Today we’re taking part in a special conference call with Marvel SVP / executive editor Tom Brevoort and writers Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker. The topic? Fallout from this summer’s company-wide Fear Itself event. The new status quo promises Shattered Heroes.
Even Mjolnir is feeling the hurt!
“Shattered Heroes” and “Battle Scars” have been flipped in terms of their usage since SDCC 2011. The line-wide branding is now officially “Shattered Heroes.”
In November we can look forward to Fear Itself issues 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3. Fraction considers these “point” issues as space for character moments the main event did not permit.
Brubaker will use 7.1 to focus on Captain America and the loss of Bucky. Fraction takes on 7.2 and 7.3 which focus on Thor and Iron Man respectively. How do the Asgardians react to the revelations left in the Serpent’s wake? In Iron Man’s story, Fraction continues his science vs. faith motif with more debate between Tony and Odin.
Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Avengers, Avengers Academy, Jason Aaron’s Incredible Hulk and The Defenders will all fall under the Shattered Heroes banner. And don’t forget Fear Itself: The Fearless. Battle Scars is just Battle Scars.
“We couldn’t make this more confusing if we tried,” Brevoort concedes of the branding.
Asked about the ensemble of Battle Scars, Fraction refers to the book as a travelogue with murder mystery elements. Brevoort promises mercenary and S.H.I.E.L.D. characters like Daisy Johnson, Taskmaster and more. No real clues to the identity of the shadowy character from the promos.
We asked about the fact that Thor is noticeably absent from the Romita Jr. promo for Shattered Heroes and what we might take from that choice. Fraction points to Tanarus the new god of thunder. Thor’s demotion is very much the story of Shattered Heroes.
In regard to making a more contemplative, post-war fallout style status quo palatable, Brubaker cites the emotional logistics of a war and its weight. Fraction notes that the original outline for Fear Itself included a funeral for Bucky, but the scene was pushed back because the chaos of the event meant such moments of mourning would naturally be put off. He feels that readers should hopefully be hungry for these dramatic resolutions to the main story’s violent action.
Brevoort believes the Marvel difference is that in each of their events, there’s a time of calibration in the aftermath. Events lead to major change and character moments. “That’s what cuts to the core of the readership. This is the stuff. This is what Marvel comics does best.”
The aftermath of Schism and Regenesis in the X-books coincides with Shattered Heroes.
Stuart Immonen will be taking a short break after Fear Itself but he’ll return for Warren Ellis’ Secret Avengers #21.
We asked about The Defenders and their involvement with Shattered Heroes. Defenders actually leads out of Hulk vs. Dracula. “The Hulk needs a favor,” says Fraction. And not many people can fulfill that. This leads to the mission statement for the team and serves as the thing they’re actually defending against.
Characters to watch out for in the next six month: Valkyrie, Daisy Johnson and Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. ensemble, the Forgiven, and mystery shadow guy (who we’ll remind you is an all new character).
Asked about Cap and his broken shield, Brevoort promises the sentinel of liberty will be using a very different kind of weapon. In fact everyone will have some armory upgrades very soon.
Stay tuned for updates as they happen!