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Marvel Creative Director: We’re Going to Shock And Amaze

Marvel Creative Director Bill Rosemann

Marvel Creative Director Bill Rosemann Courtesy of Bill Rosemann

There is something about superhero stories that make them so universal and popular. Bill Rosemann has a theory why. He is the creative director for Marvel, Marvel Games and Legendary comics. Rosemann visited the University of Illinois campus last week and talked with us about that, the creation of Guardians of the Galaxy, what's in development at Marvel, and more. 

Rosemann says that he thinks Marvel is successful because they are staying true to the original comics, while still making the stories modern and always being sure to be accessible and funny.

Rosemann was drawn to the Marvel characters from a young age because felt he could relate to them. He appreciated that the creators of the superheroes gave their characters everyday problems. "I think it was because the creators put so much heart into them and really used comics to talk about their own lives and the world around them," said Rosemann.  

Rosemann has worked his way through many roles with Marvel. Notably he served as an editor for Guardians of the Galaxy. "In true Marvel fashion, I want all the characters to be underdogs," said Rosemann. "I want them to be the characters that everyone laughs at and thinks that they can't save the day."

When he and the team were putting the comic together, they never thought their comic would lead to a wildly successful blockbuster film. "I was awesome ... I'm just glad they saw something in our little book." 

One area that Marvel has been keeping in mind is diversity in their characters. Superhero stories have rarely been known for their strong female characters, and earlier this year, a fifth-grade girl from Champaign wrote to DC comics and demanded a change. DC comics promised to do something about it. Marvel comics is also looking at the issue, though they’ve had more strong female characters over the years.

"Marvel from the beginning has always tried to be diverse. We've always tried to look at the world around us and reflect what we see in our pages. We haven't always been perfect, but we are always trying to be better," Rosemann said. Their first superhero movie with a female lead, Captain Marvel, will release in November 2018. It will be the first superhero movie with a female lead since Super Girl released in 1984. 

On the subject of Marvel's future plans, Rosemann says, "We're going to continue to be diverse and we're going to continue to do what we've always done. We're going to shock and amaze!"