Living the Legacy: ‘Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel’ Returns to the Marvel Universe This July
Creators Peter David and Juanan Ramírez talk about restoring Genis-Vell to his proper place in the Captain Marvel pantheon!
Nearly 30 years ago, Genis-Vell, originally called Legacy, debuted in SILVER SURFER ANNUAL (1988) #6 with the impossible task of filling in for his late father, the original Captain Marvel and an unparalleled hero who gave his life in the line of duty. However, in the CAPTAIN MARVEL volumes helmed by writer Peter David a few years later, the prodigal son found his footing, developing a cult following and starring in a number of classic stories.
Then Genis-Vell died. So did Rick Jones, the human with whom he shared a host body. As of last year, the chances of this particular Captain Marvel seemed slim.
And yet, debuting next month, GENIS-VELL: CAPTAIN MARVEL (2022) will explore a resuscitated run featuring both characters as they rediscover their bond in a five-part limited series written by David with art from the talented Juanan Ramírez. Old friends and new enemies promise to make life interesting for “Genis” and Rick. We talked to the creative team about their plans for this Captain Marvel’s new lease on life!
Peter, I imagine that editorial pitched you on returning to a Genis-Vell series, so how hard of an argument was that for them to make?
PETER DAVID: It wasn't hard at all! Honestly, I hadn't thought about Genis for many years because Marvel had killed him off and Carol Danvers had taken over the name of “Captain Marvel.” But when they told me they were bringing him back I was thrilled to be involved.
Juanan, on the flipside, what was your familiarity with this character and Peter’s work on him going in?
JUANAN RAMÍREZ: To be honest, when I started reading Super Heroes, the way of reading them in Spain was still very different. Any publication always arrived out of order and it was very difficult to follow. So my first contact with Genis-Vell was not in the early days of the character. I was able to read something of Genis for the first time in [Kurt] Busiek and [Carlos] Pacheco's AVENGERS FOREVER (1998). I fell in love with [his] design from the first moment. It was later when I was able to read the character in more detail thanks to Peter David.
After all the Genis stories you have written, Peter, what remains to do with this character?
PETER DAVID: Well, he's got to learn about himself because he's a re-creation of the original guy. Fortunately enough, he's got Rick Jones to help guide him.
Juanan, how much old material did you reference to create your own take on Genis and his world?
JUANAN RAMÍREZ: I think that both Peter's scripts and ChrisCross's art [from the original series] have been decisive in understanding this character. The humor of these authors about the work is what has motivated me the most here. But I hope the fans are ready for the amount of action that comes in this series!
Why tell this story across several different eras, centering some in the present and some in the past?
PETER DAVID: Originally Marvel wanted the entire story to be set at the time of the original Genis. But when I found out he was returning to modern day Marvel, I strongly suggested that we split the story into both eras.
Why is the dynamic between Genis and Rick Jones unique from the one Rick had with Mar-Vell, and why does it work for good stories?
PETER DAVID: The bottom line is that Rick has been super-heroing much longer than Genis, so he's able to help him learn about the world in general and being a Super Hero in particular.
This series has a great built-in cast—was there ever any discussion about not bringing all of them back or were they part of the package?
PETER DAVID: Oh no, I knew we were going to bring in everyone!
Juanan, outside of Captain Marvel himself, who or what did you enjoy drawing the most?
JUANAN RAMÍREZ: I personally so much enjoy drawing any secondary character. I'm one of those people who have a good time playing with the strangest characters in fighting games, for example. So drawing characters like Symon or Bragg has been simply incredible! I think anyone who reads the comic will notice.
Both Rick and Genis were deceased as of fairly recently—does bringing them back pose any sort of challenge or is referencing this just part of the fun?
PETER DAVID: That's actually a major part of the story. Why does death never last in the Marvel Universe? Why do people die and then return to life? That's a major underpinning for the story.
Who will be the opposition in this series as far as more traditional villains?
PETER DAVID: Genis will find himself coming up against the Kree who have their own plans for him, and are not going to appreciate him giving them problems…
Juanan, as the new member of the creative team, how have you enjoyed working with Peter and your editors thus far?
JUANAN RAMÍREZ: Working with Peter and [editor] Danny [Khazem] has made me feel very comfortable and [have] a lot of freedom. Peter writes very clearly and I think he is the fastest writer I have ever worked with, as well as a great honor! And Danny lets any idea flow from the storyboard to the design of those secondary characters that I like to draw so much. Special mention for my dear Federico Blee for the colors, someone with whom I worked with on multiple occasions and who adapts perfectly to my work.
GENIS-VELL: CAPTAIN MARVEL (2022) #1 touches down in print and digital comic shops on July 27—be on the lookout!
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