Any Marvel Comics fan will tell you the Marvel Universe can be a volatile place where tensions abound, just waiting to be ignited. Thankfully, this fall the Marvel Universe will also boast UNCANNY AVENGERS, from writer Gerry Duggan and artist Ryan Stegman, featuring a team devoted to promoting the peace including Steve Rogers, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Rogue, the Human Torch, Quicksilver, Doctor Voodoo, and more.
“They are the opposite of the Secret Avengers,” explains Duggan. “Eight months later there are new conflicts and tensions in the Marvel Universe. This group is meant to project cooperation and coexistence between humans, Inhumans, and mutants. That means visible successes.”
Of course, those kinds of hopeful results demand strong teamwork, no guarantee with this new team.
“[Questions of if the team makes sense and what binds them] are questions the cast must confront themselves,” the writer reveals. “Steve Rogers is the reason this particular group is together. Not everyone will be thrilled to be on a squad with [Deadpool], especially [Spider-Man].”
Thankfully for fans, Duggan and Stegman have found collaboration far less bumpy then their fictional cast.
“To be honest, I'm not sure our approaches have had to change much,” Stegman asserts. “We've just kind of fit together like puzzle pieces and it's working out great.”
“Like all great writers, Gerry is extremely collaborative,” the artist continues. “Gerry and I have had a lot of conversations about the tone of this book, and the things we want to do stylistically. The best part about this project is Gerry and I have known each other for quite some time. Heck, Gerry and I have already spent time in Vegas casinos together, which pretty much makes us brothers.”
“He tagged my father instead of me in his Uncanny Avengers announcement on Facebook so, it’s going about as well as you would think collaborating with him could go,” jokes Duggan of Stegman. “The truth is that Ryan’s an amazing collaborator and his art has never been more thrilling. It’s going to be a fun book, even when the characters aren't enjoying themselves.”
To be clear, Duggan and Stegman will be very dedicated to making sure the characters often do not enjoy themselves.
“Gerry is known for his comedic writing on DEADPOOL, I certainly have a ‘cartoonier’ style, and people think that means that this book will be silly and cartoony,” Stegman acknowledges. “But that’s not the case. We are doing some very heavy, dark stuff. Like all good stories, there will be moments of extreme darkness and there will be moments of levity. We are going to cover it all. So stylistically I am pushing to really sell both extremes.”
“We’re going to mess up the personal lives of these characters while we’re throwing them into constant danger, and hopefully we’ll have some moments of levity along the way,” echoes Duggan. “The first arc features a new villain with a definite sympathetic point of view. We’ve been enjoying writing him as much as this group of Avengers. I will say that you will see some unexpected villains and heroes show up in UNCANNY AVENGERS.”
Unpredictable fast becomes the watchword for UNCANNY AVENGERS with the passage of time having made changes, big and small, in many of the heroes’ lives since before Secret Wars.
“Everyone is slightly different eight months later, and I’m looking forward to exploring how this team finds a way to operate together,” Duggan says. “Deadpool has fame and fortune eight months later. Sure, he’s bought a few slushy machines and other frivolous gear, but he’s also diverting most of his fortune to helping fund the Avengers. Quicksilver is in an interesting spot. [He] isn’t just trying to adjust to life as an Avenger, but life not as the son of Magneto. That’s several tons of emotional baggage that falls off his shoulders. He’s loving life and living it to the fullest.”
“I didn't know how much I'd enjoy drawing Deadpool,” confesses Stegman. “He’s really, really fun. Drawing his body language from panel to panel is a pleasure.”
“I am trying to prevent myself from just writing a list of what I like about drawing each character right now, because the truth is I've found something about all of them to enjoy,” he continues. “It’s always a surprise to me how I’m going to react to drawing a character. But all these ones have such distinctive personalities that it’s been a blast so far.”
While having a great time with the work, neither creator has lost sight of the honor of tackling an Avengers book for the first time.
“I’m trying to apply everything I’ve learned from my first two years at Marvel into making the biggest and best Avengers book I can,” promises Duggan.
“It's a team book and that means it’s really freaking hard to draw,” admits Stegman. “You have to keep track of so many characters doing so many things. But, this is an Avengers title, so you just have to bite the bullet and think about how many great artists have tackled them before and succeeded. At this point in the comic book industry, there is no greater property than the Avengers, and to be a part of that is a challenge I look forward to.”
While Duggan continues to keep a tight rein on spoilers, he does not hesitate to give his editors credit or tease readers with some exciting developments to keep an eye out for.
“[Editors] Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith gave me a suggestion that drops like an atomic bomb in the second issue,” he reveals. “I do hope it manages to roll off a printer and into fans’ hands unspoiled.”
“Teams are families,” the writer concludes. “Families don’t always get along, and this team has the added pressure of projecting unity. Difficult but fun times lay ahead. I will say this: there will be surprises throughout the first arc, some dealing with the make-up of this roster.”
UNCANNY AVENGERS begins its mission of unity this fall! Stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels for the latest All-New All-Different Marvel news!