Who Edits The Twelve?

Get inside the process of creating THE TWELVE with editor Molly Lazer

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THE TWELVE #4
preview art by
Chris Weston

By Jim Beard From unknown crimefighters to media darlings, The Twelve rock the house—the House of Ideas, that is. Lovingly written by superstar scribe J. Michael Straczynski and lavishly illustrated by Chris Weston, THE TWELVE has become a runaway hit and issue #4, shipping April 2, will detail the origin of one of the team's most unusual members, Rockman. However, THE TWELVE possesses its own foundation stones in the form of Tom Brevoort and Molly Lazer, the mighty editorial team that keeps the series on-track and rocking out. Lazer remains a bit shell-shocked at the bombshell the series' brought and the resounding reactions from readers: "I've honestly been surprised at how connected some readers feel to these characters," she admits. "Even though they may never have even heard of them before. It's a testament to how 'real' the story is—these 12 heroes seem very human and react in realistic ways to an extraordinary situation."

THE TWELVE #4
preview art by
Chris Weston

In THE TWELVE, Straczynski pulls 12 obscure Marvel heroes of the Golden Age—some who only appeared one or two published stories in the 1940's—off the shores of limbo and shoves them violently into the present day. Shorn of their former lives, the Twelve must immerse themselves in modern culture, weighing questions of continuing their costumed careers with the heavy conundrums of life and death. Some roll with the changes—others stumble and fall. For her part, Lazer has both tried and true favorite as well as characters that have surprised her among the dynamic dozen. "Fiery Mask has surprised me a bit," the editor confesses. "His origin in THE TWELVE #3 with the Zombie Master is so strange, and we'll find out the truth about how he got his powers coming up soon. "Poor Rockman is my favorite character right now, but I get a kick out of the Blue Blade, too. Master Mind Excello still needs to grow on me a bit—he's self-segregating, so I don't feel as attached to him."

THE TWELVE #4
preview art by
Chris Weston

As an editor, Lazer helps guide the title characters of THE TWELVE through their new existence. Part of that updated status quo involves the time-lost men and woman immersing themselves in the Marvel Universe proper, a world recently upset by cataclysmic events. "We've seen the Twelve deal with the Registration," reminds Lazer. "They're all registered heroes now, though where they go from here is up in the air. We'll have to wait and see how they are going to fit into the fabric of the Marvel Universe as the series goes on and afterwards. More than the Blue Blade might not survive the end of the series!" The Startling She-Editor drops a hint of the future—a tantalizing prospect of life beyond THE TWELVE? "I hope so!" she beams. "Who wouldn't want to read a Blue Blade limited series? Too bad he's dead... Maybe the Phantom Reporter could work full-time for the Daily Bugle and become one of Spidey's supporting characters. I think a Black Widow limited series could be really dark and fun to read."

THE TWELVE #4
preview art by
Chris Weston

Fully involved in production of THE TWELVE, Lazer enjoys the perks of the gig, namely working in tandem with such an accomplished writer and artist. "JMS writes full script, rather than 'Marvel style', so everything is described for Chris to draw," Lazer points out. "And Chris has been doing a bang-up job of it. I got a little misty when I read the script for issue #4 with Rockman's backstory in it, and really teared up when I saw the art. I think the realistic vibe to Chris' art does a lot to make the emotions of the characters seem so true to life." In THE TWELVE #2, reader's emotions ran headlong through the ringer as Rockman, monarch of a fantastical subterranean civilization, took up a litany of pounding on the earth to summon his people to him 60 years after he disappeared from 1945 Nazi-occupied Germany. No response has been forthcoming, building wave upon wave of anguish in the hirsute hero. "We want the reader to be invested in the Twelve characters in the same way that they are in Marvel mainstays like Captain America and Spider-Man," says Lazer.

THE TWELVE #4
preview art by
Chris Weston

So does Lazer sometimes feel like Black Widow, the only female heroine in a confluence of males—not even touching the whole soul-selling thing? "Ha!" she heartily laughs. "They're just lucky I haven't started seeking vengeance for a higher power yet..." THE TWELVE #4, where tensions flare higher, hero squares off against hero, and the origin of Rockman stands revealed, hits the stands on April 2. You can check out more work by JMS on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

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