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Max Ride: Due for Landing

Max Ride: Final Flight by David Nakayama

By Sarah Cooke

Starting September 7, MAX RIDE: FINAL FLIGHT, the concluding series in the Max Ride saga, will hit shelves. The exciting story follows Max and her “flock” of adoptive brothers and sisters as they try to discover where they come from, while evading evil scientists and beast-like creatures called Erasers.

We caught up with writer Jody Houser about her creative process and she gave us a few curiosity-piquing teasers, as well.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of adapting a series of novels? Has it felt different from other writing experiences?

Jody Houser: The first comic I worked on was Orphan Black, also an adaptation, and its themes actually have some similarities to those of Max Ride. But we’ve adapted Max Ride in a more open way. The comics follow the events of the books, but don’t necessarily re-create exact scenes or lines of dialog. We’ve tailored the story to work better as a comic, and I’ve had fun doing that. I’ve enjoyed figuring out what works best in the novels versus what works best in the comics, and telling the story in a way that takes full advantage of the medium.

Marvel.com: You also wrote THE CAVALRY: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50TH ANNIVERSARY. Max and Melinda May both feel a lot of responsibility to look out for their teams, and they’ve both had experiences that make it hard for them to really let people in. Is that something you noticed as you were writing MAX RIDE: ULTIMATE FLIGHT?

Jody Houser: I didn’t think about that as I was writing it, but I like that parallel. Max literally has the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she’s still only 18. So she has a lot of cynicism in some ways, but she also still has hope that the rest of the flock will find their parents, and that she’ll ultimately save everyone. Because of her age, she has a sense of optimism that May doesn’t necessarily have at this stage of her career. But the hardships they’ve gone through have definitely shaped both of them, and they’ve both come out a little bit tougher and harder because of it.

Marvel.com: The theme of family, and what really constitutes a family, runs through the series. How did that factor into your storytelling process?

Jody Houser: I tried to maintain that core theme from the novels, the idea that family you make can have more importance to you than the family related to you by blood. Most of us find that type of family in the friendships we make as we move on with our lives. But these kids have never known any family besides one another. They come together because they needed to in order to survive, and as a result, they develop a very strong bond. They really love each other. Sometimes, though, doing the best thing for your family might not make you very happy. So in Max’s case, she wants to help the others find their parents, even though that may mean they’ll leave her.

Marvel.com: Max Ride is a science fiction story, but it’s also a coming of age story. How do you balance those different aspects?

Jody Houser: I think in the best stories, the speculative fiction elements pair well with the real-world elements. Think of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” where the horror aspects serve a metaphor for what people really go through in high school and college. Max Ride follows a young woman trying to find her identity and determine whether she can trust the adults in her life, and a lot of young people have to deal with those kinds of issues in the real world. I think it all works really well together.  

Marvel.com: What do you find most appealing about writing sci-fi or speculative fiction?

Jody Houser: I like the idea of asking, “What if the world were really this way?” and then using that to explore how the real issues that we face would either change or stay the same. To me, that explains why sci-fi is so important in terms of storytelling. It allows you to explore—in a really interesting way—different aspects of society, and even what it means to be human. I’ve loved sci-fi since I was a kid, and getting to write stories like this feels amazing.

Marvel.com: What can readers look forward to in FINAL FLIGHT? Can you tease anything for us?

Jody Houser: In the upcoming series, we might see a little bit of conflict within the flock. Also, in earlier issues, Max received a lot of hints that a threat exists that could put not just her flock in danger, but the entire world—and we’ll finally discover what that threat is. We’ll also get to see a different side of Ari, the leader of the Erasers. And we’ll eventually find out whose voice Max hears in her head.

MAX RIDE: FINAL FLIGHT by Jody Houser and Marco Failla begins on September 7!

Max Ride: Final Flight #1 cover by David Nakayama

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Ruby Keeler: Come and Meet Those Dancing Feet

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Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ actor who brought R2-D2 to life, dies at 81

Kenny Baker, who gave life to the “Star Wars” droid R2-D2 — one of the most beloved characters in the space-opera franchise and among the most iconic robots in pop-culture history — has died at the age of 81.

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‘Star Wars’ cast, Hollywood creators and fans mourn the loss of Kenny Baker, the original R2-D2

After news that Kenny Baker - the man who brought the beloved droid R2-D2 to life - passed away Saturday at age 81, there was a great disturbance online. Hollywood directors, actors and "Star Wars" fans took to Twitter to share their grief and appreciation for Baker.   The chorus of "sad beeps"...

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