Writer Matthew Rosenberg opens up about bringing back Jean Grey!

Resurrection has always been the essence of the Phoenix. The mystical bird bursts into flames and returns reborn, stronger than ever.

So too, it seems, it will be for Jean Grey.

After years gone from the Marvel Universe—dead and buried in the minds of her friends, family, teammates, and enemies—she will complete that transformation from ash to stronger than ever once more.

The creative team of Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu have come aboard in PHOENIX RESURRECTION this fall to help her on her way from the grave to flying above the Earth once more. We found Rosenberg getting fitted for an asbestos suit and he graciously answered our questions as the tailor took his measurements.

Marvel.com: How does it feel to be the one tasked with bringing back the adult Jean Grey? Did you advocate for the role or did Marvel come to you?

Matthew Rosenberg: Crazy. It feels crazy. [UNCANNY X-MEN] is the book I learned to read with. I have been a fan my whole life. And Jean…Jean is the heart of the team. She ties everything together. For her to have been gone so long, it always felt like an open wound. Getting the chance to maybe heal that, it’s an honor I don’t take lightly.

Marvel came to me with this, I didn’t advocate for it. I mean, I did in the sense that I talk about the X-Men all the time to anyone who will listen. But I didn’t specifically fight for this book. [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso and [X-Men Senior Editor] Mark Paniccia brought it to me and asked if I had any ideas. I casually said what I would do to bring her back and they both looked real surprised. To be honest, I thought I’d just lost the gig. But finally they told me that was not at all what they had in mind, but they liked it. And from that point on it’s just been a whirlwind.

Marvel.com: What creative challenges does writing this book present for you? What opportunities?

Matthew Rosenberg: The biggest challenge is obviously doing it justice. People love Jean. I love Jean. Some people desperately want to see her back because they miss her, and I want to do right by them. But others feel really strongly that her death was monumental and we should respect that. And I get that 100%. I’m hoping we can tell a story that makes those people understand why we brought her back. We actually have something to say, it means something. And I think all of that, trying to please everyone, is the real trick.

As for opportunities, for me it’s two things. Getting to use the X-Men, all of them, is a huge one. Getting to explore her relationships with them, showing how they react to certain things, what things mean to them, is a real blessing because these characters have ties to her that long time readers will understand. There is an emotional shorthand to Beast or Bobby or Logan or Storm seeing her again. It’s heavy. And the other great storytelling opportunity we have is how powerful Jean and Phoenix are. They can create worlds and rearrange minds. That is something we go into a bit and I think it will keep readers on their toes.

Marvel.com: What is essential to writing Jean “right” in your opinion? How similar or different is this Jean than the one we knew before she died?

Matthew Rosenberg: One of the big keys to getting Jean is to actually study her progression as a character. From the meek and quiet student, to the bad ass team member, to the goddess, to death, and back again. She has had these changes; the Marvel Girl of old is not the same as Phoenix, or Jean in X-FACTOR, or the Jean that raises Cable in the future, or the Jean that fights Emma for the heart of Scott. All of these are evolutions of who she is. And our book, it does something a bit different. This isn’t an evolution. It’s a resurrection. But I can’t say much more than that.

Marvel.com: What’s the tone and setting of the book? How does Leinil Yu hope you achieve the look and feel of the book you are looking for?

Matthew Rosenberg: Our tone and setting change as things go. It’s a bit of a mystery, a bit of [an] epic super hero book, and a bit of an emotional character study. We travel all over the world in the series and it sort of just becomes this race to answer some questions nobody wants to ask.

As for what Leinil brings? Everything. He is a titan in storytelling, character, action—you name it. And he brings all of that. There are some genuinely creepy moments in the book and he knocks it out of the park on those. But there are also some real tender moments and those hit just as hard. I know this sounds crazy, but more than once I have actually been a little sad that I’m writing this book because I want so badly to just be able to read a PHOENIX RESURRECTION book with Leinil on art as a fan. I want to pick it up off shelves and not know what was going to happen. And seeing his work now, I know I’d be blown away. It’s gorgeous as always.

Marvel.com: Who else can readers expect might be popping up in the book?

Matthew Rosenberg: If there is an X-Man you like, there’s a strong chance they pop up. We’re doing a lot of fan favorites, a lot of deep cuts, and everything in between. Not everyone is going to get the screen time they deserve. But this is all hands on deck for the X-Teams.

Marvel.com: How does Jean’s return echo through the lives of others? Any insight into how it might affect the Marvel Universe at large?

Matthew Rosenberg: For the X-Men it will have an immediate effect. This will hit all of them. It’s going to be huge for the X-Men with a ton of ramifications across the board. As for the larger Marvel U…you’ll have to wait and see.

The wait continues later this fall with PHOENIX RESURRECTION from Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu!

Read More

Matthew Rosenberg leads Quake and the Warriors down a dangerous path!

Quake has committed to going too far. And the Secret Warriors know it.

