New X-Men Editorial Era, Garth Ennis' Marvel Return

Fridays on CBR mean Axel's In Charge.

Welcome to MARVEL A-I-C: AXEL-IN-CHARGE, CBR's regular interview feature with Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso!

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!

After a week away, Alonso returns to the column -- and not only is he clearly pleased that his Golden State Warriors have made it to the NBA Finals, he also confirms that Marvel veteran Mark Paniccia is indeed now Senior Editor of the X-Men line, joined on those books by X-perienced X-Men Editor Daniel Ketchum. Alonso discusses what makes the pair right for the X-Men line, and also gives his thoughts on some of the latest "Secret Wars"-related launches -- which include this week's debuts of "Old Man Logan," "Where Monsters Dwell" and "Infinity Gauntlet." Plus, Alonso talks the freshly announced "Deadpool vs. Thanos" and answers your questions, straight from the CBR Community.

Albert Ching: Alright, Axel, let's hear it -- what's your official prediction for the NBA Finals, with your Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Axel Alonso: Warriors in 7. I'm attending Game 2 in Oakland. I've been waiting for this since I was 6. I've got floor seats and I'm going to wear my lucky shirt.

Moving back to Marvel Comics -- "Old Man Logan" #1 debuted this week, and longtime Marvel editor Mark Paniccia is listed in the credits. Given that, can you confirm he is indeed the new X-Men Senior Editor?

Alonso: Yes, he is. And Mark will be working very closely with Editor Daniel Ketchum, who is returning to the X-office, where he belongs, so Mark will have a very capable Lieutenant working with him.

I wanted to get your take on what made Paniccia the right fit for the role -- he seems like a natural choice, given his experience; he's been at Marvel for a decade. But for you, what made him the right person to lead this line of books?

Alonso: It was a combination of things. Mark's a veteran editor who's never edited X-Men before. With the upcoming demise of the Ultimate Universe, he has some extra bandwidth... but not quite enough to handle the entire X-Men line on his own. That's why we shifted Daniel -- who is a full Editor -- over to work in Mark's office. Daniel assisted me for a couple years so I know he's got game, he worked his way up to Editor with great work, and he's very experienced with the X-Men. This is a chance for him to shine. I really like what Mark and Daniel are up to. It's been a very productive few weeks.

Bendis Explains Importance of "Old Man Logan" to "Secret Wars," Marvel Universe

Let's talk about a few of the "Secret Wars" books that have been coming out in full force over the past couple weeks -- and start with the aforementioned "Old Man Logan" #1. It's such a unique and stylish first issue with what Andrea Sorrentino is doing on art, and also feels like a little bit of a different vibe than we've seen from Brian Michael Bendis lately. What do you like about the statement that the creative team made with this issue?

Alonso: We wanted "Old Man Logan" to be huge; I mean, there were some big shoes to fill. And "Secret Wars" presented us with the perfect platform to launch a new series that would bring him onto Battleworld and into the Marvel Universe. Brian had a great story to tell and Sorrentino was kind of a no-brainer for the book because his style is so distinct. These two have put together a fantastic neo-noir Spaghetti Western that builds on what was laid down by Mark [Millar] and Steve [McNiven].

And it's the return of Wolverine! Of sorts.

Alonso: Exactly. Start measuring him for Spandex.

Garth Ennis Reveals "Where Monsters Dwell" During Marvel's "Secret Wars"

Also this week was the start of "Where Monsters Dwell," by a writer you're very familiar with since back in the Vertigo days -- Garth Ennis -- and drawn by Russ Braun. You've got lot of history with Garth, and this is his first Marvel work in a couple years.

Alonso: Since [2012-2013's] "Fury MAX."

For you personally, what has you excited about what he's doing with this book? It's a bit of a different thing for Marvel and for "Secret Wars."

Alonso: Garth isn't the kind of guy that you coerce into writing something. Either he's got a story to tell, or he doesn't. There's no point in pressing. In this instance, "Secret Wars" provided a blank canvas for his imagination and he actually came up with a story that he really wanted to write. Battleworld gave him the opportunity to mix dinosaurs and cavemen into a pulpy stew. It's great to see Garth laying down building blocks for the Marvel Universe.

