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DV8: Gods and Monsters Interview
by Sara 'Babs' Lima on
We sit down with the creative team for the new Wildstorm series!
I think it is fair to say that we don't give Wildstorm enough love on Comic Vine. So, what better way to showcase some of their awesome titles than by interviewing two of their creators, following the launch of their brand new series DV8: Gods and Monsters? We caught up with writer Brian Wood and artist Rebekah Isaacs to discuss the relaunch of the series. If you are a big Gen 13 fan, or looking for a new story to read, then this might be something you want to dig your teeth into! Check out the interview below.
Comic Vine: DV8 was a series that ran for a little bit over 30 issues and had been launched over ten years ago. Comic creators such as Warren Ellis, Humberto Ramos and J. Scott Campbell have all worked on the series at one point or another. Was it difficult to re-open this book and give it a new chapter? Why did guys decide to bring it back?
Brian Wood: I had read Warren's run on DV8 back when it was coming out monthly, and that was also right around the time I was making the decision that I wanted to do comics as a career. That was 1996, so I was a sophomore/junior in art school. It made a huge impression on me... it was weird and funny and profane and really ballsy, and its stuck in my head all these years as a great example of a mainstream superhero book that really strived to break out of the industry confines. Plus I loved the characters, the complexities and hypocrisies and conflicts they have with each other. They are exactly the sort of characters that writers love to write.
CV: Were you approached by Wildstorm, or vice versa?
BW: I had a pre-existing relationship with Wildstorm going back to when I did the covers for Global Frequency (another Warren Ellis book), and I've been an exclusive creator for DC Comics for the last four years. Specifically with DV8, editor Ben Abernathy had approached me about working on some of their current titles, and instead of that I pitched him DV8. DV8's a book I've pitched to various Wildstorm editors over the years but this time everything clicked just right and they accepted it.
CV: The cover of the issue states "A New Era Begins." Will this new era of DV8 last for only 8 issues or do you have plans of turning it into a long term series?
BW: Right now, my plans only extend through these eight issues. I do want to work more with Wildstorm, of course, but when and on what book remains to be seen. I hope that the tagline "a new era begins" refers not just to DV8 but also to my working there!
== TEASER ==
CV: The first issue opens up with "Gem Antonelli" trapped in some sort of chamber. She proceeds to recount recent events. What can you tell us about where you plan on taking her character? Will we see all of the DV8 characters appear in the relaunch of this series? Will we be introduced to new characters?
BW: Gem is narrating the events of the story to the reader, as well as to the in-story interrogator/de-briefer. It's a little to early to say anything else about her. But I can say that she is inside the Carrier, which, in the main Wildstorm books, is the home of The Authority. For some reason, despite showing the Carrier, more than few readers didn't get that Gem is a passenger on it.
The original seven Deviants that appeared in Warren Ellis' run are in this new series, along with Jocelyn, one that was wasn't (but was associated with DV8 earlier on).
CV: How did guys get together as a creative team?
BW: Rebekah was known to DC Comics before she was known to me, and it was a simple matter of our editor showing me her samples and asking if I'd want to work with her. We had a REALLY short list of potential artists, and really in the end it was an easy choice. Rebekah's incredibly talented and if you look at my career history I have really good luck in working with relatively new and unknown artists - they tend to get famous quickly and makes me appear quite smart by association.
Rebekah Isaacs: I first got my work seen by DC as a student at SCAD, when I met Will Dennis at Editor's Day. After graduating and moving to NY, I kept sending him new samples, and while there wasn't anything quite right for me at Vertigo, he passed my stuff on to editors in DCU and WildStorm. Luckily they came across Ben Abernathy's desk, and even luckier, I ran into Ben at NYCC shortly after. Brian had also seen my samples through his work with Will, and a couple weeks after NYCC, I got the job offer from the two of them.
CV: For Rebekah- were you a fan of the series prior to drawing DV8? Which is your favorite character to draw?
RI: Honestly, I'd never heard of them! There wasn't a comics store or stand in my hometown, so I only started to read comics seriously a few years ago, when I started college, and I'm still catching up. So I read DV8 for the first time after getting the job offer, mostly focusing on Ellis' run. I can see why Brian was so adamant about reviving the series, though. There's something uniquely relatable to superhumans who use their powers selfishly without really being villains, even if not many people would admit it.
Man, it's REALLY tough to pick a favorite. I have to say that there's some part of me that directly relates to each and every one of them. I do like drawing people just freaking out and tearin' s*** up, though, and for that, I'd have to choose Matthew (Threshold) and Hector (Powerhaus). They both have a fair share of temper tantrums in the subsequent issues.
CV: For Brian: which is your favorite character to write?
BW: Gem and Bliss, I think. The mentally unstable women - what does that say about me, I wonder?
CV: In reference to the title of the story arc, who are the Gods, and who are the Monsters?
BW: That's a recurrent theme in the story, trying to sort out which is which. Is there a difference, really, when you're talking about a deity?
CV: Why should readers pick up this series?
BW: Whenever I get asked this, I always cite my longstanding appreciation for this set of characters and the effort I've put in over the decade in trying to bring them back. Too often in this industry writers take on work-for-hire jobs on company books to pass the time, earn some cash, or to use as a stepping stool to get another series, and as such their heart is not really in it. I've turned down higher profile jobs in order to pitch DV8, so readers should know to what extent I care about bringing this series back.
RI: It's not anything that you'd expect from a revival of a series like this. It's at times tragic, beautiful, frightening, and horrifying. I was really taken aback by how unique and unexpected it was when I first read the script and synopsis, and I think readers will be too.