Last week, EW unveiled The Art of Evolution, the second year of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. art campaign. This week, we’re proud to shine the spotlight on Marcos Martin, the creative mind behind the poster for next week’s episode, “Who You Really Are.”
An Eisner-winning artist known for his work on Batgirl, Amazing Spider-Man, and Daredevil, Martin also spearheaded a popular creator-owned web comic called The Private Eye, written by Saga‘s Brian K. Vaughan. He brings his talent to an episode that features the return of Marvel fan favorite Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), an Asgardian warrior who returns to Earth—only this time, she’s not exactly the Lady Sif readers have come to know. She arrives with her memory wiped, and also with no recollection of her previous life on Asgard… or any idea of her connections with Coulson’s team.
Oh, and did we mention Skye’s still trying to figure out how to deal with her new-fangled superhero abilities? In our weekly chat, EW spoke to executive producer Jeff Bell about this week’s art and what Sif’s arrival means for the heroes.
EW: I love everything about this piece. I love Marcos Martin and I love his work. Was there something in particular about his style that you felt specifically fit for this episode?
JEFF BELL: We love his covers, and we love his clean graphic quality, and he’s done a bunch of cool Batgirl stuff and some Wonder Woman stuff, and we just like the way he draws characters that way. There’s a real dynamic quality to them. I like really clean images, and for Lady Sif, it just seemed to really capture that. And then also having a concept ID behind it so it wasn’t just, “Oh, here’s a poster of a cool person,” but with S.H.I.E.L.D. crumbling, with what you see inside, and Skye centered within that, I thought that captured our story really well. Because you go, “Oh, is the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo shattering because of her sword? Or because of something else?”
We’re dealing with the repercussions of Skye being Inhuman, and her fear is very much depicted in this. And we see Coulson and May and Fitz and Simmons around her, and it’s like her mentors are trying to control her while she’s a scared little girl. And then there’s Sif, factoring into it all.
We’re doing all these different posters, and as we did last year, we want to highlight different characters and different aspects. We’re in the middle of a big Skye run right now, with her getting this power, but there’s all these other cool stories going on and how that affects other people. And because of the fact that Lady Sif is a part of our show and part of the Marvel universe, it seemed like a great thing to go for.
And I think this is the perfect way to capture someone like Lady Sif, who has such a presence. The expressions in this art are so human, which makes the whole piece very dynamic.
She’s tough but attractive, and it captures the essence of Jaimie nicely, I think, and it’s cool.
I need to talk about the look on Simmons’ face. Coulson, May and Fitz look scared watching Skye, but Simmons looks almost angry. What can you tease about that?
The fact that you noticed Simmons having a different expression than other people, I think, is not without merit. I think it will be self-evident in the episode. The way everyone reacts to the situation is different, and different types of concern and different types of fear, and different types of determination…and I think all of our characters are reacting in very different ways to that, which is the whole point of doing it. When one of your best friends comes out as a superhero, how do you react to that? And just trying to find out, “Oh, my friend changed, they’re different, and how do I feel about that? And this is cool, but it’s scary, and I don’t know how I feel about that. And it’s wonderful, and why can’t I have that? Or, I don’t want that. Or, does Skye want that?” It just, to me, captures a whole bunch of questions, which is what we try to do.
We know Sif will appear on Earth after having lost her memory. Aside from the fun I know you’re going to have with this, can you talk a little bit about Sif’s reaction to Skye’s powers? Because right now, she has no idea what a superhero even acts like, right?
That’s a really good question. The other thing is that technically, Sif’s an alien. Technically. So we as S.H.I.E.L.D. have been experiencing a lot of alien weirdness towards the first half of the season. And we don’t know much about it. And suddenly, we have a person here who might be able to help, but doesn’t have any memory that’s really helpful. So there’s potential to learn things about other alien stuff, and perhaps we also presume that she doesn’t remember much…so that might be part of why this character is here now.
Also, I can’t not mention the title of this episode: “Who You Really Are.” This is obviously a nod to Sif remembering, but also, it’s a nod to Skye embracing her identity. I think the premiere was very much about the immediate aftermath of everything that happened, and now it’s how do you move forward.
I think for all of us, “who you really are” is revealed in these kind of situations. Which side are you on, how do you feel about that, who do you stand with, how do you feel about that? So very much on point with that is Lady Sif, and one of the things on point with that is Skye, but one of the things that I think is nice about that title is it also reflects on the rest of the team as well.
I love that you brought Sif back. Are there other notable guest performances we can expect to see? It seems like Skye could use more people to talk to who have superpowers.
We have some other guest actors coming in…so I think I should just leave it at that.
“Who You Really Are” airs Tuesday, March 10 at 9pm. Be sure to check in at EW to see the exclusive reveal of next week’s art for episode 13, “One Of Us.” The art for “Who You Really Are” will go on sale on Friday, March 6 at www.marvelshop.com/agentsofshield as a $49.99 print (limited to 100 copies) at 12:30 a.m. PT.