Writer Ethan Sacks reveals the secrets behind the book!

In our Creator Commentary series, we give the floor to our storytellers as they present behind-the-scenes looks at the decisions that go into every last panel and page—in their very own words. Today we celebrate the release of OLD MAN HAWKEYE #4 by taking a closer look at the previous issue with writer Ethan Sacks.

Read up on our coverage of issue #1 and issue #2, then dive into issue #3 right here. 

Ethan, over to you…

Man on a Mission

When we left off last time, Hawkeye had just gotten to an amusement park called Arcade’s Murderworld, because of course that would be the amusement park in that world. The first person he’s out to check off his revenge list is there, but we don’t know who that is yet.

As the father of a daughter who has been to Disney World and all those places, I thought an amusement park in this world would have what Disney World has—where you can take a picture with characters or princesses. So I figured they’d have employees dressed as the super heroes. But here, the kids are actually beating this poor guy who’s dressed as Captain America, because I thought it kind of set up the world a little bit.

And Hawkeye can’t really do anything about it because he can’t break cover—obviously if people find out a super hero is running around then he’d get in a lot of trouble, and he’s very much focused on his goal.

So he gets stopped by this fortune teller, and if you’re a big X-Men nerd, you may recognize her as Blindfold. I needed a fortune teller character so I felt like part of the fun of research is looking through all the bloody panels from when the X-Men were knocked off in the original Old Man Logan story, and she wasn’t in it. I don’t know if she was actually created at the time, but she was not among the dead bodies so I figured she was elsewhere.

The Big Bad

Then we cut to Bullseye, and this is a little bit of a showdown with his boss, the Red Skull. This is the first time we see the Red Skull, who is obviously the “big bad” for that world. But Bullseye’s gone off the grid and he’s not taking messages or listening to his boss, so that could set something up later.

Bullseye, in this case, is very busy torturing the Orb and ripping the Watcher’s eye out of his chest to get as much information as he can about where Hawkeye is. This is probably the goriest panel so far in the series, but I want to warn you, it gets worse later.

Then we go into Blindfold’s tent and, if you didn’t recognize it right off the bat, there’s a Xavier School mug on Blindfold’s table.

She was a tough one to write because she has this strange speech pattern. But I like this scene a lot, especially with the way Marco drew it with the steam from the coffee showing little bits of Old Man Logan—and specifically Hawkeye’s demise in Old Man Logan. Clearly she can tell what’s going to happen to him and she drops hints that if he keeps doing what he’s doing, down the road he’s in for an ignoble end. But he brushes that off and goes to find the big target he’s after…pun intended.

Bullseye, however, is not the only one chasing Hawkeye; we have Venoms. Yes, “Venoms” plural. For those who remember, the Venom symbiote bonded with a surviving Madrox gang clone and now it’s replicating. Just to find his path to Hawkeye, the Venoms end up at the garage of Tonya (Hawkeye’s ex-wife) and they overhear one of the exotic dancers from issue #2 who’s trying to get the hell out of there, and they realize the next step on their quest…

Keep Your Friends Close

And now we get to the main event. The issue is called “The Price of Admission” and it’s called that for two reasons. One: the person who Hawkeye is chasing has become a showman and has decided that if they’re going to go out, they want to go out with a grand show. And two: this is where Hawkeye commits and realizes there’s no going back, because once he kills this person, he’s all in. This person actually works as the main event, but we see they draw almost no crowd. It’s a sad existence.

We flip the page and it turns out the character he’s chasing is Atlas. Yes—the big conceit of this book is that Hawkeye is hunting his former Thunderbolts teammates.

I wondered where the Thunderbolts would have been on the day that the super villains took over. When they were approached for the final battle, they knew the heroes were going to lose, so they decided not to come. But I wanted to make some of them sympathetic—and show that they weren’t out for power, they weren’t out for glory; some were just out to survive.

There’s this exchange where Hawkeye says, “How could you do this to me?” and Atlas says, “God, man, not everything is about you.” He wanted to live—and this may not seem like much of a life, but it’s a life. And Atlas drops a clue about the only person who’s still talking to him, Abe. Abe’s working at a doombot factory in Kree Haven. Again, he bought the right to live.

Atlas realizes there’s no talking Hawkeye out of this, so he stands up and says, “Let’s give them a show worth the price of admission.” Then he grows incredibly big, rips the tent, and they go at it.

One of the things I wanted to do with this fight was make tributes to certain arcs that I loved. One of the things I tried to put in here, which may or may not be obvious unless you’re as old as me, is Hawkeye uses this green gas arrow, and it’s the same arrow that he used the first time he met Atlas. So Atlas is dumb enough to fall for the same thing twice. No disrespect to him, but he was certainly not a Reed Richards-level genius.

At one point, he’s incapacitated, lying on the floor, Hawkeye has his bow arched, and we cut to this panel that’s a throwback to those ‘90s Thunderbolts comics. It’s actually a panel imitating Mark Bagley’s original art, and it just shows them in happier days.