They don’t approve of her plan…but what can they do to stop it? On October 18, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Juanan Ramirez bring Quake face to face with her mentor’s killer as her scheme comes to a head in SECRET WARRIORS #7!

We spoke with Matthew to hear more about where Quake has been, where she may be going, and why the Warriors might just have to come along for the ride.

Marvel.com: Quake has changed in the wake of Phil Coulson’s death—describe her state of mind at the beginning of issue #7.

Matthew Rosenberg: A lot of her life has been about finding people and things she can trust—and then losing them. Coulson, Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, various teammates…all of it adds up. Now she feels really alone.

In addition to that, she’s never quite come to terms with her powers the way other heroes have. Fury used her as a weapon before she found out about her family and her Inhuman genes without any support network.

She has this thing inside her—this incredibly destructive force that she can only barely control. And she has always had a purpose and a support network to help her focus and aim her powers, but they are all gone now. So Quake has become a weapon with no target. Just rage and fear and loneliness all simmering below the surface. She can be very dangerous and maybe even a little self-destructive at this point.

Marvel.com: How do you maintain Quake’s essential characteristics as she goes through these major changes?

Matthew Rosenberg: I feel like that’s the real challenge. We need to give readers the Quake they all love: strong, independent, smart, snarky, dangerous, cool, and a little vulnerable, while still changing that stuff.

Luckily, we’ve had a few issues to establish her and watch things go from bad to worse, but now we are really accelerating toward a brick wall. The key has been making sure the real Quake shines through in the darker moments. I try to make sure she has the funny line or doesn’t get frustrated with something dumb—just those little touches where Quake pulls people back in and doesn’t let them lose sight of the fact that Daisy still exists under all the rage and pain.

Marvel.com: How does Juanan Ramirez capture Quake’s internal and external struggles? How have you crafted those moments together?

Matthew Rosenberg: Juanan has been great. He draws Quake in such a terrifyingly badass way. I love it. She really feels like she grew up under Nick Fury. But he gives her these little moments, her acting, that are the perfect chance to see her be frustrated or upset. I think she feels really human—she has these little aspects of herself that peek out when she doesn’t want them to. And Juanan captures those remarkably well. Also, he draws a badass fight scene.

Marvel.com: Does Quake even know what she wants to do with Deadpool when she catches up to him?

Matthew Rosenberg: She has a plan, for sure. When your powers allow you to level a city, killing one dude feels like an easy task. Sure, Deadpool would be pretty hard to kill, but if you bring enough stuff down on top of him or liquefy all of his organs, he’ll hopefully get the message and die.

Marvel.com: What are the rest of the Warriors feeling about Quake and her quest?

Matthew Rosenberg: The Warriors are done with Quake. She was a loose cannon at best—and a torturer and (wannabe) assassin at her worst. But this team has never been about wanting to be together, it’s always been about needing to be together. And right now, they need Quake. And that only makes it worse. It’s one thing to have to rely on someone you don’t like. It’s quite another when they’d rather be murdering someone than helping you.

Marvel.com: Does Deadpool have an awareness of the enemy he’s made?

Matthew Rosenberg: No, he has no idea. Deadpool has a lot of enemies though and he can take a lot of damage. And he’s also real crazy. So planning for stuff isn’t as important for him as it might be for other people. But yeah, he has a whole world of pain coming his way.

Marvel.com: Regardless of whether or not Quake realizes her goals, what kind of ramifications does this journey have for the team?

Matthew Rosenberg: In a lot of ways, Quake felt like the head of the team. It’s arguable that the team had three heads at time, but she stood at the forefront. And her mission now runs counter to the rest of the team’s needs.

She is on such a personal path—such a possibly self-destructive one—that it almost feels like the only real choice either standing in her way or not. If they won’t join her or get her to quit, then the team may lose another member. And at that point, can they be called a team at all?

SECRET WARRIORS #7, by Matthew Rosenberg and artist Juanan Ramirez, drops on October 18!

Read More

Matthew Rosenberg details a team set to fracture ahead of Marvel Legacy!

The universe trends towards entropy. Or, to put it another way, everything falls apart. Everything—including the Secret Warriors.

In the aftermath of Secret Empire, the group barely qualifies as a team anymore. And to further complicate matters, Quake—once central to the Warriors—now finds herself in a haze of rage, so focused on avenging Phil Coulson’s death that she’s lost touch with her friends and allies.

On November 15, writer Matthew Rosenberg joins artists Javier Garrón and Will Robson to unleash Mister Sinister on a team at their weakest point in SECRET WARRIORS #8!

We caught up with Matthew to see what’s next for the group as Marvel Legacy begins.

Marvel.com: Describe the Secret Warriors current team dynamic.

Matthew Rosenberg: The team as a whole finds itself in sort of a disaster. They were brought together by necessity, not by choice. They don’t really get along, they don’t see eye to eye, and they’ve been stuck with each other because they had nowhere else to go. Now the team starts falling apart after Secret Empire.

So, they aren’t really together anymore. But, as often happens with these things, bad things will bring them back together. They didn’t finish what they started last time and now it’s back for them.

