A Year in Review with 'Captain Marvel' and 'Deadpool' Writer Kelly Thompson
Prep for 2020 with a look back at the biggest moments of the year that was!
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In celebration of that hard work—and the resulting enormous success—that Kelly Thompson has generated this year, we're taking a tour of a landmark 2019 with one of the House of Ideas' brightest stars.
When 2019 kicked off, Kelly had just wrapped runs with JESSICA JONES and UNCANNY X-MEN while she remained the creative voice guiding MR. AND MRS. X as well as WEST COAST AVENGERS (not to mention a certain teenage witch for another company). A high profile assignment to head up the new CAPTAIN MARVEL ongoing series alongside Carmen Carnero and company just as the big screen blockbuster touched down.
“I felt honored that Marvel would trust me with Carol’s book at a time when she was poised to become one of the most famous heroes in the world thanks to the movie,” she shares on writing the erstwhile Captain Danvers. “I was nervous too—it was a big stage where I could possibly fall on my face—but mostly I was honored. It also felt a bit like coming home since Carol was the first character I got to write at Marvel back in 2015. It’s been an incredible ride and I’m especially thankful for collaborators like Carmen Carnero, Lee Garbett, and Tamra Bonvillain.”
Kelly confesses Carol doesn’t “come as naturally” to her as other characters she writes on a regular basis, but she strove to “humanize” the powerful hero through things like a sense of humor and pride that drove the character’s actions, but could also get her into trouble. “More than anything it was her deep sense of ‘always get up’ which ended up having great synergy with the film, but which [former CAPTAIN MARVEL writer] Kelly Sue DeConnick really pioneered with the character,” Thompson says. “DeConnick has this incredible quote that I wish more than anything I’d written—that Captain America gets up because it’s the right thing to do, and Carol Danvers gets up because &@#% you. I love that more than maybe any other quote I’ve heard about any comic book character ever. If you’re not tapping into that punk rock fighter quality in Carol, you’re lost.”
across the 616
On the topic of Kate Bishop and company, Kelly remembers WEST COAST AVENGERS as one of her favorites.
“Man, I loved [WEST COAST AVENGERS],” Thompson says. “I had so many plans! That first issue is still I think one of the best first issues I’ve ever done. Everything just came together beautifully. I thought I knew what it was on every level—I was really confident about direction and tone and character. I had so much to say about Gwenpool and also about Gwenpool and Quentin Quire together; I was really excited about where we were headed there and what it meant for those characters. I also really wanted more time to develop Kate and Johnny.
“Deadpool’s strengths are his weaknesses. He’s strong because you can do anything with him—he’s weak because you can do anything with him—and he’s been in roughly 4 billion books so nearly everything has been done with him.”
Undaunted, Kelly and creative cohort the legendary Chris Bachalo have carved out their own take on the crimson-clad comedian, anointing him “King of the Monsters” and running with the new privileges and responsibilities that role entails. The writer promises “we have a lot of ideas for how to play with that, so it’s not going away anytime soon.”
"INCOMING! was much more controlled. I had the Jessica Jones pages and the Captain Marvel pages, so just an eight-page section between them, but I was lucky because they bumped into one another, which made my job a bit easier. We were all working with a pretty tight outline—there was a lot you couldn’t do in those pages for plotting reasons, but it made for an interesting challenge and I felt really honored to be included—and to get to add my voice for ‘my characters.’ I am in awe of how Al Ewing pulled it all together. The guy is a master storyteller and it’s so nice to see him getting the attention he deserves these days.”
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