In February, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick launches a new storyline in the pages of Avengers Assemble titled "The Widow's Ledger." Yup, the same ledger from that movie we all saw... And not only that, she's going to be joined by fan-favorite Pete Woods on art, marking his return to Marvel from the Distinguished Competition.
In the story, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and Hawkeye have to team up and travel to Siberia to rescue a young girl who may have significant ties to the Widow's past. To find out more, we chatted with DeConnick and Woods, and learned some important lessons about not underestimating Siberia:
MTV Geek: Kelly Sue, I know in the real world we haven't even read your first arc yet, but you're already tackling the second! What do you feel you learned with that first arc, and what's your goal with arc two here? How are things the same/different?
Kelly Sue DeConnick: I'm not sure I've had time for the lessons of the first arc to kick in yet. I have a suspicion, but I need to sort of see the whole thing together before I'll know if I'm right.
The tone of the second arc is probably a little heavier than the first. Well, okay, not probably. It is.
Geek: And a two issue arc is a bit of a rarity in comic books these days... I think you talked about aiming for this back when you were announced on the title. Does that push you to really pack in action and plot, or do you have time to focus on character, too?
KSD: I've been thinking about this so much lately--trying to develop a rule of thumb for myself with regard to scope and thus far, I've come up empty. How big a story can you tell in 40 pages? How big in 60? In 20? I want there to be a chart and it just doesn't seem to work that way. Like, I made this decision for myself once that my favorite films--the films I thought were most successful had about the same scope as a short story. Films made from novels, I decided, we always overly ambitious and ultimately less successful--artistically successful, in my humble estimation--than those made from short stories.
Try defining the scope of a short story. The whole premise falls apart on examination.
I've drifted away from your question.
All my stories focus on character, no matter how many pages I have. I don't know how to write any other way. I'm only interested in plot as the logical extension of character.
Geek: Bouncing off that, it sounds like there's more of a sharp focus on three of our characters... Though it also sounds like things spiral out of control rather quickly?
KSD: Yeah, the plan for the series is to give different Avengers the spotlight as we go. And yes, things do spiral out of control quickly, but you're right to think the focus remains on those three.
Geek: What's the Widow's Ledger? This couldn't have anything to do with certain red and black marks mentioned in a certain movie, could it?
KSD: Are we playing coy with this? Totally inspired by the movie. I loved that line! I was like, "Oh hell yeah--I want to see THAT movie!"
Geek: What about this girl our heroes are after? Why is she important?
KSD: Because the Widow owes her family. And she doesn't like to carry debt.
Geek: Pete, I was pretty excited to see your name on this... What brings you back to Marvel?
Pete Woods: Marvel is full of fantastic, friendly people and great characters. They were gracious enough to offer me this opportunity to play in their world and I jumped at the chance!
Geek: What's your take on the Avengers here? And anyone you're particularly excited to draw?
PW: Kelly Sue's Avengers are a brilliant balance of the characters as we've grown up loving them while still being recognizable to a new reader who might only be familiar with the characters they've seen in the Marvel films. I hope to echo that in the artwork. Being a Red Blooded Male I am of course most excited to draw Black Widow!
Geek: Since this is mostly set in Siberia... Lot's of flat plains and snowy hills, huh? As an artist, what's the challenge in taking a landscape like that and making it visually interesting?
KSD: There are cities in Siberia too! Parts of this story are very urban!
PW: Siberia is actually quite a beautiful area. The real challenge is bringing that beauty to the page. There's more than just snow and ice. There are mountains and trees covered in snow and ice, vast plains of pure white and blue snow. Just talking about it makes me want to get drawing it!
Geek: Any last thoughts? Things you can't wait for fans to see?
KSD: Hearts will be broken.
The Widow's Ledger runs through Avengers Assemble #12-13, launching in February from Marvel Comics.