Today sees the release of Marvel Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save The World, a wonderful new book from DK highlighting all of the amazing Marvel heroines. From Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel to Jean Grey, Jessica Drew and Jubilation Lee, author Sam Maggs alongside her co-writers and editors Emma Grange, and Ruth Amos, does a brilliant job of accessibly highlighting so many of the strong females that inhabit the Marvel Universe. It’s the perfect introduction for younger readers and their parents.\
To to celebrate Marvel Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save The World, the Princess and I were happy to take part in a email interview with Sam Maggs, who should be instantly recognizable to Canadians as the former Cineplex pre-show host. Sam is a Senior Writer for Insomniac Games; the author of The Fangirl’s Guide To The Galaxy, Wonder Women, and Girl Squads, all published by Quirk Books and distributed by Penguin Random House; a contributor to BioWare’s highly-anticipated game Anthem; and she’s written for comics like Star Trek and Jem & The Holograms.
Andy Burns: Sam, congrats on the new book Fearless and Fantastic: Female Super Heroes Save The World. It’s really wonderful for parents and kids. How did you end up working on this?
Sam Maggs: Thank you so much! I was lucky enough to have the kind folks at DK in the UK reach out to me and ask me if I wanted to help write an encyclopedia of Marvel’s kick-butt lady Super Heroes. Of course I said yes! I wrote a sample profile (for Janet Van Dyne) and after chatting it over with the folks at Marvel they decided to hire me on. Hooray!
Andy Burns: There are three authors credited – yourself, Emma Grange, and Ruth Amos. Can you explain the writing process, how you collaborated, divvied things up, etc?
Sam Maggs: Absolutely! Both Ruth and Emma work at DK, and they both served as my editors on the process. Because we were on a pretty tight deadline, we split the writing up by profile – I wrote about two-thirds of the character biographies in the book. They were kind enough to let me request some of my favorites, too, like Cindy Moon, Shuri, and Nico Minoru.
The Princess: Who do you think the strongest Marvel female is, and why?
Sam Maggs: I think Captain Marvel is the strongest person of any gender in the Marvel Universe! She’s been my favourite character since I first got invested in comics, way back when she was still Ms. Marvel in the lightning bolt uniform, and I’m so happy she’s finally getting her moment in the spotlight. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s initial run on Captain Marvel is one my all-time favourite series. Not only does she have super OP powers (including flight!) she also knows how to pilot a fighter jet! And she loves Star Wars. My kinda gal.
The Princess: What was your favourite part of writing this book?
Sam Maggs: Learning so much about the lady Super Heroes I knew only a little about! The research was incredible fun. I especially loved learning about Echo, a Native American and Latina character who is kind of analogous to Daredevil, except she’s lost her hearing instead of her sight. Time for her to get her own series, thank you very much!
The Princess: Did you have a favourite character to write about?
Sam Maggs: I think it has to be Nico Minoru. Runaways is my favorite comic and, being a sort of queer goth witch myself, I identity strongly with her.
Andy Burns: There are so many amazing female characters in the Marvel Universe, why was Captain Marvel the right one to put on the cover of your book
Sam Maggs: So, interestingly, in most of publishing the author actually has very little say over their book covers and design! Luckily, DK always makes incredibly gorgeous books, and Marvel Fearless and Fantastic! is no different. I was just as thrilled as you to see Captain Marvel on the cover. She is the kick-butt space captain of my dreams.
Andy Burns: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
Sam Maggs: That each of us brings different strengths to the table, and that all of those strengths are equally valid. Sure, you can lift weights or be awesome at kickboxing, but you can also be an amazing listener, a great teacher, or even a good friend. It takes all of us and our unique abilities to change the world for the better!
Thanks to Sam Maggs for taking the time to talk to Biff Bam Pop!, and to Chris Houston and DK for helping make it happen. You can learn more about Sam and her work here.