Recent solicitations that Marvel’s all-ages Marvel Adventures books were ending had us concerned. Like most things this writer worries about, these concerns turned out to be unnecessary and stupid: Marvel is relaunching Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man and Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes this March with all-new extra-sized #1 issues, both from writer Paul Tobin. We caught up with Tobin to find out about the all-ages insanity awaiting you.
Newsarama: Hey Paul!! New volumes, but will there be the same great Marvel Adventures taste, uh, action? What'll be swingin' with Spidey, and what Super Heroes will be stopping by?
Paul Tobin: This is essentially a continuation of what we've already been doing on the titles. We love how things have been working, but now we want to work them even harder. My experimentation of crafting stories that remain "done-in-one" but at the same time have a solid overall storyline, building stories behind the main story, and characterizations that build over time... this has all worked really well both for myself and the titles, and it's something we want to continue to focus and.
The new # 1 issues are a way to highlight and commit to what we've been doing, rather than start it all over again
Nrama: Why a reboot?
Tobin: It's not a reboot, but rather a relaunch. The ongoing changes in the Marvel Adventures line have been garnering a lot of attention, and we wanted to provide new readers with an excellent point to get on board and experience what other people have been talking about. We have some new storylines we're really excited over, and fresh # 1 issues are a way of sharing that enthusiasm.
Nrama: In the last issues of your Spider-run, you got to do some more serialized elements with your self-contained hoopajoopa. Will this trend continue, and if so, what can readers anticipate?
Tobin: Definitely going to continue. I love back stories, working a story behind the scenes of the main story, building it into the main story. And I'm also a big fan of characterization, and that demands growth and change, so the serialized elements will continue to be a big factor.
In Spider-Man, I'll be continuing to explore the relationship between Peter Parker and Sophia "Chat" Sanduval. Things don't always go smoothly, of course. And I want to examine where Gwen Stacy and Emma Frost fit into his life. And there's a new romance for one of the characters on the horizon. In less pleasant meadows... the Torino crime family will continue to be a thorn in Spidey's side, as will a certain villain who never misses.
Nrama: Will there be serialized elements in Super Heroes?
Tobin: Absolutely. There's a lot going on beneath the surface stories already. Relationships will become to develop, and we'll find out that something is not quite as it seems. Editor Nate Cosby and I have some great discussions on where we should go with this series. He's great, because he's always willing to get just a little bit crazy... and that allows us a wide field to roam.
Nrama: Give us the down-low on artists Matteo “Insert joke about adverbs here” Lolli and Roman Cliquet. What is prettiest about their pictures?
Tobin: Matteo Lolli is just fantastic. He probably hates me, since I'm always calling for crowd scenes, but Matteo... I wouldn't do it if you were so GOOD at it!
Seriously... in my mind, any Spider-Man title is based on crowd scenes, because when he's Peter Parker he's in school, and students should be everywhere, and when he's Spider-Man he's a spectacle, and crowds gather. Matteo is a guy that I know that I can count on.
It's always disappointing for me to call for a New York street scene, and then have the artist envision New York as some barren ghost town. New York is ALIVE, and Matteo makes it that way.
And Ronan Cliquet makes characters so believable! That's what I love about him... I feel the characters are both larger than life, but also people I could meet on the street.
The relaunch issue of Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes features the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and Ronan turns in my favorite Blob of all time... exactly the guy that we've all seen eating his fifteenth piece of pizza before badmouthing everyone in sight and then sitting next to us on a twelve hour flight.
Nrama: (pause) That’s…specific.
Please hint at a few of the outrageous stories in store for us.
Tobin: The Merc With a Mouth. The Hungriest Man in the Universe. That Guy Who's the Best There is at What He Does. Captain America 's Bad Romance. That Temperamental Undersea Prince. An Avenger Who Isn't What They Seem. Who the Heck DOESN'T Fall in Love With Sue? Nova and Thor's Big Asgardian Vacation.
Nrama: What are some of your favorite Marvel Adventures moments other than the ones you've written?
Almost anything written by Jeff Parker and Fred Van Lente. These are the guys who established true quality writing in the Marvel Adventures line, and who have continued their solid storytelling in other titles.
I'm maybe taking the MA line a bit farther than either of them did, but only because they showed me the path, and let me step in their footprints, and other metaphors to be announced at a later date. Jeff established the Sue Storm that I now consider as gospel, and, c'mon, "Ego the Loving Planet?"... a classic indeed.
Nrama: Between your MA work and your miniseries, you have become the go-to guy for all-ages action in the Marvel U. Knowing that your work is going to be seen by a younger class than most Marvel works, and possibly be their first comics exposure to Marvel heroes, what responsibilities do you feel toward the kinds of stories you tell in these books?
Tobin: Honestly... I approach these books the way I approach anything else: I figure that if I enjoy writing them... if I'm enjoying the action and the interplay between characters, then everything else will work out.
If there's ever a time when I'm writing, and it's feeling like work to me, then I know it will be less pleasurable to read. I love these characters, and I feel lucky to work with them, so it's fairly easy to pass along the enjoyment.
Nrama: What else you got coming up? Parker, that loose-lipped scoundrel, has hinted you and your lady Colleen Coover have some epic epicness planned for our funnybook consumption. Staying quiet will only make it worse! SPILL!
Tobin: Jeff Parker would be the worst espionage agent in the history of the world. He spills every secret he gets! But, at least at this point, I don't think Gingerbread Girl, the graphic novel that Colleen and I are doing at Top Shelf Publications, is any big secret.
It's been in the works for a couple years, put aside now and then as we've focused on work for Marvel, but it will soon be slated for a serialized release on Top Shelf's website at 2 to 5 pages a week for about 6 months time, and then released in one of Top Shelf's beautiful hardcover formats. We're really looking forward to getting this rolling!
Nrama: And we are looking forward to reading it! Anything else you'd like to talk about that we haven't discussed yet?
Tobin: Sure! Continue to check out Spider-Man & the Secret Wars, with its look at "lost" stories of the Secret Wars, beautifully illustrated by Patrick Scherberger. And my Black Widow & the Marvel Girls project, as well as some upcoming work with the Hulk and Hercules titles... which I've been having a lot of fun with, as it's a chance to expand my style, and also because it's nice to be a part of two of Marvel's best titles.
You, your kids, heck, anyone can get in on the fun with the all-new Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man and Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes this April!
Zack Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a regular contributor to Newsarama.