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Jed MacKay teases 'Blood Hunt,' talks juggling act with 'Avengers' and 'Doctor Strange'

Comic Books

Jed MacKay teases ‘Blood Hunt,’ talks juggling act with ‘Avengers’ and ‘Doctor Strange’

Get an inside look at the ‘Blood Hunt’ event with writer Jed MacKay.

Jed MacKay has one of the biggest summers of his life on the way as he is headlining Marvel’s summer event Blood Hunt and juggling two other ongoing series. With responsibilities in curating an event on top of writing Avengers and Doctor Strange, I thought it’d be a good time to check in on him. It’s not like the entire Marvel Universe hangs in the balance, right?

In addition to writing about vampires infecting the entire Marvel Universe, MacKay is also writing a new Avengers team that consists of Captain America, Quicksilver, Hawkeye, Hercules, and Hazmat. Then, in Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme is literally a vampire! I detect a theme, no?

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I asked MacKay all about how in the heck he’s juggling all these projects, along with a vibe check for each series via a song of his choosing, what it’s like messing with Doctor Strange so heavily, and much more! For a busy man, he’s got some truly solid insights.

Oh, and read on to check out an exclusive preview of Avengers #14 (out May 8) with art by C.F. Villa and Alex Ross’ cover of Doctor Strange #17 (out sometime in July).

Jed MacKay talks writing 'Blood Hunt,' 'Avengers,' and 'Doctor Strange'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

AIPT: To start, how’s it been juggling the main event and tie-in issues like Avengers and Doctor Strange? Do you devote time to each or swap them around?

Jed MacKay: The main difficulty, I found, was in the planning stages- ensuring that all the important, must-see events happened in the main Blood Hunt series so that it could stand on it’s own, while simultaneously picking out the stories that could happen in Doctor Strange, Avengers, and Vengeance of Moon Knight was a pretty daunting task and I found myself sweating a little more than I’m used to, haha. But once I had a plan for each thread of the story, it came together pretty well (or at least, I think it did- the readers will, as always, be the final judges of that).

AIPT: Did you do any background research on vampires, be it movies or books, before diving into Blood Hunt?

JM: I did, though mainly in the Marvel vein (ho ho). I’m really interested in the history of the vampire in Marvel Comics, and how a book like Tomb of Dracula was a fun horror comic that eventually got folded into the greater Marvel Universe in an organic way. Similarly, writing Doctor Strange, I’ve always been going back and looking at how Strange’s path has crossed over with the children of the night in various great stories.

Jed MacKay talks writing 'Blood Hunt,' 'Avengers,' and 'Doctor Strange'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

AIPT: You’ve been crafting incredible Doctor Strange stories for awhile, first killing him, introducing the Harvestman, bringing him back in a unique way, and now he’s a vampire. How is this transformation taking a toll on him compared to death, and rebirth?

JM: Well…it’s not been great for him. We’ve been setting up what’s going to happen to Strange since the end of the “General Strange” arc, and while Strange is going to be a pivotal piece of Blood Hunt, this new stage of life (death? undeath?) is going to be explored in the Doctor Strange tie-in issues.

AIPT: Follow up, what do you have against Doctor Strange?!

JM: Hey man, I fixed his marriage, what more do you want from me?

Jed MacKay talks writing 'Blood Hunt,' 'Avengers,' and 'Doctor Strange'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

AIPT: In the Avengers tie-in, we’ve got a team made up of Herc, Hazmat, Kate Bishop, and Quicksilver. Who was the first member you had to have on this crew, and why?

JM: I think it was a two-fer, with Steve Rogers and Hazmat. Steve Rogers is the natural choice for forming up an Avengers team, and I’d been wanting to do something with Hazmat in Avengers since Kelly and I talked at the end of her Captain Marvel run. After that, the temptation to do Cap’s Kooky Quartet was too strong to pass up, with Quicksilver and Hawkeye stepping in, and then Herc, because Herc rules. It’s been a real fun change of pace writing a smaller, less powerful team — it’s closer to what I’d been doing in my work pre-Avengers, so I’m hoping people like it!

blood hunt

Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

AIPT: Hazmat is a hugely popular character in Marvel Snap, tell me you’ve dabbled in the game? If so, what deck are you running?

JM: I’ve never tried, though I should! I think I’d run into the same problem I used to have when I played Magic though, in that I’m more interested in thematics than mechanical efficiency, so I’d end up running an Alpha Flight deck or something.

blood hunt

Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

AIPT: Might we see the Bloodcoven in either tie-in?

JM: The Bloodcoven are strictly main-series, as they’re right at the heart of fight for the world — but their leader will make an appearance in Doctor Strange…

AIPT: If Blood Hunt, Avengers, and Doctor Strange were songs, what would they be?

JM: Blood Hunt: “I Want Blood/Life Support” by CPC Gangbangs

Avengers: “Anime” by Century Egg

Doctor Strange: “Past Lives” by Past Lives

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