Marvel.com: The team has gone through a tremendous amount of turmoil in a very short amount of time. How are the Warriors reacting?

Matthew Rosenberg: Everyone deals with the fallout of Secret Empire differently. Ms. Marvel really wants to get back to her life—to being the type of hero she feels more accustomed to being. Moon Girl wants to go home. Inferno doesn’t want to play super hero right now. Quake runs out for blood. Having lost many of the things she cared most about in the world, revenge feels like her only way of processing. While the others are exhausted and beaten down, Quake becomes something else entirely. She seems a little broken.

And Karnak…who knows anything about Karnak’s state of mind, ever? He seems like his usual creepy self.

Marvel.com: We know that Quake targeting Deadpool will be a significant storyline going forward. How does the rest of the team view that mission?

Matthew Rosenberg: Quake’s revenge won’t be something anyone feels comfortable with. She’s always been willing to cross lines the others won’t. Her choices disturb the group less since the team has gone their separate ways—but our Legacy story forces them back together, so Quake’s vendettas become an issue again. The friction between Ms. Marvel and Quake will grow even more and everyone gets caught in between.

Marvel.com: What creative benefits and challenges does this storyline present?

Matthew Rosenberg: We get to have a story that increases the stakes on a personal level. Secret Empire served as big, world changing stuff—but that kind of story can overshadow some of the smaller things at times. Now we’re telling a smaller story about loss and revenge, friendship and purpose. It can be really fun to zoom in on these characters—but it’s a big challenge too. The shifting of gears can feel jarring if you do it wrong.

Also, it was tough to borrow Deadpool. [Writer] Gerry Duggan and all the DEADPOOL team have done an amazing job of telling this really long story currently reaching its culmination in Deadpool’s fall from grace. It’s beautiful, actually. So we want to play into that and be a part of it, but not get in the way of what they’re doing in the main DEADPOOL book. We want it to feel relevant and offer something to DEADPOOL readers, but not put them at a disadvantage if they aren’t reading our book.

Marvel.com: Javier Garrón will continue as the main artist for Marvel Legacy. How do his ideas and contributions add to where the book moves next?

Matthew Rosenberg: Javier is amazing. I feel like every interview I just talk about what a joy he has been to work with, but it’s true. No matter what dumb, weird thing I throw his way, he manages to make it cool and fun. And he does it all while being one of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met.

It’s funny because he’s so amazing at two things that I think most artists struggle with. He can handle a lot on a page—big action, lots of panels, tons of characters. He never breaks stride and never makes it clumsy. That inspired us cramming so much into our first arc. We wanted to play to his strengths. And the other thing is acting. His characters have so much life and personality; I think that has been a big key to why people like this book. It’s really easy to relate to who they all are because Javier makes them such great characters before any lettering even touches the page.

Also, he gave the X-Men great facial hair. I want that recognized. Rictor’s mustache and Strong Guy’s beard are themselves some of the most important characters in comics today.

Marvel.com: Looking beyond the first arc, can you hint at what else readers can expect from SECRET WARRIORS?

Matthew Rosenberg: We are building to a showdown with Mister Sinister. He has been involved with the team for a while—only they didn’t necessarily know that. So this fight will be an interesting one.

Other than that, we have a pretty big addition coming to the roster. I am beyond excited to bring this new person to the team. It’s one of my favorite characters of all time and getting to see them interact with everyone else has been really Magikal.

Matthew Rosenberg and artists Javier Garrón and Will Robson launch SECRET WARRIORS #8 on November 15!

Read More

Writer Matthew Rosenberg sends Quake on a quest for Deadpool’s head!

The events of Secret Empire have shot ripple effects across the Marvel Universe.

In one of the most heartbreaking casualties of the ordeal, Deadpool killed Phil Coulson on orders from an evil Captain America. The global situation may have been resolved, but Quake won’t let the loss of her mentor go without getting vengeance.

On September 13, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Juanan Ramirez dish out a tale of retribution with SECRET WARRIORS #6!

We caught up with Matthew to hear what we can expect from the upcoming showdown.

Marvel.com: Quake saw Coulson as her mentor—and Deadpool killed him. How does the pain of this experience impact her choices?

Matthew Rosenberg: Quake isn’t making decisions anymore. She runs on pure hatred and anger right now. Which, if you’ve ever been on a suicidal vendetta to kill your mentor’s killer before, you’ll know it’s not the best headspace to be in. But that’s the thing about Quake—she grew up with a deep destructive energy lurking inside of her. But since a young age, she’s had people who have looked out for her and helped her deal—Fury, Cap, Coulson. They’re all gone from her life now and she’s on her own. It’s not going to be pretty.

Marvel.com: The rest of the Secret Warriors don’t agree with Quake’s decision to kill Wade Wilson. How will she be able to complete her task with the whole team working against her?

Matthew Rosenberg: Quake is a spy, trained by the greatest spies the world has ever known. The Warriors are a great team—one of the bravest heroes in the world, one of the greatest strategists, one of the smartest thinkers…and Inferno. But even with all of them against Daisy Johnson, when she doesn’t want to be found, it’s still only a 50/50 chance that they’ll stop her.

