Joshua Hale Fialkov Talks I, VAMPIRE; Batman and the Coming War in the DCU

Posted by G-Man (32556 posts) - - Show Bio

Vampires have received a bum rap lately. Despite being an old concept and featured in many great stories, people have almost had vampire overload lately. There are some writers that are changing all that. Joshua Hale Fialkov is one of those writers making vampires cool once again.

I, VAMPIRE has been one of the best titles coming out of the "New 52." Bringing vampires to the DC Universe, Fialkov, along with Andrea Sorrentino's amazing art, are preparing for a major war in the DCU. With Mary, Queen of Blood headed towards Gotham City, it's only logical that a certain Dark Knight should make an appearance. This will lead to the rest of the DCU discovering what is hiding in the shadows.

We had the chance to talk to Josh about the series.

Comic Vine: Why vampires? How did you get hooked up with I, VAMPIRE?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Vampires are one of the most endearing creations. It goes back to Lillith, the first woman... In a lot of the Kaballah stuff around her, there's this idea of drinking blood and vampirism. Hell, it even goes back to the Aztec and Mayan cultures, which, you know if you're reading Sam Humphries' excellent comic SACRIFICE.

It's been a major part of our literary and cultural history as a species. But beyond that, it's not really a 'new' thing. If you look at any bookstore, you'll find an enormous amount of vampire romance novels, many of which sell a damn fortune.

As for me, I've written an inordinate amount of vampire fiction for a guy that writes non-monster horror. I predominantly write noir-horror, I write a lot of true-crimey stuff. But, Vampirella was my first work for hire, I did a series of vampire romance novels called the DARK-HUNTER books that adapted into manga and I did a manga series called PRINCESS RESURRECTION. My first paid writing job ever was writing a short story for Steve Niles' 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, actually.

== TEASER ==

Vampires have sort of run through my career. It's funny that my big first work for hire gig at DC is a vampire book. I was a fan of the original stories with the characters, and especially the book's creator, J.M. DeMatteis. In fact J.M. DeMatteis' BROOKLYN DREAMS was one of the books that inspired me to become a comic book writer.

Writing I, VAMPIRE has been a lot of fun. I haven't had to compromise a lot of stuff. It's an extremely rare thing to be able to tell the stories you want to tell the way you want to tell them.

CV: How does your interpretations of the characters compare to the original?

JHF: They're pretty damn close. The powers are slightly different. They couldn't walk in the daylight in the original series but they can in mine. The relationships, the origins, that stuff is all there.

I incorporated a little more political climate into it. For me, first, it's a romance book. Second, it's a horror book. But third, it's sort of a political book.

If instead of being vampires, they were any other oppressed people, Mary would be the hero. If they were any other group of people, at all, they'd be the heroes, and Andrew would be the villain. Andrew is fighting for the right to keep vampires down.

CV: So we saw Constantine and Batman's coming up, are we going to see the rest of the DC Universe get involved with this war?

JHF: The idea was to do it as fast as possible. The idea was the events in the first few issues happened back to back to back. When the vampires did their terrorist attack, their first offering to the world, then they disappeared. There were no bodies. The idea is, you can get away with it once, but after that, you're gonna run into Batman. You can't keep hiding.

The John Constantine issue was how the dark magic side sees vampires and interacts with them and what their goal is going to be. With Batman, it's the snowball getting kicked down the hill because there's no going back. Once Batman knows, all of the DC Universe is going to know.

Batman and the Bat-universe is the cornerstone of the DCU so that would mean everyone else would know.

CV: How do you plan on portraying Batman?

JHF: I was going to go with the Adam West version but they said 'no.' (laughs)

This is actually the second time I've written him, the first in the SUPERMAN/BATMAN series before the relaunch. What's funny about writing Batman is he's such an insular character. Even with the family, it's all captions and inner monologues. Because of how the book is written, which is every issue is from a different character's point of view, I couldn't do that. You can't have Batman's point of view. Which makes writing Batman really hard. Batman is so smart and so ahead of everyone else, that he comes off as distant and almost... abstract.

