Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Skrulls and 3-D Man on their way

You know how I said that I was going to stop purchasing the Avengers: The Initiative series? I didn't think that it was that great a read and I couldn't understand the hype.

But after reading issue #7, I sort of changed my mind a bit and then I read this article, and I think I might stay on a bit longer. Especially since it seems to lead into the next big Marvel event in 2008!

Writer Dan Slott teases big at Marvel’s third Initiative press conference
By Brian Warmoth
Posted December 5, 2007 4:15 PM

Dan Slott brought plenty of big reveals to Marvel’s Initiative press conference today, coinciding with the release of Slott and co-writer Christos Gage’s origin-stuffed Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1. The energetic writer, who said he came to the press conference with 16 hours of sleep under his belt and lots to say, didn’t disappoint, offering a look at what lies ahead as the Initiative storyline leads into Marvel’s 2008 event “Secret Invasion.”

“There aren’t teams set up in all 50 states yet,” Slott began, evaluating the state of Tony Stark’s Initiative program. “We’re coming up pretty soon on our first graduation in the book, where we’re going to see the cadets that we’ve been following for the first year finally make the grade or not.”

The writer predicted a dangerous event concluding his heroes’ period at “superhero boot camp” where not everyone will walk away intact. He specifically pointed to War Machine as a character to watch as things heat up.

“Jim Rhodes is the guy who starting with issue #7 is starting to realize maybe he doesn’t have as much control over this base as he thought he did, and that maybe he’s the odd man out in the creep triumvirate of Gyrich, Yellow Jacket and War Machine,” Slott suggested. “Eagle-eyed Initiative fans might notice we haven’t seen him out of that mask yet.”

At a time in the Marvel Universe when all characters are potential shape-shifting Skrull agents, Slott cited the armored Initiative trainer as a worthy target of suspicion. “We’ve gone seven issues, and we have not seen that faceplate lift up,” he stated.

As for warning signs from other heroes, Slott was a little more playful. ‘I think if you see a character eating a kitten, they’re probably a Skrull,” he chuckled. “I hear Skrulls find them very delicious.”

Discussing his new character Baron Von Blitzschlag, whom Slott created for Avengers: The Initiative, the press conference provided one interesting tidbit behind the series’ casting. “Originally, when I needed a character to be there to be my wacky ex-Nazi, that was originally going to be Arnim Zola,” Slott said, continuing that Ed Brubaker’s use of Zola in Captain America demanded that he select a different mad scientist.

One big reveal Slott unloaded at the press conference was the fate of Initiative recruit Triathlon. “Someone I will tell you survives ‘Killed in Action’ is Triathalon,” Slott said. “When he makes it through, he’s going to graduate, and he will be the new 3-D Man.”

“3-D Man is the Skrull hunter from the ’50s,” the writer elaborated excitedly.

Another central character to the upcoming story, according to Slott, will be Hank Pym. “In Initiative issue #8 Yellow Jacket will probably make one of the worst decisions of his entire superhero life,” the writer teased. “For Hank Pym, that is saying a lot,” he continued, referring to Pym’s history of domestic abuse and his role creating the supervillain robot Ultron.

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