But he shoots the arrow because he’s all in. Now there’s no going back. Hawkeye has now crossed the line.

Crosshairs

For the closing shot, Bullseye has arrived a few hours late, but he’s arrived at the crime scene that Hawkeye left behind. And the Deathlok computer that’s integrated into his brain makes the ID match and he realizes that the Thunderbolts are Hawkeye’s targets.

He knows where to go next, and he’s getting closer and closer to intercepting Clint.

Last thingI want to give a shout-out. I owe a lot of this issue to my friend Paul Pelkonen, who introduced me to the Thunderbolts back in the 1990s. Who would’ve guessed that 20 years later, here we are.

Continue the story by reading OLD MAN HAWKEYE #4, from Ethan Sacks and artist Marco Checchetto, today—April 25!

Read More

The six early-career artists on their backgrounds and Marvel influences.

The group of talented artists chosen for this year’s Young Guns program was recently announced by Marvel, spotlighting the best and brightest early-career artists in the comic book industry – with several exciting new projects and series from Young Guns 2018 to be announced in the coming months.

This year’s Young Guns crop are:

Marvel.com spoke to all of the 2018 Young Guns, to find out more about their backgrounds and Marvel influences. Read on for what they had to say as we hit them up with four questions each!

JAVIER GARRÓN

Marvel.com: What Marvel character encapsulates Marvel the best for you–and why?

Javier Garrón: If I had to pick just one, and it’s no easy task, I think I would go with Spider-Man. He’s someone you can relate to. He’s struggling to balance every aspect of his life: work, family, friends, relationships… And on top of that he has great tragedies in his life, great losses that have marked him forever. He has enormous responsibilities and huge problems and dangers to face. He makes mistakes; he’s not perfect by any means. But he tries to be better every day, to overcome every adversity and help everybody around him–always with a punchline ready. His stories have everything: drama, comedy, intrigue and epic-ness. He’s the full package.

Marvel.com: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist at Marvel?

Javier Garrón: As soon as I read my first Marvel comic! I started, though, with Duck Tales comics–I devoured those! I never had enough. As a reader you experience the wonder of getting lost within a story. But when you start drawing, then another kind of enchantment kicks in: the magic of creating those worlds. So as soon as I could grab a pencil I started drawing Donalds and Scrooges, but when I got my hands on my first Marvel comic something changed. Those people were recognizable and relatable. You could channel your energy through them, and the thrill of drawing grew exponentially. Once you taste it, there’s no going back.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most about drawing for Marvel?

Javier Garrón: It’s pretty wild when I stop to think about it–I’m drawing the comics I’ve loved my whole life. I always wanted it but not even in my wildest dreams was it possible, coming from a small town in the very south of Spain. And here I am, and it’s incredible. But the best part is, without any kind of doubt, the people working at Marvel. The editors, the staff and the other artists working there. You read their names in the credits of your favorite stories every month, but there’s a person behind it, and they’re the true heroes. Every comic has a lot of challenges, and every single month all those people give their 200% to sort out everything and make sure the Marvel Universe keeps happening every week. Working with them is a delight and a privilege, I look forward to the sound of the email inbox notifying me there’s new mail.

Marvel.com: What was your first Marvel comic?

Javier Garrón:The first one was…. I feel old now… a Spanish edition that had both a Fantastic Four and Spider-Man story. The FF faced… the Puppet Master! That smile on his face was so scary! And the poor Thing and Alicia Masters! I think I didn’t quite understand back then everything that was going on, but I was mesmerized by the imagery. And Spider-Man battled… Sandman! It was wild and crazy and I couldn’t take my eyes away! I got lost between all those panels, and luckily I’m still wandering there.

AARON KUDER

Marvel.com: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist at Marvel?

Aaron Kuder: Shoot… I can recall a half-dozen moments really early on in my childhood where I thought, “This is what I want to do.” Though I think I wanted to BE the characters more than just doodle them… Drawing was just the closest I could come.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most about drawing for Marvel?

Aaron Kuder: I enjoyed all the wack-a-do craziness that is the Guardians of the Galaxy. Crazy sci-fi stuff really pushes one as an artist… Not only do you have to draw everything you can think of, but you have to come up with a lot of things that you wouldn’t think of. I found listening to a lot of Bowie and Daft Punk helped. Currently I am drawing INFINITY COUNTDOWN which is still mostly sci-fi but with much bigger stakes.

Marvel.com: What was your first Marvel comic?

Aaron Kuder: I’m sure it wasn’t my first Marvel comic, but the first one that pops to mind is a collection of Marvel Team-Ups. This wasn’t a reprinting of the Marvel book titled MARVEL TEAM-UP, but a collection of some of the first times various characters had met… TALES OF SUSPENSE #58 that had Captain America vs. Iron Man (who turned out to be the Chameleon in disguise), SILVER SURFER #4 with a gorgeous battle between Surfer and Thor (with Loki playing his tricks), etc., etc., etc.  I still have it, even though the binding is completely nonexistent now.

What Marvel character encapsulates Marvel the best for you– and why?

