At Comic-Con International in San Diego, Wildstorm editor Ben Abernathy and Christos Gage talked about their work together for Wildstorm and what comes up next for the “Stormwatch: Post Human Division,” as well as Gage’s other work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics.
The panel started with a simple condemnation made by both panelists, blaming Tom Brady for another Charger’s loss. The panel then kicked into full gear with a quick mention of upcoming Wildstorm projects written by Gage. The first mentioned is a project called “Authority: Prime” which will be an Authority versus Stormwatch all for the mysterious contents of an abandoned bunker. Darick Robertson, who already has one issue finished and ready, will do the art. Also, he promises plenty of zombies in issue 4, so you know it’s going to be good.
The next project will be an ‘Armageddon’ series, six issues in all, where in each issue a different character is taken into a post-apocalyptic future for a quick glimpse in the hopes they can find a way to prevent it from coming to pass in their own time. The first issue will focus on the Authority with later characters being pulled from other Wildstorm titles such as “Welcome to Tranquility” and “Gen 13.” Christos went further by adding how this story line will have real, long term effects as opposed to the bigger companies (DC and Marvel) usually returning to status quo within a year or so.
The panel continued on casually with fan questions popping up every once in awhile, and a few breaks for a trivia question from Christos in which the winner received a signed prize.
An upcoming “Nightmare on Elms Street” story line by Gage was revealed as he told the audience Freddy Krueger will run into a copycat killer using knives on his fingers to commit his crimes. Obviously, Freddy doesn’t take kindly to this and makes it his duty to hunt the poser down.
One fan asked when “Deadshot” was finally going to be collected in trade form, sentiments echoed by almost everyone in attendance. Gage would love to see it, but the best way to see it happen would be to talk to Dan Didio or Bob Wayne at DC. He also hopes that if it does happen that DC will include the last issue of “Legends of Dark Knight,” which was a Deadshot story line written by Gage and one he considers a nice epilogue to his “Deadshot” series.
Praise was heaped on Gage by one fan, who said his “World War Hulk: X-Men” limited series is one of the greatest ‘beat downs’ ever and wondered how he wrote such a great fight scene. Gage responded immediately that it’s a lot of fun to write. He simply stopped to think how smarter and madder Hulk would take down the X-Men, most especially how he’d take down Wolverine. Hulk is in a hurry to get his revenge on the main perpetrators, and thus doesn’t have time for a prolonged battle with a team of mutants. Thus the Hulk would take Wolverine out as soon as possible, knowing he’d be the most tenacious, and thus Gage worked up the ‘brain damage’ angle as means for Hulk to take him out early.
Christos also added that Andrea Di Vito is doing a great job, he knew Andrea was the perfect fit after seeing his work in Marvel’s “Annihilation” and how well he drew such a large cast of characters. It was comforting to know he could toss in as many X-characters as he could.
An audience member stood up asking Christos how he felt about resurrecting so many of the characters that Warren Ellis had killed off previously during the introduction of the then new “Authority.” Christos was at first worried that maybe Warren did some huge philosophical reasoning when deciding who would die, but luckily he learned that Warren simply killed off the characters he was sick of writing at the time. So in the end, Christos is simply happy he can’t write the story he wanted without any fears of hurting a previous writer’s work.
Once again, Deadshot was brought up when a fan asked when Gage was going to dust off any more C- or D-list characters for DC and Marvel. Surprise took the audience as it was announced Gage has upcoming story in the new “Marvel Comics Presents” starring Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy. He also said there are a ton of characters he’d like to take a crack at, even the Blob, but the actual fat one, not the depowered one.
Asked if there was anymore DC work in his future, Gage responded that he just hasn’t pitched anything in awhile, but he would like to try out Batman, especially with his past experience on police procedural shows like “Law & Order.” He’d love to do more Deadshot of course, but only after John Ostrander has his fun with the character in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” limited series, he wouldn’t want to interfere with any of Ostrander’s plans.
He was next asked his opinion of Marvel’s Iron Man as the fan pointed out how many people on the internet are not happy with Iron Man’s recent actions. Christos thought it was great, it portrays Tony Stark in a similar tone as Jack Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men.” He has to make tough decisions, decisions that could hurt the few , so as to protect the majority. He makes decision that no one would want to be responsible for, ‘how can he not be heroic?’
One fan stood up explaining he liked all of Gage’s DC and Marvel work, but he didn’t know anything about Wildstorm and was hoping for a good jumping on point for Gage’s Wildstorm work. Ben and Christos both responded saying ‘Worldstorm #1″ makes a great starting point as it gives a nice intro for most of the characters and teams in the Wildstorm Universe. Also, the “Stormwatch: PHD’s” first graphic novel is always a great jumping on point.
Another fan in the same vein as the previous Iron Man questioner asked if Gage could do some Captain America work. He revealed to the audience that he has an upcoming “What If” story line taking place during Civil War that just might star a certain Captain America.
Christos next proved his Comic credentials by asking the audience various trivia questions relating to Marvel comics, half of which, no one was even able to answer.
Asked about upcoming work outside of comics, Christos let the audience know about his upcoming webisode of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” that he collaborated with Jim Lee on. Its ten different episodes by different creators, celebrating the tenth year anniversary of Lara Croft. Minnie Driver will provide the voice for Lara.
He has a few scripts in the works he can’t discuss quite yet, although he did say he and his wife are working on script similar in style to the movie “Big Fish.”
The panel ended with one final question of what artists Christos would like to work with. He said Ben is great at letting him work with whoever he wants (as long as they’re available), but there are still a bunch he’d love to work with. George Perez’s name came up first followed by the recently deceased “Marshall Rogers,” a great artist who came up with Deadshot’s classic costume that is still in use today. Lastly, Darwyn Cooke would be a lot of fun, but he doesn’t really need a writer.