My Cup o' Joe

MyCup o' Joe Week 19

Marvel editor Bill Rosemann subs for Joe Quesada and previews art from SHE-HULK, NOVA, THUNDERBOLTS and more!

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MyCup o' Joe is usually the weekly communiqué from Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada to the legion of Mighty Marvelites Assembled! Joe sends this shortened communiqué: "Folks, what with a semi-crushing three-week run of work and vacation in Italy and the UK, followed by the hullabaloo of the San Diego con, and now some MASSIVE meetings this week at Mighty Marvel (announcements soon!), my cup runneth empty! "Fortunately for you, the fastest-talking, two-tone-haired editor in all of comics, Buccaneer Bill Rosemann, is gonna lay in to give a small break—not that kind of break, more a 'rest'—to my weary bones. "But I pinky-swear I'll be back next week to recap some cool San Diego con stuff with a MASSIVE travel log of photos that includes babes in costumes, softball game photos, and nachos. Yes, nachos. Stay tuned, True Believers!" This week, Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann sits down with journalist Jim McLauchlin to answer questions on the pressing issues of the day at Marvel and throughout comics. And you get to chip in as well! Reader questions will be answered by Joe Quesada next week! To get in on the fun, post your questions at the bottom of this page, here at Marvel.com or at MySpace!
JM: So this is your second stint at Mighty Marvel, yes? BR: Yeah, I'm lucky enough to be walking the Hallowed Halls once more. I had great experiences and made some awesome friends (many of whom I still get to work with because they're now penciling, inking and coloring my books) while at CrossGen and DC, but when Dan Buckley and Joe Quesada offered me the opportunity to edit 100% of the time, it was an offer I couldn't refuse. Whoever said "you can't go home again" never worked for the House of Ideas…but I bet he would have written some great comics. JM: In your time, you've worked in copywriting and marketing at Marvel, PR and publishing at CrossGen, custom publishing at DC, and now you're an editor back at Marvel. Having worn all those different hats, what do you see as the main differences in those jobs? BR: Marketing is figuring out the best way to connect your audience to your story…editing is figuring out the best way to create that story…and custom publishing is figuring out the best way to get a bottle of Pepsi into the story! Each hat stretched different muscles and were incredible learning opportunities—hopefully those experiences now allow me to bring a different view and commercial eye to anything I edit. JM: You like to make sport of Quesada's lack of enthusiasm for the more "cosmic," spacefaring books you work on, but a simple fact of the matter—I believe—is that these were the titles that more or less fell to you when you came back to Marvel. Given your druthers, whatever a druther is, what titles would you have chosen to work on? BR: The funny thing is, like Joe (who actually supports all the crazy books we publish), I was never a big "cosmic" guy either. I mean, I'm a fan of sci-fi—movies such as "Blade Runner," "Aliens" and "Children of Men"…TV shows such as "Battlestar Galactica"…books such as "Dune," "Neuromancer" and Scott Westerfield's "Uglies" series—but those comics filled with bearded, cloak-wearing, staff-wielding Elders of the Universe just weren't my cup of tea (or Cup o' Joe). But what I loved about the first ANNIHILATION series was that it was a war story that happened to be set in space. So when Joe and [Executive Editor] Tom Brevoort asked me to take the reins of the cosmic books, I was only too happy to jump onboard the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Rocketship. I may be more of a classic super hero (Avengers, FF) and street-level (Daredevil, Spider-Man) guy, but as long as you focus on character and story, a heroic tale is a heroic tale, whether it's set in Manhattan or Mars. And the bottom line is, I'll happily edit whatever titles Marvel wants me to.

CIVIL WAR:
HOUSE OF M #1
interior art

CIVIL WAR:
HOUSE OF M #1
interior art

CIVIL WAR:
HOUSE OF M #1
interior art

CIVIL WAR:
HOUSE OF M #1
interior art

JM: Well there's gotta be one book outside your purview you'd really dig on. What is it? BR: I would say DAREDEVIL and IRON FIST, but Warren Simons would sic his trained attack pigeons after me if I came anywhere near those books. On the other hand, I'm absolutely loving CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI 13 and I'm a sucker for crazy team books like AGENTS OF ATLAS…but I kinda like just reading them as a fan. Then again, I get to work with an amazing mix of great creators and characters on my own list o' ever-growing titles—NOVA, THUNDERBOLTS, SECRET INVASION: INHUMANS, SHE HULK, IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (soon to be WAR MACHINE), TRUE BELIEVERS, CIVIL WAR: HOUSE OF M, MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY—so I'm a happy camper. JM: It might be "Sophie's Choice," but of the books you are working on, which do you dig the most? BR: Whichever one is heading to the printer that day. When the clock is ticking and you're running down to the Bullpen to fix a typo or make sure a character's costume is colored correctly—that's when you're really hooked into your book. But it's also really fun to get the opportunity to "cast" a creative team from scratch or bring in an artist or writer from another company and/or medium and introduce them to Marvel readers. I consider it an editor's duty to contribute to the talent pool—and give opportunities to creators that deserve it. Oh, it's also cool to work on a book with a talking raccoon and a telepathic dog (Hint: that's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY).

