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Matthew Rosenberg on space crap, making Marvel nervous, and ‘Tales of Suspense’

The X-Men writer has a lot of feelings and ideas.

At the Ace Comic Con in January, AiPT! had a chance to speak with Matthew Rosenberg. The Uncanny X-Men writer was able to provide his keen thoughts on Cyclops and the X-Men in general.  But Rosenberg had a lot more on his mind than just Marvel’s merry mutants. So, he opened up to us about space, superheroes, and things Marvel may not be as quick to get involved with. If you’re a Bucky fan, read on.

AiPT!: You like space stories but you don’t really like to write them?

Rosenberg:  Yeah. The fun thing about space stories are they’re so wild and crazy and like, kind of anything can happen. You see it in bad space stories where it’s just a cop out; where, like, you didn’t know this character could pull dimensions and it’s just like, “yeah, now they do.” I like the story to be honest and simple and work within the story and then move to space and have this crazy set dressing but it’s very easy to fall into the trap of like…

AiPT!:  Giving extra powers?

Rosenberg: Yeah. Like Infinity Stones can do this and the Negative Stone can do this and all this stuff and everything sort of loses consequences. There’s a lot of stuff I love that. Like I love Annihilation, I love Guardians so much, I like Silver Surfer stuff because they’re stories that could work anywhere. You look at an old book like Annihilation, and it’s like, “Oh this could be a World War Two like this is about falling fronts and the advance of an army that’s destroying everything and what do you do in the face of that, run or hold your ground?” And it’s a very human, relatable story, but just with, you know, Galactus chained to the front of the ship and stuff like that.

And so I have a lot of trouble because I can do the very human stuff but that’s not it. People want epic, weird craziness in space, and once I get that in my head I’m always like, “the Silver Surfer opened the black hole and out came the Guardians of the Galaxy.” I hate to say it but I’m like this isn’t a story, this is a mess. I do wanna do more space stuff because it scares me and makes me nervous but I really have to write handle on it at first, you know?

Nathaniel: Do you ever plan to revisit Tales of Suspense?

Rosenberg: Yeah I love… we do revisit it, like the story continues in Punisher in bits and pieces. Natasha and Bucky return and deal with Frank. And Hawkeye returns later with Bucky and Natasha’s missing, and all of that means something. There’s sort of things that are laid down in Tales of Suspense, like the road Bucky’s heading down, the road Hawkeye’s heading down, that other people are running with and we’re playing with.

But, yeah, there’s stuff I wanna do for sure, I love all three of those characters, Clint and Bucky and Nat are among the best characters in the Marvel Universe and it’s one of the most fun times I’ve had writing a book. That book was just sort of like weirdness, trying to make each other laugh and do dumb stuff, and I really liked it. And fans like… you know, it wasn’t a monster hit, but people are super passionate about it. Like, I go to shows and on the internet people are crazy passionate about that book. And so, that means a lot to me, that people care, and I would like to play with those characters again.

Nathaniel: Do you think Marvel will ever let you do anything like 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank?

Rosenberg: There’s a bunch of people at Marvel that really liked 4 Kids and sort of one the reasons I work there is that they really like that book. It’s kind of not what Marvel does a lot…

There are the weird things that I do do sort of wacky stuff from time to time. I would love to do something, I would love to come over with Tyler and do a book at Marvel, that’s like more up our alley. We sort of talked about it, of like, well, what could that be and whatever. But we’re working on a book at Image that’s coming out this year, What’s the Furthest Place From Here, and that’s sort of our priority. Tyler’s like a huge Marvel fanboy…

So we’ve mentioned it and talked about it from time to time, and a couple editors have asked me, “would you come over and do something with Tyler.” At some point I’d like to, but you know, it’s hard, because you’re asking Marvel to take a big risk on something that isn’t normally in their wheel house.

It’s a lot of time and effort of a lot of people. 4 Kids is like me and Tyler and a few other people, Thomas Mauer, Courtney who did some of the design stuff, and the people of Black Mask. When you ask Marvel to do a book there’s the writing, and copy editing, there’s a lot of people working on something.

This is a weird goof, it’s not as easy to go into a room full of… it’s easy to go in a room with five people and be like, “Let’s do something stupid and funny” and they’re like, “Okay”. And it’s a lot harder for like 85 people to be like, “Let’s do something stupid and funny with someone else’s money”. Someone starts to get nervous.

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