Sometimes, it’s just one of those days. If you’re normal, you might lose your keys or get to work late–but if you’re a God, it ends with you getting stabbed in the heart by a berserk redhead.
This is the fate of Loki at the conclusion of “Red Sonja: Wrath of the Gods,” a story which threw Sonja into the middle of Wodinaz, the kingdom of the Norse Gods, and pitted her against Loki, the god of mischief. Now, with Thor ruling over all of Wodinaz, Loki’s recovered from his heart attack and wants only one thing: revenge.
Giving Loki the chance for some vengeance is “Wrath of the Gods” writer and “Red Sonja” film executive producer Luke Lieberman. Lieberman took time out of his busy schedule to give readers the rundown on his newest Dynamite Entertainment’s “Red Sonja: Revenge of the Gods,” some of the tricks he’s got in store for Sonja and a quick update on the upcoming movie.
CBR News: Luke, as I understand it, this is a sequel to last year’s “Red Sonja: Wrath of the Gods.” Is it a sequel and if so, can new readers jump onto the series without any trouble?
Luke Lieberman: All you would need to know is Loki lost the last round and isn’t too happy about it. His brother Thor now sits on the throne of Wodinaz and Loki would rather burn it all to the ground than suffer the indignity. It is time to bring on the Ragnarok.
Now that Sonja’s become familiar with the Norse mythological figures, what can we expect from this upcoming series?
It’s time for Sonja to get acquainted with some mythological monsters. I stayed pretty close to the mythology regarding Ragnarok. Readers will likely see some monsters they recognize.
When we spoke previously about “Wrath of the Gods,” you said, “We have never done anything quite like it before and I am not certain we will again.” Now, “Revenge of the Gods” is set to hit shelves! How did development for this new series come about and why did you decide to continue the story you began in “Wrath of the Gods?”
Readers jived with the first series. Generally, a story arc starts with a single image or scene that gets stuck in my mind and I expand from there. I had a recurring image of Loki sitting amongst the mortals, really low, ugly and stupid mortals, just hating life. He is so perfectly miserable that when marauders come in and slaughter the mortals, it really brightens up his day. Finally! Some entertainment!
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you had a lot of fun writing Loki, and that he was a bit too clever for his own good. Now that it looks like he’s getting his revenge on Sonja, what kinds of mischief can we expect from him?
He has been exiled from Wodinaz and forced to live in northern Vanaheim, a backwater wasteland. He feels his power waning the longer he remains outside Wodinaz. He wants more than simple revenge on Sonja,although that is a top priority for sure. He wants to go back to Wodinaz and destroy the throne that should have been his.
In “Wrath of the Gods,” you also got to play with many of the Gods of Norse Mythology. Will you be adding any new faces for this series? If so, who and what influenced your decision to do so?
No more Gods, but a few more monsters. The Ragnarok mythology tells of three creatures in particular that are unleashed. There are a few more mortal faces, but they are of my own invention and few will live to see old age.
What kinds of challenges will Sonja face when squaring off against Loki?
It’s challenging enough she needs to call in the big guns. Think Thor. As usual, Loki’s gift is his wits. He is always step ahead and Sonja seems to be playing catch up.
How do you think Sonja sees Loki? What kind of impression has she gotten from the Mischief God and how will this affect how she approaches the challenges he’ll throw at her?
She sees him as an arrogant prick. Stabbing him through the chest in the first series was one of life’s true pleasures, and she would love to finish the job. She knows he has escaped and is on the lookout, but Loki has a knack for coming from unexpected angles. Sonja is really going to have to improvise, a lot.
What do you find most challenging when approaching a situation like the one presented in “Revenge of the Gods?”
Making it big without getting so big that the stakes lose impact and meaning. The subject demands scale, but if you’re not careful it just becomes meaningless. Have to remember that it all comes down to character.
By the same token, what have you found most rewarding about your work on the series thus far?
It is a fun sandbox to play in, and she is a character near and dear to my heart, like a member of the family I just haven’t met in person yet. At a more fundamental level, writing comics is a real treat. I’m a law student studying for an evidence exam at the moment, so even this interview is a welcome break!
This is just fun, moves fast, goes a lot of places with big action sequences. Loki’s powers provide a nice x-factor. We are not getting too deep into Sonja’s head in this series. It’s more of an old fashioned slugfest.
As a major player when it comes to the Red Sonja license, what do you think of the directions and interpretations that Sonja has taken over the years in the comic book universe?
They are a testament to her versatility and longevity. Sonja stands in rare company as a heroine with hundreds of books under her own title. Not many female comic characters can say that. While I want to maintain a loose continuity, particularly so far as it concerns meaningful, personal moments in her life, Sonja is a nomadic adventurer. So if we get too hardcore about continuity, it loses some of the fun.
Is there anything you can tell us about on the film front for “Red Sonja,” “Thusa Doom” or “Conan?”
It sounds like they are lining up a new director for “Sonja.” I think “Conan” is hitting theaters soon, and if that proves itself in the market, it will bode well for both “Sonja” and “Thulsa.” On “Thulsa,” we just finished the script and are looking for financing partners. Hollywood is always “hurry up and wait.” Using “Conan” as an example, this new incarnation took more than 10 years to hit screens. Warners had it, put it through countless rewrites and directors, Warners lost it, now Lionsgate is finally releasing it.
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