The GeeksverseMatt Fraction- The Interview

Matt Fraction- The Interview
Published on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by

45 Minutes with The Fraction

Would you want to talk to me?

I was interviewed by that?

I have to be honest. I’m a fan of Matt Fraction. I tend to see him when he comes to town for Heroescon and it never fails. The moment I engage him in a conversation my brain powers down and I tend to run with the engine off. The result is; I’m certain that when I walk away he’s left wondering who the jabbering idiot was that just left.

However, such is the class of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful comic book writer that when I asked to interview the current scribe of “Invincible Iron Man”, “Thor”, and “The Defenders” he agreed. His busy schedule and the line that circled around his table at the convention meant that we wouldn’t be able to have it until now.

In talking with Matt, he was as he always is: witty, charming, passionate, and direct. His patience with this long winded fanboy is a testament to that.

With that aside, onto the interview

 

ComixVerse: Matt thanks for taking the time to speak with the ComixVerse. I have to start this by addressing the rumor mill and ask; are going to be leaving Tony Stark?

Matt Fraction: Not for the near future, I have a story arc coming up after {current story} “The Long Way Down” called “The Future”. I just finished issue # 524 and starting 525. Tony is not out of my life for the near the future.

CVerse: What can you tell us about the Marvel Now initiative?

MFraction: Good things come to those who wait. Marvel Now is just starting, I just came back from an editorial retreat and changes are surely coming so stay tuned.

C: Let’s jump back onto Tony. When you came on and took over the Iron Man stories that were set in the Marvel Universe; Tony was a much hated character by not just his former friends but also by the fandom itself. In approaching Tony, was there a need to redeem him for you? Did his status as persona non grata appeal to you?

M: Yeah, everybody likes a challenge and you look for those bits that lend to drama because that’s the meat of the story. I’ve been an Iron Man fan my entire life, but where Tony was I saw a lot pathos and drama to be mined. His life was chaotic and still is but you want that chaos.

C: Did his need of redemption appeal to you?

M: It was clear that there was going to be a redemption arc for Tony. It was there but I don’t think it was a conscious goal for me.

C: Is that one of the reasons for the “World’s Most Wanted to “Stark Resilient” story arc; to unload that baggage that he came with?

M: Yeah, I didn’t handle him post Civil War and I didn’t want to do a story where he was drunk or had gone back to drinking. But, to have that chance to have him go through a blackout, whether by alcohol or mental reboot, was a great source of drama and gave it more fuel for that fire.

C: Who was the model for your interpretation of Tony? How do you see Tony?

M: I see little bits of Howard Hughes, Nikolai Tesla, some Richard Branson, and bits of Chuck Yeager. He’s part nerd and hillbilly. He’ll design a new plane and then build it. He’s tomorrow’s test pilot.

C: What some may not know is you were involved with writing the story for the Iron Man 2 video game tie in. How was that experience compared to writing Tony for Marvel?

M: I was one of a group of very talented guys at Sega. There were a lot of cook’s in that kitchen. A big difference is that the writers are brought in fairly late in the process. They had built and put capital already in the game, so it became more storytelling by algebra. They had Crimson Dynamo built so you had to have a Crimson Dynamo story.  You were writing stories for already created levels so you had to write the story around it. It was done out of sequence rather than in a linear progression. Where on Invincible Iron man it’s me and Salvo asking; what are we going to do this month?

I’d love to try it again and be there on day 1 and see what I can do.

C: Aside from Iron Man you are also penning the current run of Thor. What is coming up for the Asgardian?

M: Right now, we’re working on a story of nightmares and dreams in both the literal and metaphorical sense. Then Kieron Gillen and I will be doing a huge crossover on the Thor books called “Everything Burns”. This is one that we have been building towards for awhile. It’s a nine part story that is more epic than epic.

You don’t have to be a big Thor fan to get what “Everything Burns” is about:

Thor and Loki working together to stop everything from burning.

At the center of it all is Thor and Loki. Thor is the only being alive that trusts and believes in Loki and we see what a blessing and a curse that is.

