Rogue and Gambit writer Kelly Thompson joins the podcast!

Happy Friday, True Believers! And welcome to a new episode of This Week in Marvel!

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With new episodes every Friday, This Week in Marvel delivers all the latest Marvel discussion and news about comics, TV, movies, games, toys, and beyond! TWiM is hosted by Marvel Creative Executive Ryan “Agent M” Penagos, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Tucker Markus, and Assistant Manager of Social Media Alex Lopez. We want your feedback—as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes—so tweet your questions and comments about the show to @AgentM, @tuckermarkus, @alexl0pez_, or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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Kelly Thompson and Marc Guggenheim unite! Chris Claremont returns!

It’s almost time for Kitty Pryde and Colossus to tie the knot…but a Marvel Wedding is never a simple affair!

This May, take part in epic and adventurous stories written by Kelly Thompson and Marc Guggenheim! Plus, a wedding gift all on its own in the form of a brand-new Kitty Pryde story from legendary writer Chris Claremont, who returns to the X-Men just in time for the celebrations! But remember, when super heroes get together, mayhem ensues…and the X-Men are no exception.

“X-Men Weddings are always a big deal, if only because they’re so rare,” teases Thompson. “I think you probably have to go all the way back to X-MEN #30 in 1994—the wedding of Jean Grey and Cyclops—to get a wedding as potentially big as the wedding of Kitty Pryde and Colossus: two X-Men who’ve been around (and on again/off again) for literal decades.”

In this essential companion to the X-MEN: GOLD storyline “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” get a glimpse at Kitty and Peter’s march toward wedded bliss! It’s a celebration, Marvel style, with all the action, adventure, and surprises that we’ve come to know and love from Marvel’s merry mutants—and it’s only in comic shops this May!

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The acclaimed writer joins the House of Ideas for new and exciting projects!

Marvel Entertainment is excited to announce that writer Kelly Thompson has joined the House of Ideas in an exclusive agreement!

Thompson’s stellar work on the HAWKEYE ongoing series, last year’s epic JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – CAPTAIN PHASMA, and the current fan-favorite ROGUE & GAMBIT limited series has captivated readers everywhere—and now she’s set to introduce her one-of-a-kind voice to new corners of the Marvel Universe.

“Marvel was truly my first love. So to be here today, not only writing for Marvel but ‘going exclusive’ with them, is the definition of a dream come true,” says Thompson. “I remember visiting Disney World as a teen and being so consumed by an issue of X-Men that was due to come out that I was checking newsstands like a girl possessed until I located it. So yeah, this is everything I always wanted.”

Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski agrees, “From the moment she turned in her first script, Kelly has continually brought big ideas, incredible energy, and endless enthusiasm to the Marvel Universe and every comic she’s had a hand in creating for us. We’re honored to now have her as part of the family here and could not be more excited for the fans to read the amazing adventures she’ll be taking our characters on next year—and beyond!”

In the coming months and at San Diego Comic Con this summer, Marvel will reveal more of Thompson’s exciting work. Until then, stay up-to-date with all of Kelly’s books on Marvel Unlimited and Marvel.com!

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Writer Kelly Thompson explores the history of the villain called Eden!

Kate Bishop and Clint Barton just can’t seem to catch a break.

What should have been an intimate reunion between two friends recently became all-out chaos when a villain named Eden tried to shoot, stab, and bomb the heroes out of existence. Having first appeared in the pages of GENERATIONS: THE ARCHERS, the villain will continue to terrorize Kate and Clint on January 3 in writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero’s HAWKEYE #14!

We caught up with Thompson to talk about playing the long game with Eden, developing the character’s design, and taking the story to new heights.

Marvel.com: How long has the character of Eden been brewing in your head? Has she developed as you’ve worked on the book?

Kelly Thompson: Eden was definitely born of the Hawkeye GENERATIONS story—that’s what I created her for, but there ended up being so much happening in that book that I felt like we’d only scratched the surface of her potential. So I felt really excited when I saw a great, natural way to bring her back, this time as a bigger adversary.

Marvel.com: How did artists Stefano Raffaele and Leonardo Romero help develop the character, first in GENERATIONS and then in the ongoing?

Kelly Thompson: The original idea for Eden had her looking a lot like the ‘60s and ‘70s Black Widow, right down to the long red hair, for a couple story reasons we ended up jettisoning. But that’s such a great look that Stefano and I stuck with that design concept and just tweaked it a little bit, most notably her hair color to make sure she’d be easily recognizable if I brought her back.

