Jonathan Hickman is leaving Marvel’s First Family for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The Marvel NOW! relaunch will see a new Avengers series premiering this December and a New Avengers title in January by Hickman. The visionary creator (Fantastic Four, SHIELD, Manhattan Projects) is revealing his new vision for the team in the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men and an 8 year run by Brian Michael Bendis.
Hickman tells Marvel.com how the Avengers came his way.
”I did not actively go after it. There was a retreat where we were trying to figure out what was going to happen after Avengers Vs.X-Men. This is before we really got into writing AvX. One of the things that we talked about was changing creative teams across the board, and that, later on, turned into something that we decided to do. I was one of the ones that popped up and said “Well that’s fine. Whatever we need to do. Whatever we think is going to work, whatever we think is going to be exciting, whatever is going to be new and fresh.” You know, we all need new experiences. So I volunteered to quit FANTASTIC FOUR on the spot. I said, “You know, I’ll go first. Whatever. I’ll quit FANTASTIC FOUR and I’ll go write Squadron Supreme or something, right?” And I don’t think I got the ball rolling or anything like that, but it certainly let everybody know that I was more than happy to jump around and try new things.
Then when it came time to do roster shake ups, I didn’t solicit for any gig. I think they just sort of started talking about it around the office. And we had done the ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES launch, and even though that launch did not go as well as we wanted because of the New 52 kind of swallowing it over at DC, everybody thought I did a pretty good job. And I thought it was pretty solid. It showed that I can do work with what is essentially an Avengers team and I started getting phone calls about it.
But at the same time, I’m pretty sure that [Avengers editor Tom] Brevoort was on vacation when all of this kind of came to a head. So when Brevoort got back from vacation one of the first conversations I had to have was “You know, some of the management types, some of the brass are talking about me doing this and it’s your book, Tom, I’m not interested in doing it if you don’t want me on there.” And Tom said, “I’m the Avengers guy. I’m the one who’s going to have the final say-so.” I replied, “I love working with you and all that kind of stuff, but let me know and if you don’t want me on the book, obviously I’m not interested in doing it if you don’t want to do that but I would love to do anything with you again.” And anyway, it all worked out. We talked about what we wanted the book to be and I was asked to take the job and once I had Tom’s blessing I said yes. And then we got into what the book was going to be. That’s really convoluted, but that’s kind of what happened.”
Fantastic Four’s theme was family. The Avengers themes are bigger and more ominous.
“Yeah, very much so. AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS are really just two sides of the same book, of the same story. Thematically, they’re aligned too. AVENGERS is about life and NEW AVENGERS is about death. That’s what the two books are. It’s a big book. In the AVENGERS, we tackle the biggest things.”
Hickman confirmed his Avengers will start with 18 members. Jerome Opena (Uncanny X-Force) will be the artist on Avengers. Steve Epting will be the artist on New Avengers.
For his entire interview here’s the Marvel.com link.