This December sees the team of Vita Ayala, Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín joining forces for a new series as part of Valiant Beyond, an initiative from the publisher which will see them launching four new titles through the end of the year. While the other comics all feature characters who've starred in their own series before, one of them stands out: Livewire, the electricity-wielding psiot who has been part of ensemble books before, including Imperium and the recent Secret Weapons.
Initially announced as a limited-series run with the character, Comic-Con International: San Diego brought the news that the story has now been expanded out into an ongoing series -- a sign that the publisher is confident in the team's story. For Ayala, this marks a first step into the Valiant Universe, and their opening story for Livewire will see her trying to reevaluate the line between hero and villain... and which side she wants to stand on. Ahead of the launch of the first issue at the end of the year, CBR spoke to Ayala about their plans for the character and the series -- and how they've found working with Valiant so far.
CBR News: How did you come to join the creative team for Livewire’s first series at Valiant? Was this a series you pitched for particularly and wanted to get involved with?
Vita Ayala: I was invited to pitch on the series by [Valiant Executive Editor] Joseph Illidge. We had been trying to work together on a project for a while, and though there was no guarantee this would be the one, he felt that I might have a take on the character that would work for her first solo title.
When the opportunity was presented, I jumped at the chance. Secret Weapons, a miniseries featuring Livewire and a small group of young psiots, is one of my favorite books to come out in the last five years. The idea of being able to work with what was established there was a dream!
As a superhero toybox, Valiant has more characters of color than most other established publishers, and especially in leading or "important" roles. This is the first time Livewire is taking the spotlight, though, so how did you approach what kind of story and world you wanted to build around the character, and help her shine?
Ayala: Livewire, to me, is an incredibly nuanced and sympathetic character. Even when she is making mistakes, she is acting from a position of wanting to do the right thing. Her empathy makes her story that much richer, gives someone that much more to explore.
Following the events of Harbinger Wars 2, Livewire is in a vulnerable position, both literally and morally. To bring her back to a state of equilibrium (in terms of who she is), we needed to take her down to her foundations and build her back up again. That is not to say that she is becoming a different person, but rather, that we want to get to the core of her and reinvigorate her convictions. I love a good redemption arc, and with a character who, at the heart of her is deeply caring and involved in her community, we felt like she couldn’t move forward until she took a hard look at what she had done and faced the consequences.