THE Q: Comics' Pros React to AXEL ALONSO As Marvel E-i-C
Axel Alonso Promoted to MARVEL E-i-C
Today's announcement that Axel Alonso is the new editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics was met with a lot of praise from those who have worked with him. But some also wondered what changes will come as the Quesada era transitions into the Alonso years at Marvel Comics.
And soon after that announcement, former E-I-C and current Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada confirmed that editor Tom Brevoort would also be getting a promotion to become the senior vice president of publishing.
For our latest installment of "The Q," where we ask one question to a variety of comic industry professionals, Newsarama asked:
- What's your reaction to the news today that Axel Alonso is now Editor-in-Chief at Marvel? Any insight into what this will mean for the publisher?
I owe my entire career at Marvel to Axel. He brought me in, got me an exclusive, got me most all of the work I've done there. And I've loved working with him every step of the way. He's a very intelligent, very instinctive guy when it comes to telling stories, and I trust his judgment like I trust no one else's. The Axel Alonso era at Marvel will be an exciting one, of that I have no doubt. I'm just happy to be a part of it.
I think this is going to be a good thing for Marvel and all the readers. Axel has been with Marvel for 10+ years and had a large hand in it becoming the powerhouse it is today. Marvel has always been great at changing up their universe and innovating characters for new readers without alienating its core audience and I don't see that changing under Axel. I've had the chance to work and speak with Axel on more than one occasion and he's always been friendly and approachable and seems very open to new ideas. Even if he disagrees with you, Axel will always give you the chance to be heard and take your thoughts into account. This coupled with his knowledge of not only Marvel Comics, but the entire industry as a whole makes him a logical choice for the position. I can't really guess what kind of changes this will mean for the publisher but judging from my experience with Axel in the past, I think Marvel is in very good hands and I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming next.
There you go Axel - I accept Paypal, check, or cash.
I think it's long past time that Marvel finally put in charge of the company that gave us Bruce Banner, Peter Parker and Reed Richards, an editor-in-chief with an alliterative name.
I've known Axel so long that we both had hair when we first met. Hell, I remember when Lou Stathis first hired him on at Vertigo, and Lou saying something very much like, "No, it's good. He's one of us."
The idea of One Of Us taking the seat as Editor In Chief at Marvel amuses me to no end. And he's been my friend for so long that obviously I'm delighted at seeing him ascend into a position where he can afford more expensive bourbon.
I jokingly sent an e-mail to Axel that it was already intimidating enough to send him a fresh script ... and now he's editor-in-chief!? Ha.
Axel has a laser sharp insight for what works and what doesn't. With him at the helm, Marvel is in for a fantastic new era of innovation and coolness. Not the most specific prediction for things to come, but an accurate one, I think.
First off, congratulations and a huge round of applause to Joe Quesada, who had a phenomenal reign as E-i-C . Joe Q. exceeded any and all expectations at his post. He had a run for the ages. He could not have left bigger shoes to fill.
And congratulations to Axel Alonso on his new post as top dog. Axel is a cool guy, a natural leader and it certainly seems as if he's been working towards this for quite some time.
Axel slapped me into shape, got me on a system where I became a monthly comic book artist again. In the conversations I've had with him over the last year while he was my editor on all Deadpool projects, he has shown the gumption to slap around everyone who has grown comfortable in their current positions. He won't let anyone relax and he has a great nose for talent with guys like Rick Remender and Jason Aaron thriving under his direction.
As for how he will fare in his post as E-i-C, hopefully he learns, as Joe Q did, to govern from the middle, the middle era for Marvel being 2004-2007. The middle is where it’s at, it's where Marvel thrives. When Joe Q and Bill Jemas first launched their initiative, there was a ton of garbage, talking-head, 15-panel-a-page books. Esoteric crap that seemed to sputter and stall. Remember, the Ultimate line was launched while Bob Harras was still E-i-C, so don't bother telling me about the Ultimate line, but there was plenty of other stuff that Marvel tried that just didn't seem like a good fit. It was like being different for different's sake, definitely left of center. Then Batman Hush, with its big, splashy art and emphasis on action, sat on top of the charts for 11 months, and that to me was the most telling point of Joe's run. Would he respond? Would he push Marvel into a more commercial direction? Boy, he responded with a vengeance: Civil War, Red Hulk, Death of Captain America, New Avengers -- these books were bigger, splashier, bolder and they turned the public on. All huge hits, all big sellers. Guys like Millar and Loeb tailored their stories for the artists to supply big, exciting visuals.
Marvel needs to get back to the middle, which it has strayed from of late as the emphasis has shifted to its entertainment platforms. There's no relaxing, as over at DC, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio have proven formidable and Bob Harras knows a thing or two about selling huge quantities of books. Green Lantern and Blackest Night were visual feasts. Marvel needs to respond, get back to the middle. If Axel moves to the middle, which he's shown he's more than capable of, with the proliferation of Deadpool product as well as his re-launches of X-Force, with a ruthlessly commercial line-up, then Marvel is in good hands. The industry needs more than movie tie-in books from Marvel. Good luck to Axel and to Tom Brevoort in his new post at Marvel.
Axel has been someone I have been working with since he was an editor at Vertigo, and he is one of the few people in the business that is above and beyond loyal and committed to his people...and I am happy to consider him a friend. Axel has a true love for the art form and great taste in talent, so it's going to be really interesting to see him running the show. And at my house, we couldn't be happier for him and for Joe [Quesada] as well. More great times ahead!
I think the Marvel team has been doing really great superhero work for quite some time. It's likely that Joe Quesada has had less time to work as an overseer since his time is divided between New York and LA now. Axel's promotion along with Tom Brevoort's makes solid sense. Things always change in larger organizations. This seems like a calculated one that shows confidence in what Marvel's already been doing well. There will be changes, sure, but honestly, there would be changes if Joe Q stayed in the E-i-C role. Marvel as an organization is set up for change and that's a big part of why it's the industry leader.
Axel has a good demeanor in interviews, and I think with a high-profile role like the E-i-C, he's a good choice. Equally important, but less flashy, is the news that Tom Brevoort also got promoted to VP of Publishing. What that role is, exactly, hasn't been stated yet, but it means more oversight from Tom as well.
Alonso and Brevoort have probably been the two main guys directing the actual content of the books for the last couple of years. It seems fair that they should both get rewarded for their hard work (love what they do or not, they're both pulling their weight and they're different kinds of editors, which is good). I'd love to hear that a few other staffers there were getting promotions as well.
I think it's a terrific move on Marvel's part. Axel is one of the most amicable, yet steadfast professionals in comics. Marvel is in great hands with this captain at the helm!
Over the 10+ years I've worked with Axel, the one thing that has always struck me about him is his fearlessness. I mean, look at his body of work. He's not afraid to let the audience make a decision. More importantly, he's not afraid of the audience. With Axel leading the charge, I think Marvel stands poised to make a huge leap forward, both creatively and financially, because Axel understands the necessity of claiming new ground and he has the balls to take it. Y'know how artists and writers are always looking for inspiration? Well, there it is. Go.J. Michael Straczynski:
I think it's an excellent choice, though I would not have wanted to be the one to choose between Axel and Tom Brevoort, because I think either gentleman would've done a bangup job. That being said: Axel is one of the best editors I've ever worked with, he's an honorable, stand-up guy, bright and creative and far too modest for his own good. With Axel in the big chair, Marvel is going to be very strong in 2011.