On January 1, 2014 Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy are getting a new recruit, and he’s a legend: Kevin Maguire.
After a very public announcement that he’d been removed from DC’s set-in-the-future series Justice League 3000, Maguire was quickly flooded with offers for other projects – including one from Marvel. According to Maguire, it was an open-door offer by Marvel Senior Editor Stephen Wacker for virtually his pick of any book, and he chose Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians of the Galaxy #10 sees Maguire teaming with Brian Michael Bendis to document another team-up – Angela and Gamora – to, as Marvel puts it, “go hunting.” Maguire’s work on this issue was so well-received by the publisher that he’s already been announced as doing Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 early next year, with the possibility of more Marvel work afterwards. Newsarama spoke with Maguire about joining Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy crew, as well as the circumstances that got him here.
Newsarama: Kevin, I’m really excited to see you on this – so what do you think of the Guardians of the Galaxy as a team and a title?
Kevin Maguire: Thanks. Well, it's a fast paced cosmic adventure with a quirky cast of characters and that's exactly the kind of book I've been looking to do. Steve Wacker offered me a fill-in issue of most of the books he does and, for me, it was a no brainer. Had to be Guardians of the Galaxy.
Nrama: This is your first time working with Brian Michael Bendis after years of talking about it, according to him. You’ve worked with many of the greats, so how’s it been making comics out of Bendis’ scripts?
Maguire: Like all the best professionals, he gives the artist exactly what he needs. Not just the nuts and bolts of a scene but the context as well, what the action means to the character. I'm looking forward to doing more work with him.
Nrama: All fans have seen so far of your take on the Guardians is that great cover Marvel has put out (well, and the art we're debuting). What can fans like myself look forward to when the issue comes out on January 1st?
Maguire: "Comes out on January 1st"? Way to plug, my friend! You can expect lots and lots of Angela and Gamora kicking ass. There will be a pretty decent body count by the time the story's over. And a battle between Gamora and one of the finest creations in Marvel history. It's pretty much a stand-alone adventure involving them.
Nrama: You have quite a track record of working on super teams – how do you think Guardians of the Galaxy sizes up compared to the likes of the Justice League, the Teen Titans, Defenders, X-Men and others?
Maguire: Well, it's the weird one, isn't it? I don't think any of those other titles have a tree and a raccoon as main characters. Other than that, it's kind of tough to say. I love working with ensembles and each one has its own unique blend.
Nrama: This opportunity to do Guardians of the Galaxy came as a result of DC pulling you from doing Justice League 3000. Now that some time has passed, how do you feel about that situation and what it’s led to you for you?
Maguire: Well, it's humiliating to be fired from a book, but it's a unique brand of humiliation for me to be fired from a Keith Giffen/ J.M. DeMatteis Justice League book. Before it even came out! It's like organizing a Three Stooges reunion, then firing Curly. It was a weird and perplexing time. But, the truth is, I'm kind of numb to it at this point. It is what it is. Projects come and go. I'm extremely happy where I landed. I'm in no position to whine or complain.
Nrama: At the time you said you had other DC projects in the works – so are you playing the field a bit more now, doing work for Marvel, DC and potentially others?
Maguire: Honestly, I don't see myself doing any work for DC any time soon. I've devoted the lion's share of my 27 year career to them. That's probably more than enough. I have no ill will towards them and I genuinely like the people there, but I'm looking forward to working elsewhere. I'd be crazy not to explore any opportunities at Marvel. I've received some generous open ended offers from Dark Horse and Valiant. I've got an idea for a creator-owned series I'd like to get going sometime next year. We'll see.
Nrama: We’ll hold you to that – and ask you about that when the time comes. But seeing as you could you possibly be doing more Marvel work, are there any Marvel heroes who perk up your ears and you’d be particularly be interested in doing? I love that old Power Man & Iron Fist cover you did back in the day!
Maguire: Thanks. That cover was actually my first published work. Well, the first thing that springs to mind is The Avengers, but that's more from the fact that I loved the movie so much. Hulk would be fun. I've always been fond of the Fantastic Four, but I've already done some work with them. You know, weirdly enough, now that I'm thinking of it, the Silver Surfer. I love doing cosmic stuff. Plus, back in 1986, Marvel offered me Silver Surfer #1 and to counter that, Andy Helfer offered me Justice League #1. I occasionally wonder what trajectory my career would have taken if I'd chosen the Surfer.
Newsarama Note: GOTG #10 was originally scheduled for December 18, 2013 release, and now has a release date of January 1, 2014.