That’s Not What I Meant: Bryan Hitch on “Age of Ultron”

Ed. Note: I always do this. I write a draft of a post, and then I get busy at work or forget and then weeks go by before I get a chance to revise and post. So this is later than I’d have liked but the point still stands.

The other day, CBR posted a new interview with Bryan Hitch. It was mainly to talk about the upcoming Age of Ultron story and America’s Got Powers, Hitch’s collaboration with Jonathan Ross. But some choice bits stood out to me. And take all this with the confession that I’m a big Hitch fan, Ultimates 2 being one of my favorite comic stories.

Ultron, as drawn by Bryan Hitch

“… I’d actually no idea how long [Age of Ultron] was and it’s possible nobody else did either as despite asking, I couldn’t get any information about any of it. Essentially, I was ‘just’ the illustrator for the series. On books like Authority, AGP and especially Ultimates, it went far, far beyond that and all are genuine co-creations and collaborations; here I was drawing the pictures as best I could without any real information about what was happening overall. In some cases that wasn’t a problem, but in looking at it overall, I feel I could have done better had I more information rather than some of the groping in the dark I felt I was doing. Worked out okay though, I think.”

Most comics fans should agree that StormWatch/Authority and Ultimates are the high points of Hitch’s career. Obviously, he was very involved and interested in those projects. And now, his editors can’t even tell him basic information like how long the story is? He puts a good spin on it, but he admits that he could have done better work on the book. Strange.

“Despite Marvel coming to me and asking for the Cap series, rather than my pitching it to them, it was constantly being sidelined and eventually dropped to my disappointment.”

Marvel asked Hitch about writing and drawing an Ultimate Captain America series, and then said, “You know what? Nevermind.” I would have loved to see that series. A character that he co-created (co-re-created?). A character that was the focus of one of his defining runs. That Marvel pitched TO HIM! But you know what, Marvel will pass on that. Mental.

Hitch is very practical about this stuff, just stating the facts as he sees them, not pointing fingers or assigning blame. And he doesn’t burn any bridges, closing up by saying “I don’t want any of this to sound anything other than light, frothy and pleasant though. There’s no regret or bitterness, far from it.” I, for one, am still looking forward to Age of Ultron and know there’s more good stuff coming from Hitch, whatever the publisher.

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