Axel-In-Charge: Matt Fraction Aims High With "Hawkeye" & The Fantastic Four

Fri, May 3rd, 2013 at 1:58pm PDT

Comic Books
Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief
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Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso developing storylines as envisioned by Skottie Young

Fridays on CBR mean Axel's In Charge.

Welcome to MARVEL A-I-C: AXEL-IN-CHARGE, CBR's regular interview feature with Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso!

An editor with years of experience who's brought out comics to both critical acclaim and best-selling status, Alonso stepped into the chair at the top of Marvel's Editorial department and since then has been working to bring his signature stylings to the entire Marvel U. Anchored by regular question and answer rounds with the denizens of the CBR Message Boards, each week Alonso will shake things up with special guest stars, exclusive art reveals and more!

This week, we go all out with one of the most acclaimed voices at Marvel today: Matt Fraction! The writer of critical and commercial successes from "Invincible Iron Man" to "Immortal Iron Fist" and beyond teams with Axel to talk his recent Marvel launches. On one end of the spectrum is Fraction's work on the Eisner-nominated "Hawkeye" with David Aja, Javier Pulido and Steve Lieber while on the other stands the one-two punch of Marvel NOW!'s "Fantastic Four" with Mark Bagley and "FF" with Mike and Laura Allred. Below, the writer explains how the success of "Hawkeye" -- from its Pizza Dog-crazed fans to its critical accolades -- was anything but a sure shot when it launched, and how the personal lives of Clint Barton, Kate Bishop and the New York gang get deeper in the future. Then he tells how bedtime stories, big ideas and classically futuristic art created the family feel of "Fantastic Four" and the madcap journey of a broken Ant-Man in "FF." Read on!

Story continues below

Kiel Phegley: Matt, thanks for coming on. I wanted to start with a congratulations on a well deserved set of Eisner nominations for "Hawkeye."

Matt Fraction: Thank you very much.

I think this may be one of the only books on this year's nominations slate -- or not on it -- that no one online wants to complain about.

Fraction: [Laughs] I'm sure someone did! But it was nice. It was kind of an amazing surprise.

Let's talk about "Hawkeye." Axel has talked a lot in the column about early discussions on how to make that book standout with things like striking cover design. But from a writing perspective, it seems you draw a lot of the book's tone from some of those repeated elements like starting stories with "This looks bad" or the "bro" speak. When you were pitching this series, what tools did you want to use that you hadn't before or that you thought would synch the pieces together?

EXCLUSIVE: Pages featuring everyone's favorite Pizza Dog from "Hawkeye" #11

Fraction: I never really thought about it like that, respectfully. I wanted to write a book that lasted for more than six issues, which nobody thought this would. And as the book came up, it became clear that there were a lot of plans for Hawkeye elsewhere, so I kind of became committed to the idea that this book was going to be was he was doing on Thursday afternoons. I didn't want to cause a headache for anybody that needed Hawkeye to be here or there when he's in four books this month. This is what he does when he goes home. So with that freedom, I didn't have to worry about all the superhero stuff that was happening. Then it just became about building the book and building the world and figuring it all out. What's the story? Who is he? What's this all going to be about?

I knew the book was going to be self-contained or at most two-part stories, so that lends itself to a pattern of figuring out what your basics are -- what your foundation stones are. I knew who the cast was. I knew about the building. I knew where in the building they lived. The tagline stuff kind of came accidentally, but it made it seem like any number of television shows that we've watched a million times in our lives. It all just kind of fell together.

Well, people really seem to respond to the book's stories, but they also love to say "Bro" or "Hawkguy" or talk about Pizza Dog. Those elements have endeared themselves to fans in a big way. Was that surprising for you?

Fraction: I don't know how you plan for that. That's just lightening in a bottle. It's magic. I didn't work on this book any harder than I did on "Defenders" or "The Order." There's this great Mark Twain quote about the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug. That's this book. For example, The Pizza Dog thing is nuts! People make them. They come to conventions and bring me this stuff. That has never happened before, and it's just crazy. We did a show in Seattle, and [Marvel staffers] C.B. [Cebulski], Sana [Amanat] and Jeanine [Schaefer] were there. The show put us all right next to each other, and I was super glad because no one at Marvel would have believed me if they hadn't seen it. People bringing me arrows. People giving me their homemade stuffed Pizza Dogs where they'd hand sewn pizza into its mouth. Crazy. It's amazing.

