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Thursday Q&A: Kelly Sue DeConnick

The writer talks about bringing Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble into the Infinity event!

Captain Marvel #16 preview art by Patrick Olliffe

By Jim Beard

The events of INFINITY spill over into several other Marvel titles this month, including two ongoings written by Kelly Sue DeConnick: AVENGERS ASSEMBLE and CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Expanding upon the already-enormous action of INFINITY, the two titles each feature a two-part story highlighting some of you most favorite Marvel heroines, beginning in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18 and CAPTAIN MARVEL #15. We asked DeConnick what it felt like to work within the larger framework of the event and what seemed to be in-store for Spider-Woman, the Black Widow, and Captain Marvel herself.

Captain Marvel #16 preview art by Patrick Olliffe

Marvel.com: Kelly Sue, do you remember when you first heard about INFINITY? What were your initial thoughts about the event?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: It's my first big event tie-in, so my thoughts were somewhere between "DON'TBLOWITDON'TBLOWITDON'TBLOWIT" and "ACTCOOLACTCOOLACTCOOL."

Marvel.com: What has the coordination been like between you and the INFINITY editorial team?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Tom Brevoort's office is breathtaking in its efficiency, no lie. Lauren Sankovitch is the world's best stage manager; she's cool under fire and has everything covered. She's really held my hand every step of the way figuring out how to dance between these particular raindrops.

Sana Amanat is an old-hand at both tie-ins and talking me off ledges—she does it monthly! She handled overseeing the CAPTAIN MARVEL component with her ever-present grace.

I also got to work with Jen Van Meter as co-writer on some of the tie-ins, which was awesome for me, as Jen is a fantastic writer and also a friend.

Avengers Assemble #19 preview art by Barry Kitson

Marvel.com: Why was Spider-Woman chosen as the focus for the AVENGERS ASSEMBLE tie-ins?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Timing worked out so that I had to go into INFINITY right out of the AVENGERS ASSEMBLE/CAPTAIN MARVEL crossover, The Enemy Within. That made it especially tricky because Carol's status quo out of [the story] could easily overshadow any other story. After I talked to Jen, we found this one event that happens in his story and decided to blow it up and look at it from two perspectives: Carol's, obviously, for CAPTAIN MARVEL, and then Jess's for AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. Jess's because she's a great balance to Carol—they're chocolate and peanut butter, as far as I'm concerned—and because she was positioned in the larger story so that her perspective on the event would be very different from Carol's. I could have done the same thing using Natasha instead, but I don't think it would have the same resonance.

Marvel.com: Is Jessica still carrying a lot of baggage from Secret Invasion?

Avengers Assemble #19 preview art by Barry Kitson

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Yes; significantly. I don't know that Jessica has ever put down a bit of baggage in her life.

Marvel.com: How does a mortal woman like Jessica handle being thrust into outer space surrounded by gods and other high-powered beings?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Same way she handles anything else: with equal parts hubris and insecurity.

Marvel.com: What’s the relationship between Spider-Woman and Black Widow in these two issues of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Interestingly, my favorite panel in all four books is actually a moment between Jess and Natasha at the end of #18. They're almost opposites, the two of them; Carol and Jess are a nice contrast, but they both run hot. Natasha is cool. Natasha is infinitely cool. Not cold; cool.

Marvel.com: Now, how does AVENGERS ASSEMBLE intersect with CAPTAIN MARVEL for these INFINITY issues?

Captain Marvel #16 preview art by Patrick Olliffe

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Same story, two different perspectives. It's like we're blowing it up and looking at it in Matrix-style bullet-time.

Marvel.com: What's Carol's mental state like heading out of The Enemy Within and into issue #15?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: The resolution of The Enemy Within really comes in #17, but I promise we didn't just ignore it for the INFINITY tie-ins. Her issues are both very much about her trying to find the confidence and compassion to be a leader when she's missing parts of herself. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE has at its thematic core Jess's resentment and her struggle to overcome those and be part of the team.

Plus kicking and punching. Always kicking and punching.

Marvel.com: What in her military training does Carol fall back on when she's captured and interrogated?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Well, she doesn't go all NAME/RANK/SERIAL NUMBER or anything. She's constantly assessing and formulating their next move. She's already shown her willingness to throw herself on the pyre if she doesn't think there's another option.

Avengers Assemble #19 preview art by Barry Kitson

Marvel.com: What's Hawkeye's role here? Will he be able to hold his own?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Oh hell yeah. He's Carol's co-pilot and gunner. And conscience, as weird as that sounds. Hawkeye as Jiminy Cricket.

Marvel.com: And…Binary returns in CAPTAIN MARVEL #15? For real?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Totes. Fer real.

Marvel.com: How at home is Carol in a big cosmic gambit like INFINITY? Is she in her element or would she prefer being back on Earth?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: I would prefer being back on Earth, but I think Carol's very much in her element.

Pick up AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18 and CAPTAIN MARVEL #15, available now!

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