Artist ACO opens his secret files for a your eyes only sneak peek!
Don’t tell HYDRA, but Nick Fury’s about to make his presence felt much more starting April 19. The new self-titled series, NICK FURY, by writer James Robinson and artist ACO, promises to send the junior Fury on a series of adventures that will continue the long tradition of espionage-filled stories against the backdrop of the Marvel Universe!
NICK FURY promises to move the title hero along at a whip-fast clip in a series of assignments each taking up just a single issue. Some of the adventures will be confined to a train while others dive deep into Atlantis or glitter in the French Riviera. Fury will also find himself up against a new foe: Frankie Noble, Agent of HYDRA.
We talk with ACO about playing with all of the best spy-related toys like exotic locales and sleek gadgets, as well as working on a character with such iconic ties to a master artist.
Marvel.com: Nick Fury comics have had a history of incorporating some pretty innovative artistic approaches from the likes of Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, and others. Did you look back at any of those artists for inspiration while thinking about your take on this character?
ACO: Absolutely, as soon as I received the proposal I reviewed the whole stage of Steranko with the character. His comics were an explosion of creativity, narrative, and design that continue to influence hundreds of artists. A milestone in the history of the comic book. Also, it is impossible to separate Nick Fury from Jim Steranko.
For this collection I also had in mind his comic book adaptation of the movie “Outland.” The way he manipulates the page and plays with the reader is something unique.
I have tried to filter all those works and look for my own voice for this specific title. I hope the reader could be able to notice it. Emulating the brilliance of Steranko is something impossible, only David Ajá approaches him in genius.
Marvel.com: You’ve become well known for your intricate panel and page designs, which looks like it’s carrying through to NICK FURY. Does James write those into the script or do you develop them from what’s on the page?
ACO: James is very open with art and page composition. He indicates which panels are important and adds the dialogue for me. Then, he allows me to work with complete freedom, doing things my way. That trust is something I value very much. I play a lot with composition, adding and removing scenes after having consulted with him, always trying to stay true to his original idea, and James is always very receptive and open to dialogue. It is very pleasant to work without a leash and with the scriptwriter’s trust. Being given your own space to develop the story, to me, is priceless
Marvel.com: From your perspective, what sets the younger Nick Fury apart from the elder in terms of how he carries himself and goes about his business as a spy?
ACO: I think old Nick has had stories in which world security depended solely on him. Always on the verge of the cataclysm, with great villains with plans of world domination and where he is in his element. This Nick takes care of small missions, not to the scale of his father. That helps him to take spying in a funnier and lighter way. Indeed, global security also depends on him, but this is no excuse for not having a good time while saving the day.
Marvel.com: It sounds like you and James will be putting Fury through his paces everywhere from a train to Atlantis. Was that major mix of ideas and locales a draw for you as an artist?
ACO: Having so many environments forces you to think and consider each episode in a very different way. We have to take into account many aspects; for example, how the characters are going to move depending on the setting they are in, what technology should be used, which architectural style should be the most suitable for each scenario, what costumes and equipment he should carry. Searching for meaning and functionality depending on where the story takes place is something that I love and find amusing.
Marvel.com: As you mentioned, in addition to the various locales, the book also features high tech spy gear. Do you enjoy making those items come to life on the page?
ACO: Yes, I love using gadgets and visual cues for the reader. Whether in the form of an onomatopoeia, a map, a counter or with icons, it makes the visual experience richer and brings a lot of dynamism to the page.
Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the development process for Frankie Noble, Agent of HYDRA?
ACO: I wanted to give it a retro, quirky and sexy look. Something like the Lady Gaga of HYDRA. We should give it a unique look within a uniformed organization. It was also important to give her her own “patch.” Something that made her recognizable, that’s why she wears wigs and has a mole. My initial proposal was that she could wear a different wig in each appearance, but this might end up confusing the reader, so we decided she should wear only one. The fact that she doesn’t have any hair helps to give the character a greater background. Adding the mole was Mark Paniccia’s idea, the editor, which helps to identify the character quickly.
The spy games begin on April 19 in NICK FURY #1 by James Robinson and ACO!