms for decades in comics, but only evolved into a worldwide franchise in the last couple years — sometimes, it’s a matter of cracking that egg open, nudging the yolk, seeing what happens. That’s what we’ve been doing with the Inhumans: Investigating the potential of their paradigm, seeing what makes them tick, what makes them unique. Sometimes all the answers are buried in the source material; sometimes they’re not. It’s up to you to dig deeper, to unearth some stones that weren’t picked up before.
“All-New Inhumans” co-writer Charles Soule has been in the Inhuman world for a while now, since coming on board “Inhuman,” but this book has James Asmus co-writing with him. A few years ago he was a regular fixture at Marvel, on titles including “Gambit,” but he hasn’t been seen at the publisher in the last couple years. What can you say about what brought him back to the fold, and what makes him right to co-write this book?
Alonso: James hasn’t been at Marvel for the last couple years because those whippersnappers over at Valiant Comics had him on an exclusive contract for his fantastic work on “Quantum & Woody.” But “Inhumans” Editor Nick Lowe has worked with James on several projects here, and as he and Charles were building the second Inhuman team book they thought James would be perfect for it.
Also announced this week was “Amazing Spider-Man” #1.1, starting in November, from the team of Jose Molina and Simone Bianchi. Marvel has been doing “.1” stories in “Amazing Spider-Man” for a while now, including the “Spiral” story which just wrapped up. These feel like stories that, in another era, might have been in a “Spectacular” or “Web of” series — what’s the motivation behind this numbering and rollout? Is it simply that the strength of the “Amazing Spider-Man” brand ensures more eyeballs than any other name?
Alonso: We’ve been building our Spider-Line very carefully with titles focusing on many different Spider-Characters. But for Peter Parker? You read “Amazing Spider-Man.” Since the first Point One story, “Learning To Crawl,” to the recent “Spiral”, we’ve had stories that were important to us and to Peter, but we didn’t want to interrupt Dan Slott’s storylines. Hence, the numbering.
But notice a pattern: In “Learning To Crawl” we met Clayton Cole, who’s a big part of Dan’s ongoing storylines. In “Spiral,” we fractured the crime landscape in ways you’ll see are important to the main “Amazing Spider-Man” story. In this story, focusing on Spider-Man and the Santerians, you’ll have to wait and see how it’s going to impact Spider-Man and the Marvel U.
Molina is a newcomer to Marvel Comics, but not to Marvel itself, as a co-executive producer of “Agent Carter.” We’ve already seen show runners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas join Marvel publishing as the new co-writers of “Captain Marvel” — is Molina writing “Amazing Spider-Man” a similar example of internal corporate synergy?
Alonso: For sure. Jose expressed interest in writing comics through our friends at Marvel TV and Nick Lowe loved Jose’s episode of “Agent Carter” Season 1. One thing led to another, and this “Amazing Spider-Man” series was born.
Another piece of news from this week: A very amusing “Deadpool” #1 variant cover was released, making fun of the half-page Twix bar ads that DC ran a month or so back. That’s reminiscent of a mostly bygone era where this type of playful needling back and forth was common between Marvel and DC — how did that cover come to be? And are you expecting — or maybe even hoping for — any retaliation from DC?
Alonso: I’m not quite certain who came up with the idea for that variant but WAIT WHAT THE —
This week saw the release of “House of M” #1, the latest “Secret Wars” series using a classic Marvel event as a jumping-off point. This summer is also the 10th anniversary of the original event, which in many ways kicked off an era of stories at Marvel that stretched for several years. As someone who was a major part of Marvel editorial back then, what are your thoughts now on the impact that original story had?
Alonso: I think that “House of M” really strikes a chord with fans because it’s such a great fantasy — what if the villain of our series has effectively won, and what if our most hated and feared characters suddenly had all the power they’ve always lacked? You get this rich, opulent world, with weird-looking inhabitants all flourishing in ways that they’d never be able to in the main timeline. They’re all happy. Plus, we get access to Magneto and his kids, and the complicated dynamic within that family.
With the “Secret Wars,” title we’re giving fans an opportunity to see what this world looks like years into Magneto’s reign, what this tranquility and happiness has done to House Magnus, the mutant citizens, and what this rule has meant to the human citizens of this domain as well.
Alonso: Dennis has a real knack for capturing the voices of our more kinetic and feisty characters, and the main cast of this “House of M” series really reflects that: Hawkeye, Felicia Hardy, Misty Knight. Dennis’ fast-paced, quippy dialogue really shines with these characters, and with our royal family, too.
Pietro, especially — and Marco has really picked up on the snide sarcasm inherent in that character. Pietro’s face is so, well, punchable. And he’s really capturing the nuances of the interactions between Pietro, Lorna and Wanda, which is absolutely essential to this series.
Also released this week: the “Secret Wars: Secret Love” one-shot, a fun riff on romance characters with Marvel characters and Battleworld as the starting point. We’ve talked extensively about how “Secret Wars” provided Marvel the opportunity to experiment with some different genres, so was touching on the romance comic somewhat inevitable?
Alonso: It was. And I expect we will see lots more romance across the Marvel Universe in 2016.
So we can expect to see comics with a similar feel to “Secret Love” in the post-“Secret Wars” Marvel lineup?
Alonso: Does Thor have abs?
Let’s wrap with a couple of fan questions from the CBR Community: drew@616 has a question about a missing mutant: “No news about Emma Frost in All New, All Different Marvel. She is absent in all teasers. Will she play a role in All New, All Different Marvel?
Alonso: I think Emma’s dead, right…?
And we’ll close out the week with Spidey616 (no relation to drew@616, I’m pretty sure) who states, “Know a crossover between the ‘Squirrel Girl’ and ‘Howard the Duck’ titles has already been revealed, but a recent issue of ‘Howard’ teased the involvement of the Silver Surfer as well. Does this mean the ‘Silver Surfer’ title will also be part of the crossover, more importantly does it mean we can expect Slott/Allred’s ‘Silver Surfer’ title to continue post-‘Secret Wars’?
Alonso: Can’t say. “Secret Wars” isn’t over yet.
Have some questions for Marvel’s AXEL-IN-CHARGE? Please visit the AXEL-IN-CHARGE Q&A thread in CBR’s Marvel Comics community. It’s the dedicated thread that CBR will pull questions for next week’s installment of our weekly fan-supported question-and-answer column! Do it to it!
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