The artist gives us a preview of CAPTAIN AMERICA #698 before its release on February 14.

Sit back, relax, and gaze in wonder at an exclusive look at Chris Samnee’s art for CAPTAIN AMERICA #698, out February 14 in the gallery below! The issue marks the kickoff of Samnee and writer Mark Waid’s big “Out of Time” storyline and the lead-up to the blockbuster CAPTAIN AMERICA #700!

Cap’s in a strange new future, and Samnee’s having a ball imagining it! Here’s what the artist told us about his work in the upcoming issue.

Marvel.com: Chris, we’ve procured three pages from CAPTAIN AMERICA #698, so let’s jump around for a look-see at them. Seems like Cap’s pretty mad on page 7; what are your thoughts about drawing Steve when he’s this angry?

Chris Samnee: I think Steve is a ball of emotions just like the rest of us, but outwardly he looks calm, cool and collected. He has a resting chill face. But, as in any scene, I try to put myself in each character’s respective shoes and do my best to make these lines on paper appear to emote.

Marvel.com: Hey, we’d never want to get him mad at us. What were your inspirations for designs of the tank and the soldiers on page 6?

Chris Samnee: I wish I had a better answer for this but honestly, for both the ground troops and tanks, I was just winging it. Everything was designed on the page as I went. Spangly plus “Escape from New York” and go…

Marvel.com: Okay, okay, but listen; you’ve got to tell us something about the little dog guy on page 3!

Chris Samnee: Mark said to fill in the group with whatever I felt like drawing, but none of the characters—with the exception of Liang—actually had names in the script. In the first draft of page 2 Mark named three of the crew that didn’t make it: Dog, Amber and Tyrus. So I used those three names as my jump off point characters and asked Mark if he wouldn’t mind coming up with different names for the casualties.

Amber has near bulletproof translucent amber colored skin, Tyrus is the blue/purple older fella with the white hair and Dog is well, a dog. Everyone is affected by the radiation in their own way and this random stray dog mutated into a walking, talking anthropomorphized Good Boy. I just thought it would be something fun to keep me entertained in the middle of drawing all of this post-apocalyptic looking stuff.

Captain America (2017) #698

Captain America (2017) #698

Marvel.com: We see a lot of different, well, mutations in figures on page 3. What went into their designs? Did you have a free hand in coming up with those, too? 

Chris Samnee: Same as above. Random radiation disfigurements and mutations. Nothing specific spelled out by Mark in the script. I just let my mind wander and came up with this motley crew as I was inking.

Marvel.com: And lastly, the sound effect at the bottom of page 7—what’s your philosophy on their use? Does Mark always dictate those, or is that within your artistic purview? When to use them and when not?

Chris Samnee: Oh, I’m a big proponent of artists drawing sound effects into their pages. It just makes the art work better as a whole. I’ll sometimes add little ones here and there if I think the page needs it but for the most part, as is the case here, Mark wrote out the onomatopoeia in the script.

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A brand new Swordsman aims to make Cap’s life miserable

Captain America just wants to travel across America and right the small injustices that he has often missed. A simple wish, a noble one. And one the brand new Swordsman has no intention of letting Cap achieve without a fight.

Mark Waid took a moment from learning blacksmithing to tell us about the new villain, give credit to his collaborator Chris Samnee, and continue to promote the rehabilitation of Steve Rogers.

Marvel.com: To start from a broad perspective, as a writer what about creating a new Swordsman appealed to you? What kind of challenges did the character present in terms of being revamped and reintroduced?

Mark Waid: To be honest, it was Chris Samnee’s suggestion. The challenge was to introduce and motivate him quickly to make room for a dynamic sword vs. shield battle!

Marvel.com: As much as you can, without spoiling things, what does this new Swordsman have in common and how does he differ from his predecessors who used that name?

Mark Waid: He looks very much the same—I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relation to the original Swordsman—but this one’s different in that he’s basically an extortionist. That, and he may or may not be being played by someone else.

Marvel.com: As an antagonist, how does he fit in with the overall theme of this opening arc of Steve reconnecting with himself and rediscovering Captain America?

Mark Waid: Cap has to fight Swordsman to save an entire small town from destruction. As is the ongoing theme of this book, this is about Steve Rogers connecting with and saving ordinary people in the heartland, the kinds of people he doesn’t often encounter in New York or Washington.

Marvel.com: Given your history, it is clear you and Chris Samnee make an excellent team. On creating the new Swordsman, how did that collaboration work? How much did Chris help you determine things like the character’s personality, motives, and such, and how did you help him to craft the character’s look?

Mark Waid: Straight up, this is 90% Chris. I’m terrible at design, so I always leave that to my collaborators—but giving the Swordsman a unique voice was my challenge to face.

Marvel.com: To stay with art for a moment, Matthew Wilson’s coloring, in collaboration with Chris’s art, favors something sunnier and more open than with previous team ups for Daredevil and Black Widow. How does that help you to realize the themes of the arc? How does it inspire your conception of the action, set pieces, and so on of each issue?

Mark Waid: Cap doesn’t live in a dark, foreboding world–or if he runs across it, he provides a light. That’s it in a nutshell.

Marvel.com: What makes this issue a great point to jump on to the book?

Mark Waid: It’s a clean done-in-one story that hits home the ideals for which Captain America stands and what his physical limits are. If you like Steve Rogers on the screen, you’ll love him on the printed page.

Read CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, now, and don’t miss part 2 with CAPTAIN AMERICA #696 on December 6!

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The pros and cons for romance between Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes!

BLACK WIDOW #9—out December 21—we’ll get to see the return of everyone’s favorite man on the wall, Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier.

These two certainly have a spark, but would a renewed romance between them lead to a happily-ever-after, or would it end in heartbreak? The BLACK WIDOW creative team of Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee weigh in…

Nat + Bucky 4Ever

Mark Waid: “Obvious physical chemistry.

“[They would] have a lot to talk about when it comes to their days at work.

“[Both] have had a crush on Steve Rogers at some point in the past.”

Chris Samnee: “They have a shared history in the Red Room and affiliation with the Black Widow Ops Program, Department X, and the Avengers.

“Both are great at keeping secrets.

“They’ve already been a couple”

Black Widow (2016) #9

Black Widow (2016) #9

What is Marvel Unlimited?
…Or maybe not so much

Mark Waid: “Natasha [would be] constantly baffled by what birthday gift you get a 90-year-old man.

“Both of them [are] mopey at holidays and terrible at family functions.

“[They have a] bad habit of keeping state secrets from one another.”

Chris Samnee:

“They have a shared history in the Red Room and affiliation with the Black Widow Ops Program, Department X, and the Avengers.

“Both are great at keeping secrets.

“They’ve already been a couple”

Will they or won’t they? Find out on December 21 in BLACK WIDOW #9 by Chris Samnee and Mark Waid!

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