Erupting from the pages of Garth Ennis' JENNIFER BLOOD comes the Ninjettes. Said to contain an "ultra-violent odyssey of sin, scandal, brutality and branding" we had the chance to ask writer Al Ewing what we could expect from this bloody comic from Dynamite Entertainment.
Comic Vine: What's the premise of the series besides a bunch of blood and violence?
Al Ewing: More blood and more violence... no, I'm kidding (OR AM I). There are two of them - one, we're looking at who the Ninjettes who appeared in JENNIFER BLOOD #4 are and how they came to be, which ties in a little with events unfolding in my first arc on that title. And secondly, we're introducing a new team who'll be taking over the name and carrying the book forward.
What I'm personally trying to do... when I was a kid, there was a book on the shelves called Joe Bob Goes To The Drive-In - how it got there I don't know, but it presented to my young eyes a fascinating, thrilling world of trash, sleaze and wierdness. When I finally saw things like 1000 Maniacs, the reality was a lot less than what I'd imagined, but the idea of the drive-in sleaze-flick still held a strange and terrible power for me, and I wanted to do something that reeked of it. There's a lot of Russ Meyer in there, especially the first one - his 'gothic period', the hard, nasty black-and-white flicks from before he'd started calling himself The Rural Fellini. (My girlfriend and I are reviewing his films one at a time on Freaky Triggerat the moment, albeit on what's approaching an annual basis.) But he's far from the only one. As the series progresses, we'll stir the pot until it's bubbling and fermenting with all sorts of down-and-dirty tropes, fresh from the landfill of pop culture and dripping with fierce ichor. It's going to be a fun ride.
CV: How far out do you have the series planned?
AE: I've got it plotted out to #6, which is the origin/introduction arc - after that, I've got a few done-in-ones planned, where they'll be jetting around the world doing missions. So we'll start throwing in all the Bond and Man From U.N.C.L.E. stuff, probably. I have an idea of them going to Britain and getting into some Emma Peel style sixties-era hijinks, mostly so I can do lots of mean jokes about the Bullingdon Club and our current political elite. Also, after sitting through 99 Women and The Big Bird Cage, I feel like savaging the women-in-prison genre a bit, so I imagine we'll have a crack at that sometime down the road, in all its dubious glory.
CV: How did you get involved with the series?
AE: Well, I'd already written a couple of Jennifer Bloods, and the people at Dynamite were interested in doing a series focussing on the Ninjettes - something that was both an origin for the old team and also introduced a new team to carry things on past their horrible death in the pages of Jennifer Blood #4. I was already using some of the fallout from that as a major plot point of the second arc of Jennifer Blood, so I ended up working some of that into the series - although obviously either can be read independantly without any trouble.
CV: Will the vibe be purely dark or will there be any light moments?
AE: It's actually a lot lighter than Jennifer Blood, despite all the blood and thunder in every issue. Jennifer Blood works in a universe where the rules that apply are those of reality, rather than the rules of the action movie - but in Ninjettes, despite them ostensibly being set in the same universe, the opposite is true. The Ninjettes use different narrative laws. (I'd argue that the only reason the original Ninjettes die so quickly in Jennifer Blood #4 is because they've made the mistake of taking on their enemy in her own comic, where their narrative physics no longer work.) So I get to use the kind of smart-stupid, absurdist comedy that's a fixture of things like Zombo, and layer in more comedy as things progress.
CV: What's the one thing you'd like the book to be known for?
AE: Honestly? I'd like it to be known for being good. And for being open for readers from the whole spectrum of people who like comics. I mean, I'm aware that I'm aiming to recreate some fecund drive-in pit of the imagination, and I've gone and used words like sleaze in a positive context earlier in this very interview, but... even when - in my capacity as The Yorkshire Fellini - I'm writing about improperly-dressed assassins going sickhouse on the collective ass of all that is right and proper, I still want to write a comic that anybody can pick up and find something they like in.
Check out the premiere of these interior pages. THE NINJETTES #1 is on sale February 22, 2012.