Marvel.com: Deadpool’s healing factor, of course, makes him pretty tough to kill. How does Quake plan to do it?

Matthew Rosenberg: She will use anything and everything to dispose of him. Luckily for her, she has earthquakes—which can be pretty brutal.

Marvel.com: Wade doesn’t shy away from violence, and probably wouldn’t hesitate to kill Quake to defend himself. Is Quake prepared to risk her life for her vendetta?

Matthew Rosenberg: Risking her life doesn’t even come into the equation. Quake loved Coulson as a mentor and father figure. He and S.H.I.E.L.D. were the last things holding her together. And with both of those taken from her, self-preservation isn’t her concern. Quake can only see red—and she won’t stop until either she or Deadpool is in the ground.

Marvel.com: Would you like to mention anything else?

Matthew Rosenberg: Issue #6 of SECRET WARRIORS presents a brand new start for the book and the team. We’re out of Secret Empire. The team starts basically collapsing. And Quake is on the warpath. I’d urge readers, if they were at all curious about SECRET WARRIORS, to give the book a shot with this issue. It’s about to become a really crazy ride.

On September 13, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Juanan Ramirez launch SECRET WARRIORS #6!

Read More

The Secret Warriors scribe salutes the work ethic of his artistic hero!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.


Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

SECRET WARRIORS, KINGPIN, ROCKET RACCOON, and upcoming PUNISHER writer Matthew Rosenberg understands one key element about Jack Kirby’s influence on the Marvel Universe: it’s everywhere. He’s worked with characters that “The King” actually had a hand in creating along with plenty of others who came along after, but, to him, remain part of the same whole.

We talked with Rosenberg about working off of Kirby’s original blueprints, adding to the mythos he helped start, and how he liked Jack’s work before he ever met “The King.”

Marvel.com: How did you come to Kirby’s stuff? Was it always there for you or something you discovered the more you got into comics?

Matthew Rosenberg: I learned to read by stealing my brother’s [UNCANNY X-MEN] and FANTASTIC FOUR comics. I remember not quite knowing what was going on and loving every second of it. Some of that was the work of [X-MEN writer Chris] Claremont, [artist Dave] Cockrum, [artist John] Byrne, and others, but I think what attracted me to it at such a young age was the foundations laid by Jack Kirby. And when I got old enough to buy my own books, the ones I wanted were always the Marvel Masterworks of those early Jack Kirby books. It took me a few years to realize that was Jack Kirby that I was being drawn to, but part of my young brain knew it even if I wasn’t processing it.

Marvel.com: Do you remember what it was about his work that struck you at that time?

Matthew Rosenberg: There is just something so alien and yet so accessible about his work. It draws you in because you’ve never seen anything like it before, and yet it feels like it’s something you’ve always wanted. The human aspect: the family, the outsiders, the angry rebel, the lost soul—all of these archetypal characters felt familiar. You saw a piece of yourself in Johnny Storm, Jean Grey, T’Challa or even Norrin Radd, Victor Von Doom, or Harvey Elder. But then that piece of you was whisked away to worlds beyond your wildest imagination. It’s mind blowing for me now to look at Kirby’s work and try to process it. I can’t even imagine what it was like at the time.

Marvel.com: Kingpin and Rocket weren’t created by Jack, but they seem to play in the worlds he helped create. How does it feel to be adding to that lineage?

Matthew Rosenberg: Oh, everything we touch in the Marvel Universe has Jack Kirby’s DNA built into it, for sure. That sense of the impossible and fantastical; that desire to make things no one has ever seen before, make everything larger than life, it’s built into all of this. And yes, Rocket is the creation of Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen, and Kingpin is the creation of Stan Lee and John Romita, but it’s hard not to see how easily they fit into the universe of Kirby. And that’s the amazing thing about all of it. It’s such a huge, crazy universe that there is room for a corrupt businessman and a talking space raccoon to meet, and it doesn’t feel weird.

Marvel.com: Jack’s characters are all over SECRET WARRIORS ranging from Karnak and Devil Dinosaur to groups like the X-Men, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Hydra. How does it feel to be playing in that sandbox with those toys?

Matthew Rosenberg: I’ve said it before but the thing I love about SECRET WARRIORS is how it feels like we are bridging gaps between all these great eras of the Marvel Universe. Karnak and S.H.I.E.L.D. were created by Jack Kirby in the 60s; Devil Dinosaur in the 70s. But then I get to throw in lots of 80s and 90s X-Men, Deadpool, and whatnot. And finally the rest of our cast—Quake, Ms. Marvel, Inferno, and Moon Girl—they’re all characters who were made by people still working at Marvel now. And that for me is an amazing thing.

The Marvel Universe is so fun because it always moves forward; new stories, new characters, new creators. But it never forgets its roots. So in SECRET WARRIORS we get to pay tribute to every generation of Marvel. We are looking toward the future but never forgetting our past.