Aaron Kuder: That’s a tough question for me… I’ve always loved the wide spectrum of characters at Marvel. I mean, they’ve got everything – talking ducks, giant floating character creatures that want to rule the world, living planets, planet eaters, and on and on. If I had to choose I guess I said Spider-Man, because under the mask he could be anybody.

MIKE DEL MUNDO

Marvel.com: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist at Marvel?

Mike Del Mundo: Well, as a child in the ’90s I would always blurt out, “I’m going to be a comic artist and draw the X-Men.” But I would say I made a solidified decision yeeeeeears later when I was in college for graphic design. Seeing my peers drawing my favorite Marvel characters brought me back to childhood and it gave me that good feeling; I quickly realized that design was great but drawing comics was my passion.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most about drawing for Marvel?

Mike Del Mundo: Well first of all, drawing your favorite childhood super heroes is pretty awesome! Secondly, I love the creative freedom comics gives you. My first passion was B-boying (break dancing) and that was all about originality, creating your own moves and expressing your personality. I feel like comics is very similar in that you’re recognized based on your own distinct style and how you tell your stories, and Marvel nourishes that aspect and allows you to explore and grow as an artist.

Marvel.com: What was your first Marvel comic?

Mike Del Mundo: My first Marvel comic was TOXIC AVENGER. I was hooked after that but the comic that really grabbed me was my first X-Men comic which was UNCANNY X-MEN #275. To this day, I still look to that book for inspiration.

Marvel.com: What Marvel character encapsulates Marvel the best for you – and why?

Mike Del Mundo: For me it’s an obvious answer: Spider-Man. His personality, the color of his costume, his powers and what he stands by is the blueprint to Marvel’s vision. He put a stamp on Marvel’s birthplace of New York as well.

PEPE LARRAZ

Marvel.com: What Marvel character encapsulates Marvel the best for you–and why?

Pepe Larraz: When you think about Marvel comics, you obviously think about super hero stories– the cosmic threats, the epic fights, the Earth in danger. But for me, it’s the drama that sustains the characters, the thing that gives them depth: the everyday situations, the feeling of being part of a big family combined with the awesome action. I think the characters that show it better are the X-Men and -Women. Fighters, teachers, pupils, weapons of mass destruction watching TV in pajamas in a school which has a stealth plane on the playground. In my opinion, Lobdell and Bachalo’s GENERATION X was one of the best titles ever done in Marvel’s history.

Marvel.com: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist at Marvel?

Pepe Larraz: I started drawing when I was a little child, as most of us do. I loved to draw everything, but most of all I liked to tell stories with those drawings, so I’ve been making comics since I was very young. I began copying the comics I used to read and my favorite artist. It was an impossible dream for me to get to draw those comics someday. But I was stubborn enough to never quit. I’ve been working for Marvel for almost eight years and even now, some days I can’t believe I’m doing it. I’m a comic-book fan working on comics.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most about drawing for Marvel?

Pepe Larraz: I love to give my own vision of the characters of the books that I read when I was a kid. To do some research to understand them, what they have done, what they want, and then I try to give a  look that reflects my point of view. I also love working with writers whom I really admire, and I have the privilege of  reading their stories before anyone else, which allows me to see what they do with the characters and adapt my way of drawing to the mood they want for the book.  One of the greatest parts of the job is to explore new ways to tell stories discovering new graphic solutions.

Marvel.com: What was your first Marvel comic?

Pepe Larraz: The very first ones were the SPIDER-MAN pages that came with the weekend newspaper. It had a small comic supplement, a few pages, and among those there were a couple pages of SPIDER-MAN. So we read two pages of the issue and had to wait a whole week to read the next ones. It was a bit excruciating, but it was better than nothing. I remember it was McFarlane’s run on SPIDER-MAN, those mind-blowing pages. I think the first comic book series I bought was SPIDER-MAN 2099, and Rick Leonardi has been my hero ever since. Those figures and backgrounds were a wonder to behold.

RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

Marvel.com: What Marvel character encapsulates Marvel the best for you–and why?

Russell Dauterman: I’m going to cheat and say two: Spider-Man and the new Ms. Marvel. They’re a classic and modern example of what Marvel is all about for me: real people with extraordinary circumstances, who balance great power and great responsibility.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most about drawing Thor?

Russell Dauterman: THOR has been a dream project for me. I love fantasy and mythology, plus working with the whole team has been a joy. Probably the most moving thing about working on the book is the response we’ve had from people who are struggling with illness or who’ve lost someone to cancer.  Hearing that the book has resonated with them has been really meaningful.

Marvel.com: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist at Marvel?

Russell Dauterman: My memory of this is super hazy, but when I was a kid, I entered a drawing contest that Marvel had.  I drew the Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic, and won a piece of art by a Marvel artist, of those same characters — it was in a frame alongside my rudimentary drawing and hung in my bedroom.  That gave little me a lot of hope, and was the first time I seriously thought I could be a Marvel artist.

Marvel.com: What was your first Marvel comic?

