They certainly qualify as unique. As a young Marvel reader I remember them and the Champions and the Defenders as being wonderfully offbeat. I can imagine it’s alluring to bring them front and center and turn a spotlight on them.
BB: They are in a really interesting predicament in the Marvel Universe and unlike anyone else’s situation. It also shines a light on the Marvel Universe from a different angle than anyone else so that’s very, very exciting. And it is satisfying [to reinvigorate] characters you feel a sentimental attachment too, but you can’t force the issue or fabricate that attachment. You have to truly love it and write it in a way that’s different enough to be distinctive but hold on to the things that made you love it as a reader. I have also have the benefit of consulting on a movie since the beginning of its earliest stages when it was this little acorn before it was on its way to become this Groot tree they’re making. So I had a chance to research the characters, commiserate with other members of the committee ,and talk a lot about bringing these characters to life. It was a chance to rev up my interest in this corner of the Marvel Universe.
So the comics series came later as a separate project? It wasn’t a planned part of the path?
BB: It was separate from there ever being a book to write and when the book became a thing that Marvel wanted to do I was very grateful they asked if I’d be interested because they certainly had heard how passionate I had become about the characters. Nothing bad can come from a process like that. The book is coming together great. Steve McNiven is drawing and he’s one of the great artists at Marvel and, like Nova this is Marvel’s best foot forward as far as quality. And it shows how much they care about the characters.
Jeph, can you talk a bit more about Nova and his place in the cosmic scene? Like Green Lantern at DC this is a human chosen for duty in an interstellar peace-keeping corps that is spread out in space like federal marshals of the Old West. But unlike DC’s Hal Jordan this hero is younger and more wide-eyed…
JL: I love the notion of a kid in a small town going off on an amazing journey. It’s a real small town, too, believe it not, called Carefree, Ariz. I was very aware of the kinds of movies that Steven Spielberg made with E.T. and to a certain extent what J.J. Abrams was capturing in Super 8; that kind of small-town story where something extraordinary happens to you. He’s a kid who believes his whole world is never going to be bigger than his own backyard and through a series of adventures finds out that his backyard is as big as the whole universe.
NEXT: Marvel’s Cosmic 60s and 70s