AlphaFlight.net is proud to present an interview with Sam Humphries, writer of Uncanny X-Force which launches January 23rd 2013, along with an EXCLUSIVE preview of some Ron Garney artwork from #1, courtesy of Marvel:
Sam, many thanks for taking part in the interview; you pleased a lot of fans with the inclusion of Puck in your line-up!
HELL YES! I love Puck, but I honestly did not expect the hardcore outpouring of love that we've seen since we revealed the line-up. Puck fans rule!
To start off, have comics always been a part of your life? Can you remember your first one?
The first comics that hooked me were Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars issues 7-9. They have one of my favorite moments in any Marvel comic. No, it is not the black costume.
What made you decide to get into the comics industry?
I wanted an excuse to get in the heads of characters with intense contradictions. I'm lucky with Uncanny X-Force -- I have a group of strong personalities who are really compelling.
I believe you worked for MySpace at one point as part of their MySpace Comics program? How was that experience?
During my time at MySpace I was always managing five or six programs simultaneously, and MySpace Comic Books was one of them. It was great to bring comics front and center on the largest website in the world (at the time) during a period where the "general public's" interaction and attachment to comics was growing and evolving dramatically.
You first came to my attention with Our Love Is Real which went on to become a 'self-published' success story for yourself and artist Steven Sanders, before ultimately getting picked up by Image Comics. Did the demand for the comic surprise you at all?
Yes, it surprised me completely. There was absolutely nothing about Our Love Is Real that screamed "success". It's just a black and white, odd-shaped, one shot saucy sci-fi comic about a guy in love with his dog. Absolutely no one predicted it would blow up like it did -- including myself.
Are there any plans to revisit the title at all? I know I for one would be really interested to see more of the world you created within it.
Sanders and I have discussed it but we're both pretty busy right now. I would love to do the story I have in mind for volume 2...I know what the first page would be. That said, if we do it, we won't warn anyone we're doing it...we'll just put it out.
You're now working at Marvel where you took over the writing duty on Ultimates (where you recently worked with AlphaFlight.net favourite Dale Eaglesham) in which you made Steve Rogers/Captain America President of the USA.
How does working in the Ultimate Universe differ to working in the regular one? Are you given more free reign to do things like this that you wouldn't normally?
Absolutely. If I'm doing things in the Ultimates that you can see in the 616, or the video games, or the movies, or cartoons or video games or whatever -- then I'm not doing my job. The mandate is to do things with the characters that can't be done anywhere else.
And Dale Eaglesham is the man. I loved working with him on Ultimates 18.1!
In the title, the US is in disarray with various factions taking over States in the country. Any plans to see the effect that the division of the country has had on Canada?
Probably not, I'm sorry to say. That story line is focused on the upheavals within America. I would love to explore more of Ultimate Canada however! Ultimate Alpha Flight anyone???
Moving onto Uncanny X-Force; when the line-up was revealed it raised questions from some readers regarding the inclusion of Puck who hasn't really interacted with the Marvel Universe as a whole much. What is it you like about the character and what made you choose to bring him in to an X-team?
He's the Canadian Indiana Jones -- a character of short stature but seemingly without fear. Who doesn't love that? Also, I've got a team of serious characters, I needed someone to crack a joke once in awhile.
I'm presuming you've read some Alpha Flight in your time; are there any particular Puck stories or moments that stand out for you?
I love Puck's small but emotional role in Alpha Flight vs. X-Men. I also love his backstory, as an adventurer and a bouncer at a backwoods bar in Saskatchewan. He's a tough guy, and he was always Heather Hudson's rock, y'know? I love that about him.
Recently we saw Puck in Hell and then returned, slightly unhinged, without any explanation; do you plan on going into Eugene's time spent there and his current mental status at all?
His current mental status is "recovered". No plans right now to go into his time in Hell, but I love that storyline so who knows.
With Storm being both on the team and a teacher over in Wolverine & The X-Men are we ever going to see Puck hanging around the Jean Grey Academy or is this incarnation of the team going to be a secret covert-ops type team as well? Has Puck cut ties with Department H and Alpha Flight?
Puck is a wild man and goes wherever he wants. He's also intensely loyal, so his joining of X-Force is in no way a rejection of his pals in Alpha Flight or his main man Logan at the Jean Grey school.
Will we get to see anything outside of Puck's life on the team, maybe a supporting character or set-up?
We get a glimpse of what Puck does in his free time in the first issue of Uncanny X-Force!
You're working with artist Ron Garney on the title, how has that been so far?
Totally awesome. Ron's pages are so kick ass. And his rendition of Puck is perfect. Garney is killing it once again.
We've also seen the costume/character designs for the team from Kris Anka, and there's a definite step away from Puck's trademark costume, towards a more street-orientated look, very reminiscent of the Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely New X-Men era, was this something you initiated?
Yeah, this came out of discussions with me and Nick and Kris. Puck's a northman, an adventurer -- not a clown. The hairy thighs/giant P look wasn't working for me. I wanted to reintroduce some dignity to his look but also some grit and grime.
Uncanny X-Force was teased with the tagline of 'Killers' and while Puck's had a very dubious past as a soldier, adventurer and member of The Outcasts and has certainly killed before, it's not something he's generally thought of as.
The previous Volume of the title, by Rick Remender, dealt a lot with the morality of superheroes having to kill and the consequences and actions of it, but what is your X-Force's position on it, and their general role within the MU?
That's a big question we'll be exploring over time. Suffice to say, Puck's voice will not be a quiet one in that debate.
Remender's run also saw the team up against some pretty major threats including Apocalypse and The Brotherhood; what can we expect thrown at your team?
BISHOP. Right off the bat, Bishop is going to be a big, BIG problem.
Finally, is there anything you'd like to say to any fans that are unsure about picking up the title? Any teases you'd like to give us?
I am going to write the hell out of this book. Don't buy it without putting your seatbelt on first.
Sam Humphries can be found online at http://samhumphries.com/ and is on Twitter as https://twitter.com/samhumphries
Uncanny X-Force #1 is in stores January 23rd 2013.
Uncanny X-Force #2 is due in stores February 20th and can be ordered using Diamond Code DEC120677 / DEC120678 (McGuinness Variant)
Uncanny X-Force #3 is due in stores March 27th and can be ordered using Diamond Code JAN130697 / JAN130698 (Larocca Variant)
For your nearest Comic Speciality Shop visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com
Or to buy Digital Copies visit http://comicstore.marvel.com/Uncanny...omic/NOV120620
Sam Humphries will be signing #1 on it's release date at Collectors Paradise in LA. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/events/3187...9444428164915/