Mitch Shelley the Resurrection Man, DC Comics’ odd-ball hero who cannot die, is going up against his most determined enemy in “Resurrection Man” #9 when his lethal foes try to snatch him — dead or alive — for their boss’ own nefarious goals.
But this time, the would-be kidnappers are not the Body Doubles — it’s the Suicide Squad, DC’s covert team of super villains under the jurisdiction (and trigger finger) of the Machiavellian Amanda Waller.
Come May, the ongoing “Resurrection Man” series written by creators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and “Suicide Squad,” written by Adam Glass, will be crossing over in issue #9 of both titles as the Squad sets their sights on Mitch and Mitch sets his sights on surviving the Squad.
The crossover also marks an artist switch, as current “Resurrection Man” artist Fernando Dagnino will begin working as the permanent artist on “Suicide Squad.” Taking his place on “Resurrection Man” starting with #10 will be current “Birds of Prey” artist Jesus Saiz.
Following our conversation with writer Adam Glass about the crossover, Abnett and Lanning, answering collectively as DnA, spoke with CBR News about the crossover, from working with Glass to the impact the Squad will have on their own series — and who they’d like to see Mitch out on a date with!
CBR News: Starting in May, Mitch and the Suicide Squad will be crossing paths. Of the books in the New 52, what did you guys like about the idea of a crossover with “Suicide Squad?”
DnA: It seemed like a natural fight: the guy that dies but comes back versus the guys that die if they lose. The Squad has a death sentence hanging over them, and Mitch’s life is all about dying.
How well did you know the “Suicide Squad” dynamics before the crossover — were you two fans from way back of the team?
“Suicide Squad” was one of the new 52 books which we really liked and have been reading it since the beginning. We’ve been aware of the team and love its central premise but hadn’t really read much of its previous incarnation, which is one reason why we were drawn to Adam’s excellent reworking.
On the collaborative side, how closely did you work with “Suicide Squad” writer Adam Glass on the crossover? Did you three have a lot of conversations about your characters or the way the Squad interacts with each other?
Very closely. Adam’s been very cooperative and inclusive, and we’ve really come to admire his ideas and input.
When we spoke to Adam about the crossover he mentioned he was a big fan of your work from way back. What was it like collaborating with him across time zones and over Skype? Any chance you three will get together for other work down the road?
We would jump at the chance to collaborate with Adam again in the future. He’s a true pro and a gentleman! As much as he’s a fan of our stuff we’re big “Supernatural” fans; Andy’s eldest daughter is a huge fan and he earned major brownie points by association.
Working with him was an absolute joy, time zone juggling aside. He’s a great ideas guy and ran with whatever we threw at him, often trumping our ideas and tossing back some great concepts of his own. He was generous enough to share a vital “Suicide” sub-plot that he’s been working toward since the series began so that for both books the crossover isn’t just a stand-alone adventure, it progresses the ongoing story arc for both titles, which is a neat trick indeed! Kudos to Mr. Glass!
This crossover also signals both books getting an artist switch with Jesus Saiz coming onboard for current “Resurrection Man” artist Fernando Dagnino who moves over to “Suicide Squad.” Was this transition something you knew was happening going into the crossover?
Yes, and we’re really looking forward to what Jesus is going to do.
Along those lines, how well did you know Jesus Saiz’s work before the announcement?
We knew his work and liked it a lot!
Turning to the story itself, what can you tell us about the crossover? How does un-killable Mitch come across the kill-happy Suicide Squad?
He’s their target. There’s just something about him, you know, that makes him Very Interesting to them!
While we know half the fun of “Resurrection Man” is finding ways for Mitch to die and resurrect, was it equally fun for you guys to get to write a full squad of killers exploring different ways to entrap Mitch?
Probably too much fun. Adam Glass really entered into the spirit of it too.
After writing this crossover, do you two now have a favorite Suicide Squad member to write?
Deadshot is just so cool, a classic character. I know he’s the obvious one, but he’s the glue.
The fangirl in me has to know — any chance readers will get to see the Body Doubles go up against the Squad?
We couldn’t possibly comment except to say “hell yes.”
Mitch is currently trying to survive in Arkham Asylum. Does “Resurrection Man” #8 play into the crossover and set up for events in #9?
Though not directly connected, issues #7 and #8 take Mitch from Gotham to Metropolis and set up the crossover very neatly.
How does the crossover affect Mitch moving forward in the comic? Will there be lasting implications in “Resurrection Man,” outside of the artist switch?
Yes, absolutely. We hesitate to say how, because we don’t want to spoil things, but this puts in place some of the last pieces of his meta-story mystery.
Along those lines, with Arkham arc and the crossover, will we see more stories of Mitch essentially on the road, having more stand-alone life-and-death adventures?
We’d certainly like to do that, because they feel like, to us anyway, the essence of “Resurrection Man” stories. Having said that, even the larger and longer stories we do are often broken into single issues: #6, #7 and #8 are, for example, all linked sequentially, but they are also stand-alone stories.
What’s next for Mitch, the Transhuman, and the other characters after the crossover and heading into June?
The crossover sets in motion a sequence of events that will take Mitch into direct confrontation with the Lab, his own dark past and the climax of the first year’s major story arc. It’s probably a safe bet to say Mitch may die at some point!
Finally, beyond Suicide Squad we’ve also seen Deathstroke in “Resurrection Man” #5 — are you planning more crossovers in the future? Or are there any other books you feel would be a natural for Mitch to venture into?
I’d love to do that. I think he should meet Death. Or maybe take her on a date.
“Resurrection Man” #8 arrives April 11; the crossover begins in #9, on sale May 9.