And when I brought her back I told HAWKEYE series artist Leonardo Romero that he was free to do what he liked so long as he maintained the pale blue hair and kept her powers in mind. And I just love what he did. That white with the badass futuristic asymmetrical armor? So cool.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about her motivation for coming at the Hawkeyes so hard in “Family Reunion”?

Kelly Thompson: Eden finds her motivations in grief and obsession. She’s lost someone she can’t live without and, rather than dealing with that, she’s looking for someone to blame. And super heroes make an easy target. Especially Clint, since he became the face of the resistance that got her city—and everything she loved—destroyed.

Marvel.com: Later on in the arc, Eden will join forces with Madame Masque. What brings them together besides having a shared enemy?

Kelly Thompson: The shared enemies thing will definitely be a big motivator—enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of thing—there’s a certain amount of convenience in there too. But I think they both have trauma in their pasts that’s causing them to lash out. But of everything Eden will do and face in this story, Masque’s presence may turn out to be the most…educational.

Marvel.com: How does it feel to add this new toy to the HAWKEYE sandbox?

Kelly Thompson: It’s always fun to get to add a cool character to the Marvel world. And Eden has a ton of potential. One of my favorite things about her is that she brings the best of both worlds with her—thanks to her power set you get a new character in Eden but also a whole bunch of classic characters. And playing with those two together, classic and new, is the most fun.

On January 3, get in on the “Family Reunion” fun with Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero’s HAWKEYE #14!

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Kelly Thompson studies one of Marvel’s greatest relationships!

Few comic book couples have captured readers’ hearts like Rogue and Gambit.

The two mutants might seem perfect for each other, though over the years, a range of obstacles have pulled them apart. On January 3, however, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Pere Perez will unite the duo once again in ROGUE & GAMBIT #1! The five issue limited series sends Anna Marie and Remy LeBeau on a top secret mission, forcing them to dig deep into their shared past like never before.

We spoke with Thompson about pitching the series, examining the relationship, and filling in a few moments we’ve never seen!

Marvel.com: What do you remember being your first exposure to Rogue and Gambit as a couple? Do you recall what you thought of them at the time?

Kelly Thompson: Like a lot of fans of a certain age, my first exposure to Rogue and Gambit—and the X-Men—was “X-Men: The Animated Series.” I was immediately smitten with them as both individuals and as a sexy, but tragic couple. I think it’s fair to say they proved to be my biggest motivator in searching out comics, and I quickly fell in love with those too.

Marvel.com: Did you look back at their relationship in preparation for this book? Did any moments surprise you?

Kelly Thompson: I did a massive read and reread as I prepared the pitch. And I’ve continued rereading as I write. Part of the concept of our limited series does delve into Rogue and Gambit’s past, but in a really accessible continuity-light way. It was fun rediscovering things I loved—and some I’d forgotten from their past.

Definitely one of the most exciting things will be getting to show a few big “between the panels” flashback moments, including the first time Rogue and Gambit ever met—which if you can believe it, has never been seen before. As a super fan—and writer—it felt pretty incredible to be given that honor (and responsibility).

I had the idea to take on such a task, so if I don’t deliver it will be a little bit like I dug my own grave. Woo!

Marvel.com: What do you think makes Rogue and Gambit one of the most interesting couples in comics?

Kelly Thompson: I think, initially, a lot of the appeal of Rogue and Gambit—for good or ill—was the “will they/won’t they” tension of their relationship. And that’s a razor’s edge to dance on; it’s almost impossible to maintain that kind of tension and, as a result, I think they’ve suffered some particularly rough roads. But no matter what they have endured, they have undeniable chemistry on the page together…it’s palpable.

And of course they’re also extremely hot. That never hurts!

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about their undercover mission? How might it help rekindle things or drive them apart?

Kelly Thompson: The very nature of their mission demands that they face a lot of their old issues head-on, which brings out both love and resentment in them. I can’t really go into detail about the plot and how it functions, but if we’re successful, I think it really clears the field for them as a couple and gives them a chance for a fresh start…but we’ll have to see if they opt to take that chance.

Marvel.com: It sounds like issue #2 will feature an in-depth look at Gambit and Rogue’s history. How did it feel to compile and compress all of that emotion?