Axel, tell me about Marvel's view on this series. In a way, you were taking a risk here with a book that cut against the grain and that really came out before the go-to platform of Marvel NOW! had taken shape. What was it you saw in the response that made you feel the series had a shot long term?

Axel Alonso: When we were hatching "Hawkeye," the market was kind of soft, and we’d gone through a period where we’d been, in my opinion, a little too conservative in our game-plan for launching new titles. There was even some internal skepticism that the market would support a "Hawkeye" book at all. My theory -- and I spoke with Matt about this early on -- was that the only way we could do it was to make sure the new "Hawkeye" series had—

Fraction: Swagger.

Alonso: Yep. Swagger. We had to send a message to everyone -- retailers and fans -- that this new "Hawkeye" series wasn't going to be like any "Hawkeye" book they'd seen before. From the cover to the logo to the last page of the book, it had to scream: "There's a new sheriff in town!"

Fraction: I think Mark Waid's "Daredevil" kind of illustrated it beautifully for everybody.

Alonso: That's another great example. We've had plenty of new launches that flipped the switch on an ongoing series or old character -- and the message doesn't always have to be as radical as the Milligan/Allred "X-Force" to get people’s attention. ["Hawkeye"] counts, but it lives in its own pocket of the Marvel Universe, telling stories that don’t lean on events in the Marvel Universe. David Aja’s art -- he has great chemistry with Matt, as proven on "Immortal Iron Fist" -- is the red ribbon. This is a book where the writer and artist have something to say, and fans want to hear it.

Fraction: And I think there's kind of trick you can pull off in a soft market where if no one believes in you, you've got nothing to lose. So you can go for broke. We had the freedom of low expectations.

Alonso: We went into this, saying we could live with a great book that got cancelled -- where fans would say, "Why did that book get cancelled!?

Fraction: Yeah, go down swinging. I never quite articulated this or planned it, but someone pointed out to me that we never call him Hawkeye in the first issue. That wasn't intentional, but it just came out of the writing. It would seem like suicide, right? It would some almost provocatively anti-commercial, but we never looked at it from that standpoint. It was just that the story came out of the story, and we had the room to move and find out whatever our Brooklyn swagger for the book was.

Alonso: And that defies the common wisdom that you've got to name all of your characters in the course of the book for the reader to understand what’s going on. What you've really got to do is write appealing characters whose names people want to know! [Laughter]

Fraction: Yeah. The guy who flipped burgers in four panels across three issues gets it, and you'd think that we just killed Wolverine. That's the kind of emotional outpouring we get from the book. That's where I was really able to sit back and go, "Okay, we just did something right. People are connected to this world in a very real, very emotional way in a very short time." I don't know that it's a formula that could be repeated with reliable success, but man, I'm glad it's working now.

Preview of this week's "Hawkeye" #10 by Fraction and Francesco Francavilla

You mention that Brooklyn swagger, and so much of the tone of the series is created by the fact that New York is a character in the book. I can't recall off the top of my head, have you ever lived in New York, or are you a fan who's always coming to visit?

Fraction: I've never paid taxes in New York or anything like that, but when I worked in advertising and directing stuff I used to come out there for extended periods of time -- like months at a stretch. It's the capital of the universe. It's great. What's not to love?

But the neighborhood and the building was really important. It could have been Chicago. It could have been Boston or Detroit. It probably couldn't have been LA. [Laughter] But it was all about creating that block. It's "Mister Rogers Neighborhood." When your roommates are Cap, Thor and Iron Man, that's one thing. But when you roommates are a single mother of two or a lesbian bike messenger or a guy who grills food on the roof for everybody at night because that's all he knows how to do, it really gave me a cast and a tone. I didn't have to worry. It gave me some character, and New York has nothing but character.

The relationship between Clint and Kate is really the fulcrum the whole series balances on, and when I got the first trade for the book, I re-read that initial "Young Avengers" story with those two that you'd written for Alan Davis. Was that the issue that made you want to take that relationship into an ongoing series?

Fraction: You know, I had a false take on this. I had a bad pitch version of this series. It was a version I pitched and then withdrew because I realized I didn't have a story for the series. Then at some point, the book as we're doing it right now kind of occurred to me. Kate became a part of it, and then I remembered "Oh right, that issue I did." It kind of clicked immediately to take on that relationship a couple of years later. It was more about his character than hers, but once I'd remembered I'd written the two of them... I had the book.

One of the themes is how both of them are kind of...well, if not broken people then people who are askew and how they have to lean on each other for support. Is that something you go into a series like this knowing, or do those ideas take hold once you're three or four issues in?

