Kieron Gillen came to MCM October 2023 in a reflective mood, opening his 'A Conversation with Kieron Gillen' panel at the show by announcing, “I feel like I’m at one of those inflection parts of my career” — a portentous phrase that he admitted really just meant that he was switching gears in the next few months when it comes to what he’s going to be working on.
“I’m about to leave Marvel,” he revealed, although the announcement was more of a confirmation given previous public statements about wrapping up his existing commitments to the publisher with his Rise of the Powers of X miniseries. “The reason I did Marvel work is that I was burned out on creator-owned work, and it suddenly seemed overwhelming to think of a new idea,” he explained, adding that his wife suggested that he simply needed a break, and to work on something else until the time was right to return to all-original work, “and now I’m ready.”
While he didn’t name any upcoming projects specifically, he said that he’s thinking about a “secondary world” story, set on a planet that isn’t Earth, joking, “part of this is thinking, I’m doing too much research.” Nonetheless, the project would be inspired by real world politics, something that he ascribed to his love of British fantasy author David Gemmell when he was younger. “The first time I read about Sparta as a kid was when David Gemmell wrote a story based on Sparta,” he admitted.
The “secondary world” story will have to wait, however, because he’s got two upcoming creator-owned projects in the works that are further along in development. The first is “really real world,” and takes place across roughly 50 years in terms of time span. “It’s kind of about the Cold War, it’s kind of about pop music, and it’s kind of about power — the abuse of power,” he teased.
Additionally, he’s reteaming with DIE collaborator Stephanie Hans for a “post-apocalyptic fable about giants” that he joked was “a bit [Neil] Gaiman-y. My stuff is very Gaiman-y, if Gaiman hated stories.”
When will all of these projects be officially announced? That remains to be seen, but it’ll be some time yet… even if Gillen couldn’t help but spill the beans early. “I’m at the stage I want to tell everyone everything right now. I’m finishing X-Men, and I want to show everyone all of R.B. [Silva]’s art on my phone,” he joked. “Marvel wouldn’t like that. But I want to do that.”
Last year, Gillen set Marvel’s biggest super teams against each other.