Interview: Rosenberg Talks Egyptia in SECRET WARS JOURNAL #1

There is nothing more secret in Marvel’s summer Secret Wars event then the Secret War Journals featuring a tale of the enslaved mutants of Egyptia. Writer Matthew Rosenberg took some time to reveal just a little bit of the secret for what can be found in his story, found in the first issue. Preview pages by Luca Pizzari can be found below!

SCWARSJOU2015001B001Jessica Boyd: What type of freedom does the Secret Wars Battleworld provide compared to having to write in a single reality? Will inhabitants from the other lands bleed over into the stories?

Matthew Rosenberg: Well the Battleworld story is my first time writing in the Marvel Universe so I am not sure I can fully compare it. But the Battleworld stories do give an amazing amount of freedom that really encourages one to push the limits as much as they want. If you are only seeing these characters for 10 pages I wanted that to be 10 pages that will stick with you. We did things in our story that we definitely could not do in a regular continuity book and I think that is what will appeal to readers. I’ve always loved What If? stories but I know for some readers they can’t get over the mental hurdle that it isn’t “real”… it’s a thought exercise. The thing I love is that the Battleworld stories are very much happening in the Marvel universe. So the punishment and trials myself and all of the other creators are putting the characters though all has a little added weight.

As for other lands bleeding over, not in our story. I think readers will be pleased with the characters who they come across in the story, but they are all inhabitants of Egyptia.

SCWARSJOU2015001B002JB: Solicits for SWJ talk about it being the most “continuity-important” book in the Secret Wars event. Is there anything you can tell us about how a mutant revolt play into the bigger picture?

MR: I can’t talk too much about how our X-Men story plays into the bigger picture but I will say that obviously the idea of a revolt in a Battleworld can have major ramifications if it succeeds. The fun of Secret Wars is all these different universes colliding means that anything and everything can have real ramifications. The SWJ stories work really well on their own but realizing that any of them can cause ripples or even tidal waves across the whole event is what makes them feel special to me.

JB: What has been the most enjoyable part of taking part in Secret Wars?

SCWARSJOU2015001B003MR: My father makes these personalized photo calendars everyone in my family every year at Christmas. They are very odd gifts, full of pictures of all of us that he has dug up from somewhere. The night I was working on my first draft, writing dialogue for Nightcrawler and Kitty, my girlfriend unpacked the calendar and was looking through the photos. She stopped at one and asked me where it was from because she had never seen it before. I glanced over at it and froze. It was a picture of me at my grandparents house when I was maybe 10 or 11. I was wearing my favorite t-shirt from that time- an Alan Davis Excalibur shirt with Nightcrawler and Kitty on it. They were my childhood heroes and I was obsessed with them in what was probably an unhealthy way. Looking at that photo while I wrote those characters made the weight of it all hit me and I got very choked up. I was actually living out my childhood dream. To say that my editor Jake and everyone at Marvel actually made a lifelong dream come true by letting me do this sounds really sappy and overly sentimental but I don’t care. It’s true. I am sure everyone will make fun of me for this now.

SCWARSJOU2015001B004JB: If you could team your Secret Wars characters up from any other hero from any other Secret Wars Battleworld who would you choose?

MR: Personally I would love to write something set in Bar Sinister because Mutant Massacre was some of the best comics I ever read when I was a kid but that isn’t the point of the question, is it? Story wise I think either Old Man Logan or the Hulk of Planet Hulk could be a really big help to my X characters and teach them a lot about how to survive. But really, they just deserve a place where they are treated well. I don’t treat them so well in Egyptia so I probably would want them to live long, pampered, privileged lives in the Monarchy of M.

JB: Is there anything else you’d like Comicosity readers to know?

SCWARSJOU2015001B005MR: I’d just say that even if you are only the tiniest bit curious about Secret Wars you should check out Secret Wars Journal. Issue #1’s Kate Bishop as Robin Hood is brilliant. Luca Pizzari’s art on our story is jaw-droppingly beautiful. We tried to make something that would feel really important and fun for fans. And if you just want to see Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and Colossus be badasses then this is your book. Moreover this is a proving ground for a lot of new talent in comics and that is really exciting. Fresh blood and fresh ideas are one of the best things about superhero books and SWJ is proof of that.

And read Bendis and Sorrentino’s Old Man Logan. That book looks amazing.

Secret Wars Journal #1 is available May 27, 2015. You reference Diamond Order Code: MAR150641 with your local comics shop.

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