I was first introduced to Marvel through “X-Men,” the animated series — I was obsessed! — and jumped into X-Men comics because of that. UNCANNY X-MEN #302 is the first comic I vividly remember owning.  I opened it up to an amazing two-page, vertical spread of Storm–I’ve been hooked ever since!

MARCO CHECCHETTO

Marvel.com: What was your first Marvel comic?

Marco Checchetto: A story of Spider-Man from MARVEL SUPER-HEROES issue #14: “The Reprehensible Riddle of… The Sorcerer!” by Stan Lee, Ross Andru, and John Romita Sr.

Marvel.com: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist at Marvel?

Marco Checchetto: I was 7 years old. My grandmother gave me a big reprint book with a lot of different comics from different publishers. One of these stories shocked me so much that it made me decide to become an artist at Marvel.

Marvel.com: What do you enjoy most about drawing OLD MAN HAWKEYE?

Marco Checchetto: I really love the script by Ethan Sacks – love the characters and the environments. It’s exactly the type of story I like to draw.

Marvel.com: What Marvel character encapsulates Marvel the best for you–and why?

Marco Checchetto: Marvel has so many wonderful characters and I love them all, but the real heart of the House of Ideas remains the historical characters created in the ’60s. The one who absolutely encapsulates the true spirit of Marvel, for me, is Spider-Man. The true symbol of the “super hero with super-problems.” We are all Peter Parker.

Read More

Celebrating the industry’s top artists to watch!

Marvel is proud to announce the next generation of gifted artists for this year’s Young Guns program!

Originally launched in 2004, each year’s Young Guns selections represent the best and brightest early-career artists in the comic book industry. Previous Young Guns have left their mark through some of Marvel’s greatest heroes, with alumni like Jim Cheung, Steve McNiven, Leinil Yu, Daniel Acuña, David Marquez, Sara Pichelli, and many more drawing some of Marvel’s biggest events and launching groundbreaking new series.

“I still clearly remember the launch of Marvel’s original Young Guns campaign over a decade ago, crafted as an innovative way to recognize and promote the upcoming artists we believed in—and knew would one day be superstars!” says C.B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel. “From its inception, Young Guns has always been about living up to Marvel’s long legacy of identifying and hiring unique and groundbreaking talent to give our fans the best looking comics on the stands. And here we go again! Introducing the class of 2018, six artists poised for greatness, whose art will grace the pages of some of the coolest comics of the year!”

2018’s Young Guns inductees are:

Starting on January 31, in addition to their regular series, each of the Young Guns will create a special limited exclusive variant cover for six new books, including AVENGERS #678, X-MEN: RED #1, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #3, DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1, BLACK PANTHER #170, and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797! Check your local retailer for variant availability!

More exciting new projects and series from Young Guns 2018 will be announced in the coming months. Read up on the next generation of all-stars below!

Spanish artist Pepe Larraz penciled The Mighty Thor, previously having illustrated stories in anthologies such as Web of Spider-Man, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes and X-Men: To Serve and Protect. A rising star, Larraz pitted ’90s rivals against each other in Deadpool vs. X-Force and worked on Wolverine & the X-Men before venturing into a galaxy far, far away with Kanan—then back to the Marvel Universe again with Uncanny Avengers.

Spanish artist Javier Garrón studied architecture before his work on webcomics and blogs got the attention of the American comics industry. Garrón made his Marvel debut with Cyclops in 2014, which led to work on the “Black Vortex” event crossover between New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy. Future work included Legendary Star-Lord, the IvX event, and the spot of lead artist on Secret Warriors.

Marco Checchetto early contributions to the revival of Marvel Comics Presents revealed him as one of the industry’s top new talents. Checchetto has made his mark on both the Marvel Universe—with runs on Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil and Punisher—and a galaxy far, far away, with Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel, Star Wars: Captain Phasma, and the post-Return of the Jedi thriller Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire.

Artist and writer Aaron Kuder cut his teeth in the comics industry working on the New York Times best-selling book The Armory Wars and Key of Z, both with Claudio Sanchez from Evil Ink Comics. After work at DC on books such as Action Comics, Kuder returned to Marvel for an exclusive agreement in 2016 with work on top-tier titles such as the X-Men-shattering Death of X and All-New Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you’ve read any Marvel series since 2009, chances are it featured a cover from artist Michael Del Mundo at some point. Del Mundo’s artwork has fronted such well-known series as Amazing Spider-Man, Vision, and Invincible Iron Man. After delivering gallery-standard illustrations page after page in Elektra, he brought his unique talents to Secret Wars tie-in Weirdworld and its subsequent All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch, and Marvel’s flagship title Avengers.

Russell Dauterman is best known as the artist of Marvel’s Thor comics.  Written by Jason Aaron and starring Jane Foster as Thor, the lengthy run has become a best-selling, Eisner-nominated series.  Previous work includes such titles as CyclopsNightwing, and Supurbia.  Russell has also designed characters and created covers for various Marvel, BOOM! Studios, DC, Valiant, and Image titles.  Outside of comics, Russell has illustrated children’s books and worked as a costume illustrator in the film industry, most notably on Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger.  Russell is currently continuing his character-defining run drawing The Mighty Thor.

