The American heartland is getting it's own hero: Hyperion.
At a Diamond retailer event in London, Marvel announced that the long-time Squadron Supreme member would be starring in his first solo ongoing series beginning in early 2016. The series will be written by Star Wars: Aftermath prose author Chuck Wendig and illustrated by 1872 artist Nik Virella.
Originally created in 1969 by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema as an analogue to DC's Superman, this itteration of the Squadron Supreme member hails from Jonathan Hickman's Avengers run as a man whose world -- and universe -- died, with him the sole survivor on a strange new world -- Marvel's main Earth.
Newsarama spoke with Wendig about this new series -- his first work at Marvel -- and also how this fits in with the Squadron Supreme book and the larger "All-New All-Different Marvel" line.
Newsarama: Chuck, what can you tell readers about Hyperion?
Chuck Wendig: Hyperion is about the titular character coming to grips with just who the hell he is. Here’s a guy who lost his universe and now exists as part of a group where he feels more and more alienated (pun not intended until now). He’s supposed to be a father, a teacher, and he has all these precepts in mind for how he is supposed to be, but little practice or understanding as to what that means. He takes America and its people as his “adopted children,” but that also means he has to get to know his, um, “new kids.” So, we put him smack dab in the American heartland—in all its rust, corn and gun-fed glory—and see what happens.
Nrama: At times, Hyperion was written as an analogue for Superman. Are you steering into that, or looking to avoid it all together?
Wendig: We’re definitely doing our own thing, here. Hyperion has a more intellectual, philosophical bent to his origin—and that creates a very different character, at the end of the day.
Nrama: So how would you describe the man, Hyperion?
Wendig: Lost. He has this head full of wisdom and is driven by the directives taught to him from Father in a now-gone universe, but he has little practice as to how to handle that. Or how to handle people.
Nrama: How did you come to be involved with Marvel and this project, specifically?
Wendig: Editor Katie Kubert contacted me after having read one or two of my prose books and asked me to pitch for one of a couple different comics, and I picked this one.
Nrama: For this you're working with 1872 artist Nik Virella. I know it's still early on, but what are you looking forward to in your collaboration given Nik's past work?
Wendig: Nik's work has a staggering beauty -- and you can be sure that Hyperion is going to be one sexy motherf***er.
Nrama: What earlier comic book material did you go to in order to find your bearings for the character and the Marvel Universe?
Wendig: It was funny, because when I had the chance to pitch this book I was getting caught up on Hickman’s Avengers run, and I was struck by the line about there being two Hyperions. The one the Earth knew, and the one who hid within himself. Loved that, and it struck me as such a great character hook.
Nrama: Who else will be in the book in addition to Hyperion?
Wendig: We’ll have visits from Squadron Supreme, and certainly some other guests popping by—but also, some new faces, too.
Nrama: Speaking of his team, how will this work with the Squadron Supreme book?
Wendig: It comes as a result of that book—he starts there and this is something of a side journey for him.
Nrama: What themes are you hoping to explore with this series?
Wendig: One is a classic one—reflecting and dissecting humanity through the lens of an alien character. But the book is also about the people he helps and encounters. And it’ll take us on a journey through the weird, rotten heart of America—all the guns, drugs and religion, all the corn and asphalt and forgotten places.