Greetings ‘Rama Readers! Recently, I was lucky enough to sit down with up and coming Marvel Comics writer Scott Reed, author of War of Kings: Son of Hulk, and Enigma Force: Dark Son Rising, as well as the indie hit The Overman. This week, Marvel is releasing a trade including all of Scott’s work for the company so far. We spoke about that, along with the possibility of a sequel to The Overman.
Incredible Hulks Dark Son: Enigma Force
George Marston: Hi Scott, today I wanted to talk a little bit with you about the TPB that Marvel’s doing of all your recent work for them. Which material are they planning to include?
Scott Reed: The TPB is INCREDIBLE HULKS DARK SON: ENIGMA FORCE and it collects the two mini-series I wrote last year. SON OF HULK: Conquest of Jarella’s World and INCREDIBLE HULKS DARK SON: Enigma Force.
GM: Ok, great. So it’ll include all the work you did with Miguel Munera on the Hulk storyline. Any idea when that’ll be released?
SR: It’ll be out on February 23rd.
GM: I’m looking forward to the trade. The stuff you did with Enigma Force throughout both mini-series really took me back to those classic Marvel stories from the 70′s that guys like Jim Starlin and Roy Thomas told. Was this a story concept you’d been sitting on, or did it develop due to Marvel wanting to work with you?
SR: Thanks. The idea of using the Microverse characters came from editorial, and we built the story around that. Mark basically gave me the pieces to work with and I pitched several story ideas based on that. I ended up doing a lot of homework for this, re-reading the entire original series and the second series as well. So I probably channeled some of that classic vibe into the scripts, just because I was surrounded by so much of it.
GM: Yeah, the familiarity with the characters definitely came through. One of the hallmarks of the Enigma Force characters has always been their family dynamic, in the grand Marvel tradtion. I was glad to see your sense of humor come through the scripts. Plus, it’s gotta be hard not to get excited when you’re following up on concepts like K’ai, and the Psyklop, which were developed with Harlan Ellison.
SR: Absolutely. We needed new team members, and I wanted to use characters that I felt would organically fit the team, rather than being contrived. The Psyklop was a mostly untapped character, and I started thinking more deeply about that and came up with what ended up being one of the key story points–having an invasion force of Psyklop attacking K’ai. And then putting one of them in the team, again, was just an organic thing that happened through the events in the story. It felt right and he shares that common Microverse history with the others, as well.
GM: Definitely. Let’s talk for a minute about Miguel Munera, because he absolutely killed it on both of these mini-series.
SR: Yeah, he did.
GM: I’ve noticed that Marvel has been cultivating a lot of ongoing writer/artist teams, and I was very glad that he was able to stick with the characters through both books. As an accomplished artist yourself, was it easy to work with Miguel? How much direction was in the scripts?
GM: I’m a huge proponant of the ‘writer/artist teams’, so I was very happy to have Miguel back for the 2nd mini-series. I had a great experience working with him, because he was always willing to indulge my various concept sketches and ideas, and would typically turn them into something far beyond what I could do. He understood the symbolism that I was going for in the scripts, as well. He took things to a cinematic view, widening the camera lens and giving the space scenes and the K’ai scenes a big panoramic look, which I love. Miguel also brings humanity to the characters. He brought out their emotions visually, because the story deals with crazy action but also with the power of love, hate and redemption. Some heavy concepts behind all the fighting and explosions, I think, and he was able to convey these things perfectly.
The Psyklop attacks Enigma Force
GM: Yeah, absolutely. One of my favorite sequences was from the Psyklop fight in issue one of the ENIGMA FORCE: DARK SON mini, when the team is affected by the Psyklop’s mental blast. The tilted angle, with the panels separated by the energy blasts, and the flashback sequences really captured the power of the Psyklop to harvest the team’s painful emotions. There was a real chemistry between the pacing of the script, and the storytelling of the pages throughout both series. Any chance we’ll get to see more of the Reed/Munera team in the near future?
SR: I’d love the chance to work with Miguel again, and I have no doubt we could take it to the next level if given the opportunity.
GM: Another thing I wanted to discuss was the possibility of a sequel to your creator-owned series “Overman,” which you created with artist Shane White. You’ve been tweeting recently about some broad strokes for part two. Are there any details you can spare?
SR: Well, it’s very, very early to talk details yet. But this is what I get for tweeting, right? Now I have to explain myself.
GM: Haha, definitely.
SR: There are a few things I can talk about, though. The sequel will be a novel, not a graphic novel or comic book. It’s planned as a ‘stand-alone’ science fiction story, although it connects with the events in The Overman.
GM: Oh, neat. So it’ll actually be prose fiction. That’ll be new ground for you, yes?
SR: I wrote The Overman as a novel, originally, but it went unpublished and I later adapted it into a comic book script. I’ve been writing prose for years, but I’ve never had the nerve to talk about it I guess until now. So this will be a new experience for me in many ways, but I’m pretty excited to see where it might lead.
GM: “The Overman” seemed like a pretty well concluded story. It ended in a pretty bleak place for Nathan Fischer, and well, for everyone, really. In a way though, it was oddly hopeful. Are you planning to pick up the same threads thematically, or is there more of that hesitant hope in this story?
SR: You nailed it pretty well there, yes. One thing I’m doing with the sequel is to make sure I’m not answering any lingering questions
from The Overman. My favorite stories are the ones in which some things are left unresolved, some questions are best left unanswered, and we don’t get to know what happens after the hero rides off into the sunset. These are the things that keep us coming back to a book and re-reading it, because it allows us to wonder. So, keeping that in mind, I’m approaching the sequel as the 2nd Act in The Overman. But it’s a different animal than the comic, and that’s one of the reasons I want to tell the story in a different format.
GM: I’m definitely excited to read what you’ve got in store. I realize that it’ll probably be a while before anything solid comes out- any ideas on your timeframe right now?
SR: I’m hoping to have a manuscript finished by spring. It’s just so early to talk about anything after that. But there is a plan.
GM: Excellent. Well, to wrap things up, the big question is, what’s next for Scott Reed?
SR: I’m thinking about growing a beard, moving to the mountains and writing a long, illegible manifesto.
GM: Well, may your shack be heated, and your bucket made of stainless steel.
There you have it, folks! Look for Scott Reed and Miguel Munera’s Incredible Hulks Dark Son: Enigma Force TPB in stores today! You can also visit Scott’s website, Web’s Best Comics to find out more information regarding his current and upcoming projects, and even take a look at some of his comic art!