A Marvel Thanksgiving

Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Pak, Christos Gage and several more share what they have to be thankful for



By Ben Morse

We here at Marvel.com have much to give thanks for as Turkey Day creeps up on us later this week, from our brand new site to the re-launch of The Watcher to the continued hilarity of Marvel: Super-Heroes: What The--?! To our swanky new digs on 50th and so and so forth.

But rather than go on bragging about all our spoils and triumphs—because we just did that, see—we thought it might be more fun for all of you to hear from your favorite Marvel creators on what’s got them feeling grateful for the past 11 months, how their characters celebrate Thanksgiving and which Avenger prepares the cranberry relish.

So sit back, grab a drumstick, and consider this our way of thanking you, our beloved Marvel fans.

After wrapping AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE in the wake of Siege, Christos Gage not only launched the superb AVENGERS ACADEMY, he also became a member of the Marvel family full-time in 2010, signing an exclusive contract earlier this fall.

 Marvel.com: So when it comes to Marvel, what are you most thankful this year?

Avengers Academy

Christos Gage: I'm most thankful to be Marvel exclusive and know I'll be working for Marvel for at least the next two years! And I'm also really thankful to have had such wonderful artists doing covers for INVADERS NOW!. Working with Alex Ross is amazing enough, but to have living legends like John Romita Sr., Sal Buscema, Ramona Fradon and Howard Chaykin drawing the variant covers has me in nerd heaven! To think that I grew up reading their work and now my name is on a book they worked on—it blows my mind.

Marvel.com: Who among your AVENGERS ACADEMY cast do you think will most be cherishing Thanksgiving?

Christos Gage: I don't think they see it this way, but all the kids should be thankful they're at Avengers Academy and not the training program Norman Osborn had in mind for them. Imagine "Survivor" but with killer robots.

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Christos Gage: Thank you for making it possible for me to have this dream job. I appreciate it more than I can say, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

2010 marked many milestones for Fred Van Lente, as alongside writing collaborator Greg Pak he brought to a close the years-long Incredible Hercules saga in Chaos War and helped usher the end of Brand New Day as one of the Webheads on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

 Marvel.com: From a Marvel standpoint, what have you been most thankful for this past year?

Chaos War

Fred Van Lente: That I'm offered projects that challenge my abilities and, even better, try and expand the audience for comics as much as possible. 

Marvel.com: Looking back on your time working on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, what stands out for you as the moment or experience there you were most grateful to have?

Fred Van Lente: Going to speak at Governors Island about "Keemia's Castle," the story I set there [in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #615-616] was a big honor and the place was packed because, to my gratitude and surprise, it was featured in media all across New York City. That was a huge kick. 

Marvel.com: Same question as the last, but for you and Greg Pak's sprawling Incredible Hercules saga.

Fred Van Lente: Seeing our [story] come to a climax in the form of Chaos War, and have it both the culmination of something Greg and I have worked so hard on for the last two years and have it be a huge line-wide crossover at the same time is something I never could have imagined when [we]  began this crazy journey together. 

Marvel.com: Speaking of Greg Pak, what are you most thankful for as far as your relationship with him?

Fred Van Lente: That he's grown a beard big enough for the both of us.  

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Fred Van Lente: I am thankful for each and every one of them.

The stalwart architect of the rejuvenated Marvel Adventures line of comics, Paul Tobin also made his way into the web of Spider-Man this year, penning the adventures of the Wallcrawler’s young protégé in SPIDER-GIRL.

 Marvel.com: What are you most grateful for when it comes to your work for Marvel this year?


Paul Tobin: All the great people that I've met, the fellow creators and the readers. It helps to foster energy for all my creative projects.

Marvel.com: With all the changes to her life in the past year, what are the things that Spider-Girl really appreciates?

Paul Tobin: Anya appreciates friends the most. I think at first she felt a bit isolated, out trying to save the world alone, but now there's Nomad and the rest of the Young Allies, and there's Spider-Man, and her friendship with Sue Richards. All of this keeps her going.

Marvel.com: How do you imagine a Thanksgiving celebration with the cast of MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES going down? And what about if Spider-Man shows up?

Paul Tobin: Everyone astonished at Thor's literally godlike appetite. A few off color remarks by Tony Stark. People making sure that Bruce Banner gets the best drumstick, so that he doesn't get mad. Nova bashfully trying to talk to any number of girls. The Black Widow surprising everyone with a warm speech. Sue Storm pranking everyone by making food disappear. The Vision cutting the turkey with his laser vision. And of course Spider-Man is going to show up, and Wolverine will be there as well, showing that he's the best there is at what he does—and what he does is hog all the potatoes and gravy.

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Paul Tobin: Just a hope that people remember to laugh, and to be creative, and to remember we're all in this together, so be kind.

