Marvel’s ‘next big thing’ conference has revealed some interesting developments. Captain America gets a monthly team-up book, starting with the new glory boy of the Avengers, that purple-clad bowman Hawkeye. Over on the street-level books, the events in Mark Waid’s Daredevil book (you ARE reading, right?) explode across the pages of Punisher and Spider-Man in The Omega Effect.
Today continued the trend of Marvel’s Next Big Thing series of press conference calls with yet another big announcement from the House of Ideas: the conversion of “Captain America & Bucky” to “Captain America & Hawkeye.” Moderator Junior Sales Administrator James Viscardi was joined by series writer Cullen Bunn, who shed some light on the upcoming series.
The book will be written by Bunn with art by Alessandro Vitti continuing the numbering of “Captain America & Bucky.” “The ‘Cap and Bucky’ series was going to go through this change in stories that didn’t focus on Cap and Bucky in the past and shake things up a bit,” said Bunn. “They contacted me to see if I’d be interested in writing this series. Hawkeye was one of the characters that I love the most, so I jumped all over that. The interesting thing about the series is that it is going to be Captain America and Hawkeye, but it is going to be a rotating cast.” After four issues the cast will change to Captain America and somebody else. There will be both arcs and one-shots featuring Cap and other characters.
“The short and simple of it is Captain America and Hawkeye go out and fight a bunch of dinosaurs,” said Bunn of the first arc. “That’s pretty much how I pitched my initial story. I wanted to get into the dynamic of these two characters who have been Avengers for so long.” The writer also said he wanted to play off their previous relationship and explore how they see each other in terms of how they handle different situations.
In terms of the tone of “Captain America & Hawkeye,” Bunn said the book would be a different type of story than “Cap & Bucky.” “It’s more of a high-octane action story, a little more light-hearted,” he said. “I really want these stories to be a lot of fun. I’ve written the first arc and I’m really going for something fun and entertaining with a lot of action. A real superhero story.”
“Captain America touches on all these corners of the Marvel Universe. There are limitless possibilities, really,” said Bunn. “I know a couple of characters that will be joining the roster initially. I can’t name all of them because I haven’t gotten approval … but there is going to be a ‘Captain America & Iron Man’ and a ‘Captain America & Black Widow.’ There are going to be other characters and definitely some non-Avengers.”
Bunn said he wanted to try to play a little bit in continuity and out by keeping things grounded in the Marvel Universe, but also accessible for new readers. “I want the book to have relevance and be important and reference things in the Marvel Universe,” he said, “but I also want it to be strong enough for people to just read those stories and enjoy those things for what they are.”
When Bunn started making his little list of every character he wanted to have Cap team up with, Captain America and Hawkeye came pretty close to the top of the list, but there are definitely more that he’s hoping to push for. “Captain America and Union Jack is one I’d like to push for,” he said. “I think Union Jack’s a great character, but I love the idea of those two working together. There are a lot of obscure characters I’d like Cap to team up with. … If I could get Captain America and the Enigma Force team up, my dreams will be fulfilled.”
Marvel’s week of “Next Big Thing” conference calls with the comic book press continues on Thursday at 3 p.m. eastern, and per usual, we don’t have concrete details on what will be discussed or who will be on the line, but based on the art we’ve received, we’ve got a pretty strong indication.
The first promo image — with the Punisher skull, Daredevil mask and spider web — had a filename of “TheOmegaEffect,” and the subsequent covers sent to the press were of upcoming Avenging Spider-Man, Daredevil and Punisher issues (click through the “related images” gallery on the right to peruse said covers). So it doesn’t take an expert prognosticator to assume that a crossover between those three books, titled “The Omega Effect,” might be coming in April.
Update: “The Omega Effect” is a three-part crossover between the April issues of Avenging Spider-Man, Daredevil and Punisher, Marvel revealed Thursday afternoon at their latest “Next Big Thing” press conference call.
All three issues will be written by Greg Rucka and Mark Waid, with the two co-writing Avenging Spider-Man #7, then the two writers stay on their usual books; Waid on Daredevil #11 and Rucka on Punisher #10. Each issue will be illustrated by Marco Checchetto.
The story centers on the Omega Drive currently in Daredevil’s possession, which contains critical information on five of the top crime organizations in the Marvel Universe.
“He’s basically trying to beat the clock, trying to find the best application for this thing, and that’s when Frank Castle knocks on the door,” Waid said.
“These five organizations don’t want anybody else to have it,” Rucka added. “Frank’s feeling is, ‘I can keep it safe, and I can use it properly,’ and Matt hears that, as ‘I can keep it safe, and I can use it to kill a lot of people.’”