By Kevin Mahadeo
Certain people just have "The Write Stuff."
Marvel proudly announces its "The Write Stuff" promotion, which will shine the spotlight on a quartet of up-and-coming writers in the same "Young Guns" has highlighted some of the industry's top artists over the past several years. Over the next four days, Marvel.com will unveil the names participating in this initiative and introduce you to the writers of tomorrow.
It all played out perfectly for writer Jonathan Hickman. After all, the SECRET WARRIORS scribe had just the right stuff needed to make him not only one of the comic industry's hottest new talents, but also a choice member of Marvel's "Write Stuff" promotion.
It began less than three years ago when, after falling out of comics for a while, the South Carolina native decided he wanted back in and started purchasing trades at a prompt pace, picking up a copy of POWERS—written by future fellow Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis—in the process.
"In the back of [the trade] he talked about Story by Robert McKee," remembers Hickman. "I read [that] and thought I could do this stuff. I went to a Robert McKee seminar, came home, wrote The Nightly News for Image, sent that in and it got picked up a week later and I was off and running."
Hickman hasn't slowed down since, penning numerous creator-owned titles and even gaining an Eisner Award nomination for Nightly News. His unique style and meticulous attention to details caught the eye of the same man that lit the fires of Hickman's interest in a career in comics: Brian Bendis, who ended up pitching Hickman to Marvel as a writer for SECRET WARRIORS, a major launch spinning out of his own Secret Invasion event. Now a Marvel Comics exclusive, Hickman joins fellow warrior of the written word Jason Aaron as a members of "The Write Stuff."
"I'm okay with it," laughs Hickman about being included in the promotion. "I checked with the wife and she's happy as well. My kids seem to think it's cool. Everyone is pretty copacetic.
"Honestly, I'm just honored to be in the company of those three other guys. They're fantastic writers."
Despite working solely in the creator-owned field of comics prior to moving to Marvel, Hickman admits that the change of pace makes for a different, albeit beneficial environment.
"I'm the one who's been [in the industry] the least amount of time," says Hickman in regards to his place among the "Write Stuff" writers. "It's a different animal in that you're certainly more accountable to people and you can't just throw anything out there. It's slightly restricting, but it's also more liberating knowing I've got a support staff and a checks and balances to make sure I'm not just throwing stuff out there. Working within the structure and confines of an editorial system has been really good for me. I think it's made me a better writer."
Currently Hickman leads a new band of commandos in SECRET WARRIORS, returning Nick Fury to an ongoing title, and also currently pens the DARK REIGN: FANTASTIC
FOUR. Following that limited series, Hickman joins Marvel's first family full time as the writer on the FANTASTIC FOUR ongoing. However, despite serving with the FF on two occasions, the writer admits to being ironically unfamiliar with the team while reading comics growing up.
"I think AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and FANTASTIC FOUR were the two books I didn't read," confesses Hickman. "But it's really freeing that I'm bringing a new perspective to it. I've got a lot of excitement because it's all new to me."
Although Hickman expresses nothing but joy over his current projects, he revealed a certain uncanny team he'd like to one day team with—but not any time soon, as he holds the utmost respect for the books' current creative lineups.
"I read all the mutant books growing up, so I have a real fondness for that stuff," he says. "I'm sure I'll get a chance to write some of that down the road. I love the guys that are writing the X-books right now. Mike Carey, I think the language that he chooses is beautiful and I've been pretty loud and vocal about what a big fan of Matt Fraction writing I am."
However, while readers may have to wait a while to see Jonathan Hickman's X-Men, there's that super-secret project coming up this fall by all four of the "Write Stuff" writers, and potentially much more as Hickman hints.
"It's going to be pretty kick ass," teases Hickman. "People should be very excited for it. Even beyond that, Marvel's been very good to all of us, and we've got very cool books coming up."
Come back Monday as we reveal another "Write Stuff" writer here on Marvel.com!
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