Legendary Comics has teamed up with Marc Guggenheim to create a new superhero for a new millennium. Meet Jonas Quantum, maverick hyper-genius. He”s a man with the power to cure death before morning coffee and unlock transdimensional wormholes before bed. The only thing he can”t do? Understand people. Playing with others is not Jonas”s strong suit. Luckily he has Eve.
HitFix Harpy spoke with Marc Guggenheim over the phone about his new six-part action-adventure comic that spans everything from space voyages and dangerous inventions to delusions of grandeur in THE INFINITE ADVENTURES OF JONAS QUANTUM.
HITFIX HARPY: Where did the idea of Jonas Quantum come from? Was it an outcropping from working on shows like “Arrow” or something you've been wanting to do for a long time?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: It's an idea I've been kicking around for a while. I felt like there was this dearth of new characters, new superheroes with new power sets. I grew up on “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars” and there were all these new intellectual properties. It wasn't just high-concept log-line superheroes, but new kinds of characters. I was intrigued by the idea of a character who's defining characteristic was his intelligence.
Are we playing this straight or is it a tongue-in-cheek nod to the Silver Age?
MARC: I say it's pretty serious. I guess the banter between Eve and Jonas is pretty light-hearted. But I would say I'm playing it straight. The book is homage to the comic books of the Silver Age and the Bronze Age but it's not it's meant to be a recreation of that. I'm definitely going for a modern sensibility but I would say that …I always describe that if I'm funny it kind of an accident.
We're starting on day 13,025. Is that day significant? Has Jonas always been this smart or did something trigger it near this date?
MARC: Jonas has always been very intelligent. The date just has him around the age I wanted to set this story in. One of the things about this series is each issue is self-contained. It's not highly serialized in the sense that issue one leads to issue two. You can pop in and pop out as your whims dictate and it gives me the freedom to jump around in time. The fun of the book for me is when it is all said and done, you'll have the life and time of Jonas Quantum.
So is Eve Jonas's handler or his intermediary or his babysitter or his containment field?
MARC: I would say all of the above. Who Eve is and what her role is in Jonas's life is something of a mystery that will unfold over the course of the first few issues. Although the book is not serialized, the elements that carry through from each issue are Jonas”s character and the relationships he has. Eve is probably the most significant relationship in his life.
Comics in general have been experiencing a big of a paradigm shift. With recent statistics saying 53% of comic book readers are women, there's been a huge movement to appeal to this growing demographic. Is there any concern that Jonas will get lost in the shuffle as “just another super scientist white dude” like Reed Richard, Tony Stark, or Bruce Banner?
MARC: While all three of those guys are intelligent, they”re able to form and carry on lasting personal relationships; friendships, romantic relationships, etc. That's something that eludes Jonas, with the exception of Eve – for which there's an explanation for. His intelligence is a barrier to connecting. There's no Betty Ross, no Pepper Potts in his Jonas”s life.
Is it almost a take on superhero autism? Jonas is very good at what he does but he processes the world differently? I have two nephews on the autism spectrum and that was the first thing I thought. Almost a Drax-type character.
MARC: I think Jonas has qualities that could present as being on the spectrum. But the way I'm writing him is not so much that he's on the spectrum, but rather that his intelligence is just so high that it's difficult to talk to a normal human being. To him it's like talking to a child. He lacks the motivation to come down to our level.
Check out a preview of THE INFINITE ADVENTURES OF JONAS QUANTUM #1 below! The first issue of the comic is on sale now.