Congratulations to the 2018 Young Guns!

Read More

Marco Checchetto takes aim at an Old Man Logan prequel!

Clint Barton has unfinished business in the future. The accomplished archer may survive in the Wasteland, but he finds himself still dealing with his past in the pages of OLD MAN HAWKEYE by Ethan Sacks and Marco Checchetto. Set five years before the events of the original “Old Man Logan” story by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, the 12-issue limited series will chronicle the Avenging Archer’s adventures as he tries to make good on his mistakes even as his eyesight fails him.

We talked with Checchetto about referencing McNiven’s original opus, working with Sacks, and coming up with all new denizens of the Wasteland!

Marvel.com: What was the process like for developing Clint’s look a few years before we first saw him in “Old Man Logan”?

Marco Checchetto: I drew Clint slightly different from the version seen in “Old Man Logan.” He still has sight and is still fit. He was a super hero. I’ve only filled him with scars, and one of them has the shape vaguely reminiscent of the “A” of the Avengers. I took off his glasses and then I decided to loosen his hair. As for clothes, I wanted to give them a more military and technical look. My intention, then, is to give him, as much as possible, a melancholy look. Hawkeye knows that the super hero times are over, but he does not accept it.

Marvel.com: Between the original “Old Man Logan” story and the current ongoing series, we’ve seen many aspects of the Wasteland. How has it been mixing the previously glimpsed with your own designs?

Marco Checchetto: For this prequel, I chose to stay close to what we saw in the [original] “Old Man Logan” [story] and the great work of Steve McNiven. I’ll be very respectful in regards to already known places. As for the whole “new” environments, on the other hand, it is a continuous challenge and it is certainly one of the most exciting factors in this series for me.

Marvel.com: Along similar lines, you’re dealing with old, new and re-designed characters set in this alternate future. How has it been working out those designs?

Marco Checchetto: In this case, also, for the characters who appeared in the original series, I will remain very close to what we have already [seen]. The most important part, however, will surely be the new characters. We will see the Wasteland versions of many characters known and loved by readers. I can only mention a couple of them for the moment: Madrox and Venom. The others will be a surprise along with many easter eggs that will awaken the memory of old readers and will stimulate the curiosity of the most recent readers.

Marvel.com: Have any of the new characters or design elements given you more of a challenge than the others?

Marco Checchetto: For some of these characters it was not simple. The one that has created [the most] problems is definitely Venom, because I wanted it to be different from everything we have already seen. I wanted it not only to be a black liquid, but a sentient organ, and so I created a real internal matter of flesh and viscera. It will be hard to draw it on all the pages, but I hope it gives an added value [where it appears].

Marvel.com: How has it been working with writer Ethan Sacks so far?

Marco Checchetto: Ethan is fantastic, the story is marvelous, and every time I get the script of a new issue I devour it to know what madness I will have to draw this time. Each issue is full of surprises, and despite being a very long [series]—12 issues—I’m sure I’ll miss it in the end. The script is clear and precise, but gives me the right space to express myself with the setting of the page that I prefer. Ethan is an enthusiast and that exudes from his pages. I’m sure you’ll love this series.

Return to the Wasteland on January 10 with Ethan Sacks and Marco Checchetto in OLD MAN HAWKEYE #1!

Read More

Artist Marco Checchetto breaks down the aged Clint Barton!

The sharpest shooter in the Marvel Universe dives into an uncertain era this January.

A different kind of coming-of-age story, OLD MAN HAWKEYE, written by Ethan Sacks with art by Marco Checchetto, presents a gray Clint Barton, losing his vision, undertaking what may be his very last hero’s quest.

We caught up with Checchetto to get the inside scoop on what Hawkeye faces during the upcoming journey.

Marvel.com: Tell us about the concept behind this series.

Marco Checchetto: It’s a 12 issue series, set five years before the events of OLD MAN LOGAN. We will tell the story of the aged Hawkeye fighting in the name of his fallen friends, the Avengers. And he’s losing his vision—so he has to accomplish his mission while he still can.

Marvel.com: What does this future world look like?

Marco Checchetto: Like OLD MAN LOGAN, our series takes place in a dark world where Marvel’s super villains have killed the Avengers about 45 years prior, leaving only a few survivors. It’s a wasteland.

Marvel.com: Hawkeye played a big role in the original OLD MAN LOGAN runhow does this series connect to that? Will we see Logan appear?

Marco Checchetto: Clint still has his vision—for now. And Logan lives as a pacifist, with a modest life and family. So, yes, we will see Logan in our series too. I’m very happy about that—I’ve drawn a lot of characters for Marvel Comics, but this has been the first time I’ve had the opportunity to draw Wolverine.

Marvel.com: How does Clint compensate for the impacts that age has on him?

