Mighty Marvel Podcast: The State of the Initiative, Part 1

Wed, November 14th, 2007 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Shaun Manning, Staff Writer

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"Ms. Marvel" #22 on sale December 5
Marvel Comics kicked off its first of three "State of the Initiative" podcasts Tuesday afternoon, with writer Brian Reed assessing the roles his titles will play in the upcoming "Secret Invasion."

eeeInterviewed by Marvel's Senior Art Director, Jeff Suter, Reed began by saying, "My little corner of the Marvel Universe is trudging right along." He also remarked that the team-building and supervillain-hunting focus in "Ms. Marvel" will have some consequences, including a bit of fallout from Carol's choices during "Civil War."

"She's doing a lot of things, things she thinks are right--while even a casual observer might think, 'What is she doing?' But she's getting sloppy," Reed said. "The cracks are beginning to show. She's keeping it all inside, which is where it's most dangerous."

Moving on to "Captain Marvel," Suter asked Reed about the perspective of the title character after "Civil War." "Basically," Reed said, "he got the hell out of Dodge. He came back, saw what was going on in 'Civil War,' and got the hell out."

Pages from "Ms. Marvel" #22
Reed described Captain Marvel's take on Tony Stark leading S.H.I.E.L.D. as "one more thing; one more piece of crazy" that the Captain "has dealt with but does not respect."

From there, Suter and Reed talked "The Illuminati," and, more specifically, Skrulls. Suter was enthused about "Illuminati" #5, saying, "If that's how this is starting, wow."

Reed then commented that what we're seeing now is "the tip of the iceberg--you don't know how ugly it gets." He reiterated that with the current Skrull invasion, our heroes cannot trust each other, and suggested readers keep the revelations of that issue in mind "across the board, in every Marvel book you buy right now: What if he's not the only one?"

Asked about Hulkling from "Young Avengers," who is Captain Marvel's son, Reed indicated the two would meet in "Young Avengers Presents" #2. "It's all about a scene I wanted to do in the ['Captain Marvel'] mini," he said. "Now it gets a full issue."

"Captain Marvel" #2 and #3
Reed then went into the importance of the meeting for Hulkling, explaining, "Every important guy in his life has died, and now this guy--who he truly believes is his father--is alive. It would be tough for any of us, meeting a father that way, but when you're 18 everything is amplified."

When asked about Mar-vell's other child, Quasar, Reed said with Kree space sealed off in the "Annihilation: Conquest" event, Captain Marvel had not yet been contacted by his people.

There was some discussion of what Marvel Comics history would be useful to know in order to get the most out of "The Initiative" and the upcoming "Secret Invasion." "There was a big effort to make sure you don't have to do any [sort of research]," Reed said. "All you need to know is that there are shape-changing aliens invading the Marvel Universe. If you've read anything with the Super-Skrull, that would be great." He also described Super-Skrull as the "Model T," with the upcoming invading forces more akin to Lambourginis.

"New Avengers: Illuminati" #4
On a similar note, there was a question about the current string of crossovers, with "Secret Invasion" following on from "Planet Hulk," "Civil War," and so on. Reed noted that his books did not tie in to "Planet Hulk," and said there is always an effort to keep stories accessible. "We try to tie in to the world our books inhabit, but you shouldn't have to read several issues of another series for the story to make any sense at all." Reed added that he and the other writers "look for two sentences of dialogue that will explain the tie-in" or context, so that readers can understand an issue even if they come in on the middle of a story.

The next podcast will see Suter speaking to Brian Michael Bendis --"Does he always make you say 'Michael?" Reed joked-- with the final session featuring an interview with Dan Slott.

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