Do You Fondue? Kathryn Immonen And Rich Ellis Talk Peggy Carter And ‘Operation S.I.N.’ [Interview] [NYCC]
Brought to the screen by Hayley Atwell in the 2011 Marvel Studios movie Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter has experienced a major leap in prominence among Marvel’s vast world of characters. She’ll soon be the first female character to lead a live action Marvel Studios adaptation with Agent Carter debuting on ABC in January — and she’ll simultaneously star in her own mini-series from Marvel Comics.
As announced at New York Comic-Con on Saturday, Peggy will be joined by Howard Carter and the mysterious Woodrow McCord in the five issue Original Sin prequel series Operation S.I.N., set in the weird world of the Marvel Universe of the 1950s. ComicsAlliance spoke to writer Kathryn Immonen and artist Rich Ellis to find out more about the series and their vision of Peggy.
ComicsAlliance: As soon as I saw the solicitation for this series, I excitedly categorized it in my brain as a Peggy Carter book. Is that a fair description?
Kathryn Immonen: More than fair. Egalitarian even!
Rich Ellis: I’m not sure what egalitarian means, but I’ve been drawing Peggy on every page and no one has told me to stop so far.
CA: How similar is your version of Peggy to the one audiences have come to know from the movies?
KI: As much as I think we’re all aware that the comics universe and the movie universe are two discrete objects, cognitive dissonance is a lousy objective. One thing both incarnations certainly have in common is that they have gained a lot of traction in the absence of much material. So, really, while maybe there’s some divergence in the back story, Peggy’s spirit, elan and skill with a shiv are things that movie Peg and comic Peg — possibly Peg’s everywhere — absolutely share.
RE: Both version of Peg are certified badass women with a history of punching Nazis right in the kisser. Whether you’re more familiar with the movies or the comics, this book has something for you!
CA: The story ties in to the events of Original Sin and the story of Nick Fury’s predecessor as “the man on the wall”, Woodrow McCord. Do you have much freedom to go digging around in the prehistory of the Marvel Universe?
KI: The sliding timeline can make things a little challenging, but you will be seeing a couple of characters just before they really come into their powers. And Howard has the unusual opportunity to talk future Dad to future Dad.
RE: Kathryn has some pretty great plans. I keep trying to talk her and [editor] Jon Moisan into having Gorilla-Man show up and have an arm-wrestling match with Woody, after which they get matching bro tattoos and start a detective agency in Malibu. But apparently that’s “ridiculous.”
CA: This story is set before superheroes became a common sight in the Marvel Universe. What sort of tone and look should we expect?
KI: I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “alien action spy adventure.”
RE: I haven’t drawn any aliens yet, but there have been plenty of explosions and machine gun sound effects.
CA: What influences come into play when telling a story set in the Marvel Universe of the 1950s?
RE: Speaking from an artistic side, my mind goes to Jack Kirby, Johnny Craig, John Romita Sr., Wally Wood, and a bunch of others. To be honest I’ve just been poring over the newest EC Collected Artist edition.
KI: Any kind of period piece has the potential to turn itself into a massive rabbit hole. And with this place and time period in particular, there’s just so much craziness that it’s tempting to try and include everything. But ultimately, you have to kind of turn your back on it to varying degrees. Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields) has said something along the lines of, “That’s what happens… but what’s it about?” Our story is about things like ideals versus ideologies, about trying to maintain the optimism of science in the nuclear age, about how hard Peggy can punch (really hard). Jon and I need to stop sending each other links to genuine Soviet alien conspiracy-or-ARE-THEY photographs.
Jon Moisan: I will never stop sending alien conspiracy photos! Sooner or later one of them has to be real.
CA: Peggy and Howard have strong ties to present day Marvel characters. Can you tease any other characters who might play a similar role?
KI: Our American crew essentially will meet their Soviet analogues and I think the parallels we’re drawing may be a little surprising. Also, I love a talking animal.
RE: I stand by my previously mentioned interest in changing the story into a bromance between Woody and Gorilla Man. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if I can bring the rest of the team on board.
CA: In the movies, Peggy and Howard have been known to share fondue. Will there be any fondue tension between them in the comics?’
KI: Fondue’s pretty progressive at this point in time. Also, I now have ‘fondue tension’ written on a big post-it note stuck to the wall.
RE: That sounds delicious!