A Keystroke of Fresh Air: Can Kelly Thompson Bring New Magic to Marvel?

Announced last week, Kelly Thompson has signed an exclusive agreement with Marvel Comics to produce a variety of comics. This is a great deal for Marvel, as Thompson is definitely one of the best comic writers out there with a strong grasp of the importance of the history of the characters and a funny, witty style that fits with both new and old. She’s got a solid record of fan favorite — if frequently cancelled — comics with Marvel, like Hawkeye, Star Wars: Captain Phasma, and A-Force. She’s currently on the short-fun, Rogue and Gambit which is shaping up nicely.

Thompson’s workload will be announced at San Diego Comic Con this July. In the meantime, we have been sitting in the BNP Comics Chat wondering what existing titles she might be taking over (Bendis just submitted his last scripts this month, remember) or what new titles she might be a good fit for. Here’s a few guesses, wishes, and predictions.

Invincible Iron Man/Riri Williams

We all know Tony Stark is on his way back, but we don’t know where that will leave Riri. While we’d love to have a Black woman on the title, I’m currently stanning for afrocentric author and Glyph Award winner Juliana “Jewels” Smith to take it on, Thompson wouldn’t be a bad choice. She’s got a good “young hero” voice and experience with a multi-racial/cultural crew (see Jem, for examples). Give her a Black woman artist and I’m on board.

Jessica Jones

This is a no brainer. Jessica is a snarkier, older Kate Bishop, with deep issues to explore. She could take on NYC cases and maybe travel here and there across the country. There’s plenty of cross-over possibility, while also focusing on “street level” situations — particularly those of women and girls. Thompson could handle all of that with a deft touch and help Jessica continue to shine as the character bounces between the Netflix show and the comic book.

Guardians of the Galaxy

After the Infinity Countdown super mega crossover event, and the following Avengers: Infinity War movie, this could be a way for Thompson to stretch her repertoire to absurd space opera while keeping to the interpersonal dynamics in which no one really likes each other, but they’re definitely a family. Plus, let’s not pretend that the Guardians are gonna stay “disassembled” after this event. Seriously, you know how much money that movie made last year?


I may be the last person hoping for a return of A-Force, but I’ll be that person to my grave. A-Force was fun, and accessible for new readers. It would be a great platform for B-List women heroes to stay working, while also acting as an on-ramp for new women characters who can then feature in other titles. Thompson could easily cycle through A-List women heroes in cameos and random adventures. I love random adventures that aren’t “mega crossover events”, and fights with bug aliens that save small towns. A-Force is where that work can be done.

Another Star Wars title

I am here for an Ashoka Tano series or a Nightsisters: Asajj Ventress short-run. Either could continue to explore the gigantic Star Wars setting while giving us more women characters to relate to and root for. Tano is one of the strongest Jedi ever — she fought Darth Vader to a draw after all — and has a spunky, head-strong style. The Nightsisters on the other hand, are wonderful villains with lots of opportunity for drama. Clearly the Star Wars setting isn’t going away anytime soon, so we should continue to explore and dig around in it.

Something New?

What? A new character? In a new setting? Some one fresh and without history? A Ms. Marvel for right now? That’d be an amazing coup, and a good move for Marvel to try to start from a point of creativity when trying to grow their shrinking market. This would also give Thompson a chance to pull out all the stops and leave her own mark on the Marvel universe.

Now, I say again, these are just my guesses. I don’t *know* anything and Marvel stopped returning my calls after what I said when they cancelled Mockingbird. (It wasn’t pretty.) But if Kelly reads this, and wants to give me a hint, my DMs are open for her!

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  • L.E.H. Light


    Editor, Writer, Critic, Baker. Outspoken Mother. Lifelong fan of sci fi/fantasy books in all their variety. Knows a lot about very few things. She/Her/They.

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