Avengers VS X-Men

Tuesday Q&A: Tom Brevoort

The captain of the Avengers Vs. X-Men ship discusses steering the event into its final act!

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By Jim Beard

You don’t rise to the top in the House of Ideas without knowing the far-reaching Marvel Universe inside and out.

Take Senior VP – Executive Editor Tom Brevoort for example; tasked with not only overseeing a bevy of Marvel’s top books, he’s also the guy who wrangles the biggest shoot-out of them all, AVENGERS VS X-MEN. From starting out as a college intern in the hallowed halls of Marvel to becoming the go-to guy for what makes its cast of characters tick, there’s no better man for the challenge.

We pulled Tom aside to ask him a few questions about the editing process and heading into the final act of AvX, and being the helpful sort, he obliged with a few answers.

Avengers Vs. X-Men #10 variant cover by Nick Bradshaw

Marvel.com: Tom, what have been the differences for you in working with a five-writer team on AvX as opposed to a single writer on other Marvel books?

Tom Brevoort: Everything is different. With a single writer, for all of the discussion, you have one person and one aesthetic driving the story. With a team of writers, no matter how simpatico, you need to get a consensus, and that means that sometimes the story will turn in directions that one writer or another doesn't entirely agree with.

Marvel.com: If you had to cite a moment in the AvX process that surprised you and challenged you to make the story even better, what would it be?

Tom Brevoort: I don't know that there's any specific moment that fits the bill here. The closest thing is that, especially as the writers wrote the second act, there was a lot of elbow room for improvisation and innovation. And each time that a particular writer added something in these moments, the subsequent writers all had to adapt to it a little bit. For all that, it's been a surprisingly smooth process.

Marvel.com: Has there been a single directive from you to your writer team in the beginning that's proven to have been the most important and impactful for the entire story?

Tom Brevoort: No, not really. The closest is probably [Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso's rallying cry that "five fingers make a fist" in terms of keeping the team unified and on point in telling the story.

Avengers Vs. X-Men #11 cover by Jim Cheung

Marvel.com: What has it been like working with the AvX artists to insure that the transitions between issues have been both consistent but also visually striking?

Tom Brevoort: Visually striking isn't a concern when you're working with John Romita Jr., Olivier [Coipel] and Adam [Kubert]. There have been points where we've had to coordinate designs—for the Phoenix Five, the new Utopia, even Iron Man's big anti-Phoenix armor—but these really haven't been any more challenging than the typical coordination between titles or artists. I'm sorry the process has been so boring!

Marvel.com: Definitely not boring to the readers! Now, what scene in the story so far has given you the most satisfaction not only as an editor, but also as a fan?

Tom Brevoort: Maybe the advent of the Phoenix Five, and the fact that pretty much nobody reading the series foresaw that outcome. I also like the concept behind AVX: VS.

Marvel.com: How would you place Avengers Vs. X-Men in the overall grand scheme for the ongoing Marvel Universe?

Tom Brevoort: Any answer I could give would sound like empty platitudes, I expect. It's an epic story pitting our two biggest franchises against one another, so it's pretty big.

Marvel.com: And lastly, Tom, what are you most looking forward to in the last act of the saga?

Tom Brevoort: Finishing it up successfully, and then moving on to Marvel NOW!

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