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Interview: Writer Andrew Kreisberg Tells Us Why You Should Read VIBE

The series' writer discusses why this new series isn't just a supplement to the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA title.

One of the most unexpected series to be announced at DC Comics is VIBE, by Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns. The new series is set to take a cliche 80's character that first appeared in the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ANNUAL #2, and give him a modern twist. So, what is Vibe really about? Is he still going to be a break dancing, former gangster that joins the Justice League? Or is he being given a new identity? How much will change and how much will stay the same? We caught up with the series writer Andrew Kreisberg to find out all about VIBE, check it out below.

Comic Vine: Vibe is an interesting choice to get his own solo-series, how did you get attached to this series and also, why Vibe?

Andrew Kreisberg: Why Vibe, that's funny that's how every interview begins! Why, why are you doing this? What are you thinking? I guess it's a bunch of different things. One, I think it's hard to create a brand new superhero and it's exciting for Geoff and I to be taking this character who isn't really remembered at all and if he is remembered, he's not remembered very well…The idea of re-conceptualizing him where you can still see the original DNA of the character, but then have him feel like a completely new character and really get people rooting for him. Geoff has always said "no risk no reward," and we're taking a big risk but we hope there is a reward.

== TEASER ==

I think what's most exciting for us is that there are a lot of God-like characters in the DCU like Superman, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter. Even people without super powers like Batman…all these characters are sort of "unknowable." Their powers and their drive prevents them from truly interacting as people. What we sort of touched on for Vibe was, what if we make Vibe just a kid? Just a real teenage kid with all his insecurities and we did a real "coming of age" story? In a lot of ways, Vibe is us. He's a fan and he loves these superheroes and he's worshipped them all his life and now all of a sudden he has powers and he's sitting at a table with Hawkman on one side and Green Arrow on the other. He's asking a lot of the questions we think we would be asking, like, why am I here? What do you want with me? Am I going to get killed? I think that's what made it the most fun for us because there isn't anyone like that in the DCU, especially given all the giant plans that are coming up with Justice League of America…To have a sort of "gateway" character like that for people to relate to we think is really exciting. It's getting so close to the book's release now, it's so nice to see that our original conception is something we've stuck to and it's been really fun to write.

CV: In a recent interview Geoff Johns discussed his Justice League of America book and Vibe's involvement in that and the way that he described Vibe and the rest of the team was that he and these characters are sort of the "personification of underrated, under appreciated, or unpredictable" characters. So what is it like for you like personally to tackle this kind of a character? What are the advantages and disadvantages.

AK: The advantage is that not many people remember him well, and if they do remember him they don't think very kindly on him. So this gave us a lot of leeway to adapt and update the character…which was both the most challenging aspect of it like what to keep and what not to keep, but it's also very freeing. Like when you sit down to write Batman and Superman, you're competing with 75 years of history. Everyone has their version of Superman they like the best, and best version of Batman, and so-forth. When you have Vibe who isn't as well known you can start from scratch in a lot of ways and cherry pick the bits that you like without fearing that you're going to be upsetting a lot of people.

CV: And the disadvantages?

AK: I would say…I don't know. We didn't really have any disadvantages, it's been a pleasure to write and build from the ground up. I think the biggest disadvantage will probably be overcoming people's prejudice. I mean people might see the title and think, 'ugh, Vibe.' I don't have any illusions about my last name on the cover be getting people to buy the book, but when people see Pete Woods and Geoff Johns on involved that they will say 'oh, if they took the time to get involved then maybe I should take a look at in,' and hopefully they will be surprised by the book. So like I said, I think the biggest disadvantage will be people's pre-conceived notions that I hope if they take the time to read the book they will see it's a great stand-alone book, which was really important for us, but also that it ties in so well with the Justice League book and the Justice League of America book, you really feel like you're not just getting a side-dish to those books but that this series feels like a book that is on par with those.

CV: When he was first introduced in the 1980's in the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ANNUAL, he sort of embodied a lot of different stereotypes for what was popular at the time, so he was this Latin, former gang member, break dancer among other things. What qualities of this pre-New 52 version of the character will carry over into this new adaptation? Will he still be a break dancer? Is he still going to have the same powers?

