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Tuesday Q&A: Inhumanity

Kelly Sue DeConnick, Al Ewing and Sam Humphries get set to send their teams of Avengers into Inhuman combat!

Inhumanity #1 cover by Olivier Coipel

By Jim Beard

When the Inhuman City of Attilan falls and sends its shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe, a diverse group of writers will be there, chronicling not only the immediate destruction, but its long-range effects. Inhumanity brings with it both incredible opportunities and incredible challenges.

Three of those writers— AVENGERS ASSEMBLE’s Kelly Sue DeConnick, MIGHTY AVENGERS’ Al Ewing and AVENGERS A.I.’s Sam Humphries—stand ready to serve humanity—you the reader— in every way they can, and in their own unique ways. Hear a few words from them on just what Inhumanity will mean to the Marvel Universe and the heroes they write about.

Marvel.com: How do you define the Inhumans as a concept? What makes them stand out from all other Marvel Universe teams?

Sam Humphries: Their unique taste in dogs.

Kelly Sue DeConnick: I think of them as a family, the same way I think of the Fantastic Four, but they’re a family with the scope of X-Men; but unlike the X-Men, who seem to be mired in a permanent self-esteem crisis, the Inhumans have historically had a strong sense of shared history and a regal identity. Unlike the Avengers, who put themselves forward as the Earth’s defenders and sometimes police, the Inhumans have not always felt their gifts either justified or mandated; they involve themselves in the affairs of humanity, and for long periods of time, they’ve kept to themselves.

Avengers Assemble #22.INH cover by Jorge Molina

They’re also, for me, a glorious representation of the anything-goes sci-fi spirit of Marvel’s early history. They were just so delightfully out-there.

Al Ewing: The old “team” of Inhumans [was] more of a family than a team, and a royal family at that, so there was that blend of politics and ritual in the mix. And now Attilan is destroyed and the tight, ritualized structure of that royal family has been blown apart by the addition of thousands of brand new Inhumans, so you've got to wonder what'll happen next.

Marvel.com: Who's your most favorite Inhuman and why?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Medusa. Predictably. Aside from the fact that her hair is just so crazy and fun to look at on the page, I like that she embodies so many contradictions. She’s hard and soft, hot and cold, regal and—well okay, no, just regal. But you see where I’m going with this? She’s complicated. I like that. 

Al Ewing: I always had a soft spot for Karnak; his power to find the weak point in anything is extremely fun. I'd like to see him use that one in political debates. Or in his side job as a literary critic. The sky's the limit, really.

Sam Humphries: Gorgon! He's such a hothead. He's got these big hooves and clomps around and he can’t stop shouting all the time, but he's got a heart of gold.

Mighty Avengers #4.INH cover by Greg Land

Marvel.com: In your opinion, what does Inhumanity bring to the Marvel Universe overall?

Al Ewing: It shakes things up a bit; adds another “character class” to the mix, so to speak. It complicates the already tense relationship between humanity, super humanity, mutants, aliens and whatever else is rocking around the Marvel Universe, in ways that have lots and lots of story potential. Plus it's the perfect opportunity to come up with a whole bunch of new characters!

Sam Humphries: Another dimension of humanity. These are the stories of everyday people in extraordinary circumstances. And in my case, a Doombot.

Marvel.com: How do you describe your roles in the event?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: [In AVENGERS ASSEMBLE] we’re doing an arc around two Inhuman cocoons that fall into the wrong hands, the bad guy turf battle that results and the Avengers that are caught in the middle. 

We’re underscoring how potentially powerful each of these things is—look at the epidemic map and you see hundreds, maybe even thousands of cocoon events; it’s hard to wrap around that scope. So let’s isolate just two, and see the potential inherent in them. They’re like those blind boxes you get at the comic shop. You might get one that, I dunno, turns blue when there’s significant humidity in the air. Or you might get one that’s a walking nuke. And the folks that are the unwitting hosts/stewards of these powers? Who vetted them? If it was chance, how will anyone ever feel safe in the world again?

Avengers A.I. #7.INH cover by David Marquez

Sam Humphries: Matt Fraction sets the tone [in INHUMANITY #1], I'm just writing the same events and themes from my own perspective [in AVENGERS A.I.]. 

Al Ewing: In the pages of MIGHTY AVENGERS I'm introducing a sinister corporation, CORTEX—co-created with Kieron Gillen for IRON MAN: FATAL FRONTIER, synergy fans—that's got an eye on the new Inhumans, with a view to bottling their mojo, branding it, and using it to increase their power. And they've got one very deadly new Inhuman working for them already, who was already one of the most dangerous people alive even before she got cocooned.

So, the Mighty Avengers are caught between two sinister forces, each with their own plans for the ruined city of Attilan. What strange secret was Black Bolt hiding in there, and what does it mean for the man in the Spider Hero mask? You'll have to buy the book to find out.

Pick up INHUMANITY #1 on December 4

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