Kelly Thompson: Our story really functions on two levels, to my mind—on one hand it’s a pretty simple action-adventure story high on fun with some romance thrown in. And it’s very accessible for new or lapsed readers, despite all that history, thanks to some of the functions of the plot. But there’s also a separate, more esoteric layer for people interested in that kind of thing that I think has more to say about who they are (and have always been) as a couple and what that means for them. For their past and their future. In this way, I hope there’s something here for everyone.

Kick off the limited series with ROGUE & GAMBIT #1, by Kelly Thompson and artist Pere Perez, on January 3!

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Kelly Thompson dishes on Clint Barton’s return!

In the pages of HAWKEYE, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero have helped Kate Bishop grow into one of the Marvel Universe’s most fascinating characters. And in the new arc, titled “Family Reunion,” beginning with December 8’s HAWKEYE #13, her former partner Clint Barton makes his way out to Los Angeles to team-up with his old protégé!

We caught up with Kelly to explore the unique chemistry between Kate and Clint—and to see how his return may shape her future!

Marvel.com: Going into HAWKEYE #13, we’ve got a whole year’s worth of solo Kate adventures under our belt. What made you decide to bring Clint back now?

Kelly Thompson: Some of it came from the fact that I’ve wanted to get Clint into the book for a long time, but that we felt it would’ve been important to let Kate try to stand on her own first. So we’ve been building to their team-up again, almost since the beginning, putting Kate through a real emotional wringer where she really finds herself needing Clint’s help and her having grown enough that she’s actually willing to ask for that help.

Of course, a lot of books have started their Marvel Legacy arcs, so the timing ended up being perfect to get back to a Kate and Clint team up story.

Marvel.com: Where do you see their relationship standing as this new arc begins? How would you describe their chemistry and what fans can expect from this reunion?

Kelly Thompson: It’s become really overused—including by me!—but as far as I’m concerned, Kate and Clint together are magic. They have a wonderful chemistry on the page, a sort of brother and sister vibe where they love each other fiercely and would do anything for each other, but they also drive each other crazy. All of that dynamic, plus Kate and Clint sharing the classic Hawkeye traits of always getting into trouble and never giving up, leads to just really fun high-octane stories.

Our team—especially artist Leonardo Romero and colorist Jordie Bellaire—have been incredible from day one, but I have to admit that I really love what they’re doing with Kate and Clint together. It may be my favorite stuff of our whole run.

Marvel.com: The book has been very open about its noir influences. Have any films or novels in particular inspired this team-up?

Kelly Thompson: “The Thin Man” for sure and other classic noir like “The Big Sleep,” and “Double Indemnity.” But I’d say we’ve leaned a bit neo-noir like “The Nice Guys” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” too—a more modern approach to themes. There’s also of course an obvious “Veronica Mars” influence when you look at style and location and the sharp sense of humor we get from Kate. When developing the look of the book, and describing what we wanted, Jordie Bellaire said something like, “Oh. I get it. Classic Hollywood Film Noir meets ‘Miami Vice,’” and I feel like that’s…perfect.

Marvel.com: These two first became so inexorably linked on Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on the title. Has bringing them back together made comparisons to that book more prevalent, or do you feel you’ve established a new identity for Kate?

Kelly Thompson: You know, it’s the absolute best and also worst thing to have to work in the shadow of Fraction, Aja, [artist] Annie Wu, and [colorist] Matt Hollingsworth’s amazing HAWKEYE run. They remain some of my favorite comics of all time, and it was clear to everyone that we had to cut our own path or we would indeed always be fully caught in their shadow.

So I think it was the right call to let Kate move to LA—something they originally set up—and to allow her to stand on her own for a while. But I think enough time has passed that it makes a lot of sense for Kate and Clint to share a book again. I think the fans really want it to, and for good reason, as I said, they’re magic together.

Marvel.com: Can you tease how this arc might affect Clint and Kate’s status quo going forward?

Kelly Thompson: I think getting them back together in a team-up reminds Clint and Kate of everything that’s so perfect about them working together…“the good ol’ days” if you will. But they’re also on different paths right now with a lot going on in their separate lives, so I’m not sure what the future holds.

Find out in HAWKEYE #13, from Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero, on December 6!

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Kelly Thompson brings the mutants back together this January!

Prepare for a new chapter in one of the Marvel Universe’s great ongoing stories.

This January, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Pere Perez reunite ROGUE & GAMBIT for a brand new team-up series! The star-crossed lovers need to discover the source of mutant kidnappings across the world—and the answer won’t come easily.

But perhaps the bigger question lies in whether or not they’ll be able to stand each other’s company long enough to finish the job.

