Published October 11, 2018

The Black Order as... Heroes?

The group strikes out on their own in a new limited series from Derek Landy and Philip Tan!

On November 7, Thanos’s so-called children are taking center-stage in BLACK ORDER #1. And guess what? They’re gonna be the good guys!

Well, “good” is a relative term, but they’re certainly the protagonists of this story, which finds them undertaking a task on behalf of the Grandmaster. Lucky for you, you’ll be welcomed into the fold in just five issues, each told from the point of view of a different member of the group. Written by Derek Landy with art by Philip Tan, inks by Marc Deering, and colors by Jay David Ramos, the limited series will present this evil team as you've never seen them before.

To get a better sense of what we’re dealing with here, we contacted Mr. Landy for a discussion about turning Thanos’s deadly, remorseless squad of planet annihilators into the heroes of their own story.

Black Order #1 What brought you to the Black Order on a personal level?

Derek Landy: To be honest, my connection is as a fan. I was introduced to the original lineup of the Black Order the same as everyone else—I read them when they first appeared in the INFINITY storyline. It was beyond exciting to see them—a brand new group of villains with glorious names and distinctive looks—but I had no idea I'd ever get to write them. How did you turn this group into the heroesof the story?

Derek Landy: This was an interesting one. The immediate challenge was that all of these characters had already been properly established. There weren't a whole lot of details about them, but we, as readers, knew who they were. We knew how they sounded, how they interacted. We knew they were out-and-out bad guys.

So I had to take these bad guys and feature them in a way that would get the readers on their side, while also maintaining their integrity. I couldn't just have them wake up one morning and decide to be nice. They had to remain villains. Of course, the best way to showcase this is to have them go up against an even worse villain, with a far-reaching agenda—in this case, an emperor keen to expand his empire. With members like Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight, youve got a built-in marriage component. But in what ways did you explore the relationships between the other members, as well as Glaive and Midnight?

Derek Landy: I've got five issues in which to tell this story, and each issue is told from a different member's perspective, so I get to explore their personalities in a very concise way. We're going to get to see how they relate to each other and how they rationalize the horrible things they do, and then we're going to see them try to figure out who they are in the grand scheme of things.

Corvus and Proxima are still very much in love, by the way. There will be some conflict rearing its head, but there there was never any danger of me breaking up such a power couple. Truly, they are a testament to the myriad wonders of marriage. (I'm not married, myself, but I imagine all marriages involve decapitations. Right?) How does Thanos impact this narrative?

Derek Landy: You can never escape Thanos, so while he doesn't feature in this series, his presence is still felt. There are a few reasons I didn't use him, but the main one is that Thanos tends to overshadow everyone else once he's in a story, and I wanted a new villain and a chance for the Black Order to establish themselves in their own right.

Also, to be perfectly honest, I'm still new to Marvel, and it never occurred to me to inquire as to his availability...! If you had to describe each member of the Cull Obsidian in a word or two, what would you say?

Derek Landy: "A word or two"... Ha!

Corvus is conflicted. Proxima is a warrior who is questioning herself. Black Dwarf is more than mere muscle. Ebony Maw is treacherous. And Black Swan is searching for a place to belong.

Order your issue of BLACK ORDER #1 at your local comic shop now!