But, it's fun because you don't often get to put Batman in the corner. Batman is not a character you can have a 'one up' on. The vampires are an entirely new thing for him. He has no idea what they are. He has no idea how to deal with them. And don't forget, Batman is driven by two things. Fighting crime and never killing. Well... how do you stop vampires when they can turn to mist? He won't kill them. He won't cut off their heads.

CV: Have you given any thoughts to a crossover with Chris Roberson's I, ZOMBIE?

JHF: That's at Vertigo so it's probably out of the question. You'll have to ask Chris. The real question is which one of us gets I, WEREWOLF?

CV: So I guess that also means a crossover with Scott Snyder's AMERICAN VAMPIRE is also out of the question. But who would win, Andrew Bennett vs. Skinner Sweet?

JHF: We have better powers, right? I mean we both have the sun, we can both go in the sun. But my vampires turn into goddamn giant bat monsters! I'm pretty sure we would win.

But I do have to give credit, I think Steve Niles' vampires would kick everyone's ass. Those things are punk rock as f###. You can't keep a punk down at the end of the day.

CV: Any other projects you're working on?

JHF: We're wrapping up LAST OF THE GREATS right now over at Image. The first trade will be out soon. If the trade does well enough we'll be back with a follow up titled RETURN OF THE GREATS. I'm working on a new book with Noel Tuazon (who I collaborated with on TUMOR and ELK'S RUN). That's an ongoing crime book, a procedural in the style of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET. That's called DEEP VALLEY and will hopefully launch this Fall. And then I'm working on another ongoing creator-owned book I can't talk about but it's my favorite thing I've ever worked on, and I think people will flip for it. Stay tuned!

CV: It all sounds great! Everyone definitely needs to pick up I, VAMPIRE #5, on sale this Wednesday, January 25. Vampires in Gotham!

Staff
#1 Posted by Z3RO180 (6459 posts) - - Show Bio

this might be good?

Online
#2 Posted by jsphsmth (1136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Z3RO180 said:

this might be good?

The series has been great so far.

I hope that this issue with Batman and the upcoming Justice League Dark crossover gets more people reading it.

#3 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33062 posts) - - Show Bio
@jsphsmth said:

@Z3RO180 said:

this might be good?

The series has been great so far.

I hope that this issue with Batman and the upcoming Justice League Dark crossover gets more people reading it.

this
#4 Posted by Kallarkz (3303 posts) - - Show Bio

The series has actually been pretty good so far

#5 Posted by BatClaw89 (144 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoy reading I, Vampire but now Batman is in it so I'm going to love issue #5 plus the crossover with Justice league dark is going to be awesome.

#6 Posted by The Impersonator (5393 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice!

#7 Edited by Dernman (14962 posts) - - Show Bio

That does bring up an interesting question. Would Batman kill creatures like Vampires or other monsters if he came across them? I don't think he would be so strict and just might. 
 
Didn't he kill Dracula in the cartoon? Someone should start a thread. >__>

#8 Posted by jsphsmth (1136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dernman said:

That does bring up an interesting question. Would Batman kill creatures like Vampires or other monsters if he came across them? I don't think he would be so strict and just might. Didn't he kill Dracula in the cartoon? Someone should start a thread. >__>

He did kill a parademon with its own energy weapon back in Cosmic Odyssey and he did shoot Darkseid in Final Crisis. I don't see how vampires would be any different.

#9 Posted by Dernman (14962 posts) - - Show Bio
@jsphsmth said:

@Dernman said:

That does bring up an interesting question. Would Batman kill creatures like Vampires or other monsters if he came across them? I don't think he would be so strict and just might. Didn't he kill Dracula in the cartoon? Someone should start a thread. >__>

He did kill a parademon with its own energy weapon back in Cosmic Odyssey and he did shoot Darkseid in Final Crisis. I don't see how vampires would be any different.

Ya Too bad the article suggests that he wont. I think this type of thing would make a good exception to his rule.of no killing.
#10 Posted by Guardiandevil83 (5521 posts) - - Show Bio

At the end of the day Batman will alway's do what need's to be done, these Vampire are dead.

#11 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dernman said:

@jsphsmth said:

@Dernman said:

That does bring up an interesting question. Would Batman kill creatures like Vampires or other monsters if he came across them? I don't think he would be so strict and just might. Didn't he kill Dracula in the cartoon? Someone should start a thread. >__>

He did kill a parademon with its own energy weapon back in Cosmic Odyssey and he did shoot Darkseid in Final Crisis. I don't see how vampires would be any different.

