Avengers #674 Avengers #674 - Written by Mark Waid. Art by Jesus Saiz. Cover by Alex Ross. Phoenix Variant Cover by Brent Schoonover.

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 5

As Earth and Counter-Earth begin to approach one another, the Avengers/Champions team must find some way to avert dual global catastrophes!

Rated T+ - 32 pgs./$3.99 - On Sale December 6th


Guardians of the Galaxy #148 Guardians of the Galaxy #148 - Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Marcus To. Cover by Aaron Kuder.

THE INFINITY QUEST Part 3

The Guardians are officially Nova Corpsmen! How is Drax going to deal with being overrun by Ultron-ized aliens when he still refuses to throw a punch?

And are we really trusting Rocket to clean up the Corps?

Plus: I heard a rumor...is there an Infinity Stone kicking around?

Rated T+ - 32 pgs./$3.99 - On Sale December 6th


Champions #15 Champions #15 - Written by Mark Waid. Art by Humberto Ramos. Cover by Humberto Ramos.

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 6

The conclusion of WORLDS COLLIDE!

The Champions/Avengers team faces its first real casualty in their ongoing struggle to prevent two planets from colliding - and that fatality changes the game!

Rated T+ - 32 pgs./$3.99 - On Sale December 20th

An Interview With Andy Schmidt!
A Nova Prime Page Exclusive

Andy Schmidt is the editor of the upcoming 'Annihilation' cosmic event from Marvel. Andy was very generous and took the time to answer some questions about 'Annihilation' and the upcoming four issue Nova mini-series! I'd like to thank Andy for his time and answers!

How would you sum up the threat of the 'Annihilation Wave' and how does Nova become involved?

It's a huge, sweeping, and incredibly destructive--hence the name. It's got a lot of things we've not seen before in it. There's a lot of new stuff--new technology, new characters, etc. The wave is pretty ill-tempered as well.

That's a joke. You can laugh...

...or not.

How long have you been a fan of Nova and what is it about him that caused you to select him as one of the primary characters in 'Annihilation'?

To be perfectly honest, I'm not a big Nova fan. I always liked him, but it wasn't until I considered him for this and started reading his adventures that I really understood and admired him. After reading his old stories, I knew he was the right guy to be in the thick of the story we're telling.

As for how he was selected, that points more towards the origins of the overall story. The thing with the big space opera comics is that they're often hard to relate to. So, I wanted to have at least one human playing a major role. I need someone to be there to reference Laguna Beach and The Simpsons. Anyway, Nova isn't a space character per se, so this seemed like a good way to reintroduce him into a new audience and give him a platform to shine.

In many ways, on Earth, he's just a Spider-Man knock off, but after ANNIHILATION, no one will accuse him of that ever again. So it came down to finding the right hero, ready for a journey and ready to grow by leaps and bounds to fill the role in our story. Nova really is the Luke Skywalker of ANNIHILATION.

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are writing the Annihilation: Nova mini-series with Kev Walker on pencils. How did this particular creative team come to be chosen for the mini?

Dan and Andy pitched me on a NOVA series about two years ago. While very little of that proposal is showing up here, their love for the character and the heart of their story is still very much apart of what we're doing with the character. So, once I figured Nova was the right guy for ANNIHILATION, I never considered anyone else to write it.

Kev was the last artist I hired for the ANNIHILATION books. So I had a very cartoony style on SUPER-SKRULL (trust me, Greg's style is cartoony, but it's raw. It rocks!), I had a Moebius-like style on RONAN with Jorge Lucas (Totally awesome stuff--some of his finest), and I had Renato Arlem on SILVER SURFER, a stylized but very realistic looking style.

It was very important to me that each book have its own look, so I remembered Kev's work on EXILES and called my friend Mike Raicht (the former EXILES editor turned freelance writer) and asked him for Kev's number. Kev did great work on EXILES and he's got a rich, impactful style. Once I had his number, he was a deadlock for the book. I just had to convince him to say yes.

So, that's it. They're all doing a great job! Very cool stuff.

Will the four primary characters (Nova, Silver Surfer, Super-Skrull and Ronan) interact within their respective limited series? For example, is it likely the Super-Skrull and Nova will appear in each other's limited series given the bad blood between Nova and the Skrulls?

I'd kind of like you to buy all four limited series, but the truth is that they don't have much cross over. What little is there, you'll never notice if you're reading just one of the limited series. Events are reflected in one series from another since they're all taking place at the same time. But NOVA is about Nova. SUPER-SKRULL is about Super-Skrull and so on.

And no, you won't get to the end of NOVA #3 only to discover that to understand what happens in NOVA #4 that you have to read the third issue of the other three books or anything under-handed like that. We're telling self-contained stories here that fit into a larger tapestry. In a lot of ways it's not different than any other Marvel Universe comic that works on its own but adds into the over all Marvel Universe tapestry. It's cool like that.

As Editor of the entire 'Annihilation' event, how do you coordinate everything between so many different creative teams? Do you have a giant flowchart on the wall?

Damn, that's a great idea. I should totally do a flow chart. I probably should have one. Well, to try and keep everyone on track, I'm getting the scripts written faster than the artists can produce--except for Jorge because he doesn't sleep, apparently.

As for coordinating the events in the stories, they were all mapped out ahead of time so everyone knows what everyone else is doing and as soon as a final script is approved, I send it off to all the other writers so they know what's going on.

The artists are trickier. A lot of characters are getting redesigned and there are a lot of new characters. So in those cases, whoever draws the new guys first gets to design them. All the major re-designs were done in advance. Once a design is set in stone, I send those around to everyone as well.

I know I'll slip up at some point as there is so much to keep track of, but I'm working with some super-talented people who will watch my back.

Along with being the Editor of the project, 'Annihilation' was also your original concept. What sort of boundaries, if any, are there for the writers in order to stay within your vision of the project?

You make it sound like it's my story, but it isn't. Keith and I came up with the kick off event idea and the story structure and major villains. We beat out only the broad strokes. But we didn't hand over any outlines or anything like that to the writers.

I went to writers who I thought would take risks and try new things. Guys like Dan and Andy. And what I told them is that they've got 4 issues to re-invent these characters. What's the best, most kick-butt story you can tell about Nova or the Ronan? And then I waited to see their proposals.

Once those were in, we massaged them into the frame work and let everyone else know what was being covered. This approach was great. None of the four limited series tells the same story, which is rare in something like this. There's one hero's journey story, there's a fugitive story, there's a western, and so on. They're all really great.

SMALL SPOILER ALERT!

One last question (hoping for a bit of a spoiler): On the cover of Annihilation: Nova #1, Nova is seen wearing a new version of the Nova uniform. Is this his new uniform or is it a situation-type of armor specific to dealing with the Annihilation Wave?

Okay, you're the Nova website, so I'll give it to you. It's a new uniform.

Well, thanks very much, Doug. I hope everyone at Nova Prime enjoys the interview and reads the book.

It's probably worth noting that Nova is featured heavily in ANNIHILATION: PROLOGUE which is on sale March 15th. And NOVA #1 comes out just a few weeks later on April 19th (I think).


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