PHILADELPHIA — After more than a decade spent guiding several of Marvel Comics' biggest characters as an editor, Axel Alonso has been promoted to editor-in-chief, Marvel Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday.
Alonso will oversee all of Marvel's publishing aspects and will advise on their creative direction, as well as help develop new story lines and new initiatives for the heroes and villains that make up Marvel's roster, including the Avengers, Spider-Man, Punisher and Dr. Doom, among others.
Alonso replaces Joe Quesada, who was Marvel's editor-in-chief for a decade and its chief creative officer since 2010.
As the company's chief creative officer, Quesda oversees its creative endeavors in film, television, publishing and online, too. Marvel has expanded beyond the printed page in recent years, mounting film adaptations of Iron Man along with planned releases this year of Thor and Captain America.
Quesada lauded Alonso's uncanny ability to shepherd titles from simple idea to printed product.
"For over a decade, Axel's been instrumental in bringing fresh new voices to Marvel and reinventing our biggest characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Wolverine and so many more," Quesada said in a statement. "He's fought to create unique imprints like Marvel MAX while also bringing fresh new voices to the Marvel family."
Alonso joined Marvel in 2000 as a senior editor and helped oversee critically lauded runs of Amazing Spider-Man and the X-Men, along with revisioning western character Rawhide. He was promoted to vice president and executive editor in 2010.
Alonso also oversaw cross-promotional projects, including the recent mashup that saw several notable NBA athletes reborn as super heroes in "ESPN The Magazine."
Alonso said he was prepared to step up to his new role, which comes in a year when the company has said it will kill off a member of the fabled Fantastic Four and is unveiling a new event series called "Fear Itself" that will play on contemporary concerns and fears in its comic books.
"Marvel has a great history of the most dynamic and memorable (editor-in-chiefs) in comics history and I'm honored to step into this role," Alonso said. "I've been blessed to work with some of the most creative men and women in the world, bringing to life some of the most compelling stories you'll find in any medium. This new role provides me with exciting challenges and prospects I've never encountered before, but I know one thing-Marvel's getting even bigger in 2011."