Last summer, Dynamite Entertainment started KIRBY: GENESIS, taking characters created by the late Jack Kirby and creating a brand new universe with them. Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross have been involved with setting up the groundwork and acting as the glue that holds the new universe together.
We asked Kurt some questions to get caught up on what's been going on.
Comic Vine: Things are heating up in KIRBY: GENESIS, what do new readers need to know before reading the next issue (#7)?
Kurt Busiek: Well, there'll be plenty going on, but we're pretty good about making sure to catch new readers up on what's happening.
#7 is a good place to dive in, I'd say, because it's right where our blowout final confrontation begins. So there's a lot of characters on stage, but everything's coming together, coming to a head.
I suppose, to summarize it quickly: The Pioneer Two, mysterious and powerful cosmic figures from space, arrived on Earth, and in their wake, all manner of wild stuff started happening -- alien forces arriving, hidden cities discovered, secret super-soldiers made public and more, as the world is suddenly alive with bizarre wonders.
An alliance of dark forces, including the Lightning Lady, the alien Insecton Queen; Roag the Treacheous, an ancient evil scientist; and Darius Drumm, a kind of human nuclear reactor, are working with darker forces still to bring about the enslavement of Earth, and an alliance of heroes -- including Captain Victory, the Galactic Rangers and Galaxy Green, from outer space; the revived Gazran sleepers the Glory Knights; the Mythics, an assemblage of heroes of myth and legend; the genetic super-soldier Silver Star; and the Primals, ancient guardian and guides of mankind -- are facing them down in New York City.
And amid all this, Kirby Freeman is trying to rescue his friend Bobbi Cortez, who was caught up in the villains' plans, and he's got to dive into the middle of the action to do it. He's got a few allies, including the enigmatic Wanderer and the half-human Thunderfoot, but in the end it's going to come down to human connections.
And even if Kirby and Bobbi can win their way back to one another, that's just half the battle -- Kirby's also got to solve the riddle of the Pioneer Two, deduce why they came to Earth and what they're after, or none of us may survive.
Like I said, a lot going on, but we'll catch you up, get you in the know. This is what everything's been building to since out #0 issue, so it should be a lot of fun.== TEASER ==
CV: We're seeing the appearance of other Kirby Genesis characters like Captain Victory and Silver Star. How much coordination is there between your book and the others?
KB: Most of the coordination was done as those series were being planned. We wanted to expand the Genesis line, give more scope and opportunity to the characters, but we didn't want to create one of those entangled crossover "epics" where you have to read a bunch of different books just to get one story. So we made sure that KIRBY: GENESIS would stand on its own, while SILVER STAR, DRAGONSBANE and CAPTAIN VICTORY were each telling their own stories, giving you a bigger picture but not actually crossing over.
So most of the coordination was making sure we were on the same page regarding how the characters would be portrayed, and coordinating bits like, "No, no, you can't kill that guy off, your story's set before GENESIS, and he appears, hale and hearty, in GENESIS #2," things like that. And making sure that if one book was using some cool Kirby design for a villain or supporting character, the writers and artists of the other books knew it was spoken for, that they couldn't use the design for a completely different character.
But that's just basic shared-universe coordination -- we don't have to co-ordinate much in terms of the plots, because we're telling different stories.
CV: The threat against Earth that is involving all the characters, how far beyond this arc do you have planned?
KB: For me, it's just this arc -- KIRBY: GENESIS is a self-contained limited series, a grand epic adventure that tells Kirby and Bobbi's story and gets all this crazy, cosmic stuff rolling, so the world of KIRBY: GENESIS, at the end of our series, is well-established, up and rolling and ready for new adventures. But KIRBY: GENESIS itself is one big story, not an ongoing series.
So I get to bring it all to a head, deliver revelations and resolutions, and then hand the world of GENESIS over to Sterling, Jai, Robert and whoever else the fine folks and Dynamite tap to explore this new, character-filled universe further.
CV: What's been the biggest moment so far for you?
KB: In terms of story, there've been a lot of big moments -- though there's one coming up in #8, involving Captain Victory, the dreadnought "Tiger," and one of our big villains that I'm really looking forward to. I won't describe it here, but when you see it, you'll know it's what I meant...
But for the most part, it's been he combination of it all -- getting to build a story out of these great Kirby characters and designs, getting to work with Alex and with Jackson Herbert, whose art is a continual revelation. I think he's going on to big, big things.
The whole team's been a treat to work with, from Alex pointing out metaphors inherent in the story that helped frame the climax, to getting a color proof in this morning and realizing that colorist Vinicius Andrade had gone above and beyond the parameters of the job once again, making the pages look even better in amazing ways. Alex and I have getting most of the press, but this is really a team effort, and everyone's going all-out to make it the best comic it can be. I love being in a situation like that.
CV: The heroes in Kirby Genesis are based on Kirby characters, do you have thoughts on your own original characters that would exist in this universe?
KB: Well, to an extent I'm already there, since our human cast, Kirby, Bobbi and Bobbi's father Jake, are original characters. And we've done a huge range of creating, from using fully-realized characters like Silver Star and the Galactic Rangers gang, to characters where Kirby had written down extensive notes, like the Glory Knights, but also characters like the Primals or the Dragonsbane heroes, where all that existed was drawing, and some character names, and it was up to us to flesh out those into fully-realized characters. So there are varying levels of character creation and development in the book already.
That said, I'm not planning to introduce any costumed characters in this series who aren't Kirby characters in one way or another. This is KIRBY: GENESIS, and the whole idea is to celebrate and bring to life Jack Kirby's work, not to make up costumed heroes he didn't have anything to do with. Luckily, there's such a wealth of ideas and designs in his files that we haven't had any trouble finding Kirby material to populate this universe.
I just hope people enjoy seeing it all come to life as much as we're enjoying bringing it to life. It's been a real treat to work on this book.
Be sure to check out the next issue of KIRBY: GENESIS and here's a look at what you've been missing.