Marvel has just decided to give a pair of newly reintroduced Avengers heroes their own title: Starbrand & Nightmask. The pair first appeared in the Marvel Universe in the ‘1980s in the alternate reality known as the New Universe. Starbrand was originally created by Jim Shooter, while Nightmask was created by Archie Goodwin. The new title is written by animated television creator Greg Weisman (Gargoyles) with art from Dominike “Domo” Stanton (Archer.) Instead of the more classic representation of a bleak take on the two characters in author Jonathan Hickman‘s recent Avengers run — Weisman is making the adventures of the two heroes a lighter affair exploring the lives of the Avengers in both space and college. Starbrand & Nightmask #1 will be on store shelves December 2015. CBR broke the news, and featured the following quotes with Weisman on the upcoming title:
“They haven’t given up super-heroics at all,” said Weisman. “Frankly, Kevin would prefer to just be an Avenger, but Adam insists Kevin experience normal life for someone his age, i.e. college. (Kevin is against the plan: his last stint in college did not end well.) The book picks them up just a bit before their first college semester starts, so it’s something the readers will be exploring together with our two leads from moment one.”
Also revealed is that the two heroes are attending Empire State University (the alma matter of Peter Parker and friends.) This may even lead the two characters to meet another fan favorite:
“Yep. E.S.U. And though we won’t see Squirrel Girl right away, Doreen Green does appear in issue #1. But it’s not like they’re the same person or anything, right? Of course, not. Why would you even think that?”
Weisman continued to explain how his run will also tie-in with the cosmic ramifications from Hickman’s Avengers series:
“You know, I’m kinda famous for hating to reveal SPOILERS, so you’re making it very tough. [Laughs] Our first arc is called “Eternity’s Children (Attend University).” It’s about a handful of cosmic entities who have decided that the Universe is out of balance — and that the stumbling block to correcting the problem is Earth’s Planetary Defense Mechanism, a.k.a. Starbrand/Kevin.
Meanwhile, things are brewing on multiple fronts. There are issues with the Superflow, with Starbrand’s powers (in fact, with the entire Starbrand Creation System) and with the origin of the very name Nightmask. We’re going to be picking at loose threads left dangling by Hickman’s Avengers run and following those threads to their logical ends. All this, while our two leads try to settle into their new lives at Empire State University.”
That’s another nice fringe title in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe. It’s also great to hear that Weisman has diversity in mind for the title as well:
Diversity has always been an important issue to me, going back to Gargoyles at least. This is going to be a book with an extremely diverse cast of characters, which is part of the reason I wanted Nightmask to share billing with Starbrand.