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'Bring The Thunder' Interview with Alex Ross and Jai Nitz
by Sara 'Babs' Lima on
Find out what happens when experimental battlefield technology changes the life of a former USAF soldier in this all new series!
Being that there is a very special person in my life that has given his life to the Air Force (I'm talking to you, little brother) this is one title I am especially looking forward to. Dynamite Entertainment will be releasing Bring The Thunder, a new series focusing on what happens when the United States Air Force soldier comes face to some crazy experimental battlefield technology! We caught up with writer Jai Nitz and renowned artist Alex Ross to find out more about the upcoming series. Check it out below!
Comic Vine: Bring The Thunder is a brand new book you have scripted for Dynamite. Can you tell us a little bit about the story and its main character?
Jai Nitz: Bring the Thunder is about Wayne Russell, an Air Force para-rescue jumper stationed in Afghanistan. PJs are the most elite Special Forces school in any of the military branches; these guys are amazing. They’re lethal combatants, but they’re also trained to be field doctors who save lives and extract fallen soldiers from the middle of combat. Wayne and his team of PJs are called into a situation in Afghanistan to extract a UN peacekeeper who was wounded by insurgents. From there, things go off the rails with Wayne coming face-to-face with some experimental battlefield technology that changes his life forever.
CV: What are some of the challenges the main character will face? Who are the antagonists in the story?
JN:The antagonists are all around. Wayne runs afoul of Afghan insurgents, private security corporations operating in Afghanistan, Chicago gangs, and the US military. But the most important force of antagonism is Wayne’s devotion to his country and to his family. Sometimes they run counter to each other.
== TEASER ==
CV: You have a lot of experience both illustrating and writing Superheroes, so how is this one different from so many of the heroes out in the market?
JN: I’ll let Alex handle this one, but let me say that Bring the Thunder is different from most superhero books because it stands alone. It isn’t tied to a dozen other titles, or beholden to the events of a big event. Bring the Thunder is the event.
Alex Ross: The attempt with this series is to ground the fantasy very much in the real world. What’s notable in the world of comic book mythology is how often they skirt around the major wars we’ve been involved in, even though World War II helped to galvanize the interest in superheroes in the first place. Even back then, the characters created largely never faced off against our real world threats. Despite cover appearances that involved the characters back in WWII, the stories themselves largely stayed safely stateside. This has remained true for the decades since, and I think it’s a false choice to say you can never position these fictional characters in that arena we are engaged in.
CV: One of the biggest challenges for any comic creator is getting the audience to relate to the main protagonist. How do you feel you will make this character relatable to fans?
JN: I always talk about this with other writers. Let’s say your politics lean left. About fifty percent of the country does. Guess what? There are another fifty percent who lean the other way? Just because you have a specific worldview doesn’t mean your audience shares it. I tried to write Wayne as guy who believes in his country and the work the military does. I think most of the audience will respect and support an American soldier, even if they don’t believe in the reason he’s at war. I wanted to make Wayne a respectable man, and let the audience follow him from there.
AR: Our hero is someone who comes from a great deal of sacrifice, as so many soldiers do who leave their families to serve our country thousands of miles away. That experience applies to so many people who never get the spotlight, but everyone can sympathize with those people.
CV: The return to a normal life after war can be hard for any soldier- but having not only to deal with the return to normalcy, but also the ability to transform his body to living sound is probably even more difficult. What are some of the difficulties your character will face? What were some of the challenges that you faced scripting this character? Where did you draw your inspiration?
JN: My best friend is a Special Forces pilot in the Air Force. He’s where most of the inspiration for Wayne came from to begin with. My buddy tried to go back to the normal world, but lots of factors went against him. He ended up working for the Air Force again. One of my favorite things he said was about going to Afghanistan he’d be, “Flying a desk for a few months.” I loved that because it spoke to how difficult it is for these guys to go back and live like the rest of us. My dream job is “flying a desk” writing comics. So getting into his headspace was key to writing Wayne and this book in general. Wayne faces a unique set of circumstances due to his powers. He returns home by spontaneously reforming one year after his initial encounter in Afghanistan. That would be tough on anybody, and that’s what makes it interesting.