At this year’s New York Comic Con, Vertigo announced its first superhero team book since Grant Morrison’s seminal “The Invisibles” ended in 2000. The six-issue miniseries “Greatest Hits” - written by David Tischman (“American Century,” “Bite Club”) with art by Glenn Fabry (“Hellblazer,” “Preacher”) - features The Mates, a British-bred league of justice who may bring to mind a certain other Fab Four.
“They are not The Beatles. But they hold a place in the zeitgeist that The Beatles had for us. There is no one else like The Beatles - and that’s who The Mates are,” Tischman told CBR News back in April.
With “Greatest Hits” #1 now in stores, CBR News is profiling one Mate a week through to the release of “Greatest Hits” #2, on sale October 15. Why do we need five parts to profile a team of four? Check out the series.
Series writer David Tischman first spoke with us about Solicitor, the self-taught crime fighter and ass-kicking Olympic-level gymnast and boxer, who most closely resembles a John Lennon archetype; and again last week about Crusader, the super-strong, non-flying boy scout who most closely resembles a Paul McCartney archetype.
Tischman joins us again this week, this time to discuss The Mate known as Vizier.
CBR: What is Vizier’s superpower?
David Tischman: Vizier is a Druid, and his powers come from understanding and manipulating the Earth’s natural energies. He is more mystical than magical -- more Dr. Fate than Zatanna. Because his powers come from the Earth, it’s harder for Vizier to access his powers when the Mates venture into outer space to face the Ilian invasion.
What is Vizier’s secret origin or how did he acquire said superpower?
Like many post-war children, Vizier was afflicted with polio and his left leg has atrophied from that disease and from disuse. When doctors could no longer treat his condition, Vizier turned to magic. He wears a brace under his costume until the Mates arrive in America, in 1967 -- but as Vizier likes to say, “I don’t use the leg much, anyway.” Vizier grew up in Woolton, a middle class neighborhood. His older brother, Nigel, is Golem -- who only agreed to join the Mates if Vizier could come along. Nigel is protective of his younger brother, and the two are very close.
What Beatle does Vizier most resemble? And why?
Vizier is a shy guy -- yes, the leg issues are behind most of it -- but his older brother is such a big, outgoing personality; Vizier’s always taken a quiet back seat. As the Mates continue to fight crime, Vizier becomes more and more spiritual. He comes to believe that fighting crime actually engenders crime -- which is something George Harrison might have come up with. Beatle-wise, I think Vizier taps into the spiritual side a number of rock stars have explored, including Bob Dylan.
What is Vizier’s super-vice?
Someone this spiritual doesn’t really have vices. But Vizier -- and I know this is ironic for a ‘magical’ hero -- but he has a really hard time dealing with reality. Of all the Mates, he has the hardest time dealing with the fame. As the years go by, Vizier’s beliefs — and his shyness — push him to spend more and more time on the Astral Plane. By the time of the ‘Greatest Hits’ documentary, Vizier has been gone for over 10 years. He lost an eye along the way but that’s a story for another time. One other thing, he’s a virgin.
What do you love most about writing Vizier?
He’s so not into the glamour of it all. Yes, when the team arrives in New York, he loves the attention from the girls — and there was a lot of it — but I like his emotional simplicity and how that works with his powers. I think Vizier’s the kind of guy Crusader and Solicitor wish they could be.
What do you love most about how Glenn Fabry draws him?
The costumes. Nobody's ever looked so good in tie-dye.
And finally, what’s one thing you can tell us about Vizier that will give us some insight into who we are dealing with?
Something happens when the Mates are in New York City, in “Greatest Hits” #2, that upends Vizier's world -- and taints the success the Mates achieve. It’s pretty big.
“Greatest Hits” #1 is in stores now. “Greatest Hits” #2 is due in stores October 15 from Vertigo.