Fraction: I'd love to hear Axel's POV from the E-i-C seat, but I kind of went in thinking, "This is the girl he's not going to sleep with" and "This is the guy she's not going to sleep with." My shorthand was that this was "the other Avengers" -- the UK Avengers, Steed & Peel. That was the relationship I was going for. They're flirtatious perhaps at times, but there's never any real "Will they/Won't they" tension in the book in any real way. You remove that from the equation, and then what do you have? How much fun would that be to write to put her in the copilot seat as he crashes his love life into brick wall after brick wall? I knew some of the stuff that Kieron was doing in "Young Avengers" would fit in the way that Clint would be a great mentor but a terrible role model for her. [Laughs] You can get a lot of mileage out of that.

And we've got really big plans for Kate coming up. She kind of has this realization for herself, and Kate kind of self-actualizes and ends up going West to find her spirit and character away from her mentor -- away from Clint and his shadow. It's cool because we've never gotten to see that kind of relationship before, or at least I've never gotten to write that before.

Alonso: Yeah, it's a unique relationship. But Kiel, were you suggesting you'd like to see it enter into romantic territory?

No, I don't think so. I think we all view them strongly as friends first.

Fraction: No doubt. I've made the pledge. They're not going to have sex, and the dog's not going to die. Those are the two promises I swear to you. [Laughs] While I am here, those things won't happen.

Alonso: I think it would be distasteful for Hawkeye to break the mentor-student relationship. Once that line is clearly established, it shouldn’t be crossed. It’s a breach of trust. Or at least it’s creepy.

Fraction: Yeah, you don't want to see Wolverine sleep with Kitty. It's not that relationship. That's not that book or that story. If you put sex into the equation and make them a couple, you don't get to do that story. I like writing stories about the complicated love lives of superhero characters, but I feel like that's much more fertile ground elsewhere. There's better stories here if they aren't worrying about having sex. They can talk about that stuff truthfully without there being the subtext of "Are you trying to get me into bed?"

Issue #10 of "Hawkeye" hit this week where we were introduced to Kazi the clown along with his terribly tragic back story and his connection to the track suit mafia. This book has been short stories from the start, and this is another one. But there are more and more ideas that have carried from issue to issue. With this one, are you starting to get to that point where more traditional long term plotting is working its way in even as you stick to the single issue format?

Fraction: Yeah, I've been doing that. [Laughs] It's beginning to gather, and if you take a step or two back you'll start to see that there's a very specific design in play amongst these single issue stories. The trick is going to come now where we say, "Are we still going to be able to keep these stories self-contained and also build momentum to make a grander shape?" I think maybe in a couple of months, I'll be able to talk more specifically about that. But right now I feel if I say too much about what my plans are, it'll cloud people's opinions on how they should read it. But there is a grand design, there has been from day one, and you'll see it as we go. Everything is a deliberate choice. I want to see if I can write an elaborately designed super arc but make it feel like pointillism. You paint a series of dots and step back and see a ballerina. I guess I just want to write stories about ballerinas is what I'm saying.

Alonso: Like Elektra…? [Laughter] That's a shout out to the early '90s, for anyone who didn't get it.

Fraction: I'm right there with you.

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Bagley's pages for "Fantastic Four" #9

Let's pivot to the Fantastic Four for a moment. Early on when we were discussing the Marvel NOW! launch, the thing we heard most often was that the family road trip aspect of the core series was what really drew you in to those characters. But once you'd gotten that take, was the challenge finding out what to do with "FF" that was different than Jonathan's take?

Fraction: No. I had pitched a book that I was calling "A.N.T.M.E.N." that was a Scott Lang book about him after "Children's Crusade" trying to...well, maybe I'll still get there. Maybe that'll come after "FF." So for a while in the protozoan days of what was to become Marvel NOW!, I was talking about this idea for "A.N.T.M.E.N." And then Tom [Brevoort] and I started talking about "Fantastic Four" and Tom came to me and said, "We're not looking to get rid of 'FF' either. Would you like to do both and fold some of these ideas together?" Then we all started talking about that, and "A.N.T.M.E.N." kind of morphed into the FF. And Axel, was it you or Jeph [Loeb] in that room who said, "I'm going to feel weird if I pick up 'Fantastic Four' and it's Ant-Man and She-Hulk"?

Alonso: I think that was Jeph.

Fraction: Right. So then we decided that "Fantastic Four" would be the Fantastic Four and "FF" would be the replacement Fantastic Four. Then I could do all the stories and not have to cut back and forth.