AK: He's not going to be a breakdancer (laughs), just as most people today aren't break dancers. His Hispanic heritage is one of the things that was very appealing to us, we kept that part of his story. He's no longer a gang member. I think that a lot of the character, and I don't know the specifics, but it felt very born out of what was popular at the time. Like gangs were coming out onto the front page and break dancing was very popular in the 80's, but it felt like it was just a bunch of 80's talking points in terms of a character. Geoff and I really started from a different place, we wanted to create an interesting character that we wanted to see that would fit in with what is going on now. Like I said before, there's the whole idea of having a character who is a real person who gets the extraordinary powers and is suddenly sitting amongst Gods and he's asking all the questions that maybe real human beings would ask, like am I really worthy of these powers? Am I going to get killed? And I think that makes him a very real and relatable character. As for his powers, he is still going to be able to generate vibrations, but his origin is slightly different.

He got his powers because he was caught in the event horizon of the first Boom Tube that opened with Darkseid's invasion in Geoff's reboot of Justice League, which is also where his older brother was killed. In addition to being able to use vibrations, he is also able to detect when beings and technology from other dimensions are here, so he's sort of become this human geiger counter for inter-dimensional incursions and I think that leads to one of the biggest changes in the book which is that we've given him a really strong franchise, which was one of Geoff's great ideas. Rather than having him be who he was and fight bad guys every week, we gave him a really strong structure for the book that you understand week in and week out what he's doing and what his mission is. Since Detroit was where Darkseid's invasion began and it's sort of like the Normandy Beach, it's where the membrane of the multi-verse is weakest. So he's sort of grown to become a "border cop" between dimensions in this series.

CV: So what are some of the challenges Vibe will face in this series? Can you talk about villains we'll be seeing?

AK: I don't want to get into the specifics of what villains we will be seeing because that's sort of exciting, and some of them are brand-new, but I think the challenges are that he's dragged into all this. He's not kicking and screaming, and you'll see he has an innate sense of goodness…he was trying to help people on his own when he is recruited to this position by Dale Gunn who becomes his mentor figure. It's a very similar relationship to the Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith relationship we see in Men In Black, Dale Gunn being the older, seen it all Agent who has a soft spot for his younger, brasher partner, and that's been fun to explore.

I think what's most exciting is that some of the biggest dangers to Vibe are not coming from the villains he's fighting but from the people that he is working for. I think that they, as much as Amanda Waller and Dale Gunn need Vibe, that they all sort of underestimate him and his abilities to be his own person. At the end of the day one of the earliest lines that Geoff and I came up with was this idea that this was really a coming of age story, it's really about growing up. Vibe is this teenage kid who sort of has his entire life ahead of him and he's got all these great powers but he doesn't know what to do with him. Everyone is trying to make him into the person that they want him to be; whether it's his brother, Dale Gunn or Amanda Waller, and through the course of the book he really becomes his own person. It's really thrilling for us because he's the kind of character that we haven't really seen too much of in the DC Universe. Like I said there are a lot of fully formed characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, and that's great, but to see somebody who is "real" sort of step into that world, the audience might be able to relate to him as a person a little bit more. That's been really exciting.

CV: Will we see a cross-over between VIBE and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA? If so, when?

AK: Absolutely. The Justice League of America will make an appearance in issue #2 of VIBE, and he is a member of the Justice League of America, so we will be seeing a lot of crossovers…It's one of the cool things about this book is that it's part of the whole, it's not a side-dish. The VIBE title is just as important as the JUSTICE LEAGUE or the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA to really get the full story. At the same time, the book also has its own story and its own franchise and you don't need to read JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA to read VIBE. And that's actually been one of the trickiest things to solve because when you are involved in writing books that are tied to other books it can be difficult to try to figure out where things go, and how things are paced, it's a lot easier with Geoff writing all those other books too.

What do you think of Vibe? Are you looking forward to reading this new solo series from DC Comics?

54 Comments
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Posted by Ravager4

Not interested

Posted by Reignmaker

Seriously, if DC's idea is to make me buy all these second-stringer books in order to follow the upcoming JLA title, I'm not going to be pleased. If this were a Shazam book I wouldn't complain, but it isn't.

Posted by feargalr
Why Vibe, that's funny that's how every interview begins! Why, why are you doing this? What are you thinking?

That pretty much sums up my feelings on this, I'll give the book a shot though, always nice to see new and lesser known characters get the spotlight instead of having another Batman book on the shelves

Edited by Veitha

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's quite a clichè, DC, y'know??

