“Swords and sorcery and superheroes”
This week on THE SOURCE, we’ll be having a roundtable discussion with many of the writers and artists behind this fall’s books in “The Edge” and “The Dark” families. Keep checking back to THE SOURCE as we invite more and more writers and artists to divulge details about the titles they’re working on.
THE SOURCE: What about DC's new 52 titles excites you the most?
PAUL CORNELL: I think giving the general public both a reason to, and the ability to, buy their first comic, at the same moment, is the single thing that will save the industry. I think DC has done a tremendous thing here, and they should be applauded tremendously for it.
How and why are you shaking up the series' status quo?
I'm giving the Demon a bunch of comrades to smash teeth with, having him rhyme only at the end of a scene (or when it's particularly cool for him to do so), giving the Shining Knight a continuing existence in Medieval times, showing how hard 'Madam Xanadu' (if that is her real name) had to be to get by, showing the moment Apollo and the Midnighter met, giving the Martian Manhunter conflicted warrior feelings about how super heroes do what they do, making Jenny Q age with the century she's the spirit of, making The Engineer obviously better qualified to lead her team that the man who actually leads it... I could go on.
What new characters will debut in the series?
DEMON KNIGHTS: Al Jabr, the medieval playboy inventor; Clytemnestra, mysteriously independent from her people on the Island of the Amazons, the greatest archer of her age, who makes her way through Europe, staying apart, able to ride but not to walk.
STORMWATCH: Adam One, who's been aging backwards since the Big Bang, the master of tactics who... forgets things and isn't that great at convincing people he knows what he's doing; the Projectionist, the voice of and god of the internet and the Eminence of Blades, the universal master of bladed weapons, who has terrible doubts.
Will we see new character designs?
What's the first line of dialogue in the first issue?
DEMON KNIGHTS: 'The beasts have broken us! The castle has fallen! Flee, you innocents unprotected! Flee while we die!'
STORMWATCH: 'I am not a (expletive deleted) super hero!' (That's how it actually reads in the issue.)
STORMWATCH: How easy it was to just set it in the DC Universe. Stormwatch have always been there.
DEMON KNIGHTS: That everyone thinks it's going to be set in Camelot. It's not, it's hundreds of years later.
What secret has been the hardest to keep?
The Martian Manhunter. The way Stormwatch ties in to everything that's happening in the rest of the DCU. Vandal Savage being on the Demon Knights team.
What’s the unofficial tagline for this series, in your own words?
DEMON KNIGHTS: Swords and sorcery and super heroes. The Magnificent Seven in Dragon Age. Some previous sword and sorcery books always seemed a bit grey and brown to me. This one's got a team of huge characters in a proper, mapped out, fantasy setting, with a certain grim Game Of Thrones edge to it.
STORMWATCH: We are not (expletive deleted) super heroes. This one's the angry teenage sibling of the DC Universe, except in this case it does know better. Stormwatch were here first, saving the world is their job and they think super heroes are decadent gaudy amateurs. They're the ruthless stone cold professionals. Right now it looks like they might be facing the enormous threat they were created to combat, only to find themselves having a bit of a crisis of leadership.
What were your thoughts about the day-and-date digital announcement?
The best thing ever. I've been arguing for it for years with anyone in sight.