Ya Too bad the article suggests that he wont. I think this type of thing would make a good exception to his rule.of no killing.

Batman has an extremely flawed ideology to begin with but killing vampires because they are "monsters" but not Joker would make no sense, like Joker (presumably, his origin is unknown after all) all the vampires were once the humans Batman was trying to protect

killing a Parademon seems like the equivalent of stepping on a beetle or something and Darkseid's a god, killing isn't really killing in such situations to be technical

Moderator
#12 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

let's get batman kicking asses once more

#13 Posted by Dernman (14962 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek_the_lost said:

@Dernman said:

@jsphsmth said:

@Dernman said:

That does bring up an interesting question. Would Batman kill creatures like Vampires or other monsters if he came across them? I don't think he would be so strict and just might. Didn't he kill Dracula in the cartoon? Someone should start a thread. >__>

He did kill a parademon with its own energy weapon back in Cosmic Odyssey and he did shoot Darkseid in Final Crisis. I don't see how vampires would be any different.

Ya Too bad the article suggests that he wont. I think this type of thing would make a good exception to his rule.of no killing.

Batman has an extremely flawed ideology to begin with but killing vampires because they are "monsters" but not Joker would make no sense, like Joker (presumably, his origin is unknown after all) all the vampires were once the humans Batman was trying to protect

killing a Parademon seems like the equivalent of stepping on a beetle or something and Darkseid's a god, killing isn't really killing in such situations to be technical

Vampires were Humans as apposed to Joker who is Human. I'm not making a case that Joker is any better or deserves to live but that is entirely a different kind of monster. 
Parademons are sentient Aliens who spent a life time being brainwashed to follow Darkseids every whim with no other desire. A Vampire views Humans as walking Happy Meals with an all consuming desire to eat them.  So on a scale of what's ok to kill. I would say killing a Vampire is more ok then killing a beetle unless you find one of the rare ones that are different. 
#14 Posted by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

vampires in the X-Men book sucks, vampires in Batman is cool.............lame

#15 Posted by Gordo789 (201 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been loving this book so far.

"But I do have to give credit, I think Steve Niles' vampires would kick everyone's ass. Those things are punk rock as f###. You can't keep a punk down at the end of the day."

love this.

#16 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33062 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.
#17 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

#18 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33062 posts) - - Show Bio
@ReVamp said:

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

true but you wouldn't wipe tigers from the face of the earth.
#19 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

true but you wouldn't wipe tigers from the face of the earth.

Wrong Analogy. In this case we're the Hunters, so what you must mean to say is that they don't wipe us out, which they don't for a variety of reasons:

  1. We're stronger.
  2. We don't kill them often.
  3. Aren't intelligent enough to do it
  4. Aren't intelligent enough to perceive higher cognitive thoughts and thus exact revenge on humans as a species.
  5. We have a variety of people who love Tigers, thus they wouldn't let them come close to extinction which goes hand in hand with the second point.

If something is threatening your species and is actively killing you and trying to wipe you out, you're going to fight back. Just because in this case Humans rule the world, people perceive it as a sign that they're safe. Killing Vampires should be perfectly OK, if we're speaking in the fact that they're higher up in the food chain and are going to kill off all the humans.

#20 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33062 posts) - - Show Bio
@ReVamp said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

true but you wouldn't wipe tigers from the face of the earth.

Wrong Analogy. In this case we're the Hunters, so what you must mean to say is that they don't wipe us out, which they don't for a variety of reasons:

  1. We're stronger.
  2. We don't kill them often.
  3. Aren't intelligent enough to do it
  4. Aren't intelligent enough to perceive higher cognitive thoughts and thus exact revenge on humans as a species.
  5. We have a variety of people who love Tigers, thus they wouldn't let them come close to extinction which goes hand in hand with the second point.

If something is threatening your species and is actively killing you and trying to wipe you out, you're going to fight back. Just because in this case Humans rule the world, people perceive it as a sign that they're safe. Killing Vampires should be perfectly OK, if we're speaking in the fact that they're higher up in the food chain and are going to kill off all the humans.

