Al Ewing Talks Sam Wilson And “Season 2″ With ‘Captain America & The Mighty Avengers’
Mighty Avengers is getting a new #1 and a new title this November. At the Avengers NOW panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, Marvel announced that the series will relaunch as Captain America & The Mighty Avengers — with former Falcon Sam Wilson taking point as the new Captain America. That means a second title series for Wilson’s Cap, and a second chance for readers to discover the book.
Al Ewing continues as writer, with former Captain America artist Luke Ross taking over as regular series artist. ComicsAlliance spoke to Ewing to find out why the book is relaunching, how he plans to handle Sam’s promotion, and what it means to write the only Avengers book with a predominantly non-white team.
ComicsAlliance; Let’s start by addressing an obvious question; it’s been less than a year since the last version of Mighty Avengers launched. I’m glad Marvel continues to support the book and these heroes, but why relaunch it now?
Al Ewing: I’ve had the first fourteen issues in my mind as a block for some time — #14 was always going to be the big climax of the Deathwalkers story that’s been building since issue #1. Issue #15 was going to be Falcon-centric even back before I heard the news about Sam’s new role, I think — when I heard he was taking over the Captain America spot, it became natural to make #15 about that. So it was already the start of ‘Season 2′ of the book, and very Cap-heavy — so it didn’t feel like a huge leap when Tom suggested we relaunch the book.
CA: Having the new Captain America head the team should be a big boost to the book’s profile. How do you see Sam Wilson adjusting to his new role?
AE: It’s a big adjustment. Captain America is unique among the Marvel heroes in terms of his public profile — I think I said somewhere else that I see it as the highest office in superherodom. So all eyes are going to be on Sam, and not all those eyes are going to be cheering him on. His every move is going to be scrutinized by the media, and he’s going to have to learn to deal with that. But if anyone’s up to new pressures and new challenges, Sam Wilson is — I’ve been writing him as the consummate super hero from the beginning, and that’s not going to change.
CA: How much can you tell us about the rest of Sam’s team? Are there going to be many changes?
AE: Not many. I’m planning on making the distinction a little more concrete between the ‘field team’ and the ‘support staff’, so some of the current Mighty Avengers team might be falling back into support roles, but I don’t think there’s going to be a major shake-up. That said — Spidey’s back on the team! For the first time ever, given that it’s Peter Parker in control now. I’m looking forward to writing him — as fun as Otto was to write, I have a feeling Peter will be even more so.
CA: Adam Brashear, the Blue Marvel, is both a relatively new addition to the Marvel Universe and, retrospectively, a pretty major figure. Can you talk about your vision of that character and what you’d like to achieve with him?
AE: I don’t know if ‘vision’ is the right word — it feels a bit heavy for what’s basically some ideas — but when [editor] Tom [Brevoort] suggested him for the team, I did end up getting really into him. He struck me, when I read Kevin Grevioux’ original series, as quite a sad, stoic figure — someone who’s suffered tragedy in his life, who doesn’t know if he’s always been in the right — and that’s what grabbed me, this character who has awesome levels of power and strength in both his civilian and superhero identities, and sometimes it’s still not enough.
Also — I like weird science, and I wanted to play with how other genres fit into a superhero universe, and how easily you can be forgotten by history and science if your face doesn’t fit. I suppose, really, I’d just like to see him get more use elsewhere. I feel like the Marvel Universe could really benefit from a bit more Adam Brashear.
CA: The Mighty Avengers have been called the minority Avengers team. How do you feel about that label?
AE: I’m glad we’ve got a reasonably diverse cast of characters — although that feels like it should come as standard in a genre comic at this point. If we’re bringing in and holding onto readers who’ve felt unrepresented by the superhero genre in the past, and giving our audience the best Avengers comic we can into the bargain, then we’re doing okay — but there’s always more that can be achieved, both on and off the page. We can always do better, and we should be expected to.
CA: I really like how you’ve tapped into some of the wilder corners of the Marvel Universe in your first run on Mighty Avengers, from arcane mysticism to weird science. Where are you’re taking the series next? What’s the vibe?
AE: The vibe is… bigger. Louder. More. We’re established now — we can hit a little harder and go a little crazier. And once you read #13 and #14, you’ll see we’re already pretty crazy. It’s a slam-bang finish for the ages, true believer.
And I do want to actually have the Mighty Avengers answer the occasional hotline call this time round! That’s my one regret — that I set up this dynamic and we got through a whole ‘season’ without it seeing much use.