SGT DEAN: Mr. Sumerak, you're new to these Military Specials. How do you feel to have been chosen to write this latest issue?
MARC SUMERAK: When I got the call from my esteemed editor, I couldn't have been more honored. I've always thought that Marvel's Avengers Military Specials were a wonderful way to say "thanks" to the brave men and women protecting us at home and abroad. So to be able to take part in creating one of these stories is a responsibility I didn't take lightly. Sure, my job lets me write about heroes every day... but it's not too often that I actually get to write something FOR heroes!
SGT DEAN: You've written a lot of super hero stories. By their nature, these issues require a military element as well. Did you find it at all difficult to balance the super hero stuff and the military stuff the way these specials try to?
MARC SUMERAK: Blending the super hero world and the military world was a lot easier than I had imagined. The line between hero and super hero is a lot thinner than most people probably realize. Once you strip away the fancy costumes and the uncanny abilities, Marvel Heroes are are just normal men and women putting their lives on the line to protect something they believe in. That's what has always made them so special and so "real", and it gives them a common bond with our military personnel. With that in mind, it seemed perfectly natural for our Soldiers to be able to fighting as equals alongside the Avengers against a common threat.
It was definitely a balancing act trying to pack a ton of super hero action and still giving our troops a chance to shine as well, but I think we found a great way to do it that will really keep people on the edge of their seats!
SGT DEAN: You have done a lot of all-ages books for Marvel, with the MARVEL ADVENTURES line, FRANKLIN RICHARDS, and - of course - your work with POWER PACK. These Specials, while primarily intended for Soldiers, generally keep that all-ages approach, realizing that many Soldiers will be sharing these with their children. Is that something you try keep in mind when writing the story?
MARC SUMERAK: Whenever I write a script, I try to make it something that can be enjoyed by a wide audience. Too many readers automatically dismiss "all-ages" to mean "just for kids", but that definitely isn't the case. All of the action and excitement is still there... just without any objectionable content that might limit the audience. Personally, I tend to start by creating stories that I would enjoy reading myself, and then I make sure that I would also feel safe sharing that story with a younger reader. Everyone involved in this project hopes that Soldiers will be sharing these adventures with their family and friends, so it would be a shame to exclude readers of any age!
SGT DEAN: This is kind of an obligatory question when talking to a comics writer, but do you have a favorite character to write for?
MARC SUMERAK: Lately, I've been having a whole lot of fun writing Spider-Man. He's one of those characters that everyone knows and, more importantly, everyone can relate to. It's such a blast getting to put poor Spidey through the ringer every month and watch him come out on top! That really says something about him as a hero and as a person.
Having a chance to write Captain America in this special was a real treat as well. I've always been a huge fan of Cap, so getting to put some words in his mouth was a real honor. I only hope I did him justice!
SGT DEAN: To touch on the new Special a little, are there any little tidbits you can share with us? Based on the contest in the last issue, is it safe to assume the Stark Personal Armor System plays at least a small role? Also, might we see either of the Matthews siblings from the previous issues, or does this story go in a new direction?
MARC SUMERAK: The new special is called "An Army of One"... and that one-man army is none other than the Incredible Hulk! When something sends the green goliath on a rampage on American soil, it's up to the combined forces of the military and the Avengers -- as well as just about every other Marvel Hero that you can imagine -- to stop him!
The Stark Personal Armor System definitely makes an appearance, as do the two lucky Soldiers who earned the right to pilot the suits (in the aforementioned contest). As for the Matthews siblings, they are sitting this one out... but we've got plenty of other cool characters to fill their boots!
SGT DEAN: Thank you so much for your time, your support, and your hard work on the newest Military Special. We look forward to it.
MARC SUMERAK: My pleasure... but it's you and your fellow soldiers that really deserve the thanks. We're just telling a story about heroes here, but you guys are living it every day! I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of this project and I hope everyone out there enjoys the ride...