http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=66106 BRIAN BENDIS ILLUMINATES THE ILLUMINATI -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You got questions, Brian Bendis has answers... No, he's not moonlighting as manager of his local Radio Shack. This week we asked our readers for questions regarding the just-released New Avengers: Illuminati special, and you guys didn't dissappoint. As promised, here's the creator of the Illuminati and the writer of the special with his answers to your questions... Q: Brian, can you give us some insight into some events the Illuminati have had a hand in over the years? Brian Bendis: Well, there are events that have happened to our heroes without any warning. In fact, most of them have. Those the Illuminati have had no direct effect on except for being there for each other to analyze the aftermath. The ones that they did have an effect on will be addressed in the future some day. Q: Why build the Illuminati in Marvel's past, instead of building it as a direct response to recent events? BB: When the idea came to me the second thought I had was well, why wouldnt they have done this in the past. After Galactus or Kree/Skrull War or the original Secret War. Once that thought came, a little research brought the Kree/Skrull War to the obvious forefront. It just fit without retconning anything. Q: If Wolverine is supposed the be the secret Avengers and not exposed to the press...what was he doing in Detroit with Luke Cage's cleaning up the city deal? BB: I think it has more to do with Wolvie not wanting to be a dancing monkey who gets up on stage and waves to crowds. What Luke was attempting was something anyone could get behind and it was probably easier to coax Logan away from his beer. Q: Is Ronin ever going to be doing anything or has she not been invited to join? BB: Ronin and that storyline are front and center after the events of Civil War. Q: How many times have do you suppose the Illuminati have met? One would think surrounding major events (Dark Phoenix Saga, Contests of Champions, Secret Wars, Galactic Storm Onslaught, Heroes Return, etc), but have they also met in between these times? BB: Not as many times as you would guess and not about the things you would guess. Again, those stories will probably still be told so I dont want to give it away right now. Q: And here's one that's kinda oddball: if they met pre-Onslaught, post-Timeslip, did teenage Tony Stark fill-in for his adult counter-part? (as Iron Man was stupidly replaced with a teen version of himself during that time) BB: As we illustrated in the last part, not every member always made it to every gathering. Sometimes life got in the way. Q: I don't understand why Xavier was telling the Illuminati about Krakoa. What did they have to do with Krakoa? I thought Xavier gathered mutants to attack it by himself. Can you explain the involvement of the Illuminati? BB: The involvement was obviously minor, I think Xavier was asking for council from his intelligent friends about a situation that obviously had a profound effect on his life. Q: Why did Namor defend the HULK from his exile, when he hates the Hulk? BB: See, sometimes he does and others he doesnt. In this case I think Namor hated the idea of what was happening more than any feelings about the Hulk directly. Q: In She-Hulk #4 just 2 months ago, it was revealed that the Hulk has NEVER killed a civilian. So why are Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. saying that the Hulk has killed and continues to kill civilians? I don't get it. Is the Hulk a murderer or not? BB: Remember in the Hulk movie when the Hulk threw a tank with a guy inside it across the desert and it crashes and the guy gets out of the tank unscathed? Didnt that seem like complete and utter ________ to you? It did to me. Im not saying the Hulk is a squeezing a guys head until his eyeballs pop out murderer but when Hulk smashes ____ gets ____ed up and people get hurt. You cant knock down a building and everyone inside brushes off and goes to lunch. It's ridiculous. Q: What's up with the Black Panther, T'Challa? I've been reading his monthly only sporadically, but having read the first six issues I was under the impression that he was just introduced and started interacting with the Marvel Universe during the Bush Administration (i.e. when "Dondi Reese" was in power). And yet, here he was meeting with the Illuminati way back when. BB: Black Panther has been around since the early issues of the FF and was an Avenger during the amazing Roy Thomas years. Q: Um, Dr. Strange says "um" now? BB: He also pinky picks his nose when no one is looking. Q: Will you hurry up and put Namor on the New Avengers? Group needs its Aquaman, man. BB: He is fun to write. Q: I may be a bit thick, but it wasn't clear to me if Black Bolt was supportive of Iron Man's position at the end of the issue. I'll assume yes, since he didn't fly off in a huff. But why would he support the voluntary registration. Like Namor, Black Bolt is the leader of a sovereign nation, not a superhero. Why would he care about something that will only be impacting America in the short term. BB: Here is the script to that scene: 4- Doctor Strange gently casts a spell. He is disappearing into a strobe light effect of magics. He does it calmly. With a very sad look on his face. DOCTOR STRANGE I guess we're done here. Never call upon me again. 