“Longshot Saves The Marvel Universe” in new solo miniseries

(CBR) The entire Marvel Universe is in for some four-fingered justice this November.

Last weekend as part of its lineup for Comic-Con International in San Diego, Marvel Comics announced a new miniseries titled “Longshot Saves The Marvel Universe” by the creative team of Christopher Hastings and Jacopo Camagni. A longtime fixture of the X-Men’s world, the man known as Longshot is the mutant hero of the Mojoverse whose power makes him luckier than the average child of the atom. And though Longshot and his lady love Dazzler have been in and out of X-Men titles over the past several decades, his one and only solo appearance coming in 1985 with a self-titled mini by the acclaimed creative team of Ann Nocenti and Art Adams. CBR News spoke to Hastings — best known as the creator of the webcomic “The Adventures of Dr. McNinja” — about the legacy of that original miniseries, how he’ll make Longshot more central to the Marvel U in this story, what wild cameos are in store and more.

CBR News: Chris, I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear about this book if for no other reason than Longshot seems to be one of the great “iconic single release” characters in the Marvel Universe. By that I mean that despite any other appearances people have read, the original miniseries by Ann Nocenti and Art Adams seems to loom large in the character’s history. What’s your remembrance of Longshot as a reader like, and what’s it like to be the one to finally give him another solo story?

Christopher Hastings: Well before I even started anything, I sat down with the original “Longshot” miniseries, so it’s all quite fresh in my head. Longshot is a cheerful, optimistic guy despite all the awful circumstances he finds himself in, and he helps people out no matter what because he thinks it would just be silly not to. That’s the guy I’m bringing to this new miniseries.

I love working with a character like that. As far as my own take on things go, I’m most excited to play with what it means in the larger world to have incredible magic luck. See how it plays out, how it ripples out and effects other characters and future situations.

Now, a lot of people may know you from your web comic “The Adventures of Dr. McNinja” which is as much a comedy (if not more so) than it is any kind of adventure story. And some of your other Marvel U work has featured Deadpool, who has humor chops to spare. How will your Longshot series feel similar to your other work, and how will it present you with something different in your career?

Hastings: The Longshot miniseries will certainly be a fun book, and there are plenty of humorous moments. But yes, everything else I’ve done up to this point has been primarily comedy, and this is my first real departure from that. With “Dr. McNinja” and “Deadpool,” I write from a sort of “what would be the most ridiculous thing to happen?” kind of viewpoint, then try to ground it with the characters. With “Longshot,” I’ve got a more traditional high stakes supervillain situation, and the humor comes more naturally from the characters.

Longshot has one of the oddest and most fun powers in the Marvel U: he’s lucky! How does his luck get the ball rolling in this story, and what are the odds that it might run out at some point?

Well, we start off with lucky people mysteriously dying on a path that is leading straight for Longshot. So it seems his luck is running out pretty quickly! But that’s something this story is going to play with, what’s good luck, and what’s bad luck, and how they effect each other and play out over time.

I can’t help but draw a parallel between your title and some other series in recent Marvel memory like “Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe.” Did you and your collaborators view this series as landing in a similar place in Marvel’s line? In what ways?

Jordan [D. White] might have a better perspective on this since he’s the editor on both. I’ll say it’s pretty different than the Deadpool book because it happens fully in real Marvel continuity.

Jordan D. White: Yeah — obviously, the title was a little of a spin on the “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe” title. Those Deadpool minis are, I think, a good model for miniseries, though. It wasn”t just another random Deadpool story, it was a special story that earned a space in the publishing line in a time when we”re not doing many miniseries, really. Similarly, this Longshot series is something special-as you”ve said, we have not seen Longshot on his own for quite some time, and there”s nowhere in the X-Books as they stand where this story would fit in. It”s its own animal, and it”s going to be a blast.

Your artist on the series is the wonderfully named Jacopo Camagni. Like I said before, I think maybe all Longshot artists stand on the shoulders of Art Adams, which is a lofty and maybe scary place to be. How does Jacopo meet that challenge, and what have you seen in his work that best meets your story ideas?

Hastings:Right? Jacopo does totally have the best name.

Oh, your question! Well for starters, Jacopo has given Longshot a very sharp and modern haircut yet unseen in superhero comics, much in the same way Mr. Adams did back in ’89. Also we all know that Longshot’s luck extends to him being supernaturally attractive, and Jacopo is a master at drawing good lucking dudes. Other than that, Jacopo is just a straight up excellent draftsman and storyteller, with a style that harmonizes with the story better than anything I could have hoped!

A good concrete example for you is that despite living in Italy, Jacopo is drawing a New York City that you can completely recognize, and track throughout the whole story. I think that’s such an important thing in comics, that the setting be treated with respect. With the first issue dealing with really specific New York locations, it’s particularly crucial, and he’s killing it.

Overall, what kind of place do you see this story fitting in the overall X-Men world and the Marvel U as a whole? Which ways are you looking to really take advantage of that title as the series goes on?

Hastings:I think we’re just having an awesome time exploring what crazy luck will get you top to bottom in the wildly populated Marvel Universe. As far as taking advantage, I’ll tell you I’m having great fun figuring out how to bring in all my favorite Marvel characters I haven’t been allowed to write yet, and then figuring out ways for Longshot’s luck to mess with them (or help them?).

“Longshot Saves The Marvel Universe” arrives in November from Marvel Comics.