Ok but the Vampires don't want to kill all humans 
#21 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

true but you wouldn't wipe tigers from the face of the earth.

Wrong Analogy. In this case we're the Hunters, so what you must mean to say is that they don't wipe us out, which they don't for a variety of reasons:

  1. We're stronger.
  2. We don't kill them often.
  3. Aren't intelligent enough to do it
  4. Aren't intelligent enough to perceive higher cognitive thoughts and thus exact revenge on humans as a species.
  5. We have a variety of people who love Tigers, thus they wouldn't let them come close to extinction which goes hand in hand with the second point.

If something is threatening your species and is actively killing you and trying to wipe you out, you're going to fight back. Just because in this case Humans rule the world, people perceive it as a sign that they're safe. Killing Vampires should be perfectly OK, if we're speaking in the fact that they're higher up in the food chain and are going to kill off all the humans.

Ok but the Vampires don't want to kill all humans

Yeah they do... Right? I think Marie mentioned wanting to wipe out humans off existence.

#22 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33062 posts) - - Show Bio
@ReVamp said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

true but you wouldn't wipe tigers from the face of the earth.

Wrong Analogy. In this case we're the Hunters, so what you must mean to say is that they don't wipe us out, which they don't for a variety of reasons:

  1. We're stronger.
  2. We don't kill them often.
  3. Aren't intelligent enough to do it
  4. Aren't intelligent enough to perceive higher cognitive thoughts and thus exact revenge on humans as a species.
  5. We have a variety of people who love Tigers, thus they wouldn't let them come close to extinction which goes hand in hand with the second point.

If something is threatening your species and is actively killing you and trying to wipe you out, you're going to fight back. Just because in this case Humans rule the world, people perceive it as a sign that they're safe. Killing Vampires should be perfectly OK, if we're speaking in the fact that they're higher up in the food chain and are going to kill off all the humans.

Ok but the Vampires don't want to kill all humans

Yeah they do... Right? I think Marie mentioned wanting to wipe out humans off existence.

Did she? hmm that wouldn't make much sense, what would they eat?
#23 Posted by Dernman (14962 posts) - - Show Bio
@spiderbat87 said:
@ReVamp said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@ReVamp said:

I, VAMPIRE!!!!

@spiderbat87 said:

@Dernman: Do you not thing it's different with the Vampires though? They see humans as a food source, much they same as we see cows or chickens.

Yes, totally. You could make the argument that they're higher up in the food chain, but then it only furthers the conceptual idea of killing Vampires off to protect Human Kind. If you were going to eat a Tiger and try to attack it, then it and its family would fight back.

true but you wouldn't wipe tigers from the face of the earth.

Wrong Analogy. In this case we're the Hunters, so what you must mean to say is that they don't wipe us out, which they don't for a variety of reasons:

  1. We're stronger.
  2. We don't kill them often.
  3. Aren't intelligent enough to do it
  4. Aren't intelligent enough to perceive higher cognitive thoughts and thus exact revenge on humans as a species.
  5. We have a variety of people who love Tigers, thus they wouldn't let them come close to extinction which goes hand in hand with the second point.

If something is threatening your species and is actively killing you and trying to wipe you out, you're going to fight back. Just because in this case Humans rule the world, people perceive it as a sign that they're safe. Killing Vampires should be perfectly OK, if we're speaking in the fact that they're higher up in the food chain and are going to kill off all the humans.

Ok but the Vampires don't want to kill all humans

Yeah they do... Right? I think Marie mentioned wanting to wipe out humans off existence.

Did she? hmm that wouldn't make much sense, what would they eat?
They would keep a few alive in pens like cows and drain them of blood.
#24 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

Meh, Hopefully I won't have to follow this to get a good reading experience out of the next few issues of JLD.

#25 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice crossover! See, this is what DC needs to do right now within the confines of the New 52, relegating the action to storylines and larger arcs. This is what will make things interesting once more I say.

#26 Posted by BlackArmor (6137 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gordo789 said:

I've been loving this book so far.

"But I do have to give credit, I think Steve Niles' vampires would kick everyone's ass. Those things are punk rock as f###. You can't keep a punk down at the end of the day."

love this.

meh Alucard stomps

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