Marvel.com: Kirby’s known for being this huge fount of creative energy. Has that inspired you your own comic-making career?

Matthew Rosenberg: Of course! I think it takes different shapes at different times. Sometimes when a story seems too tough to figure out or a character feels elusive, I will grab some old X-MEN or BLACK PANTHER comics and just disappear into that world for a little bit. It reinvigorates my imagination in a huge way. It reminds me what I’m trying to do.

But also the sheer amount of work that Jack Kirby created, not just the unbelievable quality, but the volume of it all. If that doesn’t keep younger comic creators up at night I don’t know what will. I will be lucky to come anywhere near putting out the amount of comic pages that he did. It’s something to be inspired and terrified by. At 3 AM I look up and see those books on my shelf and I know I can write for another few hours.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Karnak proves his worth in SECRET WARRIORS #5

With most of the Inhumans Royal Family off-planet and the Secret Warriors made up of predominantly young heroes, Karnak is an Inhuman out of place—not with his natural peer group, standing amongst the next generation of his people.

However, just because he might not fit in, does not mean he does not have a place with the Warriors. This August in SECRET WARRIORS #5 with the forces of Hydra bearing down on the team, the time has come for the Warriors to come together or perish. Writer Matthew Rosenberg took a break from the bunker to explore with us what qualities Karnak brings to the table that might recommend him.

AN EXPERIENCED TEAMMATE: “Karnak hasn’t been so much a teammate in the past as a member of the Royal family,” Rosenberg disagrees slightly. “He was a valued counsel to the king and queen, he also served at their behest and took orders. Now his role is different and some of those dynamics that he is used to with the royal family don’t quite work so well on a team.”

PRAGMATIC: “What seems pragmatic to Karnak may not be for you or I,” points out the writer. “He sees the world in a different way. He understands the flaw in all things and can see things no one else ever will. Expecting him to act sensibly by our definition is limiting. It’s like we’re playing a game of checkers and he is playing every game of chess ever played, all at once.”

DETECTING THE FLAWS IN TEAMMATES CAN LEAD TO IMPROVEMENT: “He can definitely see the flaws in all his teammates, but Karnak isn’t a life coach,” states Rosenberg. “He helps people when it is part of his plan and helps the situation. There may also be times when they’re flaws can be of use to him and he will exploit that just as much.”

DETECTING THE FLAWS IN ENEMIES CAN GIVE HIM AN ADVANTAGE: “He isn’t most powerful on the team at all, but he is probably the scariest to go up against,” the writer concurs. “Karnak’s ability to see the flaws in his enemies makes him a worthy adversary of almost anyone. And the smart villains know that and steer clear.”

TACTICIAN AND STRATEGIST: “Karnak is a brilliant tactician and planner,” agrees Rosenberng. “Often times he’s going to be following more of his own plans than anyone else’s, especially with the royal family gone. He is a bit of a missile without a target right now, a great weapon getting him to go exactly where anyone else wants might be impossible. Mostly one has to just hope your goals and Karnak’s goals align.”

A MARTIAL ARTS MASTER: “He is a person who has spent years attuning his mind and body to be the most efficient weapon against weakness,” recalls the writer. “Even if he couldn’t see every weakness of his opponents, he would be a fierce martial artist. But his physical and mental training, coupled with his ability to find and destroy other’s flaws, makes him as deadly with his hands as almost anyone on the planet.”

AN EXPERIENCED MENTOR: “He is brilliant, bold, driven, brutal, unforgiving, callous to the point of cruelty, and maybe a little psychotic,” Rosenberg explains. “To the right person he might be a good mentor. But I wouldn’t want him as mine.”

Read More

Quake and Mr. Hyde face off in the heart of Secret Empire!

The Secret Warriors have faced a lot of big challenges since their inception as a loosely-knit team. From battling the X-Men to fighting Hydra, they’ve got a lot on their plates. And things get even trickier in the upcoming SECRET WARRIORS #4—due out July12—as Quake leads the team into a confrontation with her dad, the Hydra commander Mr. Hyde.

We chatted with writer Matthew Rosenberg about the top five reasons why a run-in with Hyde is Daisy’s worst nightmare.

Marvel.com: At this particular moment, given everything going on with Hydra in Secret Empire and Hyde’s role in it, we wouldn’t expect this encounter to go particularly smoothly, to say the least.

Matthew Rosenberg: Yeah, Hyde is scary to tangle with when the world isn’t falling apart and he isn’t your father. But yeah, Daisy is trying to end this takeover and Hyde getting in her way makes things very complicated.

Marvel.com: Daisy and Hyde have never had what we’d consider a super healthy father-daughter relationship. And that emotional tension will make this confrontation even more challenging.

Matthew Rosenberg: Totally. Daisy has spent a lot of time steering clear of Hyde. She doesn’t want him in her life, she doesn’t want to have to deal with him, and she doesn’t want to think about him. But Hyde has his own agenda and she can’t get away from it anymore. And deep down I think Daisy is afraid of learning that she is more like Hyde than she wants to believe.