Marco Checchetto: Hawkeye has no super human powers and now finds himself in old age—but hey, he still remains an exceptional fencer, acrobat, and marksman. It will be hard for him not to miss all his targets, but he’ll do his best. To show his age, I gave him some serious scars and weathering.

 

Marvel.com: What can we expect from the art in this book? Will it stay in line with the style of the OLD MAN LOGAN series, or can we expect some changes?

Marco Checchetto: I liked the fantastic job Steve McNiven did with the previous series, so I tried to stay close to his character and background designs. At the same time, I’m working hard to create something new and I hope the readers will be happy with it. In OLD MAN HAWKEYE, we will explore new corners of the wasteland, meet new characters, and discover Easter eggs throughout Clint’s journey.

Marvel.com: How does the art reflect the grittiness of this worldand the current state of Clint’s being?

Marco Checchetto: My style does not feel clean; it’s grimy and gritty. I like to draw dust, pain, and blood. I’m a dark side guy.

Marvel.com: Where do you draw influence from when working on these grit and grim stories? And how do you maintain a balance between the darker side and the funnier side of things?

Marco Checchetto: I do like humor in a series. My favorite comic book character is Spider-Man, who we all know to be fun and friendly, but my favorite stories with him tend to be the sad and obscure ones, like Kraven’s Last Hunt. So when I can draw something dark and evil, I do my best.

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

Marco Checchetto: If you like Venom, stay tuned.

OLD MAN HAWKEYE, written by Ethan Sacks with art by Marco Checchetto, takes flight this January!

A special convention reward for Marvel Insiders!

Enter the code MA2VE7L to earn 250 points in the “Marvel News Code Day 4” Activity!

Be on the lookout for codes throughout the rest of the weekend to earn even more points!

Not a Marvel Insider? Join at Marvel.com/Insider today and start earning!

Code valid through 10/11/2017 11:59PM EST. Limited to one redemption per code per Marvel Insider account.  Marvel Insider Loyalty Rewards Program open to U.S. residents ages 18+ only.  See marvel.com/insider for program details and terms.  See marvel.com/insider/activities for details and terms on specific activities.

Read More

Captain Phasma stars in her own limited series next month!

Next month, Kelly Thompson and Marco Checchetto open the blast doors to one of “The Force Awakens” most enigmatic villains: Captain Phasma, as she stars in her own limited series in the lead up to “The Last Jedi” coming out this December.

With Captain Phasma’s dominating presence and the eye-catching chrome Stormtrooper armor, few were surprised that she would find herself a fan-favorite despite having only a small amount of screen time. Naturally, Thompson and Checchetto seek to address this through giving fans a glimpse into Phasma’s story in the lead up to Episode XII. To get the skinny on this new series, we spoke with Thompson to see what she and Checchetto have in store for readers this fall!

Marvel.com: Normally, Kelly, I like to ease into these interviews, but with CAPTAIN PHASMA, I’m coming in heavy! If we look at “The Force Awakens,” Phasma looked like this total badass character especially with what we know of Gwendolyn Christie. But the most we see from her doesn’t register with a major league villain between killing some nonthreatening villagers and then being taken prisoner by some newbie good guys. Are you going to give us a chance to see the truly imposing and terrifying side of this character?

Kelly Thompson: Yeah, I mean, I think we all can understand that Star Wars can’t be a “Phasma Story.” Star Wars is an ensemble piece and there’s only so much room for a character like Phasma, no matter how well designed and potentially charismatic! I, of course, can’t tell you how much she’s going to get to be in the next film, but I think it’s fantastic that she’s getting a chance both through her comics and through her own novel to tell her story. She’s a character with incredible potential, and it’s exciting that it’s being explored.

Marvel.com: When we consider the back story to her armor alone – the remnants of one of Palpatine’s Naboo ships – we’re clearly looking at a character with a deep back story. Yet, we really don’t hear much from her. What insights can you share with us about developing her story further?

Kelly Thompson: Phasma is an incredibly complex and also laconic and mask-wearing character. She is not easily known by anyone, and that is deliberate on her part. I’m lucky enough to have gotten to read an early draft of the novel, which delves deeply into Phasma’s back story and it’s very cool stuff. The comic, however, is more focused on the present – and specifically what happens when Phasma gets out of that garbage chute. We are drawing on some of her back story in more subtle ways, but we didn’t want to step on the novel’s toes. As a result, we don’t go too deep into that territory, focusing instead on who Phasma is today.

Marvel.com: In The First Order, we see General Hux as a political beast – someone anxious to climb his way to the top of the order and garner favor from the ominous, Supreme Commander Snoke. Kylo Ren, however, shows us a much more impetuous and undisciplined villain, who finds himself struggling with the light side of his otherwise dark nature, as he too seeks Snoke’s favor. Where does Phasma fall in all of this? Is she loyal to the more militaristic Hux or do you think she plays another game?

Kelly Thompson: I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say here, but Phasma, more than any other character we’ve met in the Star Wars universe I think, is a survivor.