With the main "Fantastic Four" title, the thing that's struck me most about how you're telling the stories is how much of the book deals with how families tell stories to each other. We get some foreshadowing with Thing telling the kids about Doom, but that really fits into this idea that when you're a kid, you learn so much of what the world is like from the stories your parents and family tell you. How much of that idea has been something you've reflected on while writing the series?

Fraction: It's not always that specific, but it really came out of the fact that my kids are both big enough for bedtime stories. It's a big part of my day that half hour or sometimes two hours it takes to get my kids to sleep. [Laughs] And it came out of wanting to have a book my kids could read and that I could read to them at bedtime. It was about writing a story about family for family.

Is it hard to write the drama of the book with young kids as part of the story? You really don't while to put children in mortal danger.

Fraction: That's hacky. That's Hack 101. I don't think it's that hard, though. It's "What is an appropriate story to tell?" That's what it boils down to. I don't think that's even the same thing as asking "Is this a good story?" It's just "What is an appropriate Fantastic Four story?"

This is the foundation of the whole Marvel Universe. Everything came from the Fantastic Four, so you should be able to tell lots of stories and never feel limited to what you can do in that book. So for me, that question of it being appropriate is always important. And a big part of that is not having to put those kids in mortal danger to get people to turn the page. It's a different book than that. I think it can be that, and maybe somebody out there has a great take for that. But I wanted to aim for a Pixar space where adults and kids could get different kinds of satisfying story experiences out of the same space at the same time.

Alonso: To speak to one part of your question, Kiel: Any time Marvel does a story that touches upon a burning issue of the day -- bullying, domestic terrorism, etc. -- we have to be mindful that it can be viewed as Marvel’s statement on the issue. So we have to tread carefully. Some problems just can’t be punched or force-blasted away. Some problems just can’t be solved by super heroes.

Fraction: It does everyone a disservice otherwise. If you're just doing something for attention, you dishonor and disservice a lot of different people in one fell swoop.

Axel, tell me about putting these teams together. I get the feeling that from your past work with Mike Allred, you made the call to him to get him on the book. It definitely sets the tone apart. What's the challenge like in making these books unique but also complimentary?

EXCLUSIVE: Mike Allred's pages for "FF" #7

Alonso: Well, it wasn't me. I was very happy when Tom [Brevoort] put Mike forward as an option. Having Mike back harkened back to "Nu Marvel," when he drew "X-Force," and we had so many artists finally being turned loose on Marvel Comics: Bryan Hitch, Frank Quitely, Richard Corben. Matt and I did talk about artists for "Fantastic Four," however, and we agreed that Mark Bagley was the perfect artist and a wonderful stylistic compliment to Allred. Those are two artists that are strikingly different…yet there’s something that links them.

Fraction: It's crispy and chewy. [Laughter]

Alonso: Yeah. At their core, they’re both fun and classic and love to use the unlimited special effects budget comics provides. Both of them give everything to every page, whether it's two people eating cereal at the breakfast table or an alien horde descending on midtown Manthattan. They never, ever phone in a page. As the Marvel NOW! teams were locking into place, seeing two FF books by Bagley and Allred was very appealing.

Fraction: There's something with Mike having a sort of retro tinge to his style and Bagley having such a classic style. There's something both forward-looking and steeped in history in both of their work. To me, Bagley and John Romita, Jr. are the most classic guys we've got these days. When it comes to asking "What does a classic Marvel comic look like?" those guys are the standard bearers in terms of scope and scale and huge special effects moments mixed with great character moments. Then you look at Mike's pages and go, "Wait. Was this drawn in 1968 or 2015? I can't tell where Mike is." Like I said, together they're crispy and chewy. It's all those things thrown together.

I think the one question everyone has about these books is that while they've each been on their own tracks, the expectation is for them to come back together. Are we getting closer to that merging?

Fraction: If you're reading it now, you're seeing a doubleback between the two. There's a latticework between the books. Watch what Blastaar does. [Laughs] You can see how one book influences the other if you're reading both books. And if you're not, you can still enjoy them on their own. But they're more intricately connected, and again, I'm going forward thinking about dots and murals. There's an end game, and there has been. I believe my finale was the first line of my pitch. So there's a plan to get the Richards' back in the here and now, and we'll wrap it all up with one fell swoop. We're almost to the halfway point, so we have a while yet. But you'll start to see more and more of the latticework revealed as we get closer and closer to what will be the third act.

