Vibe, the new comic launching in February, will put a young, unknown hero at the gateway to the DC multiverse, tasking him with stopping invasions from other dimensions.
And along the way, readers will encounter some new and familiar faces from DC's other "Earths."Written by screenwriter Andrew Kreisberg and DC's Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Vibe will tie heavily into Johns' other high-profile comics, Justice League and Justice League of America. The two started collaborating on the comic book project after they worked together on the Arrow TV show for CW and the Booster Gold pilot for SyFy.
Featuring art by Pete Woods, Vibe will focus on a young hero named Cisco Ramone (although his brothers teasingly call him "Paco.") While the character wasn't very well respected in his pre-relaunch incarnation, the New 52 has given Cisco unique powers that can detect invasions from other dimensions, making him a key figure in this year's most anticipated events in the DCU.
The story of his importance goes like this: When Darkseid invaded the DC Universe (depicted during the launch of Justice League), he started his invasion in Detroit. The Ramone brothers were caught in the crossfire, and Armando, the oldest, sacrificed himself to save the youngest, Cisco.
And like any good comic book story, the experience gave Cisco superpowers. And Detroit is now the location of a "weakened membrane" between dimensions.
After Cisco gets the attention of A.R.G.U.S. Agent Dale Gunn, he finds out that his powers allow him to sense incursions from other dimensions into Detroit. And because of these unique powers, Vibe ends up guarding the gateway to the multiverse.
Want to know more? Kreisberg, who writes the current Arrow comic, talked to Newsarama about Vibe.
Newsarama: Andrew, how is Vibe important to the DC Universe? How does he "save the day" in his comic, so to speak? Do you have a unique role for him?Andrew Kreisberg: Yes! One of the smartest things Geoff said early on was, "It's really important we come up with a franchise for him, and it can't just be that he has powers." So we hit upon the idea that, since the Darkseid invasion began in Detroit, this is where the membrane is weakest between the dimensions, because this is where they punched through. And this left a crack in the fabric of reality between al the dimensions of all the Earths.
Things kind of fall through, and people sneak through, and if there's going to be another invasion, this is where it will begin.
Since Cisco draws his powers from the energy of these vibrational cracks, he's also able to sense these incursions. He knows when things are here that shouldn't be, or when things come through.
And he says, with some irony, that he's essentially become an inter-dimensional border cop.
I think that gives a strong franchise to the book. He's here to clean up Detroit from these incursions, but the people he's working for — Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. — don't always, necessarily, have his best interest at heart, or the best interest of some of the innocent people who come through.
So it's going to lead to a lot of interesting conflicts.
Nrama: I know he's up against the Parademons in the first issue. But as the series continue, will Vibe be interacting with DC's multiverse?
Kreisberg: Yes, he will!
Nrama: And you mentioned "innocent people" coming through. Are we going to see some new and familiar characters from other DC Earths?Kreisberg: Yeah. That's one of the fun things about this book. Since that's where his powers come from, a lot of this book is tying into both the Justice League book and the Justice League of America book. There's going to be a lot of inter-dimensional conflict in the DC Universe coming up. And because Vibe's powers are derived directly from it, the book is going to take this very unknown or unappreciated character and thrust him into the center of all of it.
Nrama: But he's just a normal guy, right? What's the approach to his character and his reactions to all this happening around him? This is all new to him as we pick up his story, right?
Kreisberg: Yeah, and what was exciting for us as writers was not just taking Vibe, this character who wasn't remembered or well-thought-of and turning him into somebody popular, but also creating the notion of a real point-of-entry character. There are a lot of god-like personas in the DC Universe, like Superman and Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, and then even the non-powered heroes like Batman, who is a very inscrutable, taciturn character. But Cisco Ramone is like us, you know? He's a teenager who is suddenly thrust into this incredible world and given these amazing powers. And before he knows it, he's joining the Justice League of America, and he's working alongside his heroes.
It's really a coming-of-age tale, and there's a feeling of, "what would you do if you were in that situation?" And I think he reacts with realistic reactions to these impossible situations, and he's asking questions that most superheroes don't ask. And those questions are going to get him in trouble. And most of the time he's asking, "Am I going to get killed if I do this?" That doesn't make him a coward, but I think instead it makes him, sort of, "us."