C: I imagine it’s not that easy to trust the Trickster god.

M: That’s one of the reasons I brought Loki back as a child. We never got to see Loki as the kid that Thor grew up with and loved. I wanted to show him in a way that was in step with how he was in the Norse cycle and to show who he was at the beginning of the Norse stories as opposed to the how he was at the end, which is the Loki we all know and love- and hate.

C: How much of the mythology do you use to aid in the telling of your stories in Thor? I have this image of two giant versions of the Eddas on either side of you.

M: That’s not too far from the truth. It’s the beauty of Thor; it’s Marvel’s Thor even Stan punched it up a bit. I can cherry pick the stories or elements that I want because you can. Even if I adhered to the letters of the sagas there are 600 issues before it that didn’t.

C: How did it come about you writing for the Defenders?

M: It was a book that Marvel was very high on doing and it was sold to me as a chance to write all the characters that I was pitching anyway in a team book rather than as independent stories that Marvel wasn’t going to have room for to release anyway. So I get to do an Iron Fist story, Fury’s coming in, Dr. Strange and all the others. I get to write for them all as a team so away we go.

C: Speaking of Iron Fist, will we be seeing a full return of Orson Randall?

M: Well you have a little bit with issues 6 and 7 {of the Defenders}. But as for a full return; no. You’ll see a lot more John Aman than Orson.

C: Going from talking about a team book to a book about two teams fighting. Let’s talk about Avengers vs. X-Men. Five writers (Fraction, Hickman, Aaron, Bendis, and Brubaker) how intense did it get in that bullpen during the writing process.

M: The writing was actually very easy, everyone in the writing just wanted to outdo each other but also build each other up as well. I don’t know how Tom Brevoort handles the wrangling of all those artists but the writing went smoothly.

C: I think it’s safe to say that the Phoenix 5 was a truly surprising moment. How long into the creation of this story did that idea come about?

M: I don’t remember when it came about. I remember someone suggesting it and everyone really liking the idea and we went from there.

C: The choices were interesting. Cyclops was a surprise but it made sense and Emma was always an odd’s on favorites. How did the decision to include Namor, Colossus, and Magick?

M: As you’ve seen in issue #7 the Scott, Emma, and Namor triangle gets extra pointed and that was a deliberate plan. We knew Scott would head to the moon and to Scott he’s going to grab the biggest guns he’s got which were Colossus and Namor; so there’s those. He’s going to need to get to the moon, so you have Magick, and Emma is always with him. So there’s your five.

But, dramatically we needed the Emma, Scott, and Namor triangle to get that pointy and there’s more stuff to come with that.

C: So a part of that is taking that triangle and turning it up to eleven then?

M: yeah, I don’t think it’s a secret that I left Uncanny before I had done everything that I had wanted to do. Avengers vs. X-Men is letting me get to pretty much all of that was left and this triangle is part of that. It’s not necessarily how I thought I would get there to it, but it’s worked out terrific.

C: With San Diego coming up is there any upcoming reveals you can tantalize us with?

M: I will be revealing a new creator owned book. So there is that, everything else- good things come to those who wait.

C: Speaking of Creator owned; you just finished up your latest Casanova story. It’s the third mini-series. That makes three of those seven Deadly Sins have been dealt with. Are we going to see anymore of Casanova and his adventures?

M: I hope. I don’t have a when or where just yet. With San Diego approaching everybody’s been keeping their heads down and work up. I need to talk with Fabio and Gabriel. I’ll have a better idea about that later in the summer.

C: Matt, thank you for your time I know it’s been busy so I do appreciate it.

M: Anytime, let me know if you need anything else.

 

You can find all of Matt’s writing talent in “Invincible Iron Man”, “Thor”, “Fear Itself”, “Casanova”, “Defenders”, and as one of the scribes of the Marvel “Avengers vs. X-men” mega-event.

 

Come back to learn more about that upcoming creator owned book he’s announcing at San Diego.

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