INTERVIEW: G. Willow Wilson

G. Willow Wilson is a writer who is currently writing the Hugo-Award winning series Ms. Marvel for Marvel comics. She’s written comics such as Vixen: Return of the Lion for DC and helped kick off A-Force for Marvel. She is also the author of World Fantasy Award winning novel Alif the Unseen, which was also a finalist for Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. In addition, she wrote a memoir called The Butterfly Mosque about love, Islam and life in Egypt during the waning years of the Mubarak regime.

Do You Even Comic Books’ very own Fox Michael, also known as AgentFitz777 had the pleasure of talking to G. Willow Wilson at Emerald City Comic Con. They had some pretty exciting discussion. You can read it here.


DYECB: Hey G.Willow, we are here at ECCC, and I just wanted to say hello and ask you a few questions. So, you’re coming up on your 50th issue of Ms. Marvel. That’s pretty big! It’s pretty hard for new characters these days to hit their stride. After 50 issues, where are you hoping to take Kamala?


G. Willow: That’s an excellent question. I think with the 50th issue all of us on team Ms. Marvel wanted to go really big, so there are several surprises in store. Some fan favorite characters may be coming back into the rotation. And I think a really good question for Ms. Marvel post issue 50 for a 16-year-old kid is- how do you maintain that dual life? That secret identity as Ms. Marvel and your civilian identity as a high school student? And what happens when those boundaries begin to erode?

She’s been Ms. Marvel for a while now and that starts to beg the question- who in her life has guessed what? And that’s something I’d really like to get into, because that, for me, is part of the fun of doing a superhero who has a dual identity. And I think it’s especially interesting when it’s a character who a young adult who is asking the questions we all have at that age. That being, “who do I want to be when I grow up?” So that’s going to be pretty critical going forward.


DYECB: Ms. Marvel has had a lot of things to deal with lately. Through Civil War II and prior with Secret Wars. And Last Days was a heck of a story for her to deal with. I noticed there was no Secret Empire Tie-In. I was curious about that, since you had tied to every event beforehand, why was there no Tie-in for Secret Empire?


G. Willow: I think somewhere my wonderful editor and I decided that the book would not be served well by a Tie-in. We had tied in to other books in the past and it’s always fun to have that touchstone with the rest of the Marvel Universe, but at the same time, there was not a great way to plug Kamala into that event that served her own ongoing story.


DYECB: That’s true. Also, she was already on Secret Warriors. Speaking of her being on other teams, have you read any of her other appearances such as Secret Warriors or Champions?


G. Willow: Yeah, I have and it’s really exciting to me that this character that none of us really thought would survive beyond the first couple of years is now on all of these different books. It’s awesome.


DYECB: What did you think about her crush on Dante on the Inhumans team? Did anyone ask your opinion on that?


G. Willow: No, not in that particular instance. I try not to hover. When Ms. Marvel is used in other books I don’t like to loom. If they come to me and ask for feedback or advice, I’m happy to offer, but I don’t want to be one of those people who’s like “you’re doing it wrong!” or like “she has to say this!” or “she can’t do that!”

I like to take my hands off because I think at this point Ms. Marvel as a character has transcended just the book that I’m doing. She’s in a lot of stuff and that’s great because that means that she will outlive my stint on this book. She’s part of history now and that’s fantastic. And I don’t want to crowd the people who will inevitably use her in some of their own stories.


DYECB: She’s been in so much, even games like Future Fight and Puzzle Quest. What do you think the best format would be for her on screen?


G. Willow: I think TV would be so great for that episodic story telling. There’s very obvious overlap between an ongoing television series and an ongoing comic. So, that would be amazing to see certainly. But honestly, I would be thrilled to see her in a film. I wouldn’t be upset about that.


DYECB: To wrap this up. You did a Vixen series. I love Vixen, and I hate that I have not gotten around to reading it. Are there any DC characters that you would love to write?


G. Willow: Ooooh, very good question. You know, I was never really interested hugely into the Trinity, except for maybe Batman, but Superman and Wonder Woman always struck as being so perfect, and I didn’t really have any great stories that I could tell about them. Other people have, and it’s a challenge. And I think a lot of DC characters are like that. They are very “Joseph Campbell, Masks of God”, very iconic very “Hero’s Journey, and finding the human element in that is a real challenge.

There are writer’s there who have done a fantastic job with that. But I feel much more comfortable with this sort of “Every Man” element that I can relate to in a character, that I see pop up more in Marvel characters. They tend to have more workaday backgrounds. I mean some of them are billionaires or geniuses, like your Spider-Mans and that kind of thing, but they are relatable.


DYECB: I always felt like Marvel was humans pretending to be gods and DC was gods pretending to be humans.


G. Willow: That is an apt summary! Very apt Summary!


DYECB: How about Marvel? Are there any Marvel characters you’d like to write?


G. Willow: Oh my gosh! There’s a bunch! I had so much fun writing Dazzler in A-Force. I would love to at some point do a Dazzler book [laughs]. She’s such a great character! I like the Starjammers. They had a big role in my adolescence.


DYECB: Wow that would be so awesome and Jay and Miles from Xplain the X-men would have a field day if you did a Starjammers series. All-in-All thank you so much for talking with me. I hope you have a great day. Bye!


You can follow G. Willow on twitter at @GWillowWilson


Interview by Fox Michael (@agentfitz777)

AKA Sceritz, AKA Ophan Black Panther. A cosmic obliterator of the IVth Wall and breaker of chains of the hordes of fandoms scattered throughout the multiverse. Architect of and Creator of

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