Joe Casey: Bringing the Death Defying Devil Back to Life

Joe Casey on the Death Defying Devil

As we’ve reported previously, Dynamite will spin off the Death Defying Devil, one of the characters from Project Superpowers into his own series beginning in December, written by Alex Ross and Joe Casey with art by Edgar Salazar. The series will join Black Terror, the first spin-off project in paving the way for the second volume of Project Superpowers.

The new series, as if the name doesn't give it away, will follow the Death Defying Devil (an analogue of the Golden Age Daredevil character) who, along with his fellow heroes has recently been released from a magical urn wherein they were imprisoned after being betrayed by one of their own. 

We spoke with Casey about the December-debuting book.

Newsarama: First off Joe, how did you land on the series? What was it in the pitch that hooked you and wouldn't let go?

Joe Casey: I first heard about the golden age Daredevil back in the early 80's, when I was a kid hooked on Miller's Daredevil work at Marvel. I loved the costume, and I was kind of intrigued by the use of boomerangs as weapons. I thought it was cool that Alex had gravitated to the character as a favorite of his, as well. That's what made it a good fit. That, and the fact that Alex and I have been friends for, like, almost a decade and we figured it was about time we worked together on something.

NRAMA: While the character is an updated version of a Golden Age character, in his current setting and context, he's pretty much a blank slate, with a past and a present that you can start to fill in. How much is there to begin with? That is, what kind of information was given to you about who the 'Devil is, and what he's like after coming out of the urn?

JC: Alex, Jim and Nick did a lot of preliminary development on these characters and their "reintroduction" into the world, so there was actually a lot to build on. But we're definitely using this book to fill in more detail on the 'Devil's past and present.

NRAMA: Give us a sketch of what he's like after coming out of the urn....his appearances in Project Superpowers showed him to be...well...quiet, mostly. What's he like?

JC: He's exactly as you described him: quiet. But there's a reason for that. A damn good reason...

NRAMA: And who's the Claw? There was a Claw in the Golden Age when he first appeared - so are we talking about the same individual/group?

JC: One and the same, but Alex has reimagined him as a kind of ultimate evil for the new millennium. He is the God of Hate, after all... and his master plans are a big part of what this book will reveal. Beyond that, I'm sworn to secrecy.

NRAMA: Looking at the rest of the cast, who is Justine that's mentioned in the solicits?

JC: She was introduced in the Project: Superpowers mini-series, so we're getting a chance to develop her further in the 'Devil book. She's French and she's not afraid to kick some ass. When was the last time anyone could claim that combo?

NRAMA: You and Mark Millar should hang out. Anyway, who’s this other hero that's shadowing him? The cover shows another character dressed like the 'Devil...just fresh from the urn, and he already has an opposite number?

JC: Again, I'm sworn to secrecy on that one... but it does have something to do with the long history of the 'Devil.

NRAMA: Fair enough - looking at the larger world of Project Superheroes in which the 'Devil would you characterize it? What's it like compared to our world?

JC: Well, anyone who's been reading Project Superpowers already knows that it's a reality seeped in realism, but with a heavy dose of superheroics mixed in. For instance, New York is the Green Lama's new Shangri-La, so already it's a world that's somewhat different than the world outside our window... and it's going to get a whole lot stranger before things are done.

NRAMA: You've shown that you're a very versatile writer over the years, from handling straight-ahead superheroes to the more experimental comic book stories without missing a beat. Given the unique nature of the 'Devil (Golden Age character coming back, a tabla rasa in many ways...) how are you approaching him as a writer? What style does this series lend itself to?

JC: Obviously, Alex, Jim and the rest of the Dynamite guys are approaching this whole universe from a more classicist stance, treating these characters and their world with the appropriate amount of gravitas. It's big, colorful superheroics. Big emotions. Big events. And, for me, coming off things like Godland and Charlatan Ball, it's fun to write about silent, acrobatic superheroes who punch and kick and leap and throw boomerangs at the bad guys. I'm also plugging into a larger continuity that Alex, Jim and Nick want to create, so it's a nice team effort.

NRAMA: Finally, tease away - what gets the ball rolling in your first issue?

JC: We're pretty much picking up where the first SUPERPOWERS mini ends. Lots of action, lots of intrigue, and as the series goes on... even more classic characters will get their turn in the spotlight.

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