Under TV and comic book writer Adam Glass‘ pen, “Suicide Squad,” the DC Comics team of nanobomb-controlled super villains, has gone up against some of the strangest foes in the DC Universe including the organization Basilisk, a zombie virus and their own teammate Harley Quinn.
However, the Squad will meet its match come May as the kill-happy team goes after the un-killable: Mitch Shelley, star the Squad’s New 52 brethren series, “Resurrection Man.”
Coinciding with the crossover, which takes place in Issue #9 of both books, Glass and “Resurrection Man” writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning will also be teaming with new artists on their respective series. Current “Resurrection Man” artist Fernando Dagnino joins “Suicide Squad” as the permanent penciler, taking the place of artist Federico Dallocchio. Replacing Dagnino on “Resurrection Man” is “Birds Of Prey” artist Jesus Saiz, taking over starting with issue #10.
Speaking with Glass about his half of the crossover, the “Supernatural” writer told CBR how he was more than happy to jump right into the collaboration, hinting at how he plans to work Mitch into the permanent fabric of “Suicide Squad” and the possibility of working with Abnett and Lanning again in the future.
CBR News: When this crossover was first announced I think a lot of people were surprised simply because “Suicide Squad” and “Resurrection Man” are not two comics most immediately think of at the same time.
Adam Glass: Including me! [Laughs]
What was the genesis of this story, then?
When it was first was announced, to be honest with you, it came from editorial. When they first said it, it was funny because I was talking to Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett and we were like, “Wait a minute, he’s the guy who can never die — how does that work?” Then I got to really start talking to Andy and Dan about it, which, by the way was great because I’m a huge fan of the “The Sleeze Brothers” comic they did for Epic back in the day when I was in college. It was awesome to get to talk to Andy and Dan having been a fan of theirs, and now having a chance to work with them and talk to them about their character.
As we started to look through the mythos and figure out what our story is, we started to realize this was a very nice sort of way to bring the two series together, that actually they did have a lot in common. Both are really [about] covert operations. They sort of go out in the field and they don’t exactly have all the information available to them when they’re out there; they’re dealing with it in different ways. Obviously Mitch doesn’t remember things, but Deadshot and his team are in the dark, too. So even though it’s coming from different places, there’s a lot of similarity.
What’s it been like working with DnA on the crossover? I know it’s always a hoot to talk to them about Mitch —
They’re cheeky fellows, aren’t they? [Laughs] It’s always funny because obviously they have slang, and I’m from the Bronx and we have slang, so I’m sure we were all constantly Wikipedia-ing each other as we were talking. I’m sure they were like, “What does that mean?” [Laughs] It was a lot of fun, very collaborative, really pretty seamless. I have to say, it was a dream to work with them and we’re, at least I hope this way, friends for life. If I went to London tomorrow I’d definitely call both Andy and Dan.
I talked to Andy more than Dan because Dan’s schedule was crazy, so I’d joke there really was no Dan, that Andy was making up Dan, that he was a figment of his imagination! That was my running joke with him — that Dan was really a hand puppet that Andy said was his partner, stuff like that. But they’re very cool guys, super smart. Coming from TV, it felt like I was talking to two guys who grew up in a TV writer’s room because it was all just moving at lightning speed, it all came together very fast and seamlessly. We did it all on Skype and it was literally, they’d say something and I’d say, “That’s awesome,” and feed off of that It was really a 50/50 collaboration. Sometimes somebody has a stronger story, sometimes somebody has a stronger mythos, but it felt like interplay between all of us. We joke there’s the book we wrote and then there’s the unlimited hundred-novel series we came up with as we kept talking about the book!
How does the mechanics of the crossover work — is this set up in issue #8 with the main events happening in issue #9 of both books?
I think it starts with issue #8 and #9, and then I think what’ll happen after #9 is, we’ll be part of each other’s worlds. Every once in a while, we’ll drop in on each other. I obviously can’t reveal what we do that sort of ties Mitch to us for a while. Mitch is kind of on call; if Waller needs him, Mitch will come running. You ask yourself, well how do you do that with a man who you hold nothing over? If you put a nanobomb in his neck, he doesn’t care! We found an interesting way to deal with that problem.
Will this crossover affect the story arc coming after it? Will repercussions continue to be felt in “Suicide Squad” long after the crossover is finished?
Absolutely. Mitch Shelley will play into our mythos — I should say the series will play into our mythos — and the Squad, especially [Suicide Squad controller, Amanda] Waller, will get something out of this, which will have ramifications on our overall story and how things play out over our next few arcs. It dovetailed nicely into what we were already planning and that’s why, and people will see this when all’s said and done, people will say, “Wow, that ‘Resurrection Man’ crossover actually fit pretty seamlessly in, it was perfect.”
What is the crossover story about? How does Mitch the Resurrection Man come to the attention of the Suicide Squad?
