The Mighty #1
The Mighty, a new comic from writers Peter Tomasi and Keith
Champagne, and published by DC, is a story of friendship and mystery surrounding the world's
only superhero, Alpha-One.
The two writers developed the idea for The Mighty back
when Tomasi was an editor at DC and Champagne was working as an inker.
Now that they're both established comic book writers, the two are
uniting with artist Peter Snejbjerg to bring The Mighty to readers in February. Shipping with a cover by Dave Johnson, as well as a variant cover by Ivan Reis, The Mighty #1 will be the first of 12 issues that the pair of writers hope will lead into another volume.
Based on the idea that our world has one superhero, a soldier who developed powers during World War II, The Mighty follows the friendship Alpha-One develops with the man who leads his "clean-up crew," Section Omega.
Newsarama talked to Tomasi and Champagne about what readers can expect from the comic and how they came up with the idea.
Newsarama: First, how did you two get together to do this series?
Keith Champagne: Peter is going to get mad at me for revealing
this to the world but the truth is, he begged me to write something
with him. When he left DC editorial to become the company’s hot, up and
coming writer, he just missed talking to me every day. I mean, I had no
reason to speak with him, he couldn’t give me work anymore. But I took
pity on the poor, lonely lug and agreed (because I secretly missed him
too, which was a shock to my shallow system) and next thing you know,
we had ourselves a comic book.
Peter Tomasi: Ah, Keith, my poor delusional pal, I believe it
was you who continued to call me every five minutes asking how I was
enjoying the freelance life, and when I told you that I would enjoy it
quite a bit more if you stopped calling me, you told me that the only
way I could get you to stop interruPT: ing me was to agree to write something with you.
NRAMA: Where did the idea come from?
KC: It’s a little vague because we actually came up with the
original idea together back in 2000 or 2001. But I have flashes of
memory of spending the night at Pete’s to put the finishing touches on
a screenplay we were writing, him doing a Scatman Crother’s imitation
at 2:00 am, and something with potential taking root in the creative
bullshit we were throwing around. When we decided to pitch a comic
together, we both independently brought that same idea up to one
another, “Hey, how about…?”
And the rest is history in the making.
PT: Yeah, as we both paced around my basement spouting lines of dialogue for the screenplay we were writing called The Big Bang,
my massive collection of graphic novel hardcovers and trade-paperbacks
were staring at us in the face and at one point I said something like:
“Hey, we’re in the comic biz, we should write a creator owned superhero
book and see what the hell happens.” Then we started spit-balling and
losing our way on the screenplay and instead started focusing on the
NRAMA: What's the premise of the comic?
PT: At its most basic, The Mighty is about the very
human friendship that blossoms between the world’s first and only
superhero and, for lack of a better description, the top cop assigned
to liaison with him.
KC: Plus, lots of things blow up real good!
NRAMA: Who is Alpha One? How does he interact with the public, and how do they view him?
KC: Alpha-One is, like we mentioned, the world’s first and only
superhero. Once an ensign in the Navy, he was granted powers and
abilities far beyond those of mortal men during a testing of an atom
bomb after World War II. So he’s been around for a while.
PT: Alpha-One doesn’t interact much with the public at all. He’s
always there, selflessly helping his fellow man in their times of
greatest need, but his powers and abilities have set him apart. He’s
one of a kind, unique in the world, and doesn’t form friendships
KC: And the public views Alpha-One as, more or less, an angel.
People don’t rely on him to save the day but they do appreciate him for
all the good that he’s done. He’s the world’s greatest hero although
Alpha-One doesn’t see himself that way. He’s just doing what any
servant from the greatest generation would do with his abilities: help.
NRAMA: Tell us about Section Omega. What does a superhero clean-up crew do? And what's unique about this group?
PT: Section Omega was created by Harry Truman to watchdog and
assist Alpha-One in his various exploits. They’re a specialized,
nationwide police force devoted exclusively to Alpha-One. Alpha One’s
there at the beginning to make a save then Section Omega is there at
the end to wrap it all up nice and neatly and make sure people and
property are none the worse for wear.
KC: Section Omega is there to keep Alpha-One honest and he
wouldn’t have it any other way. The entire organization is
independently funded by profits from the various merchandise Alpha-One
licenses in his image. It’s self-funding and autonomous that way,
although it works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement around the
NRAMA: What can you tell us about Gabriel Cole? And how will we see his character evolve as the series continues?