Posted by SolthesunGod

I'm going to give this an shot out of sheer curiousity. Quite frankly if we the audience don't give unusual choices a chance the comic book industry is going to further disintegrate. If you want to end up with another 16 books a month featuring Wolverine and Batman continue to never give something new or something obscure a chance readers!

That was kind of blunt but it really is true.

Posted by JamesKM716

.... Vibe got a solo series before the flippin MARTIAN MANHUNTER?

Posted by xAnimosity

@Veitha said:

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's pretty a clichè, DC, y'know??

My thoughts exactly. DC's version of Spidey hah. But who knows this could end up being good.

Posted by Dernman

From the many interviews on the book it actually sounds interesting but with soooo many titles out there and my wallet not being unlimited I wont be getting this.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@SolthesunGod said:

I'm going to give this an shot out of sheer curiousity. Quite frankly if we the audience don't give unusual choices a chance the comic book industry is going to further disintegrate. If you want to end up with another 16 books a month featuring Wolverine and Batman continue to never give something new or something obscure a chance readers!

That was kind of blunt but it really is true.

This. I'm gonna support the title.

Posted by Logan Reilly

As long as he isn't as asinine as the original, I'll give him a shot.

Posted by OutlawRenegade

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

Posted by Outside_85

I seem to remember there already being a few characters who could detect stuff like invasions before they arrived

Posted by Captain13

@OutlawRenegade said:

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

^^^

When is DC going to develop Cyborg? Give him an ongoing title or a backup story already!!!!!

Posted by Superdork

@Captain13 said:

@OutlawRenegade said:

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

^^^

When is DC going to develop Cyborg? Give him an ongoing title or a backup story already!!!!!

Agreed. Maybe Vibe and the other people from the "Circus" who were exposed to boom tube energy like Cyborg was can be part of Cyborg's supporting cast?

He really needs his own book. I'm throwing my money at DC but they won't take it.

Posted by Lvenger

@JamesKM716 said:

.... Vibe got a solo series before the flippin MARTIAN MANHUNTER?

I second this so very much. And Katana's getting one before Shazam whose back up stories have been the saving grace of Justice League. Both of them are relegated to the back ups whilst these 2 nobodies get their own series? Something isn't right with the world..

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Edited by OutlawRenegade

Anyway, I like the art, and Kreisenberg gives me some hope. So I'll pick up the first few issues. Hopefully there's some Cyborg and/or S.T.A.R. Labs in there.

Edited by OutlawRenegade

@JamesKM716 said:

.... Vibe got a solo series before the flippin MARTIAN MANHUNTER?

At least Martian Manhunter has a back up story in JLA like Shazam does. Cyborg gets nothing. And he's a FOUNDER!

@xAnimosity said:

@Veitha said:

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's pretty a clichè, DC, y'know??

My thoughts exactly. DC's version of Spidey hah. But who knows this could end up being good.

Isn't that supposed to be Statoc or Jaime Reyes?

Looks like this will be Blue Beetle part deux.

Posted by Outside_85

@OutlawRenegade said:

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

Wasnt that only in Flashpoint?

Posted by OutlawRenegade

@Outside_85 said:

@OutlawRenegade said:

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

Wasnt that only in Flashpoint?

It was in Flashpoint, but it also makes more sense. I mean, Vibe fighting Parademons and denizens from Apokalips? Okay, sure...

Cyborg has far more power, and his boom tube tech allows him to travel between dimensions as he chooses. He accidentally goes to Apokolips all the time. Cyborg also has a longer history of being a government agent (see Flashpoint and Justice League 15), and his dad and girlfriend (Sarah Charles) both work for government organizations. And Cyborg's mom died while doing research on multi-dimensional travel. Also, Cyborg is from Detroit and uses Apokolips tech. If anyone in the DC universe should be the guardian of Detroit due to dimensional issues, it should be Cyborg. Just my opinion.

Posted by The Stegman
@xAnimosity said:

@Veitha said:

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's pretty a clichè, DC, y'know??

My thoughts exactly. DC's version of Spidey hah. But who knows this could end up being good.

