Marvel.com: Sam, what makes the current ULTIMATES story the perfect jumping on point for readers, in your opinion?
Sam Humphries: America has turned a corner, and with it, the cast and status quo of ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES have emerged into a new era. The United States have come out of war once again united, and our heroes have emerged from battle, once again a team, with a new mission: keep the fragile unity from splintering all over again.
Marvel.com: Overall, what kind of a story is “American Reconstruction”?
Sam Humphries: President Cap has inspired unity and the Ultimates have defeated the immediate threats looming over America. Will the Ultimates be able to protect that delicate peace from menaces both overt and secret? Will America step up to the task of forming a stronger union?
Marvel.com: As a writer, what are the challenges in a big-idea move like "President Cap"?
Sam Humphries: Writing Captain America is like flying a jet plane. You can do crazy amazing stuff with something so turbo charged! And while you're in the air, there's some hot dogging and artistry to what you're doing. But if you don't have a flight plan, you're in trouble. And you sure as hell better bring it back in one piece, because that sucker is worth a billion dollars.
Marvel.com: From where does the Black Widow draw for her leadership abilities? What will be her biggest hurdles as she becomes the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Sam Humphries: From her years as a top-shelf S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Monica Chang has big-picture skills. She doesn't let ego get in the way of making the right decision. She's a badass with the respect of the rank and file as well as the Ultimate. And she's a mother—you ever try to get in between a mother and her baby? Well, now all of global security is her baby. Mess with that at your peril.
Marvel.com: You’ll be using the Ultimate versions of Scorpio and Hydra; where do you begin as a writer with such new interpretations for the Ultimate world? What are your needs and wants?
Sam Humphries: Is it new? Is it surprising? Is it respectful of the versions that came before it? Is it fun to write? Will it be badass to read?
Marvel.com: What's the ultimate, coolest thing about writing ULTIMATES? What makes you satisfied about it at the end of the day?
Sam Humphries: ULTIMATES is like “Watch the Throne” during the Super Bowl halftime, broadcast from the heart of the Sun. It's the biggest characters on the biggest stage with a mandate to take them to new places. That's the goal.