DeConnick on AVENGERS ASSEMBLE: It's Not All Naked Avengers
But things are getting considerably darker in the current two-issue arc that starts with Avengers Assemble #12 (on sale now), focusing on Black Widow and illustrated by Pete Woods. As DeConnick explains, Black Widow isn't a silly character — though a bickering Spider-Woman and Hawkeye are along for the ride — and the plot delves into some serious territory (lizard people are also involved).
Newsarama talked with DeConnick to learn more about the story and the future of Avengers Assemble.Update: Thanks to USA Today, we know a big part of that future: "The Enemy Within," a five-part crossover between Avengers Assemble and Captain Marvel, both written by DeConnick, starting in May. It starts with a one-shot that month titled Avengers: The Enemy Within (illustrated by Scott Hepburn), and deals both with Carol Danvers' recenetly discovered brain lesion, and the return of a Mar-Vell villain. "She needs a good arch-enemy," DeConnick told USA Today. "I wanted someone who could be a real threat to her, a real opposite number. And I found somebody who fits the bill."
Kelly Sue DeConnick: My pitch used a musical metaphor: If Hickman's Avengers titles are prog rock, then this is AC/DC. Three-minute guitar riffs, in and out. Get you pumped up. Fun.
It's not all naked Avengers, and in fact the next arc is significantly darker. It's a Black Widow thing, and Black Widow's just not silly. Jess and Clint are there to lighten things up a little bit, but it's Nat's story.
Nrama: And that's a two-issue arc?
DeConnick: Yeah. 40 pages for all of that. There was a point where I questioned that decision.
Nrama: And based on the cover to #13, it also involves Black Widow turning into a lizard person.
DeConnick: Oh, did I forget to mention the lizard people?
Nrama: So for Avengers Assemble, are you pretty much getting to pick and choose which Avengers you want to use?
DeConnick: I am! It's pretty cool. Everyone keeps asking me who my cast is. I'm like, "No, for real, my cast is the Avengers." There's a big poster that has all of the Avengers on it that hangs in Bendis's basement. I kind of could go over there and throw darts at it, and use that if I wanted to.
It throws people off who just don't think of books that way. There's also this confusion that's like, "Oh, so this is going to be a series of unrelated arcs." No, it's going to be a series of self-contained arcs that then contribute to larger stories. There may be an aspect of the first and second arcs that get wrapped up in the fourth arc. Ideally, you can read them alone and enjoy them alone, but if you want to see them as pieces of a quilt, you can.
#13 cover.Nrama: So you are indeed working a few arcs down the road — some may have been confused since there wasn't an Avengers Assemble issue by you solicited for April.
DeConnick: Two things: I am not a fast writer, and I had some family obligations come up that I had to attend to.
One of the things that Tom offered was that we would take the Age of Ultron issues off my plate, and find another writer for those. And they found Al Ewing, who is a very nice man, and wrote me a really lovely note the other day about it. I haven't read his script, but I have seen the covers, and chatted with him a bit. It looks extraordinary, so I'm really looking forward to reading it.
Nrama: And it's not just two Marvel ongoings you've been working on, it's also getting Pretty Deadly going at Image, and you had the Ghost miniseries at Dark Horse. That's a significant workload.
#14.AU cover.DeConnick: Yeah. And there's one other project that's ramping up that's not announced. Pretty Deadly's going, but I need to get the machinery turning a little faster, which is all entirely on me.
I've been thinking a lot about my process recently, and the dynamics of my schedule and whatnot. I think I'm getting better. I know I'm getting faster. The trick is getting faster and not sacrificing quality.
Nrama: This is likely something that you've already sick of discussing, but are you officially the first female ongoing Avengers writer?
DeConnick: I've heard that. I think somebody said they confirmed it. I'm not really sure. The person who would really know is Tom Brevoort, and Tom doesn't care. I don't mean that in a jerky way. It was brought up in an interview, and Tom was just not interested. "That may be the case, but that's not why I hired her." Which I get, and I appreciate. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed working with him. He’s great.
#14.AU variant cover.Nrama: It is tricky, because on one hand, if you don't talk about these things, it might not get any better, and if you do harp on it, creators could get pigeon-holed. But there really aren't a lot of females writing superhero comic books right now.
DeConnick: Totally. It's a thing. It's so weird, because I don't want journalists to feel like they're walking through a minefield to talk about it. I go back and forth. The virulent feminist in me wants to talk about it, and wants to talk about culturally, why that's the case.
People tell me things that they have heard said in comic book stores that I'm just like, "Really? In 2013?" It just seems shocking to me. There are people who seem to think that a comic book by a woman is going to be all singing into hairbrushes. I sort of wonder, "Have you actually met a woman?"
Sometimes the calls are coming from inside the house. One of the ugliest bits of sexism that I have encountered in my comic book career has come from another woman. Delightful, let me tell you. And absolutely not one of my peers, thank god.
It is a real thing. At the same time, I don't want to become "the lady that writes the lady books." And I don’t want to become "the lady who only talks about lady issues."
But it’s very odd; this idea that somehow, as a woman, I can't project beyond what it is to be a woman. No one ever said, "Brian Bendis, how could you possibly write a book about Spider-Woman, when you do not have pheromone powers, or breasts?" I manage somehow to write Norman Osborn without being pathological.
Or maybe I didn’t…
Dun dun DUUUUUUUUN.
I can't stop with the dun dun DUUUUUUUN, man. I'm sorry.More from Newsarama:
- 10 Biggest MARVEL Characters Not in a Movie (Yet)
- CAPTAIN MARVEL Keeps Her Feet on The Ground in New Arc
- NEW AVENGERS a 'Dream Job' for Jonathan Hickman