Exclusive: Al Ewing talks Mighty Avengers: diversity, Infinity and the return of -- Baby Cage!
The main Avengers team has left for the stars to join others in battling the threat of the Builders. So who is left to defend the Earth when Thanos’ troops come a’callin’?
Yep, the de facto leader of the former New Avengers, Luke Cage, is back in action in Marvel Comics’ Mighty Avengers, arriving in stores next month. And the former Power Man will be leading a very different, and should we say very diverse, group of Assemblers.
To learn what part these brave heroes play in Infinity and if we will ever see Baby Cage again, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer spoke exclusively to writer Al Ewing.
Cosmic Book News: Al, is Mighty Avengers something you pitched or was it already a part of the great Infinity plan?
Al Ewing: It was already part of the plan for Infinity. Tom Brevoort asked me if I wanted to do something with this team, and asked me to come up with a pitch based around his idea of the Mighty Avengers being the people who defended Earth from Thanos while the other Avengers were off in space. I felt like there was a niche to be filled in terms of helping people at ground level - away from the epic cosmic forces or the top-secret above-government missions. Essentially following a more traditional superhero model of just helping people in the community who needed it. That's roughly what I pitched, and after a bit of tinkering, it ended up in a form everybody was happy with and here we are.
Al Ewing: I think it's something we should be looking for from everybody in the future, to be honest, in every medium and genre.
Al Ewing: Ronin is fun. Blue Marvel's a fascinating character as well, and I enjoy writing Monica. I'm not really worried about writing anyone, to be honest -- if any worry is creeping in, it's that I won't have room to include characters who really should be included but aren't on the team, like Jess and Danny. I really don't want to sideline those guys, but at the same time it's not The Luke Cage Show -- there are other people on the team who need the spotlight more. So it's just a case of making sure there's more than enough panel time to go around.
Al Ewing: Thanos' Lieutenants are in NYC -- it being the home city of the Avengers -- looking to find a certain secret something for Thanos. As part of this job, they're going to kill everything they find, in a number of nasty ways, and the only thing standing between them and that goal are the Mighty Avengers.
Al Ewing: There will be shake-ups. There will be new members. Coming out of Infinity, Luke has an idea of what the Avengers should be, and essentially sets up his own version -- not to compete with Tony's Avengers World, but to work in the places he maybe feels are too low on the radar for such an epic-scale team to see properly. That leads the new team into some epic confrontations of their own, but the focus is always on helping people who need it.
Al Ewing: Oh, I hope so! In fact, if too long goes by without a glimpse of Danielle, I'll actively shoehorn her in. She'll be about eighteen months by now, if I've got my Marvel Time right, so judging by my painstaking research into friends' babies she'll be toddling about a lot, giving people inquisitive stares and watching Baby Jake. Do they have Baby Jake in the U.S.?
Al Ewing: What with the Spider-bots and Spiderlings, and Spidey's cameras everywhere, you can't sneeze in New York without Spider-Man coming along to have a go at you. So it makes sense that he'd be one of those first on the scene when the Thanos forces attack NYC. From there, he's not going to sit back and watch while a new superteam sets up shop in "his" city -- he's going to want to be a part of it, maybe even run it. Whether Luke puts up with that nonsense is another matter.
Al Ewing: In terms of his power levels -- he's very powerful, but he's not way out in front of other people on the team. I'd say Monica is probably more powerful in terms of what she can do, and then you have people like Vic who haven't really found their top end yet. As to how he fits in -- he's on the team because he believes in what Luke is doing and what his aims are, and, like Luke, he has strong reservations about Tony's approach. That said, he's not going to agree with Luke about everything -- he's of a different generation, with a very different outlook, and they're definitely going to clash when it comes to things like their individual pasts.
Al Ewing: Greg's got a very solid style, a kind of glam realism that works nicely with this book -- he really sells the impacts and the fight scenes. It's important that this book hits the ground running and really dazzles, and Greg's art helps to achieve that. Working Marvel-style with him means he's able to bring his own storytelling sensibility in, which hopefully makes for a more organic experience. I think it does.
Al Ewing: There are some future projects I just can't talk about yet, but September is a good month for me -- there's Mighty Avengers coming out, an Avengers Assemble issue that's going to be fantastic, and Damnation Station coming back to 2000AD after a long time away. Meanwhile, I'm working on Mars Attacks Judge Dredd for IDW, and doing a meaty Dredd arc for the Judge Dredd Megazine, in which we get the long-delayed final face-off between Dredd, Deller and The Organisation. And my new novel, The Fictional Man, is still available in bookshops and online.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Al Ewing for taking time out of his schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Marvel’s own James Viscardi who helped make this interview possible.
“Mighty Avengers” #1 hits shelves September 11th!