Lastly on that, I understand there's a fold-in cover coming up for "FF." How did that come together?

Fraction: Mike Allred! Mike goes [Fraction slides into Allred impersonation], "Hey, I'm gonna do a fold-in cover, guys!" And we just say, "Okay!" and off he goes. That's him. That's what it's like to work with Mike. You say, "This is what's happening in the story. Maybe you could do a Doom cover here," and Mike says, "I know! Fold-in!"

Alonso: This is like the Al Jaffe one, right? That's great.

Fraction: It is. And it was entirely born from his big, beautiful brain.

Let's move on into fan questions where Hawkingbird13, "Is there any chance of Bobbi, Natasha and Jessica popping up again in future issues of Hawkeye? Their different dynamics with Clint were fantastic, and the issue as a whole was brilliant, so I'd love to see them again."

Fraction: Maybe! I'm not a big fan of answering when the answer is "Keep reading," but that's what the answer is. If they did show up, I wouldn't tell you.

One of the ongoing threads of the book seems to be that Clint messes up all of his relationships eventually. Some people were specifically asking after Bobbi and him getting back together, and I kind of felt like that was an impossibility here.

Fraction: It's more interesting when there's friction. When I came on and Brian [Bendis], Jon [Hickman] and Kelly Sue [DeConnick] were all dealing with Avengers stuff, the question came up of "What do we want to do with Clint and Jess?" My only request was to keep it complicated. I don't want it easy. I don't want them to go home at night and that's it. I want there to be drama. I want there to be conflict. I want there to be story. When Dave and Maddie get together, people stop watching the show. That was a "Moonlighting" reference. I am one hundred and eighty-eight years old. I want friction and drama and conflict and all of that. It's boring otherwise. What I said to the others was "If it's on again/off again and they don't even know what their status is, then that's great because we all get to write that." I think everybody's had THAT relationship at one time or the other, so... so yeah, Clint's life in chaos is more interesting to write about and read about than Clint's life in harmony. I'm looking forward to complicate all of his relationships whether it's Jess, Bobbi, Kate or his own brother, in fact.

Shifting to the personal life of another superhero, CMBMOOL had a run of questions about Scott Lang and seems to be worried about his state of mind in "FF."

Fraction: Me too.

Well, the crux of what he asks about here is "Why aren't the other heroes reaching out to see what's up with him?" Mr. Fantastic, the other Avengers, Hank Pym...do you see a situation where those guys will form a more direct support system and try to help him put his life back together?

Mike Allred's cover for "FF" #8

Fraction: Yes. We are in the middle of that story right now. When Medusa ends up missing with Bentley and Scott rallies the FF to go rescue them, this is Scott pulling himself up by the bootstraps with the help of his new family. This is exactly where we are. It is time for Scott to get back on the horse. We are about to see that imminently in the next issue. We'll see Scott getting on his horse and staring fear in the face with his family. We've seen him rising to that. We're getting there. And now it's time for him to face, essentially, his greatest fear. This story with Medusa, Bentley and the new Frightful Four is about Scott's facing that greatest fear: losing a kid.

Champion deep cut questioner Spidey616 stopped by with three queries, starting with, "Curious if we'll be seeing in FF Scott Lang's ex-wife Peggy Rae, introduced by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank in AVENGERS, and her reaction to the return of Scott and death of their daughter Cassie?"

Fraction: She won't be joining the team anytime soon.

He follows with, "A few months ago in an issue of Hawkeye we saw Justine Hammer back as the Crimson Cowl and what looked like the Mandarin. Both characters played major roles during your Iron Man and both met what seemed like their ends, so wondered if there was a deeper significance to their reappearance and if you planned on following up on it in Hawkeye?"

Fraction: A little bit of Column A, a little bit of Column B. That was meant to show that this is where these people are in the Marvel Universe right now. Is someone cut of Mandarin's head and gave him a robo-bucket with 18 arms, he would have looked like that in the background. But all of those character were very carefully chosen and thought about. We see again in that big conference room at the Kingpin's place that all of those dudes were very specifically chosen. There are lots of stories yet to tell.

He wraps with the two parter: "Does it still surprise you to see some concepts from your Iron Man run adapted into other media like Zeke Stane in the recent Iron Man anime film...?"

Fraction: Yeah! It's crazy. Especially since I don't know about this until you guys know about this. Somebody usually shows up and tells me about it on Tumblr. Like, I didn't know the Zeke Stane thing until I was online and someone told me. It's always amazing.

