In act II of AXIS, everyone's moral compass gets turned upside-down as good becomes bad and bad becomes good. Marvel held a conference call with members of the press to discuss Act II of this event with writer Rick Remender and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. The call opened up with Chris D'Lando from Marvel PR. "What is inversion? Call it re-calibration of the Marvel universes moral compass."
Act II: Inversion
When: November 2014
Writer: Rick Remender
What: With the fate of the Red Skull decided, the Age of Inversion will be born. The greatest heroes of the Marvel Universe, corrupted. Twisted and transformed into our worst nightmares. Even the fragile alliance of Avengers and X-Men can stand what’s coming. The new Sorceress Supreme, the destruction of Latveria, the return of an ancient X-Men foe, and the birth of KLUH – the strongest one there is. Only Steve Rogers, Spider-Man and Nova stand in the way – and this is not a fight they can win. In the face of unrestrained chaos, bear witness to the rise of the AXIS OF EVIL!
Each act of Axis stands on their own and high concept. Rick Remender says the fun of something like this is to subvert expectation and surprised people with new things. During 3 months, the shifts bridge into a new high concept and keeps people on their toes. Act I has the X-Men and Avengers teaming up to stop the Red Skull and that leads to the Inversion.
Remender states that the way things go in the first act and they way the deal with red onslaught leaves with them with a rammy. "I put on my dungeon master's cap and twist alignments around." It twists certain characteristics. With Loki, "It's not so cut and dry as good guy becomes super-bad guy." There's a lot of character defining moments. This has huge ramifications for everyone, the Spider-Man world and Avengers, and we're launching the new Iron Man book out of it, SUPERIOR IRON MAN.
We will be seeing an inverted Tony Stark. Something in his alignment turns him back into the character he was, which shows his growth. It will lead to a conflict with Daredevil. "I've read Tom Taylor's Iron Man scripts and they're fantastic," says Remender. While these characters are inverting, not everyone gets a new outfit.
Deadpool will also be playing a very big role in AXIS. There's huge changes for Scarlet Witch, Magneto, Dr Doom, Loki, Apocalypse. Uncanny Avengers has been the lead up to this. As we move forward, various characters are going to have some pretty huge and interesting changes.
Tom Brevoort says that we'll see a lot of changes in the tie-in books. Nick Lowe has been going batty because he hasn't been able to talk about Carnage and Hobgoblin because of the changes. You'll be looking at those characters in a new light. Hobgobin is a good business man rather than a bad business man. This will be different than any other stories from those characters you've ever read before. Carnage trying to be a good guy, on a redemption arc, still ends up with a lot of bloodshed. It's going to be something pretty special.
Chris asks about guiding Captain America with Sam in the costume. Rick says, "I didn't want to make unnatural things happen." Sam's role kind of shifts. It's ok to say there will be a fight between Sam "Captain America" Wilson and the X-Men. "It was nice to give Sam his first dance."
Marvel.com asked if Remender is building off of his earlier work with Apocalypse. "It was a piece of my plan." The moments with Apocalypse do build off of his work on UNCANNY X-FORCE. "You don't need to read them to hop in but they do have connective tissue. There's a piece of that going back. It will lead to a lot of punch-em-ups"
Newsarama asks How would Cyclops change his point of view, since he's a character who can be described as a bit more villainous lately? Remender states that it's a big part of issue 4 and the payout in issue 7. Something the X-Men do in this event is not something people can forget and Scott's inversion plays a lot into that.
IGN asks about the cover with Kluh on it. This is what's born of an abused Bruce Banner, as a child. It's the blackest, darkest, most evil thing. He's the Hulk's Hulk.
We ask about Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom and working with the continuity of AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE. Remender says they're all about respecting continuity. Both of these characters have been inverted and it leads to some interesting concepts and one of them is out for revenge.
WordBalloon asks about Hobgoblin's inversion. They can't give too much away because it will kill the big reveals for that character in upcoming months. Rick says "You can take the status quo of that character and flip it upside down and understand what's going on."
Comicbook.com asks is AXIS spin off into spin offs. Brevoort says it's not out of the question. "We are launching of a Iron Man book out of it." Remender metions that one of the villains coming out of this gets a bigger spotlight.
CBR wants to know which characters were they most excited to explore. Remender mentions Kluh "Hulk's Hulk," and that Deadpool is a tremendous amount of fun. Apocalypse and the Summers brothers as well. He said writing Tony Stark as a meglomaniac scumbag was also a blast.
Marvel.com wonders with NEW AVENGERS jumping ahead 8 months, what conversations have they had with Hickman about dancing around while he's working on that book? Brevoort says there's stuff that will be teased and foreshadowed in Avengers and New Avengers. They'll be telling their story and you'll get it on the fly. It's not just "look where these guys are now." It should all work alright.
Newsarama asks if these inversion will be around afterwards. Remender says the inversion isn't going to be completely wrapped up after this is over.This will lead to a lot in other books.
IGN asks if Apocalypse is just the inversion of Genesis or is this a proper return. Tom says AXIS #4 is on sale in November.
We asked if they found characters that are a little more morally ambiguous, like Loki, did they find any characters that were hard to write. Remender said that it's not hard, but he spent a lot of time talking to people on their books. "For Loki, I can't reflect without talking to them. Al had a lot of great input for the character. Loki has a huge beat in this. It gives the 12 year old kid in my goosebumps." Remender mentions that Thor is going to behave differently during this. "The difficulties came around trying to get my head around Magneto who is justifiably homicidal. Not that I'm condoning vigilante murder... What are his alignments and when you change them what do you get out of that?" He play giant role.
WordBallon wants to know ore about Luke Cage. Remender says "Luke is part of... there's a group called AXIS. They are the Axis of Evil." Because of the inversion, it makes sense. Luke Cage and Medusa are a part of that. Luke's inversion plays a sizable role in the second act and a huge role in the third act. The Nova and Mighty Avengers cross over plans are a lot of fun. A bad Luke Cage who run an Avengers squad, he reverts to aspects of his past.
Comicbook.com asks if we'll see Steve Rogers. Remender replies that he plays a huge role in this story. If Steve and Sam were at odds, that would be interesting.
CBR wants to know if the characters are going to remember the times before they've inverted. How will that affect them? Remender says an inverted character, example Sabretooth, you'll no longer going to kill to achieve your goal. You're going to save someone and take the hit. He's not capable of killing like he used to. He's going to save someone and take the hit. He's a kinder more gentler Sabretooth.
Act I of AXIS hits shops in early October and Act II starts in November.