We caught up with Thompson to whet the appetites of Rogue and Gambit fans everywhere.

Marvel.com: Describe the difference between writing this series and your previous work on HAWKEYE or CAPTAIN PHASMA.

Kelly Thompson: You end up using slightly different muscles. I’ve done a lot of “solo” stuff and a ton of “ensemble” stuff, but this has been my first time writing a team-up book…except for GENERATIONS: THE ARCHERS, and of course the forthcoming Marvel Legacy arc in HAWKEYE. But I think it’s safe to say that Gambit and Rogue act pretty different than Kate and Clint do.

The trick, for me, has always just been about finding the voice for each character and then pinpointing what changes in each when you put them together—for both good and ill.

Marvel.com: What kind of chemistry or dynamic did you want to highlight between these two characters? 

Kelly Thompson: I think we all know that a Gambit and Rogue book can actually be a very tricky thing. Fans want a lot of things from the characters—and they’re not always the same things. We obviously can’t please everyone, but for me, the important thing about finding the right chemistry for these characters, and for our story, was to address the rich history Gambit and Rogue have—while also forging ahead and cutting new paths for them. So instead of shying away from that history, I built the story around it and we’re leaning into it—in what I hope reads as a creative way—that will be rewarding to longtime fans, but also accessible for those who might be new to the characters and curious to find out what’s so great about them and why fans both love and hate seeing them together.

I think as readers and fans (and I am both!) we often feel like we’ve already seen everything we could possibly see with Gambit and Rogue when it comes to their dynamic together. My greatest hope has been that we’re doing something new and different here—something a little outside the box—that still respects what came before. Gambit and Rogue are the comic book characters I have loved the longest in my life—they literally brought me into comics. Writing them has been a dream come true, but also, the pressure feels very on to do justice to them and to bring their many fans something they can really love. To write a story that will stand the test of time and carve a path for their future.

Marvel.com: How did you and Pere Perez approach these characters visually?

Kelly Thompson: Pere does such a great job. To be honest, this has been a very complicated book visually—it requires a lot of reference, research, and detail in the scripts—and of course that only makes things more complex for the artist. I can’t expand on that too much without giving some things away. It’s one of those things where you write a page and just hope that the artist can handle the demands (because you know they’re a lot) and then you see their version of the page and it’s better than you could have imagined. That is such an awesome moment on any book.

Marvel.com: What can you tease about how this story begins?

Kelly Thompson: We’ve got an all-new big bad that will be a lot of fun. I can’t reveal motives, but suffice to say they’ve got them in spades (no pun, I swear). Gambit and Rogue get assigned to the mission by Kitty, in part due to their long history together.

And while sometimes it may seem like their baggage might sink them on this assignment…I think we’ll see it’s what helps them survive. Even if that’s not how it feels in the heat of the moment.

ROGUE & GAMBIT, by Kelly Thompson and artist Pere Perez, arrives in January!

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Legacy dawns as Kate and Clint take Los Angeles with Kelly Thompson!

Some friends get together and pose for selfies. Kate Bishop and Clint Barton get together and pose for mugshots.

Or, at least, so it seems in writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero’s HAWKEYE #13! Clint makes his way to the West Coast to drop in on his protégé and friend…though he might be bringing quite an agenda along with him. Luckily, Kate wants something from her mentor as well.

We grabbed a green juice, got our tan on, and asked writer Thompson a few questions ahead of the Marvel Legacy title.

Marvel.com: The cover for issue #13 reveals that the Hawkeyes ride together again—what can you tell us about their reunion?

Kelly Thompson: Clint will actually show up at the tail end of HAWKEYE #12 in November and when we see him there, they both reach out to one another for the same reason—because they need help and trust the other, above all, to be there for them. It’s a great little moment that shows their bond. It then immediately devolves into comedy and bickering of course—but for a whole minute it’s beautiful!

Marvel.com: Having recently handled Clint and Kate’s team-up in GENERATIONS, how does their relationship in this comic differ to that? How does it remain the same?

Kelly Thompson: I definitely had to put some thought into GENERATIONS initially—into finding a voice for Clint that felt accurate to who he would be as a younger character but still felt true to the Clint we know today. That became somewhat tricky.

I think finding the voice for Clint today might be a little easier as it’s been really well-defined by some excellent writers in the last few years—most notably Matt Fraction. So you just try to learn from what others have done and carve your own path a bit; make it your own. I think I found a really happy medium with Clint that feels true to who he is and what he’s currently going through. It continues that magical chemistry that he and Kate have together and that the fans love so much.

