Voodoo, your title in the new 52 is the first appearance of the Wildstorm character in the DCnU. Knowing readers will bring certain pre conceptions to situation like that,does it affect how you approach the integration?
No, I’m not worried about any preconceptions, I’m more concerned about making sure we properly introduce the character for all readers, both those who might be familiar with the Wildstorm incarnation, and those who have never encountered Voodoo before. Any time you’re doing a #1 issue, I think you have the responsibility to make it as accessible as possible.
What was your relationship to the character before this and what draws you to her from a creative viewpoint?
I really never had any relationship with the character prior to this, except for writing her in an issue or two of a Wildstorm crossover I did years ago, though it probably wasn’t more than a panel or two. I was attracted to the opportunity to reinvent the character a little bit for her introduction to the DCU. You really don’t get a chance like that very often, where you’re bringing a new take into an existing universe. We got to cherry-pick a little bit in terms of the aspects we wanted to keep. Overall, she should be pretty familiar to Wildstorm fans, but we definitely added a few new elements that I think will work really well.
It’s an edgy series mired in the mystical and the character has some seedier elements. Tonally how does the series fit into the new 52? Despite an appearance from Kyle Rayner this feels a world away from super hero hi jinx.
Well, it’s really not a superhero book, but it’s set in a superhero universe. It’s grouped into the Edge books, and it has a Teen-plus rating, so we’re able to do some edgier material. Somebody who read issue #1 told me it felt like and HBO or FX series, which is flattering. I really think of it as an espionage book, though we’ll absolutely be encountering superheroes, as well as dealing with some outer-space elements. When people ask for the one-sentence description, I tell them, “It’s ‘La Femme Nikita’ in the DCU.”
Women cursed by supernatural consequence seems to be a recurring theme. Witchblade is a series you’re strongly associated with. What will you do to ensure that Voodoo differs from some of your previous work?
For one, there’s no overt supernatural element in Voodoo. And while someone like Sara Pezzini is definitely a good guy as a New York City police detective, Priscilla Kitaen is not quite a hero, but not quite a villain either.
As mentioned earlier Kyle Rayner will be popping up. He’s become your signature character and is he still fun to write for? The last few years have seen huge changes in the Corps status quo. Did you always keep up with the characters actions?
I checked in on Kyle, but truthfully I don’t have time to read much of anything on a monthly basis, I really read most things in trade these days. For me, writing Kyle is like slipping back into a comfortable old sweatshirt. It usually doesn’t take long to find the right voice.
Let us not forget the “Emerald Twilight” storyline and the controversial ramifications that brought upon the DC universe. With over a decade now to look back on it, what are your thoughts on it?
For “Emerald Twilight” specifically, it was a story I was asked to write, and I wrote it. The reward at the end of it for me was to be able to make up a completely new Green Lantern and build his character from the ground up. Ultimately, comics are cyclical, especially superhero comics. Everything changes, and then changes back, and the audience gets to pick its favorite.
You have written a plethora of classic comic characters, even dating back to one of the mediums oldest. Being a big Phantom fan I must ask what it was liking scripting the adventures of “the Ghost who walks”?
That Phantom Annual was a project I put together and dragged my friends into specifically so I could scratch my Phantom itch. I’m a big fan of the pulp characters in general, and I’m especially fond of the Phantom. I had an absolute ball working on that, especially with my friend Ruben Procopio on art.
No immediate plans, but it’s certainly something I’d like to do again at some point. Seeing the original Star Wars when I was 11 years old was really a life-changing experience for me, so writing those characters, and playing in that universe, was definitely a dream come true.
We’ve seen you tackle cosmic multi verse spanning stories, most notably the DC VS. Marvel event of the 90s. That was a hell of a gig to get throwing every fan favourite pairing you can at the wall. It seemed like a very fun project to be a part of along with the Amalgam experiment. That camaraderie between the Big Two doesn’t seem to be as prevalent now. What was it like working at the epicentre of such an event?
Obviously, it was a great deal of fun, but it also carried a fair amount of responsibility because we wanted to make sure we did justice to the characters. My one regret was that we didn’t have another hundred or two hundred pages to let everything play out. It was great working on it, but for the longest time, the project was so secret, I couldn’t even tell anyone I was working on it. We even had our initial meetings off-site from the Marvel and DC offices, because they didn’t even want the staff to know for fear of the news leaking out.
Getting away from the Big Two you do work for smaller companies and prints. Do you feel its vital to support the little guy in this regard, the Top Cows, the Moonstones of the industry or is this even a factor? Do you just go where the story is?
I go where there’s a good fit. Creatively, you click with certain characters and especially editors, so I’ve tended to stick around where I’ve had a comfortable relationship and where I’ve felt I could do my best work.
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