Hawkeye & Mockingbird

Jim McCann will remember 2010 as a breakout year in which he fulfilled a lifelong dream of reuniting his favorite Marvel couple in HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD; he’s now set to delve further into the spy game with WIDOWMAKER.

Marvel.com: What Marvel-related goodness would you say you’re most thankful for this year?

Jim McCann: I'm thankful that I got the chance to continue writing two of my favorite characters month after month, fulfill a life-long goal of writing Alpha Flight, and [that Marvel was] so supportive of me as a writer.

Marvel.com: After everything they've been through, will Hawkeye and Mockingbird be spending Thanksgiving together this year?
Jim McCann: They will be spending it together in a way—they are on the run for their lives trying to find & stop the new Ronin from a killing spree and worse in WIDOWMAKER.
Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?
Jim McCann: Thank you for the constant love and support of what I'm writing.  I was known for six years as a marketing guy and this past year has been my first full year getting into comic book writing, and the fans and readers and press reception has been humbling and something I am truly grateful for.

While he brought his WOLVERINE: ORIGINS series to a close, Daniel Way also spent the past year breathing new life into Logan’s son alongside co-writer Marjorie Liu in DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE and chronicling the madcap adventures of Marvel’s Merc With a Mouth in DEADPOOL.

Marvel.com: What would you consider your Marvel moments you’re most thankful for this year?

Daniel Way: Finishing up WOLVERINE: ORIGINS was definitely cool. 50-issue runs are pretty rare nowadays, so I’m pretty proud of that. The continued success of DEADPOOL has been awesome, and introducing Hit-Monkey and having him catch on in such a big way was about as cool as it gets. Plus, I got tapped to write ASTONISHING X-MEN! With [artist] Jason Pearson! So yeah, pretty great year.

Marvel.com: Do you imagine a guy like Daken is thankful for much or does he just expect good things to happen for him?

Daniel Way: Thankfulness is a pretty foreign/disgusting concept to our boy Daken.

Marvel.com: Does Deadpool really grasp the concept of Thanksgiving?

Daniel Way: He would consciously avoid such a thing. If you asked him, every day is Thanksgiving. But inside, every day is just one more day he would rather spend dead.

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Daniel Way: Yes. Volunteer for community organizations. Don’t eat like a pig and then pass out on the couch. Instead of watching football, play football. And thanks for giving me the coolest job I’ve ever had.

Incredible Hulks

In addition to the aforementioned Chaos War with Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak also helped helm the World War Hulks smash-fest alongside Jeph Loeb and others, using the story to segue into his current INCREDIBLE HULKS title, featuring Bruce Banner and his unique family.

Marvel.com: Of all your Marvel work this year, what are you most thankful for?

Greg Pak: Everything, natch! I'm writing Hulk twice a month, finishing the Incredible Hercules epic in grand style with Fred Van Lente in Chaos War, and now Marvel's letting me cut loose with the Silver Surfer in a [limited series] that starts in February 2011. Each of these projects has been a dream come true, so a thousand thanks to my editors at Marvel and to all the readers, retailers and reviewers who have been so supportive.

Marvel.com: How the heck do you see the very first Incredible Hulks Thanksgiving dinner going down?

Greg Pak: All the Hulks start to eat before they say grace. Korg just sadly shakes his head.

Marvel.com: Looking back on your time working on Incredible Hercules, what stands out for you as the moment or experience there you were most grateful to have?

Greg Pak: I'm grateful for each and every artist, inker, colorist, and letterer we've had the chance to work with. Everyone on the book has captured its crazy combination of comedy, epic adventure, and genuine emotional growth. All the pretty words Fred and I write wouldn't mean much without the beautiful "acting" of our artists bringing those characters to life.

And of course a big tip of the hat to visionary editor Mark Paniccia, assistant editors Nate Cosby and Jordan White, and unsung Marvel heroes like Arune Singh and David Gabriel, whose support has been amazing and essential. David Gabriel deserves particular mention for, as I understand it, being the first to say, “Hey, what about a buddy book with Herc and Amadeus?”

Marvel.com: Speaking of Fred, what are you most thankful for as far as your relationship with him?

Greg Pak: Oh, such a set up for tomfoolery, but I'll play this one straight. Fred and I didn't know each other at all when Nate Cosby introduced us back in 2007. But we immediately hit it off and, in the course of writing this crazy buddy book, became buddies ourselves.

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Greg Pak: Many thanks again for all your support! We literally couldn't do what we do without you. Be well, stay healthy, don't drink and drive, and if you have the means and the interest, the Hero Initiative is always a great option for year-end giving.


2010 saw beginnings and endings for Jeff Parker, as he revamped THUNDERBOLTS with new team leader Luke Cage and took over chronicling General Ross’ exploits in HULK while bidding farewell—for now—to Jimmy Woo and company with ATLAS.

Marvel.com: In terms of your work with Marvel this year, what are you most thankful for?

