Earlier today Dynamite Entertainment announced Fred Van Lente's THE MOCKING DEAD. That's not all their announcing. In September, we'll see the Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and Flash Gordon team up in KINGS WATCH, written by Jeff Parker with art by Marc Laming.
We got the chance to talk to Parker and Laming about this new series to find out what it's about and how it'll work.
Comic Vine: How did this project come about and how did you guys come on board?
Jeff Parker: (Editor) Nate Cosby called, mysteriously and mysteriously asked what I thought about these characters. And the next day we got off the phone.
Marc Laming: I had the same mysterious phone call from Nate, he had been hinting for a while that he had a project that I would have to draw. He wasn't wrong.
CV: Is this going to be a 'team book' featuring the Phantom, Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician?
JP: They certainly team up, but it feels more like an important alliance than a conventional team. They are the ones who can deal with what's happening to the world.
CV: What time period will this take place in?
ML: Present day.
JP: Right now! We want to show how these heroes can fit right in to our world without changing who they are.
CV: Is there any need to worry about where about in the characters' timeline the stories take place?
JP: It's very early for Flash, Mandrake has (magically?) been around for quite a while, and The Phantom of course, is a different situation all together because he's one of a long line who wear that mask.
CV: Will the three already be a 'team' or will they come together as the result of some circumstance?
JP: They come together, they all have connections to what's about to upend civilization.
CV: Will they face new threats or a combination of villains from their rogues gallery?
JP: It's a combination, brought in in a new way.
CV: Will any of the characters' looks be tweaked or updated?
JP: I think readers will be surprised how close we stay to what they recognize, and that's probably because we live in an age that accepts a lot of styles. But they're very classic looking.
ML: As Jeff has stated, I think we have tried to really remain true to the iconic look of the characters with perhaps a slight twist so they don't seem too anachronistic.
CV: Will there be a leader of the team or will they struggle to try to direct the others?
JP: Our heroes are grown-ass men and don't bicker. They may not understand each other at times, but they're very mission-focused!
CV: What's the most exciting thing about this project?
JP: Working with Marc Laming! He is belting Nate and me off our feet with every page that comes in. It's a fantastic looking book.
ML: Getting to work with Nate and the great pleasure of working with and drawing stories written by Jeff Parker who's work I've admired for years. I've always been a fan of the King Features heroes, I think we are really treating them with the respect they deserve and it's a privilege to be part of bringing them back with a bang!
Sounds exciting guys! Check out the preview pages for the first issue, due in September.