Dark Reign

Dark Reign-Makers: Jonathan Hickman

Marvel’s newest writer talks about prepping Marvel’s youngest secret agents for the Dark Reign in SECRET WARRIORS

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By Marc Strom The secret agent game just got a whole lot of new blood. Jonathan Hickman, the writing sensation behind works such as Nightly News and Transhuman, begins his first ongoing series for Marvel with SECRET WARRIORS #1 on February 4, co-plotted by the Warriors' creator, Brian Michael Bendis, with art by 2009 Young Gun Stefano Caselli. Led by Nick Fury, the Secret Warriors came together in the days before Secret Invasion as part of the former director of S.H.I.EL.D.'s plan to stem the Skrulls' coming attack. Now, under Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, the Warriors have an all-new but no less dangerous mission as they set out to protect the world from the threats it doesn't even know exists. We spoke to Hickman about all this and more.
Marvel.com: When Fury first assembled the Warriors, it was specifically to face the Skrulls' coming

SECRET
WARRIORS #1
cover by
Jimmy Cheung

invasion. Now that the invasion's over, what will the Secret Warriors' mission statement be? What is it that will keep them together? Jonathan Hickman:
They'll be facing something bigger, something more sinister, and way more personal. No promises that they'll stay together or that everyone will make it. It's just not that kind of book. Marvel.com: Where will the ongoing series pick up after Secret Invasion? Jonathan Hickman: Couple months later. Smack dab in the middle of Dark Reign. Marvel.com: What type of role will Nick Fury play in the book? How much of him will fans get to see in the series? Jonathan Hickman: The lineup's going to be fluid, so even though Nick Fury is the main character, he won't be in every issue. So, there will be plenty of air for the kids as well as the bad guys. Marvel.com: Is there any one character you've gravitated to the most so far? Jonathan Hickman: I like Phobos quite a bit. Hellfire's really fun to write. Daisy Johnson is a damn fine character.

The Secret
Warriors by
Stefano Caselli

Marvel.com: You've done a few limited series and one-shots at this point, but this is your first ongoing series—what do you think is the biggest difference between the two forms? Jonathan Hickman: I've wanted to do an ongoing for quite a while. I find writing [limited series] pretty frustrating because, generally, I want to tell dense, complex stories, which really limits what you can do with [that] format. So, working on SECRET WARRIORS has been both exciting and rewarding—more so than anything else I've done so far. Marvel.com: For that matter, this is your first extended experience with characters that you didn't create yourself—how have you found that transition? Jonathan Hickman: Oh, it's fine. I haven't run into a bunch of no's from [series editor Tom] Brevoort, so I'm sure that makes things a bit easier. It's really kind of a tweener book because most of the cast are fairly blank slates—I'll also be creating other characters as well, so, you know, not really that much of a transition so far.

SECRET
WARRIORS #2
cover by
Jimmy Cheung

Marvel.com: How has your collaboration with Bendis been so far? What type of role does he play in creating the book? Jonathan Hickman: Working with Brian is nice. He's so good at what he does, I know I can call him up and bounce everything off him and get a pretty good idea of whether or not it's worth putting in the book. And that's pretty much how it works. The guy knows his craft. Marvel.com: When all's said and done, what aspect of SECRET WARRIORS are you most excited about? Jonathan Hickman: Getting to do a story that's in my wheelhouse. And, of course, I'm naturally excited that a larger audience will be exposed to my work—should be nice. Marvel.com: Anything else you'd like to mention? Jonathan Hickman: Yeah, how 'bout that Jimmy Cheung on covers? We keep the Dark Reign-Makers coming tomorrow with AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE writer Christos Gage! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!

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