Writer Garth Ennis started his career in comics with titles like "Troubled Souls" and "True Faith," but really found his audience over at DC/Vertigo after taking over "Hellblazer" and then co-created the critically acclaimed "Preacher." So, for a man who has played with all aspects of religion, what could he possibly write about next? Why, the Anti-Christ of course. In "Chronicles of Wormwood" from Avatar Press, Ennis and his "303" collaborator Jacen Burrows dive into the life and times of Danny Wormwood, Satan's little angel.
With the "Chronicles of Wormwood" preview in stores now and the series coming in January, 2007, CBR News sat down with Ennis to ask him a few questions about his latest project.
Garth, how did the concept for "Chronicles of Wormwood" come about? Did it start with the character of Wormwood as the antichrist or was it more about the themes being explored?
It started with Wormwood himself, an idea I've been kicking about for over fifteen years. The trials and tribulations of the Antichrist as he goes about his daily business.
In describing the antichrist, from the book of Daniel 8:20, "the ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." Taking the "King of Media" in a modern twist would explain Wormwood's career choice. How much of the descriptions of the antichrist from the bible did you use to create the character of Wormwood?
There's some biblical stuff later on in the story, but all I really took for Danny Wormwood was the 666 bit. And the fact that the Devil's his Dad, of course. Given that the character has totally rejected the role intended for him -- as detailed in the Bible -- I didn't see any need to stay too faithful to the book of Revelations (fun read though it is).
At two different points in the first issue, organized religion is referenced in a negative light; a discussion of the neutering of broadcast television by religions groups and the misinterpretation by religious leaders to further their group objectives. How much do the activities of organized religions play into the series and its themes?
Wormwood is dogged from the very beginning by the machinations of the Catholic Church; it really doesn't get more organized than those guys. I know that far-right evangelist groups get a lot of attention nowadays, but if you look at history you'll see that the Vatican did it all first and on a much grander scale.
What is your goal for this series? Is there a finite set of story arcs planned out or do you see it more open-ended?
We could quite easily do more; these six issues introduce a ton of characters and situations it would be fun to come back to. Then again, Wormwood does run a TV production company, so I'm entertaining vague notions of doing one of his shows as the second series. We shall see.
This is your second collaboration with artist Jacen Burrows, "303" being the previous. Does being familiar with the artist help in the writing process? Did you craft the script specifically for Jacen's art?
Yes and yes. Jacen's brilliant. That he hasn't signed up for some DC/ Marvel crossover blockbuster is a testament to the man's integrity and creativity (then again, maybe he just doesn't want his soul crushed beyond all hope of redemption)
Return tomorrow for more on "Chronicles of Wormwood" as we sit down with artist Jacen Burrows and get a peak at more art from the series.