GUARDIANS OF
THE GALAXY #4
interior art

GUARDIANS OF
THE GALAXY #4
interior art

GUARDIANS OF
THE GALAXY #4
interior art

GUARDIANS OF
THE GALAXY #4
interior art

GUARDIANS OF
THE GALAXY #4
interior art

JM: Open the box a bit. What's the one Marvel book—maybe a relaunch, maybe something new—that you'd like to start or revive? C'mon, you're the guy who wrote DEADLINE, which was all about Kat Farrell, the Daily Bugle reporter, so I know you got one in you. BR: You mean something like Spider-Man: Daily Bugle, the ensemble book focusing on the lives, loves and life-threatening assignments of everyone's favorite newshounds? Or the apocalyptic adventures of the half-zombie/half-man/all-hero killing machine known as Deathlok? Or Strikeforce: Moritori, the heroes who only have a year to live? Or the urban kung-fu anti-buddy antics of Power Man & Iron Fist? Or an Annihilation-style event that would revamp Marvel's magic-based heroes? Those all sound fun. And thanks for the DEADLINE plug. I hope people go hunt down the out-of-print collected edition or individual issues, which feature sweet, sweet art by Guy Davis, who draws my favorite non-Marvel comic, B.P.R.D. JM: Guy does indeed kick ass. Now one of your new books you mentioned will be WAR MACHINE, written by Greg Pak and spinning out of IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and SECRET INVASION. What's the nutshell on this? BR: You know when you're sitting there, watching "60 Minutes," and you see those shots of murdered children and then they cut to some smug, smirking dictator…and you want to reach through the TV screen and punch him in the face? Well, while others are turned back by red tape and rhetoric, James Rhodes reloads his shoulder-mounted cannons and rains down steel-coated justice! Greg has some wild ideas for everyone's favorite one-man-army, and artist Leonardo Manco is bringing the thunder!

War Machine in
IRON MAN:
DIRECTOR OF
S.H.I.E.L.D. #33

War Machine in
IRON MAN:
DIRECTOR OF
S.H.I.E.L.D. #33

War Machine in
IRON MAN:
DIRECTOR OF
S.H.I.E.L.D. #33

JM: By the by, where did you guys find Greg Pak? He seemed to rise pretty quickly, and by WORLD WAR HULK, he was one of your top-tier guys. BR: It was one of those lucky coincidences. Greg happened to be in attendance at the last Marvel editorial retreat when Tom and I told the group about where we saw the book going after SECRET INVASION. The next thing I know, Greg is tapping me on the shoulder and whispering, "Do you have a writer yet? I want to do this!" And as a huge fan of his year-long roller coaster ride on "Planet Hulk" and WORLD WAR HULK, I knew Greg was the guy to bring the power and pathos. If you are loving INCREDIBLE HERCULES (which is why we snapped up his co-writer Fred Van Lente for MARVEL ZOMBIES 3), you will want to celebrate James Rhodes's 30th Anniversary by checking out WAR MACHINE. Be the first kid on your block to brag you knew the character way back when, before he steals all the scenes in the upcoming Iron Man movies! JM: You think people will ever discover the brilliance of that very short run Pak did on WARLOCK back around 2004? That was great stuff! BR: Yeah, and it had that cool Charlie Adlard art! Well, with Adam Warlock back and kicking mystical booty in the pages of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY—and with Greg's star continuing to climb—maybe more folks will check out Greg's first work for Marvel. JM: Okay, so WAR OF KINGS is probably your next big über-thing. What's the nutshell on that? BR: You have Vulcan expanding the Shi'Ar Empire at a frightening pace. You have the Inhumans…well, I can't yet say what they're up to until SECRET INVASION: INHUMANS hits…but they're up to something big! Those two trains are locked on a collision course and we're lining up an amazing collection of creators to document the fireworks. That's right, Abnett & Lanning get to play with all the toys now!

WAR OF KINGS
promotional art

WAR OF KINGS
logo

WAR OF KINGS
promotional art

JM: And you have Andy Diggle soon to be writing THUNDERBOLTS, with a status quo change there, right? BR: Sometimes the stars align. As soon as Tom B. whispered in my ear that Andy might be interested in joining the madness at Marvel, I shot him an email faster than Bullseye flings paperclips. I mean, this is the guy who hit back-to-back-to-back home runs with "Adam Strange," "Losers" and "Green Arrow: Year One." I couldn't believe he was available, but he was, and he was definitely interested in how THUNDERBOLTS would be affected by the end of "Secret Invasion." Last week he turned in half of his first plot and every page was razor sharp. And yesterday artist Roberto De La Torre turned in his first page which I happily showed off down editor's row. As a fan of THUNDERBOLTS from the very first issue—heck, I even wrote the letters column for a year—I'm honored to be working on the series, and beyond happy to unleash Diggle and De La Torre on our villainous heroes.

