JL: They were in their own magic way mind-bending and they spoke to the times. This was the late 1960s and early 1970s and people were looking for alternative ways to look at their heroes and alternative heroes, for that matter. I wouldn’t stop at what [Nova creator] Marv Wolfman and [Thanos creator] Jim Starlin were doing at the time. For me I was really influenced by the Silver Surfer, one of my favorite books, because it was really old school, because it was Stan Lee and John Buscema, but it had this look and feel that was absolutely fascinating and powerful and the Surfer was the quintessential anti-hero. A guy who did not want to fight and he’s the hero of the book. And that boxes you in, which is what Stan was having so much fun with.
BB: I loved when things in the 1970s and into the 1980s started moving closer to the center of the Marvel Universe with something like the Infinity Gauntlet, where Starlin crazy-slammed right into the middle of the Marvel Universe, and half the heroes are dead and you’re reading this gorgeous book, with George Perez art, and you’re thinking, ‘What is happening, how can this be — I don’t see the end of this story?’ It was very, very exciting for me as a young reader. That was an inspiration toward what we’re doing with Nova and Guardians: instead of being thrown out there in the ether of the Marvel Universe, we’re heading toward the gooey center. The Guardians are going to be dealing with things that are on Earth, near Earth, and threatening Earth. You take crazy ideas and rub them up against the expectations that readers have and that’s when you maybe get something interesting. And the things that are already exciting or scary in the ether become much more exciting and even scarier when they come to Earth.
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