New York Comic-Con 2009

NYCC '09: Lockjaw & The Pet Avengers

Writer Chris Eliopoulos explains why it'll soon be raining cats and dogs at Avengers Mansion!

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by Jim Beard Move over Avengers, Dark, Mighty, New, Young or otherwise! Its time for the Pet Avengers to save the day! You heard right; coming this May to a comic rack near you, LOCKJAW & THE PET AVENGERS aims to explain why our four-footed friends can avenge with the best of 'em. At least, that's what writer Chris Eliopoulos and editor Nate Cosby tell us… "The genesis of this series is that I have compromising pictures of Nate, so he gave me work," attempts Eliopoulos at explanation. "That or he really loves Lockjaw and asked if I would write a series about him and the other animals of the Marvel Universe. I loved the idea and went off picking the team and plotting out the story." "The mission statement is to not stink. Tell a new kind of story in the Marvel Universe using only animals. Make it fun, exciting and maybe even sad." The Pet Avengers lineup in this four-issue limited series reads as a virtual Who's Who of the amazing animals found 'round the Marvel U: Lockjaw, Redwing, Hairball, Lockheed and Frog Thor. Wait – Frog Thor? "I wanted to be ironic and have the Pet Avengers not be animals," says Cosby. "But Chris Literaliopoulos wouldn't budge, so we went with a dragon, a bird, a cat, a dog, and the greatest thing in the entire world: Frog Thor." "Nate made an intern search the Marvel database and find all the animals," adds Eliopoulos. "I then went and picked who I wanted. The sad part is when I told Nate I was putting in an all-new Frog Thor, he wept like 12-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. He loves all things Frog Thor. "The criteria for picking the [pets] were ones of diversity and character. Each one has their own distinct personality. Nate doesn't know this, but the obnoxious cat is based on him." For those who may wonder at the series' tone, be it humorous, adventurous or a combination of the two, Eliopoulos offers a succinct answer – with only a little horseplay. "[LOCKJAW & THE PET AVENGERS] is going to be a romp," he claims. "It's a road trip movie with animals. They don't all get along and they all have their problems, plus they're gonna find themselves over their heads. I'm also going to have humor in there. How can you not when you've got animals running around saving the universe?" The most pressing question on Marvelites' minds everywhere could be whether or not these crafty creatures actually talk in their new adventures. As opposed to, well, normal animal sounds, of course. "The only one not talking will be Lockjaw," Eliopoulos says. "The other animals can talk. It'll be insulated to just the animals, but after movies like 'Finding Nemo' and books like Pride of Baghdad, I think people will just accept it and enjoy the ride." Though Cosby notes that the Pet Avengers possessing a rallying-cry like that of their famous human counterparts would most likely be "ridiculous," his writer poses one possibility: "'Avengers Sic'?" And remember, either head back to Marvel.com for all further news and information about May 2009's LOCKJAW & THE PET AVENGERS mega-epic – or you'll be in the doghouse. Check out the official Marvel Shop! Also, be sure to check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!
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