Jeff Parker: I'm thankful for the artist powerhouses I've been working with: Gabriel Hardman, Kev Walker and Declan Shalvey. They and I are joined in being thankful for color artists Bettie Breitweiser and Frank Martin. 

Marvel.com: Surely Luke Cage is thankful for his wife and child as well as his Avengers buddies, but do you think there's anything about his role leading the Thunderbolts he gives thanks for?

Jeff Parker: I think so. He makes a lot of noise about what hopeless cases the team are, but I think he takes a lot of pride when they pull off a difficult mission. And that's a thing to give thanks for.

Marvel.com: Wilder Thanksgiving dinner: the Thunderbolts or Atlas?

Jeff Parker: Oh man, how lame would the Thunderbolts dinner be? They have to go to the prison mess hall! Turkey with saltpeter, yum! No, Atlas gets the better dinner with fresh caught swordfish Namora brings.

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Jeff Parker: You guys are great. Your enthusiasm for the books I've been working on—you have no idea how much that fires me up and makes me get into the writing. I hope you pick up some good comics Wednesday to read in between naps Thursday! 

The Thanos Imperative

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the writing duo collectively known as DnA, brought several cosmic storylines they spent the last several years building to a close in THE THANOS IMPERATIVE before shifting gears for the street-level HEROES FOR HIRE; as they are want to do, they answered all questions in tandem.

Marvel.com: What do you count yourselves most thankful for in terms of your 2010 at Marvel?

DnA: I think it would be the fact that we got to take our cosmic cycle through to its massive conclusion. THE THANOS IMPERATIVE was a big destination for us, and it was great to get there and put the story in place. It doesn’t mean that’s the last you’ll see of us in the cosmic side of things, but it was very satisfying to reach that punctuation point.
Marvel.com: What do you think was going through Nova and Star-Lord's respective heads as far as what they're each most thankful for as they made their big sacrifice at the conclusion of THANOS IMPERATIVE?

DnA: The fact they got a chance to stop the biggest bad of all, and save the universe. It was a vindication of all that Star-Lord believed, and a demonstration of Nova’s importance as a first division hero. I think they were glad they were there for each other too. They were probably also thankful that this is comics, and no one stays dead forever.
Marvel.com: Craziest group to wrangle for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Inhuman royal family, or the upcoming cast of HEROES FOR HIRE?

DnA: Heroes For Hire, definitely. Most of them don’t want to be in the same room at the same time, and you’d have to trick some of them into being there. Plus, many are armed and/or deadly. That’s a situation that’ll take more than decent turkey and trimmings to pacify.
Marvel.com: What are you each most thankful for as far as your relationship with your writing partner?

DnA: Support and inspiration, plus it makes working for a living more of a laugh that it ought to be.
Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

DnA: Thanks for reading, and thanks for enjoying! We hope you like what we’ve got planned next!


Marvel’s most prolific writer, Brian Michael Bendis launched the Heroic Age this year with AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS and AVENGERS PRIME, kept things fresh in ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, and also found time for his creator-owned project SCARLET.

Marvel.com: What would you consider yourself most thankful for looking back at your latest year with Marvel?

Brian Michael Bendis: Honestly, when you hipped me to this interview I started thinking about the year, and yeah, it was a pretty big year. It kind of snuck up on me. It was my 10th anniversary at Marvel, it was the 10th anniversary of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, Siege and the Heroic Age launched pretty fabulously, SCARLET launched way above my expectations, the Marvel movies are rocking, I started working on the “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon, the Ultimate Enemy trilogy, I'm working on a couple of top secret Marvel video games...

I am more than a little thankful.

Marvel.com: Of all the many characters you write, who do you think has the most to be thankful for this year?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well looks like Squirrel Girl's gonna be in a top 10 book for the first time in her life, so I think her.

Marvel.com: Who brings what to Thanksgiving dinner at Avengers Tower?

Brian Michael Bendis: I think Tony Stark has come to terms with the fact that he always picks up the check.

Marvel.com: Craziest Thanksgiving dinner: Avengers Tower, Avengers Mansion or Aunt May's house in the Ultimate Universe?

Brian Michael Bendis: I'm going to go with Avengers Mansion. Aunt May runs a pretty tight ship, and so does Jarvis; the one dinner that looks like it could break out into a fist fight, a Rock Band 3 marathon, or some kind of weird hookup situation is definitely in Avengers Mansion.

Marvel.com: Any Thanksgiving wishes you'd like to pass on to your fans and readers?

Brian Michael Bendis: I just want to thank everybody for their support and for their love of comics, for their passion about this medium, and the love of these characters that we all share. I hope you find all the happiness in your life that you have afforded me in my life by supporting our books.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from us here at Marvel.com and thanks for all your support throughout the year! Be sure to check out today’s all-new edition of The Watcher for more on what your favorite Marvel characters have planned for the big day!

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