And "Don't suppose you've seen the Kelly Sue Stane mother Easter Egg yet?"

Fraction: Like last night! Someone sent it to Kelly Sue, and she showed me. And Drew Pearce was telling me about some Fraction Easter Eggs that didn't make it into IRON MAN 3.

Supergod is wondering, "Can you say anything about a possible Inhumans title that would spin out of Fantastic Four/FF?"

Fraction: There's no Inhumans title spinning out of "FF."

Pixie_Solanas -- who you can tell by their name asks about one thing very often -- wonders, "Mr. Fraction, Pixie on FF. Pretty please with rainbow skittles?"

Fraction: That's just what this book needs: more kids. [Laughter]

capesNmasks wants to know, "Huge fan of your "Invincible Iron Man" run and your brilliant self made series "The Order."Any chance of seeing the Order (or any of the Order teammates) in Marvel NOW?"

Fraction: I think at this point they would have all lost their powers, so that would have been the last chance to do it. I know time is all weird in comics, but the last time we saw Henry, he was walking around on a cane and had been clearly depowered. So I figure they've all been depowered by now. But who knows. I guess I could be surprised. I was surprised that Zeke Stane showed up on an "Iron Man" cartoon, so who knows?

Hi-Priest asks, "Any plans to explore or revisit Hawkeye's Thunderbolts days? I feel like since he came back to life after Disassembled, he hasn't interacted with them at ALL, save for a couple mentions here and there of his relationship with Moonstone. But Songbird and Mach V especially owe a lot to Clint for turning their lives around and I've wanted to see them pal around with him again for some time."

Fraction: I find especially with Hawkeye...like, I just wrote the issue where Barney comes into the book, and I wanted to do it in a way that doesn't punish people who haven't read all the old stuff. There's this trap we fall into because we're all lifers, those of us who write these books, and we're all in the shop on Wednesday. Don't believe the internet personas. This is a crazy world to fall into if you're not a dyed in the wool fan. So there's this trap we can fall into where we just tell stories about stories we've read. We can tell stories about continuity or about other comics. I just did a big Doctor Doom thing in "Fantastic Four," and Tom wrote back and said, "You never say this one particular thing in here" and I didn't say it because I didn't know how to write that without having characters just explain their motives, which is always inartful. But more so, when you bring up something from the past, you're always going to have follow-up questions. "Well really, this arcane experiment involving physics and magic is meant to bring my mother back from hell!" That's great, but there's a point where someone will go, "HUH?" You're going to have follow up questions.

So there's a lot of stuff about that particular part of Clint's life that interests me, and there's a lot of stuff that I feel could particularly fuel this book -- especially where it's going. But I'd want to find a way that didn't make people feel punished for not having read it. There's especially moments with "Hawkeye" where I hear from so many people who say it's the first time they've read a Hawkeye book or their first Marvel book or their first book ever. And I feel like we owe it to those people to move forward and honor our past but not be beholden by it. I don't want to say, "I want to honor this story I read when I was ten or 30 or 40." Can I use what came before to fuel what comes next? I hope so. I hope I can get into the Thunderbolts specifically, but how do you bring that up in a way that doesn't specifically hit the hand break. "Okay, first off I died...but I didn't really die...okay, wait...first what you have to understand is Scarlet Witch." How do you get to all that in an organic way or get people up to that speed?

There's a lot of stuff from that period that's cool and a lot of stuff from the Ronin period that's cool too, but I want to incorporate that in a way where junkies like us are rewarded for their lifer status that also doesn't alienate anybody else. So I don't know if I'll be successful. Maybe it's just how I write comics. Maybe it's the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug. We'll see.

Finally, comicfan298 asks, "you touched upon She-Hulk and Wyatt Wingfoot possibly rekindling their relationship in FF #4 are we going to see this continue in future issues?"

Fraction: Yeah, totally. I like them together. I like her having a fella, and I like him having her. They're a nice couple to me. And I feel like we've seen a lot of single female lawyer She-Hulk, so let's give her a relationship, see what happens.


Have some questions for Marvel's AXEL-IN-CHARGE? Please visit the CUP O' Q&A thread in CBR's Marvel Universe forum. It's now the dedicated thread for all connections between Board Members and the Marvel Executive staff that CBR will pull questions for next week's installment of our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer column! Do it to it!

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TAGS:  marvel comics, aic, axel-in-charge, axel alonso, matt fraction, ff, fantastic four, hawkeye, david aja, mark bagley, mike allred

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