Avengers assemble! Halifax man set to write flagship Marvel series

The first issue of The Avengers, written by Halifax's Jed MacKay, hits comic book stores in May. (Marvel Comics/Submitted by Jed MacKay - image credit)
The first issue of The Avengers, written by Halifax's Jed MacKay, hits comic book stores in May. (Marvel Comics/Submitted by Jed MacKay - image credit)

A Halifax comic book writer is gearing up for his highest profile job yet — a stint writing one of Marvel Comics' flagship series, The Avengers. 

Jed MacKay, who grew up in Stanley Bridge, P.E.I, has been tapped to write the series, starting with Issue #1, set to be released this May.

In the four years since earning his big break with Marvel's Man Without Fear, a five-issue miniseries about superhero Daredevil, MacKay has been keeping busy. This year alone, he's worked on series' including Doctor Strange, Moon Knight, and Mary Jane and Black Cat.

And later this year, when the first issue of The Avengers hits stands, it will mark the culmination of a longtime dream for MacKay.

"I grew up reading Avengers comics in the '70s that my dad had and there's something about that era of comics. There's a breathless grandiosity to it," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning Nova Scotia.

"Being able to take some of that and put it in my own work now [in] 2023 is a really interesting kind of unique position."

In The Avengers, blockbuster superheroes like Thor, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Captain America will be present.

MacKay said that's a big part of the fun.

"This is our big-budget summer blockbuster every issue," he said. "These are characters that stride through their respective worlds like gods, so when you put seven of them together in a room, it's going to get interesting pretty quickly."

WATCH | Trailer for Doctor Strange #1, written by Jed MacKay

With such a popular comic, which forms the backbone of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's undoubtedly some pressure that comes with the gig. But MacKay said he doesn't feel it.

He's keenly aware of the need to balance the expectations of movie fans who come to the comics, with the reality that he's writing for a completely different medium, with its own set of rules.

"I think it's very useful to look at the trends that are made popular by these movies and see if we can [draw] on that popularity and hopefully attract new readers," he said.

"But I generally don't try to mold the comics in reaction to the movies because I don't know if that does anybody favours in the long run."

MacKay plans to keep writing. The steady pace of comics and the need to get new stories to the artists so they can illustrate them means the work rarely lets up.

Back in 2019, when MacKay last spoke with CBC News, writing comics was a side-hustle, something he did alongside his full-time work as a teacher.

But now, with multiple ongoing series for Marvel, his work has grown to become a full-time job.

In May, three of his ongoing series', The Avengers, Moon Knight, and Doctor Strange, will have new issues on stands at comic book stores all around the world.