DC already has two characters like that, Blue Beetle and Static, both of which, have had their series cancelled, I honestly don't expect Vibe to do any better.
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Posted by Outside_85

@OutlawRenegade: I was more thinking of that originally Cyborg was from New York (NTT days that is), cant remember if they changed that. As for S.T.A.R. Labs...I am not sure they are an government outfit, with the stuff they normally do, wouldn't the government have moved them out of the cities and onto remote army bases?

Posted by Green ankh

Will i buy it? no.. but it is cool for DC to keep trying new things. the 52 has been good .. I loved Voodoo Aquaman is better then ever so good luck Vibe.

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@OutlawRenegade said:

@JamesKM716 said:

.... Vibe got a solo series before the flippin MARTIAN MANHUNTER?

At least Martian Manhunter has a back up story in JLA like Shazam does. Cyborg gets nothing. And he's a FOUNDER!

MM was a founder for over 50 years before he got his own self titled solo....Black Canary was a founder for 20 years and never had a solo.......just sayin. Cyborg has a spot in a top book and gets massive mounts of media attention ie video games, cartoons yadda yadda. these days MM fans are lucky when he gets a cameo on Young Justice.

@xAnimosity said:

@Veitha said:

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's pretty a clichè, DC, y'know??

My thoughts exactly. DC's version of Spidey hah. But who knows this could end up being good.

Isn't that supposed to be Static or Jaime Reyes?

Looks like this will be Blue Beetle part deux.

pretty much

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@The Stegman said:

@xAnimosity said:

@Veitha said:

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's pretty a clichè, DC, y'know??

My thoughts exactly. DC's version of Spidey hah. But who knows this could end up being good.

DC already has two characters like that, Blue Beetle and Static, both of which, have had their series cancelled, I honestly don't expect Vibe to do any better.

Vibe has Geoff Johns co-writing/endorsing so we'll probably see Vibe around longer.

Posted by TheRyanHimself

@SolthesunGod said:

I'm going to give this an shot out of sheer curiousity. Quite frankly if we the audience don't give unusual choices a chance the comic book industry is going to further disintegrate. If you want to end up with another 16 books a month featuring Wolverine and Batman continue to never give something new or something obscure a chance readers!

That was kind of blunt but it really is true.

Well said. I couldn't agree more. And yet... I'm a hypocrite. I don't really buy any comics outside of the main flagship titles other than Talon and Demon Knights and if you consider it "unusual", Earth 2. I'm part of the problem, but I acknowledge it. I'm considering giving Vibe a shot, but realistically, I probably won't. Mostly due to financial reasons though, not disinterest.

Posted by KZR

Hey DC, we fans don't like you shoving characters we barely care about in our faces.

I like how they wanna change things up a little by bringing an underrated character into the spotlight but seriously why don't they have as much enthusiasm bringing back and reintroducing the characters we know and love and have been begging to return for the last year.

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@OutlawRenegade said:

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

Cyborg wont miss it. He's busy enjoying what he stole from MM lol.

Posted by ultimatepunchrod

Cool to see some lesser known characters getting the spotlight. Both Marvel and DC have a ton of characters that never get used, so it's good to see that there is some interest in bringing these characters to the forefront.

Posted by dondave

Picking This up

Posted by SUNMAN

@OutlawRenegade said:

So Vibe is stealing Cyborg's job and his city? Lovely...

A city can have more than one hero. I think Vic would appreciate the help since he is busy running the Jsutice League and all.

I feel you guys on Cyborg needing a series and more development, but I don't necessarily see Vibe taking away from Cyborg's potential roles.

Posted by TheCommissar

I'm up to checking it out. It's not another Batbook, so that's already a plus; and I like to support smaller-name characters. Especially if their titles end up good.

Posted by Joygirl

I will wait for positive word-of-mouth before still not getting this book.

Posted by andrewtheking

@Joygirl said:

I will wait for positive word-of-mouth before still not getting this book.

THIS

Posted by dimmoe

Why no Cyborg series??????????

Posted by irishking44

I'm glad they're doing books like this. This book looks like the kind of fluff filler that the DCnU desperately needs more of, I wish they'd give Martian Manhunter his own book like this instead of just a backup. I think a Stargirl series like this would be good too, because right now it just seems strange to have just one tie in book going, especially with just Vibe

Edited by WildStyle

Man, I really don't understand why Vibe is getting a book so quickly. It would make more sense to develop him in JLA first and then launch a series when enough people care about the character.

