A dangerously powerful artifact known as the Black Vortex is somewhere in the spaceways of the Marvel Universe, and people from all corners of the universe are looking for it -- heroes, villains, aliens, and even some people inbetween. Announced at New York Comic Con Saturday, Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex is an expansive crossover event coming to Marvel comics in spring 2015, and it will tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy, All-New X-Men, as well as Legendary Star-Lord, Nova, Cyclops, Captain Marvel and possibly more to be announced. The event will begin proper in a February one-shot titled Black Vortex: Alpha, before spilling into these various ongoing series.
am Humphries is the lead writer of of this event, and it was his series Legendary Star-Lord that first broke mention of the Black Vortex in September's #4. Humphries, who'll write Black Vortex: Alpha alongside artist Ed McGuinness, describes the object in question -- the Black Vortex -- as a prized artificact that can give the possessor powers at the same level as the Silver Surfer and even the Dark Phoenix. While the aforementioned heroes vie for the prize, Humphries tells Newsarama they'll also have to contend with Thane, son of Thanos, the Brood, the Shi'ar, the Spartax, the Badoon, the Kree, the Titans, as well as the recently introduced Mr. Knife -- the man who first made mention of the artifact.
Newsarama: Sam, what can you tell us about the story of Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex?
Sam Humphries: The Black Vortexis a Marvel cosmic event kicking off in February. This is an event that started as a story that we all wanted to do together, and as we talked about it, as we developed it, the story got bigger and more cosmic and more epic and it became clear it couldn't be restrained to a regular series. Earth is small and crowded. Space is big, and empty. If we want to do a big cosmic story, we need some elbow room to mix it up and get dangerous. Thus, Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex.
Nrama: The Black Vortex has already been mentioned in Legendary Star-Lord #4 and its solicitations, so what is it about it that makes it bigger than just one series can hold? What is its power, exactly?
Humphries: The Black Vortex is an ancient artifact with the power to unlock the cosmic potential within yourself. Imagine the metamorphosis that turned Norrin Radd into the Silver Surfer…or Jean Grey into Dark Phoenix…available to anyone in the Marvel Universe. The beneficial properties of the Black Vortex are unlimited...but so are the destructive properties. The Guardians and the X-Men have to come together to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
Readers who want to check out the first appearance of the Black Vortex should check out The Legendary Star-Lord #5, in stores this November!
Nrama: Readers might think all the heroes will be on one side versus the villains, but with Marvel it seems troublesome for heroes to get on the same page. Will there be division in the ranks of the Marvel heroes in this story?
Humphries: Absolutely. This story will pit teammate against teammate, friend against friend, and even divide romantic partners. Encountering the Black Vortex causes each character to ask a question, and no one will come up with the same answer. And with the stakes so high -- our heroes may be forced to put their friendships aside to do what they feel is the right thing. No one can cross paths with the Black Vortex and remain the same.
Nrama: It all starts with a one-shot titled Black Vortex: Alpha – how does this event kick off, and who among you is writing it?
Humphries: Black Vortex: Alpha kicks off with a glimpse of the Marvel Universe ten billion years ago -- that gives you an idea how epic this story is! It's written by me and drawn by Ed McGuinness. He's been doing amazing cosmic work on Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy, but Ed is killing it on the Black Vortex opener, I'm really excited for people to see what he does with a story of this scale.
Nrama: I’m told that in addition to featuring many of Marvel’s cosmic heroes, it’ll feature some major villains such as Thane, the Brood and your creation – Mr. Knife from Legendary Star-Lord. Can you tell us about the antagonist side of the equation here in this story?
Humphries: The Black Vortex represents unlimited potential, and it attracts those with unlimited ambition, like Mister Knife, Thane, and the Brood. The power-hungry residents of the galaxy will be asking themselves, what could I do with cosmic powers? What could I do with a cosmic army? What could I do with a cosmic planet?
Plus, this is a cosmic event! We're gonna explore many corners of the Marvel galaxy. Just in terms of alien races, we've got the Kree, the Badoon, the Spartax, the Brood, the Shi’ar, the Titans…oh and Earthlings.
Nrama: This crossover event will encompass nearly all of the cosmic titles and it’s writers, as well as some of the X-Men like Kitty Pryde, Beast and Storm. What was it like plotting and planning with Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Gerry Duggan and the others?
Humphries: Yeah, this is a story I pitched through two Marvel retreats, I wrote the outline and planning documents, but -- I have to give the credit to my co-authors Bendis, DeConnick, Layman, and Duggan, as well as our editors Mike Marts and Katie Kubert. Thanks to their contributions, the Black Vortex became a truly cosmic, truly epic story. Plus, we have fun working together. That's our secret weapon. If we're not bored, then the reader won't be bored either.