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A few weeks back, while I was in the midst of finalizing this email interview with Marvel exclusive writer Christos Gage, Marvel was kind enough to share preview pages from Gage’s Avengers Academy 7 (set for release this Wednesday, December 15). I contacted Gage to discuss the appeal of going exclusive with Marvel, his work on Avengers Academy; his collaborations with Mario Alberti; the Invaders Now miniseries; and his love of letters columns–as well as juggling myriad assignments along with his video game writing.
Tim O’Shea: In terms of the life of a freelancer, how less stressful is it when you gain an exclusive contract as you currently have with Marvel?
Christos Gage: Well, as any freelancer will tell you, a big part of your job is lining up future work. So knowing that I am guaranteed work from Marvel is a load off my mind, allowing me to focus less on nailing down that next job and more on making the stories I’m writing the best they can be.
O’Shea: With Avengers Academy–while the students are the core of the series, it’s the instructors that offer almost as much interest for me. For example, I love your use of Quicksilver. Was it your idea to have him in the cast, or how did he get added? Are there certain eras of Quicksilver history that appeal to you and fuel your approach to the character?
Gage: I asked for Quicksilver because I thought he fit in perfectly with the theme of the instructors being Avengers who have flawed, checkered pasts. Avengers Academy is meant to be a place of redemption for student and teacher alike. Just as the best counselors for people trying to stay off drugs are recovered addicts, the Avengers Academy teachers are people who’ve been down some tough roads and come back. Quicksilver was a teen villain, then a teen hero. He was raised to be a terrorist and grew to be an Avenger. My favorite point in Quicksilver history is when he first joined the Avengers…he did this incredibly heroic thing in terms of breaking from Magneto, and putting himself out there in front of a world that hates and fears mutants…but the whole time he was constantly backseat driving and second-guessing Captain America, of all people! Now that’s what I call cojones. Quicksilver is so much fun to write because he gets to say all the snarky things I want to say to people who irritate me, but don’t want to get smacked in the mouth for.