Marvel NOW! Gets Young & Hungry with "Champions" and the New "Iron Man"

A lot of story left to be told there. On Thursday, readers got the details of the long-teased "Death of X" storyline, which is now known to take place in the gap after "Secret Wars." X-Men fans have been in a bit of paranoid state since the "Death of X" teasers started coming out -- is this a story they should be dreading or looking forward to?

Alonso: Both. After "Secret Wars," readers returned to a Marvel Universe in which mutants and Inhumans were locked in a Cold War, but without the facts of how they got there. We know that Cyclops died in a crusade against the Inhumans, leaving mutantkind more hated than ever, but that's it. "Death of X" fills in the blanks: What did Cyclops do? What happened to Emma Frost? What role did the Inhumans play in the mutants' predicament? And over the course of the story, readers -- and Inhumans and X-Men -- will discover that not everything is as it seems, which will fuel stories we have planned for further down the line.

At the very least it sounds like a chance for X-fans to see X-Men characters who have been off the radar.

Alonso: Yeah, you'll see a lot of folks who've been off the radar, and you'll learn why.

You mentioned the creative team -- Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire are co-writing, representing Inhumans and mutants, respectively, but it's illustrated by Aaron Kuder, who people primarily know from his work at DC Comics as of late, specifically "Action Comics." What brought him to this series -- and this side of the aisle?

Alonso: Aaron's a superstar-level artist just waiting to be crowned as such -- he just needed the right platform. And now that he's back over at Marvel, we've got him on the right platform -- just wait until you see these "Death of X" pages!

There's also a new "Great Lakes Avengers" title from writer Zac Gorman and artist Will Robson, which sure seems to fit in the tradition of the more humorous Marvel titles the publisher has cultivated in the past couple of years. Do you see "Great Lakes Avengers" as a further evolution of Marvel in that regard?

Alonso: Without a doubt. We've had a lot of success with books that veer hard into humor, but don't hit the same notes. This series will definitely hit different notes. Just take a look roster of characters for starters. [Laughs] "Great Lakes Avengers" is kinda the love child of "Deadpool" and "Unbeatable Squirrel Girl." It's a weird book about weird characters doing their best with what they've been given. In many ways, the closest parallel to it might be some of Steve Gerber's offbeat work in the 1970s.

This week also brought the announcement of "Unworthy Thor" from Jason Aaron and Olivier Coipel. Why was now the right time to bring Thor Odinson back into a starring role? And given that Jane Foster remains "the" Thor in the Marvel Universe, how does Marvel make sure she doesn't get overshadowed with the classic Thor back in the mix?

Alonso: You know, [Editor] Wil Moss has a lot to say about this, so I'm going to turn the mic over to him...

Wil Moss: Let me address that last question first: Jane Foster is and will continue to be the only Thor in the Marvel Universe. We might be calling this new series "The Unworthy Thor," but he's still only going by Odinson, he is still no longer Thor. That name belongs to Jane now.

And hey, Jane's "Thor" series ("Thor" and "Mighty Thor") have always sold better than when Odinson was still Thor, so we're not too worried about "Mighty" being able to hold its own against "Unworthy." People really love Jane as Thor!

Plus, Jason and artist Russell Dauterman have some big, crazy stuff in store for Jane in "Mighty" over the next few months. We're not quite ready to say exactly what just yet, but get ready for some insane Mjolnir-related surprises and an operatic-level conflict with a corner of the Marvel Universe that this Thor has never tussled with before.

As for Odinson and why now was the right time to get back to him, well, as with all things Thor-related since the launch of "Thor: God of Thunder" a few years back, Odinson coming back now is just the latest chapter in Jason's epic Thor story that he's telling. Odinson's been missing ever since the end of "Secret Wars," and now that the suspense has built for a few months about where he's been, Jason's ready to tell that story. And oh what a story it is...

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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