Hey readers, and welcome to an interview this week with Ron Marz, who is currently writing Dynamite Entertainment’s big character crossover title Prophecy, first two issues out now. Let’s get down to picking Mr. Marz’s brain!
ComicAttack: Prophecy is Dynamite’s first big epic crossover. A lot of characters from a lot of titles (with a lot of different time periods) are all in one book. Can you tell us about the story and how it came about?
Ron Marz: The broad strokes were in place when Dynamite came to me and offered me the project. We knew it was going to involve a pretty wide selection of characters under the Dynamite banner, and we knew it was going to hinge upon the Mayan 2012 prophecy. So there was a general idea in place, and some of the cast members confirmed, but we had to hone the specifics. And then, obviously, it was my job to figure out a way for it to all make sense.
CA: As you mentioned, Prophecy ties into the Mayan end of the world. There’s been end of the world stories in comics before, but I believe this is the first time we get it tied into the Mayans. Was that because this year is 2012? So you could tie in characters from different historical-periods easier? Both maybe?
RM: Yeah, a bit of both, I think. The “doomsday” prophecy is part of the zeitgeist this year, so it’s something we could play with for the story. Certainly the mix of characters demanded some kind of device to bring them all together. It’s not like Red Sonja and Sherlock Holmes hang out at the same bar.
CA: You have worked on some pretty epic crossovers in the past, like Marvel vs. DC and Batman/Aliens. How has your work and approach on Prophecy differed from these previous epics?
RM: Not really any different. Anytime you take on a crossover story, a big part of the job is making sure everything in the story is accessible for any reader. You can’t go into these things assuming your audience knows the characters and continuity backwards and frontwards. If you make that mistake, you not only limit your audience, you’re also failing on a pure level of craft. So I make sure the story is told in such a way that anybody can come along for the ride, whether it’s Batman fighting Aliens, or Vampirella baring her teeth at Red Sonja. You start with the essence of the characters, and build from there.
CA: Walter Geovani is the artist on this project with you. How has it been working with him on this?
RM: It’s my first time working with Walter, but I definitely hope it’s not my last. He’s got all of the tools in his toolbox. His storytelling is solid, he draws beautifully, he can draw whatever I throw at him, and he’s fast. In the first issue alone, he had to draw Victorian London and a Mayan city at the height of their empire, and he made both of them completely convincing.
CA: Dynamite in the past has had mini-series of their characters, like Vampirella, not affect what is going on in the core ongoing book of the same character. Does the same rule apply to Prophecy and is it all self-contained, or will we be going the way of Marvel/DC and as the story branches out, having to buy a bunch titles to get the “whole” story?
RM: No, Prophecy is entirely self-contained. We didn’t want to force readers into making the choice of buying a bunch of extra issues, or skipping tie-in issues and feeling like they were missing out. Prophecy is seven issues, and you get the entire story in those seven issues.
CA: There are a ton of Dynamite characters in this, Vampirella, Red Sonja, Dorian Grey, etc. Which one was your favorite to write about?
RM: If I had to pick just one, it’d be Sonja. Growing up I was a big fan of heroic fantasy, so that character really hits a sweet spot for me.
CA: In the same vein, although Prophecy does have a ton of the Dynamite characters in it, I noticed there were a handful of characters (at least at time of press release) not in it, such as John Carter, the Shadow, Voltron, etc. Were these characters left out because of rights issues, or an executive decision somewhere? On the same topic, was there a Dynamite character not in Prophecy that you would have loved to write about?
RM: There are always characters you want to squeeze in there, but you can’t have everybody. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with numerous licensed characters and numerous owners. I’m content with the mix of characters we have, and I think the mix works well for the story we’re telling. As enticing as some of those other characters are, sometimes too many ingredients spoil the soup.
CA: Any final thoughts for our readers on Prophecy and your vision?
RM: You don’t need to have read any of these characters before, you get everything you need in the story. It’s meant to be a very “comic book” kind of story, something that embraces the kind of fun that comics can do so well.
CA: Awesome, thanks for joining us here!
That’s it for now, readers. As mentioned, issues 1 and 2 of Prophecy are out now from Dynamite Entertainment, check it out!