And cosign those saying Vibe is essentially receiving aspects that would definitely benefit Cyborg more. It's a shame really.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@Veitha said:

So they wanna create a DC SpiderMan, someone near to the readers, a teenager like who reads the comic... That's quite a clichè, DC, y'know??

that much of a cliche that nether DC or Marvel have a book that covers that base?

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Posted by doordoor123

I don't feel like the person interviewing cared very much about the book. And because of that, it just seems boring.

... just read the interview at Newsarama and it seems much more interesting. Reminds me a lot of Booster Gold.

Posted by nappystr8

I feel really sorry for this guy. No one (myself included) is going to read this book. Vibe is just too hated or unimportant to the comics community for anyone to pay attention unless someone like Geoff Johns or Jeff Lemire's name was on the cover. He could knock this book out of the park and still have the book cancelled in 8 issues.

Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan

so Vibe gets a book before Captain Marvel, Cyborg, and Martian Man Hunter?!?!? I will not be getting this title.

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Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool

@nappystr8 said:

I feel really sorry for this guy. No one (myself included) is going to read this book. Vibe is just too hated or unimportant to the comics community for anyone to pay attention unless someone like Geoff Johns or Jeff Lemire's name was on the cover. He could knock this book out of the park and still have the book cancelled in 8 issues.

well thats damn wrong, cause im gonna read this book for sure...... VIBE FTW!!!

Posted by knightofthechronicle

I'm not going to sit here and read about how you guys expect this to go under. I'm going to stick with this series and I'm not going to stop buying it until it actually does get cancelled. I can't wait for this book.

Posted by jstndmnd

@SolthesunGod: couldn't agree more.

Posted by chocobojam

Most readers complain why there is so many Batman and Wolverine books. And now that DC is giving unpopular/underrated superhero a chance, and still many people complain!! Oh come on guys!! If you have no interest in supporting this book, then at least don't say bad things about this specially if its not even out yet and you haven't read this yet!!

Posted by Perfect 10

not feeling the changes. you work in an artistic field and you cant make an artistic character? there are plenty of people who are breakdancers. turn on a tv once in a while. you kept the aspects that were essential to his character and write about the struggles of inner city youth, and how dance was his way of out of that life of violence and crime. a major opportunity was missed here to make some more fluff just to make a quick buck instead writing something with substance and meaning. and he's not hated as much as you would like to think mostly because he isnt known. i am one of the people who did read that run of JL and loved that whole cast including Vibe. it was the most culturely/ethnically diverse the league has ever been (an african, a martian, a gypsy and a mexican), it was bogged down with any of the "big names". not everyone is an elitest/snob and only care about "a-listers", it just they are the loudest and love to swarm in mobs

Posted by nappystr8

@DarklyDreamingDeadpool: You seem very passionate about picking this book up. I must say that surprises me. What is it about this series that has you excited? Do you have a love of the character from his earlier appearances (It seems Perfect 10 also is a Vibe fan)? Are you interested to see how it intersects with JLA? Are you a fan of the writer's previous work (if I'm correct he is primarily a TV writer and works on Arrow on CW)? Do you read every New 52 first issue? Is it a combination of these things, possibly all of them? I'm not being sarcastic or anything, I'm just sincerely interested to know the answer.

I'm never happy to see a book get cancelled (well...except for Avengers Arena), but looking at the past cancellations I just don't see Vibe fairing any better than Blue Beetle, Static Shock, Mr. Terrific, or Captain Atom.

Posted by Mezmero

He looks like he has holographic Captain America shields coming out of his hands. Looks a little goofy that he's just gesticulating the vibrations into existence but I assume they'll have a reason for that fighting style. Still nowhere near as cool as punching vibrations into the air.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

The fact that he says this book isn't a side dish shows that its pretty much hand in hand with the upcoming JLA book just like Lobdell did with Teen Titans and Superboy :/

Posted by DarklyDreamingDeadpool

@nappystr8: well. it's a bit of everything. i'm excited cause i like the idea to put all these characters and let them work together. and yes, i'm a vibe fan, i don't know why, but in someway i love this character and really wan't to see how much is left from the old breakdancing gangmember.

and no, i do not read every new 52 title, but i give every book that take my attention at least a try.

Posted by TeamUnitedNerds

I read it, it is actually somewhat good. Geoff Johns is the man who made Aquaman cool, so clearly, this series has some potential.

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