In the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men a new team will be born. Uncanny Avengers is the first of 20 new titles in the Marvel NOW! relaunch kicking off in October. Rick Remender and John Cassaday craft a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Children of the Atom.
Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Secret Avengers) promises a different take on the two franchises. Some surprises have been revealed: Havok (X-Factor) will be team leader. Captain America will take orders from Cyclops’ brother? Scarlet Witch is on the new team seeking redemption. The villain is a reborn Red Skull.
The AvX war will be over? The healing begins? How is the new book tied to the end of AvX?
“I know what they’re doing. And fortunately, as Jason was writing the final issue I got to chat him up a bit. We coordinate very well. I think we’ve done a great job in the X-Office of tying the books together subtly in ways that link but feel natural. That’s something that I benefit from having with Jason. We [talked about] how he’s ending things in the issue itself and I gave him my first script and we changed a few things to kind of meld them together. Tom’s obviously the editor of both so I’m hip to what’s going on. We’re all in communication about these things to make sure that it’s cohesive,” Remember tells Marvel.com.
How does this new team/book show fans the post AvX world?
“There’s something that Cyclops said to [Captain America] on Utopia that’s ringing in his head. He didn’t do enough to help. And Steve is taking that to heart. Coming out of AvX with the landscape shifted and changed as much as it is, there are events that lead Steve to recognizing that he needs to do more and there are five new things that lead to the creation of the team. The team itself really isn’t even created until halfway through the first year. It’s still chaos. I didn’t want it to just be like “And now everybody shakes hands and hugs!” There’s still a really good arc of these things kind of coalescing and cooking into a soufflé of A and X. So without being able to discuss the specific events, I’ll just say that it comes from a place of healing and it comes from a guy who has firsthand experience with the horrors of prejudice and hatred and sees that this is his potentially final opportunity to stand and do something about it and help.
Now, that’s just where Steve’s at. I have gone to great lengths to make sure every character involved has a very specific reason for being there, a very specific reason for being put on the team, and chosen, and they all have very unique perspectives on the team’s necessity, where they’re at as people and why they think that this is a good thing to do. Wolverine’s motives come half from AvX and the other half from the end of the “Final Execution” arc in UNCANNY X-FORCE. So those two things, without giving them away, [change] him in a way that I’m really excited to be writing. I think that we’re helping to really develop and progress Wolverine as a character in these books.
A move that may have fans stratching their heads: why does Cap chose Havok?
“I think that the bottom line is that he sees the value in people seeing Captain America and Havok descend down to save the day when things go gnarly. There needs to be a face in the Avengers that could be the Captain America for [mutants]. And going through his list, Havok is the very best choice for that. You’ve got somebody who’s trained by Xavier, he’s a beloved X-Man, he’s well-educated, he’s formerly a government agent—with X-Factorbeing what it was in the nineties he was part of a government-sanctioned unit—so he’s got a shiny veneer that you can present to the public and hopefully help people see mutants as something different. There’s other reasons as well—two, three huge ones coming out of AvX—that will lead to that decision, but that’s how Havok becomes the guy that Cap sees as “You’re going to lead this squad, you’ve got a ton of experience leading, and this is your time to stand up and be the big public face of the Avengers.” And of course Alex, having had such a chaotic past for the last, you know, forever, this is going to be a very difficult situation, and not one that he’s necessarily going to just grab the reins on.”
Why did Remember choose Havok?
”I always saw him as the black sheep of the Summers family. He was always one of my favorite characters reading the X-Men growing up. He’s conflicted, and I love the idea that the older brother—who is the star football player, basically—Cyclops is the beloved son, leader of the X-Men and the first guy who they turn to and he’s basically the star pupil in terms of the Xavier School. I like the idea that his younger brother has not hostility toward him necessarily, but he’s always walked a very different path. And I like him as a character because he’s a little rock and roll. I mean, going back to that [HAVOK & WOLVERINE: MELTDOWN limited series]—which was one of the things that really solidified him as a favorite of mine—where he’s James Dean. He’s sunglasses and a pint of scotch and a convertible on the weekends and I think I’d like that rock and roll attitude that he’s got. He’s got a dry, sarcastic wit. He’s somebody who’s never been in the forefront in a big, huge public way of anything, not like his brother has, and he’s okay with that. I’ve never seen Alex as somebody who’s seeking that out. That’s all the more reason that it’s exciting to take him and put him in the most chaotic point in mutant history and the most chaotic point in the Marvel Universe, to have Captain America come tap him and say “You’re going to lead the Avengers,” that, to me, is drama. There’s just so much meat there for character that—it all just seemed perfect, I couldn’t think of anybody who I more wanted to put in that situation beyond just having an affinity for the character from youth.”
Remender confirmed Havok, Scarlet Witch and Rogue will be solely be in the new book. That means Havok is leaving X-Factor and Rogue is out of X-Men Legacy. For his entire interview here’s the Marvel.com link.