Running Back to the Now: Ross & Casey Talk Silver Streak

Ross & Casey Talk Silver Streak

Death Defying 'Devil #2

With January’s The Death Defying ‘Devil #2, The Silver Streak re-joins the lineup of heroes in Dynamite’s Project Superpowers universe.

The who?

As with the rest of the developing Project Powers pantheon, the Silver Streak is a character who first appeared in the ‘40s where he saw action – both domestic, and, one assumes, in World War II. Like the other heroes of the time, the Silver Streak was trapped in the Urn of Pandora by the Fighting Yank, who was tricked into believing that capturing his friends and allies was the best course of action to take.

With the release of the heroes seen in the first Project Superpowers series, the Silver Streak is now out and about in the present-day, trying to fit back in to a world that has forgotten all about him.

Wanting to help readers remember and learn more about him, we spoke with Alex Ross and Joe Casey, designer and writer, respectively on the upcoming Death Defying ‘Devil series.

First up, Ross on the revised look and history of the character.

Newsarama: Alex, as we've asked for just about each character in the Project Superpowers universe, what was the appeal of bringing Silver Streak into the fold? Was it just a desire to have an archetypal speedster along for the ride, or was there some other connection that made you want to include him?

Alex Ross: It’s very important to pull together the heroes that were associated in the past with the same crusade, fighting the Claw. Before Daredevil [renamed in the PS world as The Death Defying ‘Devil as to not confuse readers with the Marvel character] was considered to be his main rival, the Silver Streak was invented after the Silver Streak comic book had already introduced the Claw, and there was no intended hero on the horizon. Once the Streak was created, he fulfilled that heroic answer to Claw’s oversized villainy, and then he more or less abdicated his fight with Claw to Daredevil. Daredevil eventually abdicated it to the Ghost, who we bring into the series with issue #3.

NRAMA: What, in your and Jim [Krueger, PS co-creator]'s eyes sets Silver Streak apart from say, the Flash?

AR: He can fly. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but basically the Silver Streak hero needs to be in our story so that lead protagonists can have some kind of conversations when I’ve forced the Daredevil character to regress to his mute beginnings, when they first created Golden Age Daredevil.

NRAMA: From the illustration on the cover to issue #2, it’s clear that you touched up his costume a little - the references I found didn’t even have any silver on him...was that an artifact of 1940's publishing, that is, silver would come out as white?

AR: I don’t think anybody thought it through. It’s ironic that a character with a color identifier in his name doesn’t use that color in his costume. It seemed a small thing to freshen that up a bit with a little silver added.

NRAMA: What else did you do to his look that updates him? I noticed the long silver lines on the arms...and is that green hair?

AR: He does not have green hair. You must be taking that from my painting where the light on his body is registering as greenish. The silver trim on his bodysuit is in similar keeping with the way Black Terror’s bodysuit seemed to have grown in its absorption of his humanity.

NRAMA: What's your overall plan like for introducing new characters? We've seen a lot through Project Superpowers, Black Terror and now in 'Devil. Is there a slowdown coming, or is right now a period of "re-populating" the world of Project Superpowers?

AR: It’s exactly that. One of the biggest joys I have in the series is retooling these Golden Age archetypes and bringing them back on-stage.

And now, the guy who gets to put words in the mouth of the Silver Streak in The Death Defying ‘Devil, Joe Casey.

Newsarama: Joe, to start off with, what were you given from Alex and Jim in regards to who the Silver Streak is and the latitude you have with which to work on him?

Joe Casey: Just a few conversations with Alex and the Golden Age comics themselves were my main brief for writing the Silver Streak. He's one of the more stalwart heroes in this world, very much a stand up guy. A true superhero in the classic sense.

NRAMA: That said, dig in a little - who is the Silver Streak? A Wiki search seems to suggest that there are just the barest bones out there on him, and nothing at all resembling a modern-day continuity...so what are you using to build up his past?

JC: There's not much there, is there? But instead of radically altering the foundations of the character to fill in those considerable blanks, we're using that blank slate as a certain kind of jumping off point. To be honest, there's a kind of blandness to characters like Superman and the Silver Age Flash, in terms of their personality, that's part of their appeal as heroes. And having a character that's relatively angst-free can be kind of refreshing. Especially when there are already so many dark elements in the story already.

NRAMA: Counting Velocity at Top Cow, this is the second speedster you're currently writing in one of your projects. What is it about these characters that keeps you interested, and how do you make Silver Streak and Velocity unique characters in their own respective right...do they use their speed differently?

JC: Writing speedsters is always a fun gig. I actually end up writing them very quickly. It's a lot of automatic writing, thinking on your feet (so to speak). There's not much that's similar about the Streak and Velocity, though. The Streak is a true hero. Velocity just wants to get laid.

NRAMA: And finally, he's on the cover of 'Devil #2, so how much will we be seeing the Silver Streak in upcoming issues?

JC: I think it's safe to say he's a major player in the series from issue #2 on.

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