5- Smoke still billowing from where Doctor Strange was sitting, Iron-Man asks Blackbolt even though he's pretty sure he knows the answer. IRON-MAN Well. I'm sorry you can't communicate with us, Black Bolt. I - 6- Black Bolt holds up a stern hand with stern pursed lips. 7- Black Bolt gestures at him through with pursed lips. 8- Black Bolt points at them with disappointed, hateful eyes. 9- From Behind Reed Richards, Black Bolt flies away. Iron Man hangs his head as Reed gets up to leave. IRON-MAN I think I got the gist. REED RICHARDS Well, I have to go home and fight with my wife about this for the rest of my life. Q: Why did those who disagreed with Iron Man not give any counter-argument? Certainly there are plenty that would work (indeed, Civil War would be a very short event if there weren't). BB: I believe they did. Q: Is Namor such an ass because he doesn't have his own book anymore? BB: I think hes an ass because hes an ass and always has been. Q: I had thought (based on previous interviews) that the special would cover the evolution of the ILLUMINATI over the years, tracking their involvement with the Marvel Universe. (Perhaps touching on major events like INFINITY GAUNTLET and/or ONSLAUGHT.) Instead, we just got their very first meeting and their very last meeting. BB: No, read the solicit. We always said it was it was the birth and fall of the group. And thats what it was. No false advertising there. Q: Were there ever plans to include this "middle years" material? And is there any chance we'll see this backstory filled in now, given that the group is essentially defunct? If not, can you share any highlights of what you had in mind for those missing, middle years? BB: Originally I was going to do a whole mini with the middle stuff too. I still will at some point. Q: You have men of science, monarchs and a mystic present as members, why not a member of the Marvel Universe god pantheons included? Basically why wasn't Thor or Ikaris of the Eternals included? BB: Thor would have been interesting but he is often not on Earth and just wasnt there for the original meeting. The Eternals I backed off on for a couple of reasons: firstly, I wasnt sure where [Neil] Gaiman was going with his interpretation and thought it best to respectfully let him do his thing. Also, the Eternals havent really been in the mainstream consciousness in the last couple of decades and trying to explain them in this context would have been a real headache. Q: When Dr. Strange says not to call on him again, does he mean as the Illuminati, or is he severing all ties with Tony and Reed? BB: I believe he is really disappointed. Q: Do you think we'll see more Namor in the future like say a possible mini by you? BB: Not a mini but hell pop up. Q: In Amazing Spider-Man, Stark responds to how much super-hero rumbles have cost in damages with "47" (from memory); the number of times the heroes have prevented Earth/the US from being destroyed or conquered. Shouldn't the same argument have been made about the Hulk? BB: One could argue thats why they tried to find him a peaceful place to call home and not shoot him into the Sun. Q: The timeframe of the first meeting in Wakanda confuses me. It is supposed to be the within a week of the end of the Kree-Skrull War. That was well before the Sub-Mariner first donned the special costume (devised by Reed Richards!) he wore throughout this issue. Also at that time, Dr. Strange was had renounced magic and retired (about a year our time before the first Defenders story) and the Black Panther was calling himself the "Black Leopard" (okay, the last one didn't last long). Not to mention that Black Bolt must have been taking something to counteract the effects of worldwide pollution that was confining the Inhumans to Attilan at the time... BB: See, time is an iffy thing in comics. How much actual time has gone by in the Marvel Universe versus real time? Its one of those things we have to just deal with. And books like this special make it easy to consolidate time by marking events like we did. I know this annoys some people but it just has to happen as time goes on. Q: At the end of that first meeting, Professor X is talking about Krakoa...not only is it about four years (our time) before the events of Giant-Size X-Men #1, but if all of these key superheroes had been alerted in advance, how did it end up that he had to assemble not one but (as of X-Men: Deadly Genesis) two teams of mostly neophyte mutants! BB: See above. Q: I'm sorry, it just seems like everything that was going on at the time of the Kree-Skrull