Marvel.com: Now, I have to believe there’s a real tightrope act for you here given that we still have two more films to go and plenty of story to tell. How do you strike the balance between revealing just enough information without spoiling what’s to come?

Kelly Thompson: We were given very clear parameters about our story, showing Phasma’s road from the garbage chute to the next film, which, to be honest, was a huge, exciting, and slightly terrifying responsibility. But I hope we embraced it and fans will dig it. I don’t think it’s quite what anyone is expecting, but I hope that’s a good thing!

Marvel.com: With working in an already established world, I’m curious what aspects of the story you and Marco Checchetto plan to bring?

Kelly Thompson: We start out in Issue #1 on Starkiller Base, so fans will be getting a closer look at the last moments of Starkiller Base and all that entails. The rest of the series takes place on an all-new planet with all-new monsters, aliens, and threats…exciting stuff that I hope fans will dig!

Having Marco Checchetto on art is absolutely fantastic. He’s got this incredibly realistic style that works so well for Star Wars, and he’s an excellent storyteller with sharp instincts. His work blows me away every time I see new pages. And we’ve got Andres Mossa on colors and Paul Renaud on covers, which means the visuals are just across the board incredible.

Marvel.com: As a final question: What do you think victory for Captain Phasma looks like? Do you think she’ll achieve this goal in either the next installment of the new trilogy or, at the least, by its end?

Kelly Thompson: I think Phasma is looking for victory every day. Every day is an effort to survive and advance. Ultimate success for her is being so powerful that she cannot be destroyed, but even if she achieved such a thing, I don’t think she could relax or enjoy it. Ideally, there’s a story in her future that forces her to confront that strength/weakness within herself and come out the other side having changed or grown. But because Star Wars is not a “Captain Phasma” story as we already discussed, I don’t know if something like that is in her future or not – in the films — or anywhere — we’ll have to wait and see what’s in store.

Read More

Explore the Screaming Citadel with exclusive art and commentary!

Artist Marco Checchetto’s no stranger to Star Wars comic fans who’ve already loved his work on such books as JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – SHATTERED EMPIRE and OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN, but it may be the plum assignment he’s just pulled in that Galaxy Far, Far Away that’ll cement him as one of the space saga’s most accomplished illustrators.

Take a look at these exclusive shots from Checchetto’s sketchbook for the upcoming STAR WARS: THE SCREAMING CITADEL, the one-shot that kicks off the newest Star Wars comic crossover.

Marvel.com: Marco, what were your very first thoughts when you were invited to join the SCREAMING CITADEL team? What excited you about it?

Marco Checchetto: I love Star Wars and I grew up with these characters, so I’m excited to draw within the classic trilogy again and also to create new characters and a new horror-planet. Another world created by me to add to the saga—it’s awesome. I’ve been instilled with trust from Marvel and Lucasfilm, one that I hope to repay one day. In Italy it was about midnight when my editors, Jordan White and Heather Antos, asked me to work on THE SCREAMING CITADEL, and I did not sleep because I could not wait until morning to begin work immediately on the pages.

Marvel.com: What did you feel the demands would be on the project, in terms of the art and what you would deliver? What was your overall sense of the design?

Marco Checchetto: Another big thing about this job is that I’ve got the chance to work with two writers, Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron, whom I respect very much. The story and the script for my one-shot are fantastic. I hope to work with Kieron and Jason again in the future, on some super heroes also. They had very precise ideas about the setting for this story. The difficulty in what they asked of me was in bringing a classic horror design and making it an integral part of the Star Wars universe.

Marvel.com: Looking over your sketches, we see what appear to be some cool mash-ups of medieval, gothic, and Victorian influences; where did you start out with your research for this? How much did you also pull from existing Star Wars designs?

Marco Checchetto: It was not easy. I opened up a lot of concept arts books from many movies and videogames to find something that would inspire me. Two of the most beautiful books I have are definitely the art books of the last two Star Wars movies, The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Those books helped me to try something new to me, but at the same time stay close to our galaxy.

Marvel.com: What can you say about the look of the Queen? What did you want to bring to her visually?

Marco Checchetto: For the Queen, and also for other characters, I was inspired by a Francis Ford Coppola movie, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” The costumes and the color palette in that are amazing. My woman here is beautiful, but very scary, a sinister and elegant alien-queen.

Marvel.com: Likewise with the palace guards: how do you get them looking so bad-ass?

Marco Checchetto: For the Citadel Guards it was more complicated. I wanted a sort of new Star Wars stormtrooper, something iconic but new. The head has as a base a classic Mandalorian helmet. This helps a lot to make it immediately familiar to the Star Wars world-look. For their costumes I used a classic medieval armor, but with lights and sci-fi details. For their weapons, a classic blaster and something to help me draw cool battles with them against Luke and his lightsaber. And to make it all more credible, I added a new flag for this new faction.

Marvel.com: When designing characters like Vespinax, Bombinax, etc., what do you do to impart “villainy” beyond things like darker colors, etc.? How do you make them menacing in the visuals?