I think having that kind of relatable, grounded character is something we haven't seen much in the DC Universe. And given all the extraordinary things that are being planned, with the Justice League and the Justice League of America, to have that gateway character is something that's fresh and new for DC.
Nrama: Who surrounds him during all of this? Is there a supporting cast you're building for the book?Kreisberg: His main relationship is with his brother Dante, and he's going to be the voice of reason. Dante's going to be the one who's saying, "They want you to join the Justice League? They need someone to get killed to the other ones can go fight harder?" So there's going to be a lot of humor and an awful lot of love between the two of them. I have brothers, so it's one of those great relationships between brothers where you love each other, you want to strangle each other, you support each other, you're jealous of each other — all that stuff.
And then he's also working along with Dale Gunn, who's a member of A.R.G.U.S. and his sort of mentor. There's a little bit of a Men in Black feel, where Cisco is the Will Smith, young, hot-shot who's constantly asking questions and has an attitude, and Dale Gunn is sort of the older, Tommy Lee Jones, crusty, seen-it-all kind of guy, but still has a soft spot in his heart for his young protégé.
Everybody's working for Amanda Waller, and you're never quite sure where you stand with her.
And then there's the Justice League of America. They'll be making appearances in the book. And then later one, we've got the Suicide Squad showing up.
You'll be seeing some familiar faces and some new faces.
As a comic book reader, in the same way Arrow, which I'm working on, is a show I want to watch, Vibe is a comic book I want to read.
Nrama: I'm sure you've seen pages and know what kind of vibe — pun intended — your artist is bringing to the book. What is that vibe?Kreisberg: One thing that's exciting for me, being the least known of the "trinity" of people working on the comic, is writing with Geoff Johns and having Pete Woods illustrate it. It's so exciting.
One of the things that's fantastic about the book is that it ties into the Justice League of America book and also what's going on in the Justice League book. So if you want a complete story, you will get that from Vibe.
But at the same time, Vibe really is its own book. Having Geoff on board and having somebody of Pete Woods' caliber drawing it gives the book its own presence within all these things, making it a relatable story on its own. It's big and fun and exciting, but at the same time it's sort of down-to-earth and real and character-focused. I couldn't be more proud of it.
Nrama: Having seen some of the collaboration Geoff Johns has done in the past for solo characters — and Booster Gold comes to mind as I hear what this comic is like — are you on this long-term? Are you guys going to work on this together for awhile? And also, what do each of you bring to Vibe? We know what a Geoff Johns comic is like. What's the Andrew Kreisberg part of the equation?
Kreisberg: I think Geoff and I are similar in that we both start from the place of character. That's always been how I approach my projects, whether it's science fiction or superheroes. It's starts with, who is this person? What are their needs? What are they like? And what are their relationships about?
The robots and the superpowers and supervillains and all that stuff — that's just the icing. And that's always how I've operated, and I think that's one of the reasons that Geoff and I collaborate so well on all the things we've worked on, whether it's the Arrow TV series or the Booster Gold pilot and now Vibe. We're both starting from the same place. We both see story-telling the same way.
I'm not sure how much of it can be separated out, like "he does that and I do this." Obviously, he's forgotten more about writing comics than I'll ever know. And his story structure and his knowledge of how to best use what's very limited space and tell the maximum amount of story is a joy to watch.
But I think as far as the dialogue and the stories themselves, we're very similar. So it's been a lot of back-and-forth that sounds like, "Hey, what if we do this?" "Hey, that's great, what if we did this?" "Hey! Then we can do this!" So it's just been a joy.
What's also been nice is that, you know, Geoff and I have become such good friends over the years working on these various projects. More than anything, it's just fun to work together.
Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything else you want to tell potential readers about the book?
Kreisberg: If you don't know who Vibe is, or if you do remember him and don't remember him fondly, I would just ask that you really give this book a shot. In the same way that Geoff really revived Booster Gold, I think there's a lot of similarities between him taking Booster, who is somewhat Vibe-like in the sense that he's not always necessarily remembered well, if remembered at all. And Geoff really turned him into somebody that you can't imagine the DC Universe without anymore, which I'm glad about, as we're collaborating on the pilot for Warner Horizons and SyFy.
Our hope is that, by the time we're through, you won't be able to imagine the DC Universe without Vibe.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!