PT: Gabriel Cole has a childhood connection to Alpha-One,
something fundamental that helped to shape his identity, a connection
that becomes more important the deeper we delve into the story.
KC: Cole’s a good man, Alpha-One’s biggest fan but also a
dedicated, loyal member of Section Omega who finds himself thrust into
the top seat of the organization due to a horrible and unforeseen
circumstance, and not only working side-by-side with his hero, but also
slowly becoming friends.
PT: As for how Cole evolves, it’s all about the roller coaster
ride, lots of twists and turns. He’s got quite a journey ahead of him
as he discovers what it truly means to be a hero.
NRAMA: Does the comic fit into DC continuity at all? Where does it take place? What kid of world is it?
KC: The Mighty is not set in DC Continuity. The world it takes place in is not part of the DC Multiverse.
PT: This project exists completely on its own, unfolding in
the world we see when we look out the window -- with one exception.
This world has exactly one superhero to call its own. That’s it. What
this does in our mind is raise the accessibility factor to readers and
fans of comics who want to open a book and come in clean as if they’re
reading a new novel or seeing a movie for the first time. There’s no
baggage. As we like to say, it’s all new and all different!
NRAMA: Is this an ongoing series?
KC: Peter and I have written the first 12 issues, which are
shipping monthly and tell a complete story. Hopefully, sales will
warrant a “Season two” approach for the book after that. I think taking
a break and coming back with a second twelve issue story would fit the
project much better than just rolling into Issue #13.
NRAMA: What's it been like to work with Peter Snejbjerg on developing the look for all these new characters you two invented?
PT: It’s been great. I’ve worked with Snejbjerg for quite some
time, first as an editor and then as a writer. I was lucky to have him
on a project called The Light Brigade, which we did back in
2003. It got great critical reviews and the trade paperback is always a
strong seller. He was my first choice for doing this project, and it
wasn’t a hard sell since Keith loved his stuff. And Joey Cavalieri, my
editor on both books, is a huge fan of Snejbjerg’s too. Snejbjerg’s
quite simply one of the most underrated artists in the business.
KC: Honestly, it’s 14 kinds of awesome. Not just in seeing how
much life he’s injected into the characters but also how effortless he
makes it look. Snejbjerg is a real modern master; the guy can draw
anything we throw at him and his storytelling is always amazing. And
the colors by John Kalisz are really textured and showcase Snejbjerg’s
work beautifully, which is amazing considering that it looks stunning
black and white.
PT: And with some great cover art by the uber-talented Dave Johnson, this book will really pop from the rack!
NRAMA: Is there anything else you guys are working on that you want to tell your fans about?
PT: Well, I’m working on Green Lantern Corps and we’re heading into Blackest Night soon which will be insane, and also wrapping up Nightwing as we spin into Battle for the Cowl. And last, but not least, I’m now writing The Outsiders monthly and you can catch my first issue special Batman and the Outsiders drawn by the great Adam Kubert in January.
KC: In terms of inking, you can catch me every month with the great Jamal Igle on Supergirl. As far as writing goes, I’ve currently got The Ghostbusters shipping from IDW, a Dean Koontz project called Nevermore coming from the Dabel Brothers, a creator-owned title, Death Valley coming up from Desperado, and Joker: Year One at DC.
NRAMA: Anything else you want to tell us about The Mighty?
PT: I think if people take a chance on the book, they’re going
to find themselves pulled in by the characters and a story that takes
sudden unexpected turns. What at first glance appears to be your
average superhero book, will turn on a dime and it will suddenly take
you down some dark roads that you couldn’t imagine it going, all the
while keeping you invested in where these characters are gonna find
themselves by the end of it. There’s a big over-arching story here, and
everything is mapped out by Keith and I with a huge attention to
KC: The Mighty may be a harder sell for some because it’s
not tied into the DCU and it doesn’t have any implications on the
larger universe. But to play devil’s advocate, that may also be a
selling point for people who want something that doesn’t tie in, that
stands alone with its own simple continuity to follow. The bottom line
is it’s a good comic book with great art and everyone on Team Mighty
feels it’s well worth your time and money.