Marvel.com: Daisy has pretty impressive powers of her own, and Hyde has gone up against characters like Thor—so who will win out?

Matthew Rosenberg: Hyde is definitely formidable. Daisy is powerful too, but at a certain point her powers go from being useful to just destructive. She is always toeing the line between super hero and natural disaster, and she can’t let Hyde push her too far. Luckily for her she has some friends with her. Or sorta friends. Regardless, all of the Secret Warriors vs. Hyde is probably a good brawl.

Marvel.com: We see some mistrust going on among the Warriors. Especially when it comes to Karnak, whom we’ve watched start to make his own plans for some reason. They don’t seem to feel as unified as they could, so it’s not really the best time to have to face someone like Hyde.

Matthew Rosenberg: No. It’s probably the worst time, actually. But that’s what this team is all about. Five people and a dinosaur who don’t necessarily see eye to eye or even get along that well. But they’re together because they need each other. They have always been reacting instead of acting, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. So Hyde definitely gets the drop on them in terms of preparedness, but I trust Daisy and the Warriors will put up a good fight. Hopefully.

Marvel.com: Hyde spent some time in Pleasant Hill; that had to have messed with his head, and can only make matters more complicated.

Matthew Rosenberg: At a certain point you can only scramble an egg so much. Pleasant Hill [was] probably not good mentally for any of its residents, but Hyde was further gone than many. But his time there has given him some new insight and direction for sure. He is on Team Hydra more than he was before, but he is also thinking about a longer-term plan in ways he never was before. Basically, once people start messing with other people’s heads, don’t ever trust anyone.

Marvel.com: Would you like to tease or mention anything else?

Matthew Rosenberg: The next few issues of SECRET WARRIORS have more than a few fun cameos. Daisy vs. Hyde—the team vs. Hydra—is what people should come for, but I hope people are excited about some of the other folks who stop in to make our team’s lives more difficult.

SECRET WARRIORS #4 by Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron ships out on July 12!

Read More

Reviewing the controversial new book from Sarah Dewey!

“The Life and Times of Wilson Fisk,” a heady tome of impressive writerly dexterity and ambition arrives in stores this week after what seems like months of think pieces and editorial pronouncements.

After devouring the undeniably propulsive prose, I find myself disinterested in all that ballyhoo and well-inked handwringing. Instead I am consumed with just one larger question:


This is a question that Ms. Dewey herself seems to be struggling with throughout the book. Does this biography, completed with apparently unprecedented access to the so-called Kingpin of Crime, exist to show us a different side of Fisk? Is it meant to argue against the myriad of convictions that Fisk has collected over the years? Is Dewey seeking to affirm all our fears about this skyscraper dwelling con and his ability to rule with his iron will?

While Dewey, a skilled journalist who, until now, has never seemed undone by a subject, remains unusually quiet on her book, the book’s editor Matthew Rosenberg has publicly been explaining the work to any and all who will listen:

“Wilson Fisk is an impressive man in terms of both his physical stature and what he has done with his life,” he argues convincingly. “Coming up from nothing, his sheer determination and his love for the city alone have made him an important figure in the future of New York. I think whether people love him or hate him, we can all agree his story is one that deserves to be told.”

Kingpin #5 cover by Jeff Dekal

And yet one cannot help but feel that Dewey had not been able to fully decide her perspective on Fisk during her time with him. Her able writing style is as strong as ever, but the book seems unable to tie itself to a central theme.

Despite all this, I heartily recommend the book. Ignore the moral scolds that say this is a sop to a monster or the cynics who say it is nothing more than a cash grab. Dewey’s is a unique work that shows the queasy seductive power of evil. She stared it in the face and survived to tell the tale, but she also came away obviously changed by Fisk’s influence. Her inability to come to a conclusion about The Kingpin does not reflect a failure of ability but rather the reality of darkness. It arrives not as demon spewing fire, but a friendly man who helps the homeless with one hand while crushing skulls with the other.

Judge for yourself when KINGPIN #5 arrives June 14 from Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres!

Read More

Matthew Rosenberg makes the case for a change in Wilson Fisk!

Three issues in to the new KINGPIN series, Wilson Fisk seems to be nicer than ever.

Wait a sec, did you say nicer? Yes, I did.

The Kingpin has returned to New York City under the direction of writer Matthew Rosenberg and he’s determined to be fair and honest in all of his dealings this time around. But can we trust him? We spoke with Matthew who told us that Kingpin certainly deserves a fair shake and moreover, could be viewed as a super hero from a certain perspective.

One of the most violent characters in the Marvel Universe a noble super hero? Continue on to read the compelling case in favor of Fisk!

Marvel.com: Were three issues into Fisks solo series and all signs point to him genuinely wanting to turn over a new leaf. Why should we trust him all of the sudden, especially after his actions during Civil War II?

