Open Mahmud Asrar’s Avengers Sketchbook

Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Vision, Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man star in ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS starting this week.

While the line-up might sound familiar, it includes more than a few new faces and veteran heroes with different identities. Iron Man and Vision may be old guard and Sam Wilson now has some tenure as Captain America, but the group also includes Jane Foster’s Thor, Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan, Sam “Nova” Alexander and Miles “Spider-Man” Morales.

Bringing a next-level squad together like this requires a big time creative team and that’s exactly what the book boasts thanks to writer Mark Waid and artists Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar. We talked with Asrar about his recent experiences developing the look of the Marvel Universe’s preeminent team. How has it been working with Mark and Adam on this book? What’s the breakdown of responsibilities like?

Mahmud Asrar: Mark and I worked very briefly before but it was so brief that I was itching to do it again. Looks like I got my wish with this book and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. There are writers out there that occasionally do great things but Mark is one that does great things every time. It’s a privilege to be working with him. Adam has been one of my art heroes for a long time. His storytelling innovations have always inspired me. Now I’m sharing art duties on this book with him. We will be rotating art duties with every story arc. It just makes me happy! This group features a lot of famous names with some very different looks. How is it working on them all in the same book?

Mahmud Asrar: I find the variety of characters in this book and the diversity among their personalities is a storytelling advantage. It allows for me to stretch all kinds of artistic muscles drawing them. Aside from the classic characters there are the younger characters which provides for a good variation in visuals. Many of them have established looks or costumes thanks to their own books, but how were you able to put your own stamp on them?

Mahmud Asrar: Whenever I’m depicting the characters on the roster I try not to be influenced by the way they are generally perceived but rather try to retain an objective take on drawing them. I feel the rest comes on its own. I try to enjoy the ways they are all different from each other. Iron Man has a very technical look, a calculated image. Thor is wearing a Nordic armor that’s more drapery than spandex. Vision has a very classical look. There’s a bit of everything with this team. How was it drawing your first, big time Avengers fight scene?

Mahmud Asrar: Whenever I’m given such an assignment and I’m working on it, I treat it like any other job. I do what I have to do and try to give it my best shot. I put in the hard work and pour in the passion. That was the case here. Storytelling and dedication were my priority. Usually I come to the realization of what’s going on when I’m not working. It hits me and I notice that I’m not doing just any book. I feel like going back in time and reassuring the younger me that all will be well. Well, then there’s the fact that doing that would end up messing with the mind of younger me and would alter the future in unpredictable ways. So I probably wouldn’t do that after all. The characters on this team have been through a lot, but may not be overly familiar with one another. How will that play out when dealing with one another?

Mahmud Asrar: I feel that’s one of the strengths of this book; the fact that this team is unfamiliar with each other. I’d consider them being comprised of two groups: the experienced and the inexperienced. The inexperience comes mostly through the younger members of course and it makes my job so much fun. I enjoy having to deal with the character interactions this difference provides in almost every page whether it [is] a quiet moment or in the midst of heated battle. What can you tell us about the threat that brings this new team together?

Mahmud Asrar: Now that would be a spoiling things. However, in good Avengers fashion I can say it’’ going to be grand.

To see what brings this group together and the threats they will face, check out ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #1 from Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar this week!