Being big fans of DC's DEMON KNIGHTS series, we were sad to see writer Paul Cornell leave the book, yet we are pretty excited about writer Robert Venditti's take over of the title which will propel these characters thirty some odd years into the future. How much of the previous story arc will carry over into this new one? What characters can we expect to continue to see in this series? The answers to these questions and many more, below.
COMIC VINE: The last arc of DEMON KNIGHTS ended with Paul Cornell tying up a lot of the plot points we had been seeing in the series. The solicit for your first venture into this series opens 30 years from when we last saw these characters. Why do you plan to start your run so far into the future?
ROBERT VENDITTI: Many, but not all of the characters are immortal, so I thought it’d be interesting to see how the time jump effects the relationships between the team members. I mean, the Demon Knights are a fractured team to begin with, so why not add to the conflict? Readers will discover that the past three decades have effected the characters in ways I hope they won’t see coming.
CV: What is it about these characters that piqued your interest? How did you become attached to this series?
VENDITTI: There are such great conflicts driving them. Jason Blood is a walking prison for a sadistic demon capable of unimaginable destruction. Horsewoman is a paraplegic living in medieval Europe. Exoristos is an exile from an island most believe is a myth, meaning she’s literally the only person like her in the known world. The list goes on. These conflicts are not just compelling; they’re unique. Who wouldn’t want to write characters like that?== TEASER ==
CV: Which of these characters can we expect to be the focus of your series?
VENDITTI: The dynamic between Jason Blood and Etrigan will be a focus for the first two issues of the first story arc, but then it shifts to a focus on Exoristos, who has the most at stake. Every member of the team has an important role in the story, though, so I’m hesitant to say anyone is going to be at the center of things. I’ve worked very hard to make sure all of the team members have skin in the game.
CV: The solicit for issue #16 also makes a mention of a vampire invasion. What was it about vampires that inspired you to integrate the concept into your story? Is there any vampire in particular that we can expect to see?
VENDITTI: Vampires are very familiar to us, having been at the forefront of popular culture for so long. I thought it’d be an interesting challenge to write a story about vampires confronting a team of heroes who’ve faced plenty of inexplicable things, but nothing like undead creatures who drink the blood of the living. They’re approach will be to interpret vampirism as an infectious disease, and in doing so they’ll be both advanced, and deeply flawed, in their thinking.
As for who readers may or may not recognize, I’ll just say this story will have a familiar face from the DCU. One of the fun aspects of writing a book like Demon Knights is you get to tell the story before the story. We’ll certainly be playing with that.
CV: What is it like working with Bernard Chang on this series? Do you work on the scripts on your own or is it a collaborative effort?
VENDITTI: Bernard is great. He’s an extremely talented guy, and every time he puts pen to paper, he elevates the script. The last page of issue 16 has a big reveal, and Bernard just nailed it.
As far as the collaboration between us, I write the scripts myself, but I want artists to know they have the freedom to change things up in terms of layouts and art direction. If everyone is bringing their creativity to the table, the story will benefit in the end.
CV: What is the tone and some of the themes you are looking to capture in this series? Where did you draw your inspiration for what you want to bring to DEMON KNIGHTS?
VENDITTI: Paul did a great job making DEMON KNIGHTS an action-oriented series, but also infusing it with a sense of wit and humor. The plan is to maintain that, but the series won’t be without its darker moments, as well. It’s a bit of a balancing act.
In terms of inspiration, a lot of it comes from the series itself. There are so many plotlines already woven into the story, and all we have to do is decide which ones we want to tug on. It’s a nice luxury to have.
Have you been reading DEMON KNIGHTS? If you like Etrigan and stories about mysticism and magic, then this might be right up your alley. Robert Venditti's first issue of DEMON KNIGHTS hits store shelves on January 16th, 2013.