They’re back, and this time their bark is worse than their bite! At Fan Expo Canada in Toronto this weekend, Marvel officially announced the follow-up to the popular “Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers” miniseries by returning creative team Chris Eliopoulos and Ig Guara. Entitled simply “Pet Avengers,” the animal sidekick team led by the Inhuman teleporting dog Lockjaw return for another run at adventure in a four issue mini-series slated to debut in February 2010.
CBR News caught up with writer Chris Eliopoulos during his busy schedule doing research at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to answer a few questions about his triumphant return to the Pet Avengers, what the team has been up to in the interim and what has happened to Frog Thor!
How does it feel to be returning to the most beloved animals in the Marvel U?
It feels great! I love these characters and any chance I get to explore the fun of learning more about them is a blast for me. I can't believe I get another opportunity to keep writing these guys.
After the events of the "Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers" miniseries, what have the members of the team been up to?
Well, if you go to Marvel's Digital Comics Online, you can see what they've been up to in our "Tails of the Pet Avengers" shorts. I wrote a story about Frog Thor that connects the first series to the new one, so look for those stories to fill you in.
According to the solicit, one of the team members is missing and it might be Frog Thor. With Frog Thor apparently out of commission, will anybody be replacing him even on a temporary basis? In other words, are the Pet Avengers planning on extending the paw of friendship to any other animals?
Frog Thor will be back in the new series and, in fact, will be a major focus. They are other animals and creatures in here, but no new core team members.
Who are you most looking forward to coming back and writing?
I love writing them all, but Frog Thor is a fun one, as well as the Hairball/Ms. Lion dynamic.
The Pet Avengers faced Thanos in their debut series, which is a pretty tough act to follow - how do you think they'd fare against Galactus?
I think they would be a quick appetizer for him.
You really seem to have these characters on a tight leash (no pun intended). What's your process for figuring out their characteristics and personalities?
I based them on the usual traits of the animals we used or, in Lockjaw's case, like their master. Once they were real in my mind, they just came out on the page.
What do you think is a Pet Avenger's biggest weakness?
No opposable thumbs.
What is your favorite part of writing this team?
I love writing the interaction of the characters and then after writing the pages, seeing what Ig does with them.
What do you think is your biggest challenge coming back to the Pet Avengers?
The challenge Nate Cosby and I have laid down this time is to tell a complete story without having any Marvel continuity to weigh it down. So, it'll be a little different kind of story that I want to tell.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Don't forget the hardcover trade of the first series out in October! It'll make a great coffee table book!