Marvel Comics just came off a banner 2016, and this year's looking even bigger. Editor-in-chief Axel Alonso stopped by Fuse to speak about the publisher's goals for 2017. His personal biggest hope?
"I think it's to continue what we've been doing, which is to continue diversifying the line, the writers who are working on our books, and the characters who live in our world—while also bringing back some of our classic characters and putting them back center-stage where they belong. For people who think we don't care about them, you're wrong, we've always had our eye on them."
Last summer, Fuse spoke extensively with Alonso about Marvel's changing face, led by characters like Riri Williams (a black teenager who attends MIT and becomes the new Iron Man), Kamala Khan (the Muslim, Pakistani-American successor to the historically blond-haired, blue-eyed Ms. Marvel) and Amadeus Cho, a Korean-American Hulk.
Touching on the "interesting few years ahead," following the 2016 presidential election, Alonso says, in the clip up top, that Marvel's nonpartisan approach goes like this:
"We like to speak to what's going on, speak through metaphor, speak potently. When we see injustice, we like to confront it. We like to think that we're on the right side of history, that's a tradition that dates back to Stan Lee and all of his guys. And I think that it's important that we keep our eyes open and we listen, we listen to both sides of the issue. And we come up with stories that we think say something about the world, that we can stand behind."
It goes without saying that Marvel will have a giant 2017 in its TV and film branches, as well. Netflix will premiere three new shows—Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders, the posse miniseries bringing together Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist. Alonso says new Elektra, Kingpin and Bullseye standalone stories will soon arrive, leading to February's "Running with the Devil" cross-comic arc. It's a "huge story," Alonso says, "and don't be surprised if characters like the Punisher or Iron Fist—also Netflix characters—play a role in that as well."
Iron Fist will also get two new comics, a solo and another called Iron Fists, plural, with Danny Rand taking a young woman as his apprentice.
See Axel Alonso tell Fuse how Marvel Comics will align with Marvel Television and Marvel Studios next:
When it comes to the MCU, Brian Michael Bendis will wrap his run on Guardians of the Galaxy in time for James Gunn's cinematic sequel in May; in tandem, the comic will get a new creative team and approach. And as for preparing for November's Thor: Ragnarok? Alonso gets us up to speed:
"You may know, right now, Thor in the Marvel Universe is Jane Foster. Thor is a woman, she's as powerful and popular as ever. But Odin's son—original gangster Thor, as I call him, is still out there—and he's come back as something close to what he was before. But he does not wield the hammer. So I think the question is gonna be: Is his worthy? Can two people be worthy? Can two people wield the hammer, are there two hammers? Read and find out."
For more, revisit New York Comic Con 2016, when a Comic Con vet takes a newbie on a stroll: