Robot 6

Talking Comics with Tim | Dan Abnett

Heroes for Hire 2

Heroes for Hire

The writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have come back down to Earth and the streets of Marvel with the new Heroes for Hire (H4H) series, which premiered in December. After reading the first issue, which ended with a spectacular plot curve ball, I wanted to find out more about the series. This Wednesday, January 5, marks the release of issue 2–featuring Ghost Rider and Silver Sable. Despite his busy comics and prose writing schedule, Abnett was kind enough to do a brief email interview about the series–and offer readers a chance make hero hire suggestions for future issues.

Tim O’Shea: After working in space with myriad Marvel universe alien species, what’s the most enjoyable aspect to getting to also dabble in the “nitty, gritty, human vigilante street action of Heroes for Hire” as you recently described it.

Dan Abnett: The change of pace, really. Bill Rosemann, our editor, asked us if we’d like to do something that was a contrast to the cosmic stuff we’ve been doing, and the first thing Andy and I ever did for Marvel US was a year or so’s run on the Punisher in the early 1990s. So we decided to go ‘back on the streets’.

O’Shea: What makes Marvel street action different than say the streets of other comic book universes?

Abnett: Despite the fact that it’s a comic book Universe, and therefore full of fantasy elements, it’s very real. There’s is a great cast of ‘street level’ characters, mostly of the vigilante type, to play with. You can have quite realistic,, gritty character-driven stories, plus lots of Marvel Universe fun.

O’Shea: Folks should skip this question if they have not read the first issue, but I have to ask, how early in the development of Heroes for Hire did you realize you wanted to bring Puppet Master into the dynamics?

Abnett: Very early, actually. We first devised a way to have a rotating cast of heroes, so we could use as many as possible and get lots of mix and match variations. This is a ‘new’ format of Heroes for Hire: the premise is that a handler chooses and deploys different heroes for different missions, sometimes trading favors or info with them in return for their help as opposed to just paying them). We wanted there to be a murky back story behind the mack story, something we could unpick and take apart while the adventures were happening. If I remember right I think the very last thing we added was the name. We had everything else sorted out before we agreed it should re-use (and re-invent) the classic H4H brand name.

O’Shea: Part of the cast will be rotating among different heroes, but there will be recurring characters (other than Misty Knight). Is it too early to divulge who some of the recurring characters are?

Abnett: Yes, and yes. Actually, I think it’d be safe to mention that the Paladin plays a major role. And ‘guest heroes’ will return and become semi-regulars.

O’Shea: In a recent Marvel universe interview you tease that the Misty mystery is just one of the surprises laced through the series. What is the key to building mysteries and surprises without throwing off the pace of action?

Abnett: Not sure there’s a trick to it. Andy and I just like to compose stories that way, with different things happening on different levels that play out at different speeds: the immediate drama of the current adventure, the slow-burn mystery and shock twists of the back story etc .

O’Shea: Any questions for your H4H/Robot 6 readers/fans?

Abnett: I guess I could mention we’re open to suggestions. Which Marvel character would the reader like to see ‘hired’ for a mission or two?



Assuming this is where to answer that question: The main heroes i’d like to see would be either Sleepwalker from Ms. Marvel’s Operation: Lightning Storm or the Spider-Man villain known as Cardiac who i think could work well as a hero for the team.

I’d love to see Bucky being tangled in this since Black Widow and Falcon had appearances.

Also, maybe some of the immortal weapons.

and Hellstrom, since he’s likely to end up in limbo after that New Avengers arc.

I know he’s not 100% “street level,” at least not in power levels, but I think it’d be hella-fun to have Misty call in the Captain from Nextwave for a couple missions. He’s definitely got the gruff, street-level attitude and would be a great contrast to some of the more serious heroes.

How about adding a villain to the “heroes” mix as a wildcard? Terror, Inc. would be a great fit.

Cardiac, Solo, Hypno-Hustler, Colleen Wing, and the Craptacular B-Sides.

Jennifer Kale is street, I think. As street as Ghost Rider at least, especially going off of the 2004 Witches miniseries. So I say her.

Marvel lists #2 as coming out on the 5th, but it’s not on my LCS’s list for Wednesday or on Diamond’s upcoming release list. I wonder what’s up?

Please, oh, please….NFL Superpro

Or Dr/Brother. Voodoo…can’t have too much Brother Voodoo

Hellstorm – Son of Satan, pretty please.

Really digged the first issue of H4H. Keep up the good work. In that sense, and answering the question, I’d love to see Dr.Voodoo show up.

At least two of you havn’t been reading New Avengers…

I’d love to see the Kasper Cole Whitew Tiger and Josiah X in these pages (heck, I’d by three issues if you included either of these!)



Bring Ricochet!!!

Laurence J Sinclair

January 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

If Puppet Master can come back from the dead, I’m sure that Doctor Voodoo should be able to manage it.

More Elektra, of course!

Another vote for Cardiac… a cool concept, forgotten in the mire of extreme 90’s hero-villains!

Black Knight.

I’d love to see Abnett revisit the Marvel UK characters , Night Raven and Nocturne

Machine Man might be fun.

I like the idea of the characters like Terror, Sleepwalker, Hellstorm(+ Hellcat!) and Cardiac. I saw someone mentioned The Captain from Nextwave and I thoulg Machine Man might also work.

How about the surviving Six Pack members Domino and Hammer. Constrictor and Solo from the later incarnation of the team as well.

Any former HFH characters would also be nice to see.

How could it would be to see Morbius in H4H?!

I mean, he’s that good guy that can work with the team and also against it in some future story lines.

I meant Cool instead of Could X)

For some reason I can’t help but picture Howard the Duck being called in as a getaway driver (he does drive a cab right?) for some hero in need of assist.
I would also like to see Hellstorm, the new Power man, or Machine Man.

I’d also suggest Nighthawk.

Maybe U.S. Ace too.

Bring back ULYSSEES BLOODSTONE for a reunion with his daughter ELSA which I believe the two of you once created. I second the motion for Howard the Duck as a getaway driver. Great suggestion Taco.
Anyone remember SHOTGUN or BULLETT? How about various members of the JURY such as the Guardsman known as Sentry, or Ramshot? MAVERICK! HANNIBAL KING! SATANA! LILITH! NIGHT THRASHER! RAGE! etc……so many awesome possibilities…however there’s one character I challenge you fellas to recreate for the Marvel universe…ready?……….OMEGA THE UNKNOWN….soooooo deserving of a revival…I DARE YOU DnA !!!!!!!!!!

Good calls for the Captain and Machine Man from Nextwave. That would be very good to have these characters show up i do like them alot.
Also add the new Power man & Cardiac and members from the Initiative Avengers. Deadpool will be good as he had a great cameo in the old H4H series.

This series looks great and I’m really excited to see what you guys have up your sleeves!

As far as recommendations go . . .

Machine Man because /everything/ is better with Nextwave-style Machine Man. And along similar lines, Elsa Bloodstone would be a lot of fun too. I’d recommend Photon but I’d worry that her powers are a little too much to be considered “street-level”.

Sleepwalker, just because I’d love to see somebody do something cool with the character.

And just because nobody seems to be doing anything with them at the moment, one of the Runaways might be interesting to throw in the mix. You could finally have The Punisher and Molly Hayes meet again. :P

(Side bar: if you could find a way to make the new White Tiger, Angela Del Toro, not evil again, it would be much appreciated. There’s not that many Hispanic superheroines out there lately after all.)


Machine Man FTW!

Howard too!

(Hell, it looks like Marvel Zombies… Quick, think of some other character)

er… Morbius! D’oh!

Seriously, Aaron and Howard. My suggestions would be The Prowler or a new Scourge.

I’d be all for Slapstick and Sleepwalker. And Wildstreak. And Adam X! And Century. Why the heck did you guys never use Century in the cosmic books. Didn’t you create him?

I know, I know, some of those are dubious, but you did a great job of redeeming some seemingly dubious characters before; there are no bad characters, only ones who haven’t been used well yet.

Stingray; everyone loves Stingray.

And Rage. And I’ll second Hypno Hustler. And someone should really do something with Purple Girl now that her dad’s been elevated into such a big threat.

Frog-Man. Definitely Frog-Man!

Us agent

Who is still around from Fallen Angels? Chance?

Thought of a few more that haven’t been mentioned yet

El Aguila
Dominic Fortune
Devil Slayer
The Sons of the Tiger

I think the Prowler would be the perfect hero to bring onto the team. I believe he hasn’t been seen since the Stilt-Man funeral where Punisher showed up and blew a bunch of guys away during Civil War. There would be great tension there, and from their time on Guardians of the Galaxy, this is their specialty. I don’t know if anyone fits the “street level” mold and could be “resurrected” better than the Prowler. I believe DnA could actually make him super bad @$$.

After some thought I really think Howard the Duck would be a great addition (he would do it for the fare). USAce would be a good choice because of his connection to the Highwayman, who would be good villain for the group. Phantom Reporter (who would do it for the story), Night Nurse(when mission goes wrong) Cloak and Dagger would be a great choice as well.
What about global operatives , L.A. operatives could include Shroud, or Danse Macabre.

I’m with Taco’s suggestion of Howard the Duck (H4H’s Rocket Raccoon). I’m also in sore need of seeing Fat Cobra back in action in some regular way. It would also be cool to see Misty utilize a villain like Rhino who she has history with and has recently been beefed up as a more complex character.

Erik Weinfurter

January 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

Although we’ve all seen Iron Fist in the teaser art, I’ve been getting the feeling that he’s going to be just another guest appearance. So for all the FistFans out there, please give him some face time. I know he’s in New Avengers, but it just ain’t Fist-y enough for me.

Also, need to chime in on the get-away-taxi/Howard the Duck suggestion. Nice one.

How about Solo? Is he still around? He’s a hired gun!

Also – if Paladin is a major part, will it pick up that he walked off with Odin’s spear at the end of Seige? Thanks!

Also- members of the Crew: White Tiger, Josiah X, and Junta.

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