Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
News broke in December that Bill Jemas, the former Marvel executive who helped turned around the once-bankrupt company, had joined with video game publisher Take-Two Interactive to launch a comics imprint. Jemas said at the time that plans were still in the early stages for the new venture, which will focus on developing new properties rather than titles based on the Take-Two catalog. But now the company is ramping up its efforts by staffing the new comics division, which officially has a name: Double Take.
While no further details about the imprint have been revealed, there are plenty of high-profile games on the roster of Take-Two, the parent company of both Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne) and 2K Games (BioShock, Borderlands). Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel’s former associate publisher, joined Take-Two earlier this year.
It wouldn’t be the first time Take-Two properties have gotten the comic book treatment: Marvel Custom Solutions published a Max Payne 3 comic in 2012, and IDW Publishing released Borderlands: Origins that same year.
Jemas was president of consumer products, publishing and new media for Marvel from 2000 to 2003, a time of notable change that saw the publisher drop the Comics Code Authority seal, launch its Ultimate and MAX imprints, introduce acclaimed runs like Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s New X-Men and receive national attention for books like the Rawhide Kid miniseries, which depicted the long-running Western hero as gay.
Something of a controversial figure at the time, Jemas also wrote the Marville series, part of the “U-Decide” competition. His era as Marvel president corresponded with the start of Joe Quesada’s long tenure of editor-in-chief, with their newsworthy moves documented in the 2002 Marvel publication Bill & Joe’s Marvelous Adventure.