Marco Checchetto: I decided to do all these characters without irises, and with cadaveric skin. Making them menacing is something you can do with your art-style; I really love to draw dark characters. I’m a dark side guy!

Can’t wait to see versions of these new characters by the other two artists involved in this crossover, Salvador Larroca and Andrea Broccardo!

Marvel.com: The look at the Citadel itself is just so incredibly cool and bizarre—where did it come from in your imagination?

Marco Checchetto: For the Citadel I was inspired by old black and white horror movies, with these improbable castles perched on the most inaccessible mountains, but I didn’t want to go with their classic medieval look. I wanted something that would strongly evoke that particular Star Wars-type atmosphere.

Marvel.com: Just look at those covers! Do you have a favorite one that you’ve done for the series?

Marco Checchetto: The most beautiful to me at the moment is the fourth cover, for STAR WARS #32, I think, the one with Han, Luke, and the Citadel Guards. Harrison Ford is very difficult to draw, but he’s also my favorite actor. He’s in four of the five covers! I want to persuade Marvel and Lucasfilm to give me an Indiana Jones series. That’s my plan. I’m really serious! Do it guys. Do it!

Marvel.com: Finally, Marco, what’s it like working with Kieron as collaborator on this one-shot?

Marco Checchetto: Working with Kieron is a real pleasure. The script is written so very well; everything works perfectly and the story flows smoothly and naturally. He has a great attention to detail in the storytelling. I like to work with writers like him or Jason. I love the interactions with all the characters of both series involved, STAR WARS and DOCTOR APHRA. I hope that this synergy with Kieron will be clear throughout the pages of SCREAMING CITADEL and make all the readers happy. We’re having a lot of fun on this.

Discover the STAR WARS: THE SCREAMING CITADEL one-shot from Kieron Gillen and Marco Checchetto this May!

Read More

Marco Checchetto opens up on his version of the deadly Guardian!

She’s the best in the galaxy at what she does, and what she does is deadly! That’s right, Thanos’ adoptive daughter continues to kick all kinds of butt in the pages of her solo series GAMORA.

“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” screenwriter Nicole Perlman teamed with artist Marco Checchetto to recently launch GAMORA. Instead of following the former Guardian’s post-team adventures, this one flashes back to the days before she became the Deadliest Women in The Galaxy!

We talked with Checchetto about working with Perlman, delving into Gamora’s earlier days, and developing new looks for familiar faces.

Marvel.com: You’ve drawn everyone from Spider-Man and Daredevil to Punisher and the Avengers. What unique challenges does drawing a Gamora-centric book offer?

Marco Checchetto: Yes I [have] worked on a lot of characters for Marvel, but this is my first time with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I prefer to draw dark series and when the editors asked me to draw GAMORA I thought that it could be a new challenge for me. She is fierce, gritty, serious, melancholic—the dark side of the group. My cup of tea.

Marvel.com: This series takes a look at Gamora’s earlier days, the ones leading up to her becoming the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy. How does this version differ physically and visually than the one previously seen in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY?

Marco Checchetto: In the [past she has been] painted like a lethal, sexy, dark character. In recent years she is a warrior with a lot of weapons and [technological] armor.

My version is more like, “I don’t care about weapons or costumes, I’ll kill you!” It was important for me not to create a super hero costume, but only normal clothes. She’s a very recognizable character, she doesn’t need anything too complex.

Marvel.com: Given the book’s time frame, I’d imagine you get to redesign younger versions of existing characters as well as new ones. Can you talk a bit about that process working with Nicole and the editorial staff to get those visuals just right?

Marco Checchetto: I was free to play with the characters and the script helped me so much. I love the scenes, written by Nicole, where Gamora can’t sleep. She is tormented and very angry and sad also. So I tried to give her a look more real and fragile in those moments.

For Thanos I created a costume near to his old version, technology-free. And I drew him a little bit slim. He [is] younger, not yet the old, big guy.

Marvel.com: Along similar lines, what was it like designing an entire planet and its inhabitants as you did with Ubilex?

Marco Checchetto: I drew what I read in the script. Nicole had very clear ideas for Ubilex and its inhabitants. It’s a post-apocalyptic world. It’s fun, because in my previous job I did the same work for another planet and its inhabitants, but in another galaxy—far, far away.

Marvel.com: The series also features the Badoon, one of the most despised races in all of the Marvel Universe. What are the keys to making them look right while also putting your own spin on them?

Marco Checchetto: Poor guys, I can’t despise them. They only suffer in my pages. I kill them in every way possible.

Marvel.com: Nicole’s an experienced screenwriter, but new to the world of writing comics. How has it been working with her on the series so far?

Marco Checchetto: I love Nicole. She is a very detailed writer, but at the same time very cooperative and this was a big help to work on the pages. She knows exactly what she wants for her story. Her Gamora is beautiful and all the characters are engraved in every detail. I hope she had a lot of fun making this series and that she will write many others in the future.

GAMORA, by Nicole Perlman and Marco Checchetto, continues to bludgeon all comers on February 15 with issue #3!

Read More