Duggan Discusses Bringing New Novas, Thanos to "Secret Wars" in "Infinity Gauntlet"

Another from this week is "Infinity Gauntlet" #1, which is not what you would necessarily expect from a book with that title. Straight from the opening, it's clearly a lot different than that original story. Also notably, it's the second time at Marvel readers have seen Dustin Weaver branch out into writing as well as drawing, as he's co-writing here with Gerry Duggan. How pleased are you with the work they're doing on this different type of story?

Alonso: I think it's great. "Infinity Gantlet" #1 is obviously a crazy departure from what we're used to seeing under that logo. The creative team is pushing each other into places neither of them would have gone otherwise and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Dustin has brought so much crazy imagination to the table, he's clearly inspired and at the top of his game, and Gerry's got another opportunity to show his versatility and incredible character work. That's what "Secret Wars" is all about: providing a big, white canvas for creators to paint their section of the larger tapestry.

We're talking about series that are just starting, but this week also saw the last issue of "Iron Fist: The Living Weapon," a book you've been very enthusiastic about over the past year. Do you have any thoughts you'd like to share about what that series did in its 12-issue run -- and any word on where we might see Kaare Andrews next at Marvel?

Alonso: I think Kaare is one of the most talented writer/artists out there. He really brought a lot to the Iron Fist mythology. He dug deep into the origin story, and spun an epic tale that, among other things, leveled K'un-Lun and planted the seeds for its rebirth. Kaare paid homage to the past -- and you won't find a bigger fan of "Marvel Premiere Edition" #15 [the first appearance and origin of Iron Fist] than me -- and laid the foundation for the future of the character and his world. There's that little girl -- how does she factor into the future?

Oh -- and I'm happy to announce that Kaare is hard at work on another project right now. It's another Kaare Kyle Andrews production, soup to nuts, that's going to blow you away. And it's all possible because of "Secret Wars."

EXCLUSIVE: Seeley Pits "Deadpool vs. Thanos" in "Very Twisted" New Series

"Deadpool vs. Thanos" -- as first teased, by you, via action figures on Twitter a couple months back -- was announced officially earlier today on CBR. Cullen Bunn has been writing a lot of these Deadpool miniseries, and of course Duggan and Brian Posehn had been on the ongoing series, but this time it's Tim Seeley taking on Deadpool writing duties. What can you share about what fans are in for with this one?

Alonso: Every time we'd peruse our sales charts, two characters topped the list for collected editions and reorders: Deadpool and Thanos. So we'd started joking, "Hey, we should do 'Deadpool vs. Thanos!'" And [Editor] Jordan D. White took it seriously and here we are.

Two very different characters to be leading those collected edition sales charts.

Alonso: They both resonate with readers, and they're an interesting combo. You'll see exactly how interesting when you read it. Tim Seeley has a great passion for both characters -- he loves exploring the Marvel Cosmic Universe, and Deadpool lets him do it in that irreverent, fourth wall-breaking way that only Deadpool can. Throw in some great visuals from Elmo Bondoc and killer covers by Tradd Moore, and this is one grudge match you're not going to want to miss.

Let's wrap with some fan questions from the CBR Community -- Cmbmool asks, "Will the original Nick Fury Make an appearance during 'Secret Wars?'"

Alonso: Wait and see. But O.G. Fury will be in one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary issues in September, as well as "S.H.I.E.L.D." #9.

And another one from Cmbmool, this time looking towards the far, post-"Secret Wars" future. "Will every Marvel title, even those not tying into the 'Secret Wars' event, join the 8 months jump when 'Secret Wars' ends?"

Alonso: Yes.

Finally, HouseFrost asks, "Any plans for the Avengers Arena/Undercover characters post-'Secret Wars'?"

Alonso: Not currently. But you never know where individual characters might show up.

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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