Change is afoot in the Marvel Universe -- and in the Marvel Comics publishing line as well.
In late November, the company announced that "Inhuman" -- a monthly series set to expand on the Inhumans characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby -- would be delayed from January to April. Earlier this week, Marvel followed up on that by announcing that the reason for the delay was that writer Matt Fraction has been replaced on the title by Charles Soule. Artist Joe Madureira will remain on the book with Soule.
As "Inhuman," the story of ordinary people changed into Inhumans by the widespread release of Terrigen Mist, has been promoted as a cornerstone of the Marvel publishing line moving forward -- it's the main follow-up to the recent "Infinity" event series and the cornerstone launch of an overall "Inhumanity!" branding on several titles -- the late change in writers raised questions from readers as to why Fraction had left the series. CBR News contacted both writers along with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso for our regular AXEL-IN-CHARGE Friday column, and as the news is still breaking, we're presenting a portion of the interview today to inform readers as to the nature and timing of the creative shift.
"This is just an instance where we -- meaning Marvel and the writer, Matt Fraction -- came to the realization that we weren't on the same page, we probably never would be, and no one would benefit if we tried to force it to work," Alonso told CBR. "The series that Matt wanted to write would have been good, no doubt about it, but it was not the series we need to lay the foundation for this new universe within the Marvel Universe.
"The reason this [creative shift] came about a bit late is because of the mutual respect we've built over ten-plus years, and, well, because we really wanted it to work out," Alonso added.
"As un-dramatic and uninteresting as it sounds, my version of 'Inhuman' wasn't what they were into and, y'know, it's their company," Fraction said, concurring with Alonso's take on the situation. "It's a legit case of 'creative differences' in spite of everyone's best intentions. After what? Five or six months where this has been my primary focus and we're still not on the same page -- I can't say they didn't try, they can't say I didn't try, and at some point, you gotta move on. It happens.
"It didn't make sense to continue working together on this book," the writer added. "I was not fired. I am not fired. I am still employed. We are all still friends. 'Inhuman' is a really big deal for all involved. You need to be moving as one."
For his part, Soule tells CBR that his version of "Inhuman" is its own ground-up approach to the high concept Fraction is setting up in the current "Inhumanity!" minseries. "Matt and Jonathan Hickman set me up with a really good springboard for the series. The things that happened in 'Infinity' and 'Inhumanity!' give me a ton to play with, but we're really starting mainly with the premise that Black Bolt's Terrigen bomb exploded over New York City and has subsequently begun to spread a cloud of Terrigen Mist all around the world, activating latent Inhumans wherever it encounters them," he said. "That lends itself to a million different angles. Because the ground work is so strong, I'd be an idiot to ignore it -- it's a foundation upon which many amazing stories and characters will be built."
Check back with CBR on Friday for a full transcript of the trio's interview which will include a first look at Joe Mad's new art for the series, a rundown of how the delay of "Inhuman" will and won't affect the "Inhumanity!" tie-in books, what Soule has planned for new characters and what's next for Fraction's Marvel hit "Hawkeye."