Kelly Sue DeConnick is the writer of both Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble, and Captain Marvel is an Avenger who has been featured in the Avengers Assemble ensemble. So it's not entirely surprising that the books are crossing over starting this week, with the one-shot Avengers: The Enemy Within, on sale now.
Even though "The Enemy Within" features several prominent Avengers characters, DeConnick tells us that the story zeroes in on Carol Danvers, who has been having a hard time in her solo series as of late. Earlier this year in Captain Marvel #9, she was diagnosed with a lesion in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of her brain, meaning that she could no longer fly — a major setback for a pilot with the superpower of flight. She's also got a new nemesis looming in the shape of The Magnetron, making it an apt time to get some help from Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
We talked with DeConnick about "The Enemy Within" — which continues in June's Avengers Assemble #16 (part two) and Captain Marvel #13 (part three), before wrapping in July with Avengers Assemble #17 (part four) and Captain Marvel #14 (part five)— and the upcoming Infinity tie-ins in to both Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble, starting in August.
Newsarama: Kelly Sue, a crossover between Avengers Assemble and Captain Marvel seems like a natural move for several readily apparent reasons — was it always a goal, however potentially vague, since you started on Avengers Assemble? And what's it been like being in the fairly unique position of writing your own five-part event?
Kelly Sue DeConnick: It was not always a goal — not one of mine, anyway. Wacker suggested it and suddenly it seemed like the most obvious thing in the world.
To the second question there… I don't know. I feel like I should channel Carol and answer this with swagger and bravado, but the truth is I'm not Carol, I'm me and while new is exciting! it's also terriying! and I've taken up nervous eating.
Next time you see me I will have gained 50 pounds and have a chocolate mustache.
Though… I also started CrossFit two weeks ago. So maybe it'll be 50 pounds of muscle and a chocolate mustache.
That'll be hot.
Nrama: Given the events that it's spinning out of, and the title "The Enemy Within" itself, it feels on one level that it might be somewhat more of a character-focused, internal struggle than typical superhero fare. But based on upcoming solicitations, it looks like we're dealing with Brood, Kree, supervillains and other elements endemic to Marvel crossovers. How do you describe the overall tone of "The Enemy Within"?
Nrama: Since you are controlling both sides of this crossover (and it seems like a pretty linear, tightly-knit affair) was it important to you to make the Captain Marvel parts feel distinct from the Avengers Assemble parts, or is it pretty fluid from one chapter to the next?
DeConnick: I think — and I could be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure I'm not — I think every significant rewrite I've had to do was to make sure the books never wavered from being Carol-driven.
You're correct in your observation that I tend to be drawn to those character moments — sometimes I'm so interested in the supporting cast I can weight their stories too heavily. There are two new characters introduced in EW that I quickly became enamored of writing, and editorial had to rein me in so that Carol remained the focus.
Nrama: To that end: Artists Scott Hepburn and Matteo Buffagini are drawing the story in Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble, respectively. What can you say about how they're bringing "The Enemy Within" to visual life?
DeConnick: They're a fascinating pair — they're almost opposites, honestly, but they pair beautifully. Scott brings a grit to it — his ink washes are something I love. Everything has weight, mass, effort, you know? He does a tremendous job of getting across Carol's desperation — her fear and her determination to overcome it. Matteo, on the other hand, has this incredibly elegant line that reminds us how good the Avengers are. There's a big battle in Avengers Assemble #16 that is incredibly kinetic. In lesser hands it could have been a dust up, but Matteo turns it into almost a dance. There's a grace to his line.
Matteo's Captain Marvel is also stunningly beautiful. Her physique reminds me a little of something Ming Doyle would do.
Nrama: Of course, this is an important story for Carol Danvers — but what other characters play an important role? The preview for this week's issue features Spider-Woman offering some advice, so presumably she's in the mix.
DeConnick: She is, indeed. Their friendship is central to the struggle, and will be profoundly affected by the outcome.
Banner has some good moments, as does Hawkeye. Fans of Captain Marvel will also be pleased to know Wendy Kawasaki brings her A-game.
Oh, and I got to write Abigail Brand — which was a thing I loved.
Nrama: It's been 10 months since Captain Marvel #1 was released, and Carol Danvers has seemed to really increase in stature along with her new role. How much have you enjoyed watching that unfold, and do you see "The Enemy Within" — a five-part crossover with her in the lead — as an important step in that process?
DeConnick: Oh, Albert. You're asking me big-picture questions here. I can't play chess because I can't see the whole board all at once.
All I can tell you is this one particular pawn in front of me doesn't stand a chance.
Nrama: Speaking of upcoming solicitations, which we were a few questions ago: They mention "Magnitron" quite a bit. What, if anything, can you say about this threat, and is it possibly (probably?) related to the Psyche-Magnitron, which gave Carol her powers way back when?
DeConnick: You are correct. Only now it's "The Magnetron" and it's a dude.
So… figure the Psyche-Magnetron was left on Earth by the Kree because it was too dangerous to have on their home planet…
Now figure that force personified and pissed off.
Nrama: And let's just leap way far forward into the future and ask about the upcoming Avengers Assemble tie-in to Infinity. The series has occupied a definite niche in the Avengers line so far — what's the Avengers Assemble take on an Avengers-in-space story? And how great is Barry Kitson, who's drawing the Assemble issues?
DeConnick: We're expanding on an event from [Jonathan Hickman]'s book and breaking out over four issues — two in Captain Marvel and two in Avengers Assemble, so we can see all the details from the perspective of two different teams.
And Kitson is so great I'm utterly and completely intimidated.