Waller is working on something — she’s kidnapped a scientist from Basilisk who is now working for them, Dr. Visyak. She has been dabbling in some kind of experiment. That will play out and will start to get revealed a little bit more through this arc and the next. Mitch sort of falls right into [Waller’s] wagon wheel when she learns about him and the special powers that he has. She’s very interested in him. Once again, since we’re dealing in a world where there’s all these black ops and covert operations and spies, Waller and Mitch and the Body Doubles and the Lab all circulate in the same world. The fact that eventually she’d get a sniff and discover him isn’t a surprise at all. She sends the team after Mitch — she wants Mitch, and the team doesn’t know why. They’re just doing what they’re ordered to do to bring Mitch back, dead or alive.
Along with the crossover there’s the artist switch that is happening with the two books. Did you go into this knowing that “Resurrection Man” artist Fernando Dagnino would become your permanent artist?
I didn’t. I had no idea, but with that said, I’m really happy! I love what he was doing on “Resurrection Man,” I’ve already seen pages of what he’s doing for what will be “Suicide Squad” #9, and he is truly amazing. I’m sort of a sucker for artists — I fall in love very easily! [Laughs] I shouldn’t say that; I don’t fall in love easy, but I do fall in love with artists and I’ve had some great ones. The art Clayton Henry just did, what Federico [Dallocchio] did was amazing. You guys never got to see Marco Rudy’s work, but Marco is an amazing artist who started out originally on the book. I’ve been really blessed to have a lot of great artists on this book and I’m excited to see Fernando’s work, so far so good, he’s really doing some amazing stuff.
From what Dagnino’s been doing over on “Resurrection Man,” he’s clearly established a pretty dark tone and look to his art, with hints here and there of the realism the original “Resurrection Man” artist Butch Guice used. Is that style something he’s bringing to your book as well?
Yes. If you ask me, this is what I personally want. I want “Suicide Squad” to be as grounded as a book about super villains who are in a black ops secret organization can be! [Laughs] The more we can ground it and make it feel real, and his art does that, I’m all for it. I do feel like his art does that. It’s dark, and the tone of my book is dark. I always think of my book in terms of movies like “American Werewolf In London.” People say, “Oh, that’s a horror thing,” but I think it sets a real tone of darkness with comedy. That’s what I like to do. I like to have something that feels dark but has comedic undertone too.
Like you’ve promised before, we’ve been going through new Squad members at a pretty breakneck speed. Captain Boomerang was an ex-member returning to the team and this crossover is bringing in Mitch, who might play a role in later issues, what was the inspiration for bringing Lime and Light aboard?
It’s funny, you sort of look at different things that always interest you, and twins always interested me. They have this bond that none of us can understand. I found them to be interesting characters, and they had just been introduced into this world, the New 52, so I thought there’d be a lot of room to play with them. They felt really sort of “now.” I remember speaking to Pat McCallum, who was the editor on my book, and we just were throwing out different characters. He’s the one who brought them up, saying “I was reading J.T. Krul’s ”Green Arrow’ — do you know them?” I said yeah, that would be great! For many reasons, they seemed like a perfect fit for our team.
Will the crossover open up “Suicide Squad” to interact and crossover even more with other DC books?
Yeah, absolutely. I think you always have that potential. What I like about our book so far is that we have been able to stand on our own. When you have this rotating super villain group, you get to pick and play. I’d make the argument, any time we bring in a character from DC’s rogues gallery of villains, we’re doing a crossover in a way because we get to go into the Batman world, or we get to go into the Flash world, we bring in Captain Boomerang. We’re fortunate we get to play in that field all the time.
It’s funny, I was pointing out to somebody, if you really look at “Suicide Squad,” it’s sort of a magic trick happening, because if you really look at it, we haven’t killed that many people. If you do a count of who is really dead and who is not, we’re going different ways than you expected. I think the book advertised that another member goes down, and Captain Boomerang went down — but he didn’t get killed. We’re playing with what your expectations are.
I know from talking to Dan and Andy about “Resurrection Man” that they’ve always taken particular glee in coming up with ways to have their main character die. Do you have any real devious murder plans up your sleeve for Mitch?
Yeah! You know, its funny — I’ve got the best marksman in the world on my team, so killing somebody for me is like, if anyone’s going to kill Mitch Shelley, it’s Deadshot. I totally get what they’re saying, because we do that on “Supernatural” a lot. How can we kill someone differently and have fun with it? But really, it was more about what’s going to resonate most with the kill, how does that kill affect anybody around it. and then obviously, what’s going to happen when Mitch resurrects?
Finally, since you guys obviously had so much fun with it, is there a chance for another crossover or a Glass and DnA reunion on another book?
Let me tell you something, I would turn around and I would bake bread with those guys. I would do whatever they want! They’re so talented and their minds work so amazingly, I’d be up for anything. So call their agents, tell them I’m in! [Laughs] They just got to tell me where to be — I’ll show up!
“Suicide Squad” issue #8 comes out April 11; the crossover happens in issue #9, out in stores May 9. Stay tuned to CBR for Part Two of the crossover coverage with “Resurrection Man” writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning!