Having arrived in stores earlier this week, "Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir" #1 not only gives fans a new adventure of the Ghost Who Walks, but also introduces Moonstone's newest pulp hero to the world. In the issue's second feature, writer Mike Bullock and artist Michael Metcalf present the mysterious Death Angel, a terrifying masked avenger fighting to bring down the Hammer organization. CBR News caught up with Bullock to discuss the character and what's coming up in other Double Shot stories.
Bullock, who has written Moonstone's "The Phantom" since 2006, is perhaps best known as the creator of all-ages comics like "Lions, Tigers, and Bears" and "The Gimoles." The monicker "Death Angel," though, would suggest his latest creation is something quite apart from his previous work. "First off, 'Death Angel' is absolutely not an all-ages property," Bullock said. "In fact, 'DA' is basically rated R for violence and adult themes. Moonstone is currently rolling out an entire line of pulp characters, including The Spider, Black Bat, Domino Lady, Secret Agent X, Gladiator, Moon Man, Skull Killer, Captain Future, and Death Angel, to name a few. While all these characters might interact from time to time, there isn't necessarily an ironclad universe they're all bound to like you have with the big superhero houses. With that being said, expect villains and a supporting cast with a very pulp-y vibe to them."
As to who Death Angel is and what drives him, Bullock indicated that these questions would be part of the character's mystique. "Very little is known about Death Angel, and we're going to keep it that way for a bit, building an air of mystery around the character that's used as a weapon of sorts in the psychological war between the villains and the good guys," the writer said. He added that Death Angel's first appearance in "The Phantom: KGB Noir" would serve as a brief introduction to the pulp hero, while "the real action begins in 'Black Bat Double Shot' #1, coming in the spring." That second "Death Angel" story, Bullock added, will "pit DA against an entire city seemingly gone insane."
After Death Angel moves on to "Black Bat Double Shot," the "Phantom: KGB Noir" title will feature backups starring Moonstone's other pulp heroes, including Kolchak, Buckaroo Banzai, Domino Lady, and more. Bullock's character will get more than a backup feature in the new title, though. "'Black Bat Double Shot will be a split book," Bullock told CBR, "where Black Bat and Death Angel each get half the book, until..."
While Bullock wouldn't elaborate on that statement, he did add that there will be some interconnectivity of Moonstone characters' adventures in 2010. "We don't currently have any plans for Death Angel and Phantom to meet up, but the events in both stories featured in 'KGB Noir' #1 are related. If crossovers are your thing, Phantom and Captain Action will be crossing over real soon in the pages of 'Phantom Action' #1-2. After that, Death Angel might face Captain Action or any of a number of other Moonstone characters, but the soup is still on the burner."
As to other original characters or series he may be developing, Bullock advised readers to stay tuned. "I have a few all-ages irons in the fire, so to speak, and there will be a pretty big announcement early in the year that I can't divulge yet," the writer told CBR. "As for none all-ages stuff, I'm working on new versions of Black Bat, Gladiator, and Captain Future, all public domain characters, for Moonstone, and I have a few other original characters I plan to introduce in the pages of Death Angel's books in 2010, also.
"It's tough to get interest in anything new these days, so instead of my old mindset of 'put it all out, now!' I'm trying to be more patient and calculated in how I bring things out."