Matthew Rosenberg: How can you not trust that face? He’s just a sweet old businessman. But seriously, I don’t want to tell the reader who to trust and who not to trust here. Wilson Fisk has done a lot of bad things, and he is honest about that. He is a man asking for forgiveness, and that is a personal thing. I hope every reader, like the characters in the book, will weigh whether or not he deserves it. And maybe some won’t think he does. The story works in that case too, I hope. Fisk genuinely wants to accomplish big changes in his life and go down a different path. Personally, I hope he can.

Marvel.com: Youve go on record saying you wanted to portray Fisk as more of The Godfather than Scarface. What was the process like of separating the more volatile Kingpin weve seen and known before with the more patient and methodical one we see in this arc?

Matthew Rosenberg: The Kingpin who throws men out windows, zaps them with laser beams, or cuts their heads off with car doors is great. He is terrifying, and fun, and exciting. But he is a man who can only go so far in the world. Admittedly, it’s pretty far. But it’s not as far as he’d like and it’s not as far as I’d like. He’s a smart man though. He understands that if you leave bloody footprints everywhere you go there are a lot of places you won’t be allowed in. But the violent and impulsive Kingpin we all know and love, that’s his true nature. So it’s not so much that I am dismissing the man who beats people to death with his bare hands, but Wilson Fisk himself is doing whatever he can to suppress that man. And it’s a struggle for him on the page. There are a lot of people whose heads Fisk would love to remove, but he has bigger plans and eventually that gets in the way. But if movies have taught me anything, you can always trust a violent man to go back to his violent ways at some point.

Marvel.com: In the past hes used extortion, murder, and blackmail among other methods to achieve his ends. How hard is it for him to go straight after years of bending and breaking the law to his will?

Matthew Rosenberg: He has always used those tactics for sure. But he’s also run legitimate businesses as well. And he is nothing if not smart. Obviously hanging people out of windows gets things done faster than negotiating, but if Fisk is determined to walk the straight and narrow he knows how. It’s just a question of patience and the world not getting in his way too much. But the world has a way of doing that.

Marvel.com: Do you think were there times in the past when Wilson Fisk was simply misunderstood? Has he always just been misunderstood?

Matthew Rosenberg: Yes. 100%. If you look at Kingpin and who he is, where he comes from, he has all the makings of a great Marvel super hero. He is smart, determined, and exceptional. But he was always different and he had to face a lot of adversity. Now he has a love of his city, a strong desire to make it better, and a firm belief that he knows the right way to do that. It’s no different than Daredevil or Spider-Man. The only differences are that he kills people, but so does The Punisher, and he personally profits from what he does, but so does Iron Man. It’s all a question of scope. While Spider-Man and Daredevil spend a lot of time fighting in alleys, Kingpin wages his war across the whole city. He wants a better class of crime, less dangerous for the average person. He wants a generally safer city and he is willing to get his hands dirty to get there. And just because Spider-Man and Daredevil don’t agree with Kingpin’s tactics doesn’t mean they are right and he is wrong. It just means for years they have had people like [writers] Dan Slott and Charles Soule telling their side of the story, making them look good. And now Wilson Fisk has me.

Marvel.com: How do his nemeses, both heroic like Daredevil and criminal like opposing crime bosses, feel about his new outlook on getting ahead in life? What about his associates?

Matthew Rosenberg: I don’t think anybody likes it or particularly trusts it. But your nemeses aren’t supposed to believe in you.

Marvel.com: The art style by Ben Torres in this series has been described as heavy on the noir influences, a genre known for its morally ambiguous characters and machinations. Can you tell us how the noir-ish overtones factor into Fisks motivations over the course of this arc and its underlying themes?

Matthew Rosenberg: Yeah, for sure. First of all, Ben is amazing. His art speaks in a language I think both avid comic fans and casual readers will get. I see a lot of Frank Miller, Howard Chaykin, and Eduardo Risso in his work, and that just screams “noir” to me. But for folks not familiar with that stuff, I think the heavy shadows, the brooding characters, the worn look of the characters and world, they tell a story beyond the one I tell. As for the noir-ish elements of the story? For starters it’s not just about Fisk. Sarah Dewey, a down on her luck reporter, is one of the leads and this story is about their relationship. So Fisk’s operating in morally grey areas, his schemes, all of that plays a big part. But more than that it’s about how damaged people survive and what effect they have on each other. Nobody in this story comes out as the shiny hero, that’s not Fisk’s world. Everybody is a little broken and Fisk uses that to his advantage. Wilson Fisk is a dangerous man; a dangerous man to be enemies with and a dangerous man to be allies with. And he knows that. So watching him pull people into his circle, or watching them put themselves there, it has an ominous feeling. There are good things, but nothing good will stay.

Marvel.com: If you had to make a compelling case of why Kingpin should be given a fair shake in a sentence or two, what would you say?

Matthew Rosenberg: He’s a smart, passionate, and deeply flawed person, but he wants forgiveness. And there is no greater feeling than offering forgiveness to someone who wants to do right. Come forgive The Kingpin.

Judge for yourself in KINGPIN #3, available now, and issue #4, coming May 10!