War was ignored just to provide a meeting with the right people at a particular time... BB: Nope. See above. Q: Now we know from previews that much of Iron Man's prescient speech about the start of Civil War comes true. Should fans steel ourselves for the rest of it to happen as well (Or is that too spoiler-y)? BB: We know a little bit has come to pass. I would steel yourself for a Millar machine gun of crazy. Q: How come we didn't see an outer space hero like Quasar present or Captain Marvel himself? BB: They werent invited to the original meeting. Q: Is the new style of art we saw from Alex Maleev in The Illuminati the type of art he will apply to the new Spider-Woman ongoing series? BB: Nope. That will be yet another new style or styles. Alex is a painter and print maker and a true artist. He invents styles that serve the story. Q: If the Illuminati had met in the past then wouldn't Onslaught/Xavier have just mind controlled them and taken over the world? BB: Maybe they are J Q: Wouldn't Cyclops, Magneto, or Storm have gotten involved as well when they were running the X-Men when Xavier was no longer available. Especially when Magneto was the headmaster in the 80's? BB: Well deal with that in the future. Q: And what about Xavier knowing that Apocalypse was destined to rule the world in the year 3000? I'd figure that issue would take prominence over anything so wouldn't the Avengers and Fantastic Four gotten involved with the X-Men to stop Apocalypse ASAP? BB: That story is not completely told yet. Q: And why do human super-villains suck so much? Seriously, the best one they got is Doom. Put him up against Magneto, Sinister, or Apocalypse and his ass is kicked. BB: Welcome to the world of nerd! We have shirts. Q: And why do you hate Carnage so much? Cuz he's got hair and you don't? *****, his ass took on Spider-Man, Captain America, Deathlok, Cloak, Dagger, Your mom and dad, Bush, Joe Quesada, Cosmic Jemas and still whooped ass. Carnage is ACTUALLY a good villain. He's the only villain that Parker faces that's pure evil and has no redeeming qualities. In fact, he's the MOST evil villain in the Marvel Universe. You can't just get rid of that in two pages. It's too valuable of an asset. He's the living perversion of the American Dream. He gets what he wants because he believes in himself. He doesn't just want your possessions...he wants you life. It's sickness for him that nothing is enough. And it's not because he had a bad childhood. He very could have been spoiled rotten which would have made even more sense...yea sorry this question has nothing to do with Civil War...UNLESS IT LEADS TO MAXIMUM CARNAGE PART II !! BB: Glad you got that off your chest. Q: As a person who has been behind many major events at Marvel, how does it feel to know that while Illuminati kicks off the event, another writer (Millar) will be tackling the event? BB: I enjoyed it quite a bit. Mark is the real deal and I think Civil War is the best thing he has ever written. I got to express these ideas and then you can spend the summer yelling at him instead of me J Q: Do Civil War/House of M threads spin into the return of Onslaught and the Heroes Reborn universe mini that Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld are doing? BB: No. Q: What was up with that really creepy smile Namor gave? BB: And here comes the thing I get the most ____ for. Here is the script to that scene. 2- Iron Man's had enough of Namor all together. He's just exhausted from him. IRON MAN Yes, we get it! You don't trust our teammates. We understand. 3- Low looking up, Namor doesn't take his eyes off of Reed. NAMOR No family, no girlfriends. 4- Reed looks up and glares at him. Reed's pretty sure Namor ____ed his girlfriend Sue - I don't care what Tom thinks. 5- Same as 3. NAMOR No one. If one of you shared a secret of my Atlantis that came back to harm anyone in my kingdom the hell I would bring to this surface world... 6- Iron-Man stands up. Trying to calm Namor down with the physical act of meeting his face to face. IRON MAN Why are you always ready to attack us?- Q: Why couldn't Reed give Black Bolt some sort of speak and spell? Paper and pencil? Something so the guy didn't just sit there BB: Black Bolt cant read or write. Its a point of embarrassment for him and I wish youd be sensitive enough not to bring it up. Q: The scene where Iron Man was speaking to Director Hill and she said about Spider-Man's responsibility to Norman Osborn and how it is his fault that he is still alive - just what is stopping anyone else (super-human or otherwise) putting a bullet in his head? BB: It was a theory. Q: My other question is - Why was Tony so secretive at the end of the New Avengers 'Sentry' arc about the events in the Savage Land when he seemed much more honest, open and less Machiavellian in this issue? BB: He realized he doesnt even know if he can trust that room anymore. Q: Who do you think will be most pissed off they were left off the Illuminati? BB: Motteditor.