Sam Maggs: Marvel Fearless and Fantastic Author Interview

Behind the scenes on a brilliantly powerful book

We recently caught up with Sam Maggs to chat plasmoids, powerful women, and the importance of standing up for what’s right. Sam is a bestselling writer of books, comics, and video games and the author of Marvel Fearless and Fantastic.

Fast facts:

Your work in five words: Writing about kick-butt women
Three things you couldn’t live without: Movie scores, Mass Effect, cinnamon buns
If not a writer, you would be: A dance teacher
Your favorite Marvel Super Hero: Captain Marvel and Nico Minoru
The most underrated super power: Jubilee's rad plasmoids


The Super Heroes in Marvel Fearless and Fantastic are categorized using four main traits – determined, daring, compassionate, and curious. How did you decide on these traits?

My brilliant colleagues at DK, Ruth Amos and Emma Grange, worked hard on coming up with categories that would demonstrate how women can be strong in all different kinds of ways. Sure, it's cool to be able to eat nuts and kick butts, but it's equally valuable to be a good listener; to be understanding; to be kind. I'm glad we were able to showcase Super Heroes with powers and personalities who run the gamut.


What was something that surprised you about putting together this book?

I was surprised at just how many women Heroes Marvel has that I knew so little about! I think the same few characters get much of the mainstream attention, but there's a whole encyclopedia's worth of super heroic women that I got to learn about while writing the book who I found to be just fascinating. I hope readers do, too!


Is there a Super Hero in the book that you think readers might be particularly intrigued by?

Echo (aka Maya Lopez)! I don't think many people know Marvel has a deaf Latina/Native American Super Hero in their ranks, and they should! She has "photographic reflexes" and can exactly copy a person's movements – she's a brilliant pianist, ballerina, and even pilot because of her gift. And she's super tough!


While most of us won’t have encountered literal Super Villains like the Heroes in this book, some of the obstacles and adversities they face are very relatable. What do you think is the one most practical life lesson that readers can take from this book?

These Heroes have faced some serious end-of-the-world level hardship; some have even died and come back to life on more than one occasion! But no matter what happens – no matter how insurmountable the odds – they always get back up and keep fighting. I think it can be easy for us, in times of turmoil, to feel like giving up, or staying quiet. But these Heroes teach us that it's never too late, and that you should always fight for what's right.


What excites you the most about the future of the Marvel Comics universe and its fandom?

I'm so excited to read more comics about Super Heroes by creators who have a diversity of experiences. I can't wait to see how many incredible, interesting new stories about our favorite heroes (and some we've rarely heard of!) we get to experience as the Marvel Comics universe moves forward. Comics are and should be for everyone!

© 2019 MARVEL

Headshot image credit: Nerdist