Dan Slott on Mighty Avengers
After yesterday's announcement that writer Dan Slott would be taking over Mighty Avengers with issue #21, Newsarama caught up with the writer at the convention to ask him about the new gig.Newsarama: How did this whole job doing the Avengers get started for you, Dan? Dan Slott: It was Tom Brevoort's idea. 'Cause it's like, here you have this book Mighty Avengers, and Marvel knew they were doing the switch over the Dark Avengers, so if you have this book is so popular with so many fans, why stop it? That was the basic idea. And I was just lucky to be the right guy at the right time. NRAMA: What can you tell us about the comic once you take over? DS: I can tell you that it's still going to be the "Mighty" Khoi Pham doing beautiful Khoi Pham artwork. We've already worked on a short story that's going to appear in a special once they declassify all the solicits after Secret Invasion #8. It's a nice prelude to two major characters that will be on the roster of Mighty Avengers. NRAMA: Who's on the new roster? DS: Everybody on the new roster is totally Mighty Avengers pedigree. You're going to get characters that really deserve to be on this book. NRAMA: But sounds like you're saying, 'don't worry -- they'll be good characters.' Does that mean the current roster is gone? DS: The world of Dark Reign will drastically change what's going on in the Marvel Universe. There will be lots of shake-ups, lots of break ups, lots of make ups. The Marvel Universe is going to be completely changed -- you've got to keep reading Secret Invasion. There will be characters in common with Mighty Avengers. But there will be, like with any roster or any time a new team comes on, there is going to be some shake up. NRAMA: Will we see some of the more “non-Avengers” Avengers in the book? DS: We are going to be the most Avengery Avengers book you can get. We've got no Spider-Man, no Wolverine -- but we've got Jarvis. And we've not only got Jarvis, but we've got lots of people that Jarvis has waited on before, and people that Jarvis loves. NRAMA: So we're talking about some old-school Avengers? DS: There will be a founding Avengers member on the team. And like I said, some big pedigree members. And some surprises. Aaaaaah! There is so much stuff I can't say that I want to say. But one of things I want to say is that Avengers: The Initiative is going to continue with Chris Gage. It's going to continue with a lot of the Avengers: The Initiative characters. Big secrets and things and plans that Chris and I were working on will still emerge and grow and prosper. NRAMA: So will some of the characters from The Initiative perhaps be following you to Mighty? DS: Someone who has been in the Mighty Avengers book, who's been in the Avengers: The Initiative book, will move over to Mighty Avengers. One character, but it's not who you think. It will surprise you. NRAMA: But you did say there's an Avengers founder. DS: We will have one founding member. And there's -- oh, wait. OK, I can spill something. I'll tell you this: We've just brought in Jocasta in Avengers: The Initiative. Somebody besides her is going to move with her over to Mighty. Jocasta will be one of our team. NRAMA: Dude, Jocasta's totally old-school. DS: Yeah, so if you like that classic Avengers feel, and if you grew up reading Avengers for years and years and years, and there are all these characters that you love looking at, like, George Perez drawing and the Geoff Johns run or this run or that run -- they're all these characters who really have a strong Avengers pedigree. NRAMA: So we could guess a lot of names here. I'm dying to ask. We were told in the panel that we'd see her sooner rather than later. Scarlet Witch? DS: Um... I'm just going to give the very patented "keep reading/stay tuned." But I think people are really going to freak out when they see our first few covers, when those come out. NRAMA: Are those coming out when the solicits are revealed for post-Secret Invasion? DS: Our book will start after that, but they might reveal the first three covers, since they all link up and make a giant image together. NRAMA: And the covers are by whom? DS: Koi Pham. And when you see all these characters, you might freak out, if you're an Avengers fan. There's a good freak-out character on every character that people will say, "WHAAAAA???" But everyone's got a lot of Avengers juice. These are major characters. Especially if you're like, an AVENGERS Avengers fan. Like one of the things that Brian has masterfully done is that New Avengers has the biggest guns. It's got Wolverine; it's got Spider-Man; it's got all these really big characters. And more than any book in the Marvel Universe, New Avengers really charts the course of the Marvel Universe, and it's this all-encompassing, big thing. And if you're a fan of AVENGERS Avengers, you're just going to fall in love with who we've got in the Mighty Avengers book. NRAMA: But still big guns, right? DS: Yeah. No Gilgamesh, no Death Cry -- we're talkin' good characters. But the guys we don't have on the roster -- there will be guest appearances. But if we get to use Hank for three or four issues, I don't want to just use Hank. I want to use Hank and Simon. If I get guest stars, I don't just want Beast. I want Wonder Man and Beast for two or three issues. In the old days, when you'd have the Avengers, you'd have: "Here's Cap, here's Thor, here's Iron Man, but we can't do anything with these guys because they have their own books." Like you knew nothing really big was going to happen to Cap, Thor and Iron Man. They were going to be awesome, they were going to lead the charge, they were going kick ass, but you knew they weren't going to get married or fall in love or lose a limb in the Avengers. That would happen in their own books. So they started building the support Avengers -- the guys that you could marry or they could screw up or they could become drunks or they could do this. We have so many of the "you-can-mess-them-up" Avengers. So yeah, they can have their Wolverine and Spider-Man over there, 'cause over here in Mighty, we're going to have the guys you can do things to. Big things. And... oh my God. I can't wait for people to see. I really wish I could tell you. But it's like when I was on Avengers: The Initiative. Everyone was like, "Wow, look what he did with these C- and D-list characters. Now it's like, no, no... it's time for the A- and B-list characters. And we're going to kick some ass. NRAMA: But that begs the question, Dan -- you're a long-time Avengers fan. Is this the geek-out of a lifetime for you? DS: Oh, it's HUGE! It's ENORMOUS. I'm totally a long-time Avengers fan. We've got these things... AAAAh!!! I'm dying to tell you stuff. Like, I'd love to say who the first villain is. For the first villain, it's from one of my favorite runs when John Byrne was drawing the Avengers, and guys like [Roger] Stern and [David] Micheline, and it's a big, powerful Avengers villain. And when people hear it, they'll say, "OOOH!" 'Cause if I tell you, it might give away too many secrets -- what that villain is tied into, and the characters. It's not Ultron. But I can't wait until we do some Ultron stuff. NRAMA: Well, yeah. With Jocasta on the team. DS: Yeah, with Jocasta, the bride of Ultron, we've got to do an Ultron story. But, yeah, we've got a major Avengers villain for the first three issues. We're going to have a throw-down with another major Marvel Universe team -- a team that is "their-own-comic-book-worthy." 'Cause I'm on The Initiative, which is fun, dealing with, "Oooo, look! It's the Texas Rangers!" But no, this isn't like that. This is mainstream Marvel to the core. This is Mighty Avengers. They're going to have a big throw-down, and I'm really excited for when people see what their base is going to be -- their headquarters, where they're working out of. It's really weird. But it's going to be cool. NRAMA: Last question. How long are you on the book? DS: Until they kill me!
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