Hey there Midtown Bloggies! Raph’s back with another 5 Q’s! Guess you can blame me for any late books…
CHRISTOS GAGE is currently writing a boatload of books, including GI Joe, but what I’ve been really enjoying is his Avengers Academy series for Marvel Comics. Christos worked on Avengers: Initiative, which was a book in which all of the people who registered in the Superhero Registration Act were trained and taught how to act in their new roles as government sponsored protectors. The book initially focused on a small group, but with the size of the campus, voices get drowned out. In Avengers Academy, Christos is focusing on a small group of super-powered teens, who were taken in by Norman Osborn… and tortured to become the next generation of villains. The Avengers feel these kids are the most at-risk, and base the Academy around them. The moments between characters and the overall interactions are some of my favorite coming from Marvel, and so it was a pleasure to speak with Christos about his work.
Christos N. Gage. Photo by Luigi Novi.
1. Christos, Avengers Academy is arguably my favorite Avengers book. Nothing against the others, I love every team, but you bring the spirit of the Avengers Initiative and focus on one of my favorite parts of that series: the small character moments. With a smaller cast, it’s easier to focus on a character or two and really let them shine, how does this compare to Initiative?
Thanks very much! With new characters for the readers to get to know, we definitely wanted to focus on a smaller cast for a while. INITIATIVE did the same thing at first, when Dan started it, but as those characters took on lives of their own, we widened the cast to bring in more established players as well. Will Avengers Academy do the same thing eventually? You never know! But we definitely didn’t want our guys to get lost, and there’s still a lot to do with them.
2. Hank Pym has seen a lot of growth since Secret Invasion. From drunken, downtrodden wife-beater, to mournful, rebuilding hero to proud Founding Avenger and teacher of the next generation… what more are we going to see from Hank?
Hank has worked hard to get to a point where the mistakes he made – arguably no worse than those made by other heroes like Wolverine or Hawkeye – no longer define him. You’re going to see him continue to dedicate his life to training the heroes of tomorrow…but what I like about Hank is that he fails big because he tries big. I plan to continue the journey Dan started him on…of embracing the fact that if you try to do incredible things, sometimes it will blow up in your face…but instead of letting that keep you from trying, it should just make you want to do all you can to be ready when something goes wrong.
Lesson #3: How to take a pounding by the Juggernaut. Step 1? Don’t.
3. My favorite character interaction of late has to be between Spider-Girl and Reptil… the interaction between them in the 80 Page Giant and Issue 13 was terrific. Will we see more of the two?
They do have their own lives, but I like the chemistry between them too, so there’s a definite chance you will.
4. Is there a favorite character you have right now to write?
It’s a cliche, but it’s true: whoever I’m writing at the moment is my favorite.
5. What more can we expect from our heroes in training? Did the look into their future affect them at all?
Definitely. Mettle is struggling with the feeling that his adult self is used to killing…and good at it. Striker “died” as an adult and is facing the fallout of that. Veil tasted power. All these things and more will continue to affect the kids going forward.
Hazmat’s dress goes nice with her suit.
That’s it for this time! I hope if you’re not checking out Avengers Academy, that you please do now! The last issue came out on May 18th, and the Academy also makes an appearance in Amazing Spider-Man, in a two part story that concludes this week (last week was the first part). Next time, a little look at Kirby Genesis!