Marvel.com: In terms of tone, how does the book feel? And how does Leonardo Romero help you bring that to life?

Kelly Thompson: Leo and [colorist] Jordie [Bellaire] remain my rock…or, rocks. They have been simply the best art team a writer could hope for. They bring such energy and innovation to everything they do, and I think we have a lot of fun with Clint’s inclusion in the book. Adding new elements—especially a character as charismatic as Clint—can be dangerous in shifting the tone or upsetting an existing balance, but with the team we have in place, I have no worries. They have so much talent that every challenge you throw at them just makes their work shine all the brighter. And even though Clint will be a large element to add, he fits rather seamlessly into a Hawkeye world, obviously, and the ways in which he doesn’t fit into Kate’s new life turn into things we have a lot of fun with.

Marvel.com: Individually speaking, where do we find the two Hawkeyes’ states of mind as they enter the story? How do they feel about one another right now?

Kelly Thompson: They’re both actually in very emotional places and not really at the top of their game. Kate has been of course going through the wringer with her father turning out to be an even worse guy than she suspected, Madame Masque taking over her life, plus the revelation that her mother may have been killed by her father—or may still be alive…she’s turmoil central.

But Clint finds himself having an awful time too, after the events of Secret Empire and the tragedy of losing one of the touchstones of his life—Black Widow. I think that might be one of the reasons they seek each other out now, because they’ll find comfort, normalcy, and a whole lot of trust in one another. They’re family.

Marvel.com: Can we expect Kate to encounter any other familiar faces as she enters Legacy?

Kelly Thompson: This arc finds Kate trying to get to the bottom of what really happened with her mother while still trying to deal with Madame Masque, who has been upping her revenge game of late. There will also be a villain “new” to Kate and Clint on the scene, but it will be someone readers have seen before if they’ve been reading my work.

Marvel.com: For readers who haven’t picked up the book yet, why does this arc present a great opportunity to hop aboard?

Kelly Thompson: I think the answer would be the same for both potential new readers and old readers alike—Clint and Kate are simply magic together. They have a fantastic chemistry and things will never get boring when they team up.

Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero’s HAWKEYE #13 hits the target on October 4!

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Writer Kelly Thompson charts a path to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”!

In 2015, the world witnessed the debut of a ruthless captain in a shining suit of armor. And while she gleamed in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” her story reaches new heights in JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – CAPTAIN PHASMA.

Captain Phasma takes her destiny into her own hands, emerging from the embers of “The Force Awakens” to set herself on a new path ahead of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” On October 18, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Marco Checchetto bring the epic limited series to its conclusion with issue #4!

We spoke with Kelly to hear more about the Captain’s tale of resurgence and revenge.

Marvel.com: Before you got this gig, what’d you think of Phasma after seeing her in “The Force Awakens”?

Kelly Thompson: That the armor looked absolutely incredible and that actress Gwendoline Christie projects a force to be reckoned with in every scene she’s in. Even completely covered up, she manages so much charisma—you can’t take your eyes off of her! I wanted to know so much more about her character. And I never dreamed I’d get to be a writer that helped decide those things. Total dream come true.

Marvel.com: Describe your process for fleshing the character out. Where did you focus first?

Kelly Thompson: Well, I coordinated pretty heavily with the Lucasfilm Story Group because everything connects both between the two films—since our story basically links those films together—and also with the new Phasma prose novel. So there were some parameters and directives about who she could be in those opening discussions; when those directives came through, Phasma clicked almost instantly into place in my head. Her character and her motivations made so much sense and the story began to form very organically from there.

Who she is, what she wants, what she will do to survive—it all began to dictate our story in a really clear way.

Marvel.com: How much of Phasma’s appearance—her armor, specifically—informs your writing of the character?

Kelly Thompson: More than you’d think. It comes down to Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa—our incredible artist and colorist, respectively—in creating that visual. Since we knew we were dealing with a character in full body armor—so no facial expressions and limited body language—and we weren’t going to be inside her head via narrative captions, we really had to be smart about every single thing we did. Phasma can be such an efficient and brutal machine, so we made sure that everything she did linked up with that idea. Fortunately, I had incredible partners in Marco and Andres for that mission.

Marvel.com: In the story, how would you define the common First Order opinion of Phasma? Does anything like that affect her?

