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State of the Initiative Podcast - Part 3

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Last week, Marvel invited the media to take part in the third part of their State of The Initiative conference call. As usual, Broken Frontier was on hand to report. Like the previous two conference calls, this chat was hosted by Marvel’s Senior Art Director Jeff Suter, and the guest of honor was The Initiative scribe Dan Slott.

The call kicked off with Suter introducing everyone and giving a bit of background on Dan Slott. Many of us had no idea that Slott worked with Marvel well before he began writing for them. When Dan previously worked at Marvel he was an art returnist and would give guided tours to youngsters. Slott hit it big when he relaunched She-Hulk on 2005. Since then the government has been trying to find a way to harness his energy to power the country (not a true fact).

Suter then went on to question Slott on the current state of The Initiative. Right now they haven’t set up teams in all 50 states yet. Soon, fans can look forward to seeing a graduation from what is essentially super hero boot camp and who will make it on to be a full-fledged hero and who will be kicked out. Slott referred to the series as a book about “being with the man.”

Suter also reminded everyone that soon Dan Slott will be taking on the responsibility of writing Spider-Man during Brand New Day, with art by Steve McNiven.

Our hosts then ran through some of the key players in The Initiative and the roles they play in the series.

Hank Pym is still trying to prove himself as a hero. He’s the most on the fence about registration of all the heroes and he’s being pulled in different directions. Later on during the call, Slott revealed that Pym will make the worst decision of his life in The Initiative #8.

Jim Rhodes doesn’t have as much control as he thinks he does. Slott also pointed out: “Notice you haven’t seen him out of his mask yet,” and then said, “Green eyes?”

Dan Slott also admitted that it is a bit Skrully to have too many new faces in one book. He also told listeners that issue #8 of The Initiative reveals a Skrull on base, “but not how you think,” he quickly added.

Then like all talks about the current state of the Marvel Universe, the conversation turned to Tony Stark. Jeff asked Dan if Tony would feel the ramifications of what’s going on in the Initiative, at which point the writer said, “Well once it’s revealed that Tony is a OH!” only to switch to serious Slott and explain how the 50 state Initiative is a great idea on Starks part. As it’s being tested he’s seeing what works and what doesn’t. Nevertheless, Slott also hinted that Tony might be wearing himself too thin with all the things he’s involved in and hasn’t been paying close enough attention to the Initiative.

Suter and Slott went on to discuss the upcoming Initiative story arc ‘Killed in Action’ in which the recruits will face some of their greatest challenges yet. He then told us that Triathlon will survive the story arc and go on to be Marvel’s new 3-D Man, who is a Skrull killer from the ‘50s.

Rounding things out, Suter asked Slott if there were any clues fans could look for to determine who might be a Skrull. Slott answered: “If you see any characters eating a kitten, that might be a clue.”

Fans can find Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 on shelves this week, and Avengers: The Initiative #8 will be in stores on December 19th.

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