Read More

Matthew Rosenberg spills the secrets behind this new group of Inhumans!

As Captain America’s big secret comes to light in Secret Empire, heroes will rise to the occasion and team up to stop this infiltration from within. But with most of the Royal Family headed into outer space, a group of younger Inhumans—plus Karnak—must unite to battle the threat of Hydra!

Launching in May, SECRET WARRIORS by Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron brings together Ms. Marvel, Quake, Inferno, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Karnak to stand against an old friend now revealed as foe. With the “secret” out, we spoke with Rosenberg about how this new team comes together.

Marvel.com: In Secret Empire, Captain America’s full agenda as a Hydra operative comes to light. How does this affect the Inhumans and give birth to this new team of Secret Warriors?

Matthew Rosenberg: Well, Hydra aren’t the most tolerant of organizations, and the Inhumans are known to be a little “different,” so that puts them at odds. And really that is the birth of our Secret Warriors. Many of them are the Inhumans who are a little outside traditional Inhuman culture. They don’t all get along with each other, and they don’t all agree on how to do things, but they are forced together because of their common enemy. And I think that’s a key point to this book: it’s not about Inhumans, or super heroes, or anything like that. It’s about putting aside differences and trying to help people.

Marvel.com: As the Inhumans/Terrigen Mist story has unfolded over the last few years, the Royal Family has been front and center in protecting their people, particularly those just discovering they are Inhuman. What happens when most of them aren’t around to serve as that shield?

Matthew Rosenberg: You end up with a lot of people, especially young people, who are stuck trying to find their way on their own. Which I love, personally. These are characters whose heroes have left; their mentors have left and their government has left. And the question becomes, “Who are they on their own?” Obviously Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl, and Quake are all heroes on their own terms, but this still has some profound effects on them. There are opportunities for some of our cast to be the next great leaders of Inhuman society, and there are opportunities for some to cut those ties entirely. This is going to be a lot of big choices our Warriors have to make before all of this is over.

Marvel.com: One Royal who is sticking around is Karnak. What role will he play in the book?

Matthew Rosenberg: Karnak is much older, arguably wiser, and definitely crazier than the rest of the team. He assumes a sort of mentor/adviser role as we go, but things are never that easy with Karnak. But he definitely is good at breaking things and that will come up.

Marvel.com: With Quake and Ms. Marvel you have two young heroes with dynamically opposite experiences thus far in their careers—one has spent most of her time in the shadows as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, while the other has fully embraced the traditional costumed hero role, with a fresh “we can all make the world a better place” attitude. How do each of them react to the Captain America news?

Matthew Rosenberg: It’s funny because those two, their different life experiences, are the heart of the book in some ways. The spy vs. the super hero. But Captain America means so much to both of them that it is a real hard blow. It is the kind of thing that can make you question everything you believe in and even yourself. And how they deal with it, what they want to do about it, that is the challenge. Quake is always going to be a destructive force by nature. It’s who she is. And Ms. Marvel is a hero above all else. So watching them have their worlds rattled is a big part of the fun.

Marvel.com: Javier Garron has some experience with the Inhumans, coming off of Inhumans vs. X-Men. What’s it been like working with him on this next chapter in that saga?

Matthew Rosenberg: It’s been amazing! This book is really tricky in a lot of ways. We have a big cast of very iconic looking characters. We have a lot of crazy action and just as much real personal quiet moments. And Javier is just killing all of them. His work is so gorgeous, his characters feel so real, and his pages are so dynamic. There is a fight scene in issue #1 that I thought was pretty neat when I wrote it. Looking at Javier’s art, I think it will be something people really lose their minds over. It isn’t like anything I have seen in a Marvel book in a while. I’ll just leave it at that.

But yeah, this book is 100 percent the Javier Garron art show at this point. I just want to give him the coolest stuff to draw. Luckily for me, sometimes that is Quake sitting alone on the D train and sometimes it’s a dinosaur chasing Hydra agents through a forest. He makes all of it next-level cool.

Marvel.com: Finally, thus far at Marvel you’ve been working mainly on solo books like ROCKET RACCOON and KINGPIN, but now you’re not only getting to tackle a team, but one that’s playing a pretty big role in a Marvel Universe-wide event. What’s it been like for you, taking on Secret Warriors?

Matthew Rosenberg: It’s a dream come true. I know that is as cliché and cheesy an answer as it gets, but there is literally nothing else on Earth I’d rather be doing. Working with these characters, a lot of whom are the legitimate next generation of Marvel heroes, and getting to build their relationships and add little bits to their lives—it’s been amazing. Having Moon Girl and Karnak be weird to each other? Getting to make Quake and Ms. Marvel square off against each other? Helping Inferno become a true badass in the Marvel Universe? It’s the kind of job you hope to get one day if you write comics long enough. I am not taking a second of this for granted. I genuinely love these characters and I really hope that comes through on every page we put out.

It’s all out in the open this May when Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron present SECRET WARRIORS!

Read More