AZZARELLO on 100 BULLETS Return: 'Expect the Unexpected'
at the cover of
BROTHER LONO #1Although Brother Lono will take place in the same style and world as 100 Bullets, series writer Brian Azzarello warned that readers should "expect the unexpected."
As DC announced last week at Emerald City Comicon, the entire creative team from the Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series 100 Bullets will be working together again on a new limited series beginning in June, including Azzarello, artist Eduardo Risso, colorist Trish Mulvihill, letterer Clem Robbins and cover artist Dave Johnson.
The limited series takes place after the end of 100 Bullets, which ended in 2009 after a 100-issue run over 10 years. As the title Brother Lono implies, the story will focus on Lono, who was one of the more brutal and unstoppable characters in the 100 Bullets universe. As an example, in 100 Bullets #100, Lono was shot several times and then thrown out a window. But his body was later shown to be gone, leaving his ultimate fate a mystery.
Now readers will find out just what happened to Lono, but the rest of the cast in Brother Lono will be all new characters, and they don't necessarily connect in any way with the story of 100 Bullets, Azzarello said.
Risso and Azzarello teamed last year for the limited Vertigo series Spaceman, and the two were both involved in the Before Watchmen event at DC. Azzarello is also currently writing Wonder Woman for DC.
As the two embark on this new project while returning to some old friends, Azz talked to Newsarama about the choice to tell more stories about Brother Lono.
Newsarama: Brian, how did you and Eduardo decide that now was the time to return to the world of 100 Bullets?
Brian Azzarello: We finished Spaceman, and before we were even done with that, we had already been talking about what we were going to do next.
This project came together almost two years ago. 'Duardo and I were in Spain. We were in a cab. The night that Spain won the World Cup.
Nrama: Crazy cool memory.
Azzarello: I know. Yeah. The streets were pretty crowded, and everybody was partying, and we were in this cab. And he just turns to me and says, 'I think we should do some 100 Bullets again.
And we were in Spain because there's this festival called Semana Negra, which takes place for a week. They did an exhibition of 100 Bullets. It was one of the focuses of the festival that year.
So they brought us over, and there were talks and stuff like that. So it was kind of, like... 100 Bullets was on our mind.
And Eduardo was like, "I want to do it again." And I was like, "OK. We had a few characters who lived. Or we could go back and tell something, you know, prior to the story."
And he's like, "No. No, I want to do Lono."
So we hashed out the story that night.
Nrama: OK, I remember us talking about this before. You totally hinted about this back when we were talking about Spaceman. You said that you and Eduardo decided your next project while you were in Spain. It was in a bar, right?
Azzarello: Yeah, it was.
Nrama: OK, before we talk more about Brother Lono, and as long as we're talking about how respected 100 Bullets is, do you have any updates on the adaptation of the comic to other media? What's happening with the TV show that was reported?
Azzarello: Oh God. Who knows? That changes, like, weekly. I have no idea.
Nrama: Is Brother Lono a continuation of the 100 Bullets story at all?
Azzarello: It's not a continuation of 100 Bullets. I wouldn't even call it a sequel. It's dealing with one of the characters that happened to survive.
Everyone else in the series [Brother Lono] — it will be all new characters.
It's just, what's Lono been doing since the end of that series?
Nrama: And Lono's the central character?
Azzarello: Yeah. His name's in the title, so he'd better have something to do with it.
Nrama: You mentioned that there are new characters. Are any of the new characters related to the 100 Bullets characters or concepts, or are they connected at all?
Azzarello: No, not directly. But it's in the same world.
Nrama: Did you always figure there were more stories to tell about Lono in particular? Because you made it look like, in the last issue of 100 Bullets, he somehow lived through the beating you gave him (which we should have known would happen, since he lived through everything else you threw at him).
Azzarello: Yeah. Eduardo and I had talked about who was going to survive and who wasn't going to survive, as far as the end of 100 Bullets went. And I'd always planned on making it very, very vague and open to interpretation whether Lono was dead or alive.
Like you said, he's hard to kill!
Nrama: You almost couldn't kill him off at the end, because you'd set a precedent.
Azzarello: Just living up to what we established! You know? He's hard to kill. He's nearly impossible to kill.
Nrama: Lono is a pretty nasty, violent character. Will Brother Lono show his background or enough of his story so readers can understand why he is the way he is?
Azzarello: We're not going to learn more about his background. We're going to learn what drives him. He's not a character that looks toward the past. He's always moving forward.
Nrama: If this is a new chapter, is it still going to be in the style of 100 Bullets? I mean, it's you and Eduardo...
Azzarello: Yeah, and Trish too, and Clem and Dave. So yeah! It's going to be in the style of 100 Bullets, absolutely.
Nrama: And Lono is still who we've known from the previous series.
Azzarello: He's the same guy.
Nrama: No epiphany at the beginning of the series that makes him change his way?
Azzarello: Well... [laughs]... expect the unexpected.
Nrama: Can you describe the premise of the story at all?
Azzarello: Oh you know... there's a lot of drugs, there's a lot of brutality... everybody involved in the series is like, "This is a nice pair of comfortable old shoes, we've got." We're really excited about this. We're happy to be back.
Nrama: So now that you're into the story, you're enjoying getting into the head of the character and getting back into that world?
Azzarello: Oh yeah. It's something we created, so it's cool to go back to it. But we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't have a story to tell. So luckily, we had one.
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