Inhuman Legacy: A Secret Warriors Sketchbook
Artist Javier Garrón brings something Sinister to the Secret Warriors!
The Inhumans continue to find themselves teetering on the edge of tomorrow, not exactly sure where they’ll fall. With the Terrigen mists destroyed in the pages of INHUMANS VS. X-MEN and the Royal Family leaving for outer space soon after, that leaves the Secret Warriors to carry on Earth-side.
That’s exactly what Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garrón have chronicled since they launched SECRET WARRIORS earlier this year. The team fought against the Steve Rogers’ Secret Empire and now find themselves dealing with the mad geneticist Mister Sinister as they shift into the Marvel Legacy era.
We talked with Garrón about his continued familiarity with both his writer and his characters as well as what Marvel Legacy holds for his squad!
Marvel.com: With Marvel Legacy, lots of books are looking back to their roots. Many of the Secret Warriors characters are relatively new, so how does it play into your series from the art side of things?
Javier Garrón: In terms of art we’re going more into the continuity aspect of the legacy. The series began as a direct consequence of Inhumans Vs. X-Men and Secret Empire. We dealt with the latter in the first arc and epilogue and now we’re diving into exploring the consequences of the former. Legacy here comes more in terms of the Inhumans as a species and civilization than as individual characters. The Inhuman line has been stopped since there aren’t Terrigen mists anymore and that’s what we’re exploring in the second arc. The responsibility of honoring and continuing that legacy.
The story is as epic as it has been so far, quite probably even more so. Visually there’s still a lot of orchestration to be done with a lot of characters involved, many locations and some crowded action set pieces alongside the storyline. Our main heroes don’t get any redesign, but they sure look more tired and troubled with the endless series of problems they face. There’s still humor and space for some on-point visual gags, but the fatigue is starting to show visually in them.
Marvel.com: You and Matthew have been steering this ship since the beginning. How would you say your collaborative relationship has evolved in that time?
Javier Garrón: I think we’ve reached a certain point of magic, hard to achieve even intentionally. The kind of magic that is to catch what the other person is trying to convey with words in his case, or with images in mine, and pushing it further. One of my main tasks as an artist is to reflect in panels what’s in the script, so it’s understandable even without balloons, and complement it. That’s where artists put details not scripted in the character’s clothes, in the background or the lighting, for example. The magic comes when the writer notices it, those details not proposed in the script and incorporates it in following comics.
In the first arc—and this wasn’t scripted—I started a visual running joke with Inferno. Something without any kind of importance story-wise. We never even talked about it specifically, but Matt noticed it and in the second arc there’s [an] explicit reference to it, which makes the gag even greater. That sync only comes when the people involved click creatively, and I think—and hope—that’s the case.
Marvel.com: Along those same lines, do you feel like your approach to any of the characters has changed the more you’ve gotten to know them?
Javier Garrón: Undoubtedly! The more you draw, the better you are at it. And with characters it’s like with real people, you need to get to know them, at least in my case, to really, really portray them perfectly. From my perspective that has happened with Lunella and Inferno, and for two very different reasons.
The more I’ve worked with Moon Girl, the more I’ve come to realize how complex and rich that character is. A multi-layered girl, who is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, but also an eight-year-old with a temper. That gives you serious, interesting Reed Richards kind-of-moments when she’s in genius mode, and very funny moments when she behaves more accordingly to her own age, though even then she still acts like a much older person. There’s the contrast between that hard and that soft side of her that visually is very rich, both in terms of gesticulation and design.
And then there’s Inferno, which without even having talked about it, or actively worked on it, has been kind of a comic relief, visually. In the second arc he has also a very important dramatic role, but I really love to explore his goofy side when possible. And I think I’ve gotten better at drawing his fiery flames—always in between the limits of my skill—every time I get to draw fire is even more fun than the last time I did it.
Marvel.com: Mister Sinister has also been around for a while now, messing with the Warriors and other Inhumans. Do you feel like you have a new understanding of him at this point?
Javier Garrón: I hope so! I mean, at least at some infinitesimal level, or in my interpretation of him. In comic books we’re dealing with versions, I think. This is my version of the character, which is the official one in the moment it gets published in continuity, but in two months’ time the same character can show up in another series, by another creative team, slightly different, but being then the official one at that point. So, in our version of Sinister he’s more grounded in the Marvel Universe as a whole. He’s no longer an X-Men villain, but a character that plays a larger role in the great scheme of things. Sinister’s also an even more detached being, closer to an artificial intelligence with the sole purpose of gaining knowledge than an actual living being with worries and desires. If he had them at some point, that’s gone.
I like to portray that visually in terms of design and body posture. He’s refined, but slightly outdated. He dresses elegantly, but more accordingly with the time when he was born than actual times, as if he continues to dress out of habit, not really putting his mind into it. He looks polished, but more in the way of a relic. And he always stands like a governess, strict and severe.
Marvel.com: How has it been developing new Inhumans with Matthew in this series?
Javier Garrón: It’s so much fun! Designing new characters is one of the many perks of the job and Matt is extremely collaborative when the time comes to putting our hands into it. He sets the tone, puts the foundations down, and then I have all the freedom I need to make it happen. We have lots and lots of Inhumans as background actors, and that’s when I can get as crazy as I want and time allows, because kids, in comics our budget is not money but time.
I think if we haven’t put more people into the story it’s because they can’t fit into the panels! It’s so crowded! Some characters started complaining and we had to cut the budget on this; those background Inhumans have a temper and they want to be in the shot so they can show off later with their friends! I mean, all those egos! It’s a struggle to make all our main heroes and the supporting ones happy, but that’s the comic book creator’s life!
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