THUNDERBOLTS
#127 cover art

JM: Now despite Quesada's horrific and callous disregard for the cosmic books, they've got quite a hardcore following. I'm told you got some cool items sent to you recently from some fans… BR: First it was polite letters and fan art. Then came that tasty cake. And this week several staffers were graced with t-shirts and denim button-downs sporting the glorious image of the Wendell Vaughan version of Quasar…complete with his feathered mullet! That's right, Quesada, we have cake and denim shirts! Can such True Believer love be denied? I say thee nay! JM: Speaking of True Believers…I gotta admit I must have missed that. New title? What's the high concept? BR: TRUE BELIEVERS, an all-new idea from the minds of writer Cary Bates and artist Paul Gulacy, introduces a group of counter-culture subversives who use their powers and advanced technology to root out the truth and strike back at the disinformation constantly fed to us by "The Man." If you're an individual, organization or government that's spreading cover-ups and spin, the True Believers are going to expose your lies and take you down! Tom Brevoort and Molly Lazer shepherded this series to life, but with Molly heading off to the realm of higher education, I was asked to join this party in mid-swing…and I gotta say it's a treat working with two veteran pros like Cary and Paul. This is a book that's a bit twisted, a bit more adult, and scratches an itch that no other book currently is.

TRUE BELIEVERS
#2 interior art

TRUE BELIEVERS
#2 interior art

TRUE BELIEVERS
#2 interior art

TRUE BELIEVERS
#2 interior art

JM: So the last two guys to guest column here, Tom Brevoort and Mark Paniccia, each did one of the Hero Initiative 100 HULK covers. Can you draw?

Hulk Sketch by
Bill Rosemann

BR:
No, I'd be killed in a gun fight. Oh, you mean draw with a pencil? Hmmm…I'm more from the writer's camp. JM: C'mon. Draw the Hulk for me right now.

HULK #1 cover
by Greg Horn

BR:
Hey, the Hero Initiative rocks…so it's time for Hulk to smash! JM: That hurts just a little. To numb the pain, here's the lovely Greg Horn (SHE-) HULK cover just received! BR: Ya gotta love Greg Horn. The man knows how to deliver the lovely ladies. If he didn't already do a long run on SHE-HULK covers I'd hire him tomorrow. Then again, we are so lucky to have Mike Deodato Jr. on Team Gammazon…and check out this cover to SHE-HULK #35. That's right kids, Hot Heroes + Bears = Money. But you better hide this one from Stephen Colbert!

SHE-HULK #35
cover art

SHE-HULK #32
interior art

SHE-HULK #32
interior art

SHE-HULK #32
interior art

SHE-HULK #32
interior art

SHE-HULK #32
interior art

JM: I think we're out. Last q: On a nerd scale of 1 to 10, how geeky is it that you actually named your car "Doop?" BR: Hey! If my wife Ali Farrell heard you say that she'd show you why her people are called the Fighting Irish. Ali happened to be reading X-FACTOR many moons ago ('cause some cool guy gives her cool comics), and she remarked how much our P.T. Cruiser resembled the green, teleporting spud. Can you deny the resemblance? And do you think Peter Milligan and Mike Allred would be mad if I brought Doop back in WAR OF KINGS?

Doop

P.T. Cruiser

JM: We seem to keep coming back to WAR OF KINGS. Now whereas I don't think this is gonna be a SECRET INVASION- or WORLD WAR HULK-level deal, it will be pretty far-reaching for you guys, right? BR: What's so fun about seeing WAR OF KINGS come together is the way Abnett and Lanning are stepping back, spotting all these different threads and weaving them all together into one big ol' knot. They understand how all the characters and situations from the X-Men and Heroes and cosmic corners of the Marvel U. all relate to one another and why now is the time to let their story unfold. So, yeah, this event won't have as many chapters as some of our other blockbusters, but we're guessing that all sorts of readers will be interested in and enjoy the craziness being cooked up.

SECRET
INVASION:
INHUMANS #1
interior art

SECRET
INVASION:
INHUMANS #1
interior art

SECRET
INVASION:
INHUMANS #1
interior art

SECRET
INVASION:
INHUMANS #1
interior art

JM: Thanks, Bill. We're out. BR: Okay. But before we part, I just gotta say how cool this opportunity was to share art and info with all the Cup o' Joe readers out there on the interweb. And on a personal level, it was really a treat to hang out with you again, Jim. You and I go way back to the days you were writing for "Wizard" and I was trying to drum up coverage for Marvel during our dark days of bankruptcy. That's one of the best things about comic books: the opportunity to meet and enjoy friendships with some of the nicest folks on this crazy globe. I truly respect the hard work you're doing for the Hero Initiative…without them there would be no us, so you're aces in my book!

NOVA #19
cover art

NOVA #16
interior art

NOVA #16
interior art

NOVA #16
interior art

NOVA #16
interior art

Learn more about The Hero Initiative, the only federally chartered charitable organization dedicated to helping comic veterans in medical or financial need at www.HeroInitiative.org. It's a chance for you to give back to the creators who gave you your dreams.

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