Call for Book Reviewers and Bloggers

Comics

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
}

Walt Simonson has been described as the modern Jack Kirby, a legend of today’s comic books. His run on The Mighty Thor remains one of the most defining and compelling chronicles of the Marvel Comics staple since the character’s creation by Kirby himself. Coincidentally, his work has also graced the pages of other Kirby-originated titles such as Fantastic Four and X-Factor. Now, he has taken on Orion, DC Comics’ newest exploration of Kirby’s Fourth World saga. PopMatters spoke one-on-one with the new god of the New Gods about the future of this ambitious series.



PopMatters:

What made you consider doing Orion?



Walt Simonson:

I loved the original Kirby runs of the Fourth World titles, Jimmy Olsen included. I was in college at the time they were coming out and thought they were wonderful, really mind-blowing comics, to use a phrase of the time! So I was delighted to get the chance to work on the characters myself.



PM:

Did you consciously make changes (like Tigra’s death, Orion becoming ruler of Apokolips) to have a clean slate to work with?



WS:

The main reason for doing stories like those was to try to do stories that don’t feel like you’ve read them before. The New Gods have been around for a long time; I’m working on taking them places that extend logically from the material that’s gone before (particularly Jack and John Byrne’s work) and don’t simply cover the old ground again.



PM:

What is the hardest part about writing Orion? The easiest?



WS:

The hardest is probably trying to boil all the ideas the characters engender down into a monthly comic book! There seem to be so many possibilities and so little room! The other hard part is drawing Orion’s Astro-harness! The easiest? ‘Hearing’ the characters’ voices. I’ve a pretty clear idea of who everybody is.



PM:

How do you decide whom to invite for the splendid back-up stories in each issue?



WS:

I’ve already got a list as long as my arm of folks I’d like to ask. I just call folks as I go along and hope they aren’t too busy!



PM:

Considering New God’s checkered publication history, do you think Orion has a chance to survive?



WS:

I don’t really know. The comics industry in the States in general is way down from where it was only a few years ago, so every new book and project done is swimming upstream. DC has been very supportive of the title; they’re putting out a trade paperback of the first five issues in February. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed!



PM:

How long do you think you’ll be writing/drawing Orion?



WS:

As long as I can. I’ve probably got another two to three years worth of stories sitting around waiting their turn.




PM:

Will Mister Miracle (JLA member and title character of a former Fourth World series) figure in the main storyline?



WS:

Actually, he will. I don’t want to give too much away but I want to make something of the dichotomy between Orion and Scott Free, doing some stuff to draw attention to their differences AND their similarities. And I’ve got some stories lined up to do that a few issues from now.



PM:

Will there be cross-overs with other DC Universe characters?



WS:

Here and there. The JLA (Superman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter) show up for a cameo in Orion 13. There will be others down the line. But the main focus will remain on Orion and the New Gods.



PM:

How about one with Thor?



WS:

Not exactly (at least, I don’t have any plans right now although John Byrne did introduce a “Thor” into the New Gods mythology during his run). But I do plan to allude indirectly to Norse mythology as they’re clearly the Old Gods in Jack’s original story structure.



PM:

Um…Darkseid (Orion’s arch-nemesis/father) isn’t really dead is he?



WS:

That would be telling, wouldn’t it?

Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
Win a 15-CD Pack of Brazilian Music CDs from Six Degrees Records! in PopMatters Contests on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.