Kelly Thompson: I think people are terrified of her and many of them don’t even know why. She’s a mystery—and she’s powerful and she’s unlike most other people—in that she presents no “human side,” no flaws, no obvious weaknesses. Everything Phasma does has been completely calculated. Even the lowering of the shields in “The Force Awakens”—in that moment her goal is simply to “not get shot,” and to do that, she lowers the shields. How she then deals with the ramifications of that decision can only be answered after she’s not shot—and thus not dead.

I don’t think Phasma cares at all what others think of her—unless it will either advance her or hold her back. She is unapologetically who she is, and she’s a chameleon that will do anything to survive. That currently means being the perfect soldier—the perfect leader for the First Order—and so she executes that directive as flawlessly as possible…with her eye always on what’s next.

Marvel.com: What’s Phasma’s general opinion of her enemies?

Kelly Thompson: One hundred percent, Phasma has a list in her head of every person she’s ever met, what their weaknesses and strengths are, and strategies for getting rid of them should that be necessary or amenable to her advancement. Phasma does not rest or take it easy. She’s always on, always ready.

Marvel.com: Last question—if you were able to meet Captain Phasma face to face, what would you say to her?

Kelly Thompson: I mean, I think I would just run. Yeah. As fast and as far as humanly possible. Someone that ruthless in their intent to survive…I’ve got no chance. None!

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – CAPTAIN PHASMA #4, by Kelly Thompson and artist Marco Checchetto, drops on October 18!

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Kate Bishop confronts Madame Masque with writer Kelly Thompson!

Things have gotten pretty complicated in Kate Bishop’s life, to say the least. With her personal and professional lives  colliding, she’s been forced to face some challenges from her past. And, as it turns out, Kate’s old foe Madame Masque orchestrated the drama.

On October 4, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero bring Kate and Madame Masque together for a showdown in HAWKEYE #11!

So what makes Masque such an excellent nemesis? We asked Kelly Thompson for her view on the classic villain.

Marvel.com: Kate has a long history with Madame Masquegoing back to writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja’s run. We’ve seen the tension building between these two characters for a while.

Kelly Thompson: Yes, Fraction wrote such a fantastic intro for those two characters—with Kate sort of cavalierly embarrassing Madame Masque by taking her place. I think that intro is exactly the kind that makes for arch-nemeses. Madame Masque has been fixating on Kate ever since. And it’s not an accident that their story plays out this way.

Marvel.com: Masque has worked with (and manipulated) Kate’s dadand we’ve seen Kate trying to sort things out with him recently. What are these events going to do to their relationship?

Kelly Thompson: Masque has definitely been playing the long game in her approach to Kate. Laying some groundwork that’s really emotionally devastating to Kate by encouraging and assisting Derek Bishop in sort of leveling up in his villainy, if you will. But Masque also has her own desires—namely power and powers—and that’s syncing up nicely now with her desire for pure revenge. So she’s moving into a less subtle, more openly destructive phase of her plans against Kate.

Marvel.com: It seems like Masque wants to clone Kate…and Kate’s definitely not down with that!

Kelly Thompson: Yeah, Masque’s desire to clone Kate—a literal reversal of what Kate did to her when they first met (though without the clones)—isn’t an accident. And Masque will not be the only one with revenge on the brain when this ends.

Marvel.com: In some ways, it seems like Kate’s dad could be her arch-nemesis as well. While she can’t just write her dad off, maybe Madame Masque will take his place?

Kelly Thompson: Yes, I think that’s definitely a slow boil story building in the direction of Bishop vs. Bishop. And Kate would much rather have Madame Masque to fight, as that’s far less complicated overall. She has a greater internal struggle with her father—knowing that there are good things about him, things that she wants to save. But she also feels the need to do what’s right and shut him down. She doesn’t really know what that should look like…does she arrest him? Does she fight him? What’s the move? It’s not an easy question for her to answer. It’s a little more complicated than your traditional “save the day” super hero story.

Marvel.com: What else can you tease about the upcoming issues?

Kelly Thompson: This arc comes to a close with issue #11—and Leonardo Romero and [colorist] Jordie Bellaire are doing truly tremendous work. I think people are going to really love it.

HAWKEYE# 12 exists as a standalone story—a team-up with Wolverine (and Gabby—and yes, Jonathan the Wolverine and Lucky will meet) and we’ve got the fantastic artist Michael Walsh coming back for that story.

Then in December with HAWKEYE #13, we kick off an all-new arc guest starring Hawkeye original flavor…Clint Barton!

Check out Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero’s HAWKEYE #11 on October 4!

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