Last year, five one-shot comic books and their creative teams competed for the change to become ongoing series in Top Cow's inaugural Pilot Season initiative. Only two could win, and the winners were determined by fans' voting on Top Cow's myspace website. Over 4.1 million votes were cast, and when the dust settled there were two winners: Cyblade and Velocity.
Pilot Season: Cyblade was done by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Rick Mays, and this fall they strike out with their winnings: an ongoing Cyblade miniseries. In the original one shot, Cyblade is shown on her first mission for Cyberdata --- set out to retrieve a rare piece of technology for the company. Her handler for Cyberdata is her good friend Rashell, and it's that friendship that's strained when it's revealed he's a spy trying to turn her against her employer. According to him, her life is a lie. Not knowing what to think, Cyblade is stuck between her close friend and her long-time employers… and that comes to a head when Cyberdata tasks her to kill Rashell.
That's where the original Pilot Season one-shot left off, and from the votes cast it seems readers definitely wanted to see more. And se more they shall, as the new Cyblade ongoing kicks off this fall. For more, we talked with writer Joshua Hale Fialkov.
Newsarama: Once you knew that your Pilot Season: Cyblade issue was one of the two winners in last year's Pilot Season contest – what came next?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: I think shock came first. To get that many votes, especially considering the high quality of all of the other pilot seasons books was really, really flattering. Then, came a sense of responsibility. First off, I want to make sure the people who voted for the book get what they want, and then, secondly, I want to honor all of the voters who voted for all of the OTHER books. Plus, even though this is a continuation of the story from the pilot story, I think the book is going to be a great chance for me to win over the readers who didn't respond to it, as well.
NRAMA: So tell us about it – what can we expect in this first issue?
JHF: It's very much the story of two characters. Dominique, the titular hero Cyblade, and her trainer, Stephen Rashell. From where the pilot left us off, we know that Rashell is on the run, and Dominique is being forced to hunt him by her Cyberdata overlords. So, as we explore what it means for both of them to have their worlds yanked out from under them, we get to see the feelings the two of them had for each other develop. Plus, now that Rashell's gone, Dominique needs a new handler, and it's someone who should be familiar to fans of Cyberforce.
NRAMA: How many issues will this be?
JHF: The first arc is four issues. But, I'm hoping I'm going to get to do a lot more!
NRAMA: Besides Cyblade, can we expect any other familiar faces from the Top Cow universe to show up?
JHF: As the series goes on, yeah, there'll be some familiar faces. You think I'm not going to play with all the cool toys these guys have locked up in their toy chest for Phil Hester and Ron Marz to play with? Like I said, there's already one character who've seen before who shows up, and then as the series goes on, we'll get to see some more of Cyberforce pop up.
NRAMA: And how does this new miniseries compare to the one-shot you did in 2007?
JHF: Well, first off, it's waaay better. I wrote the pilot almost two years ago now, and I'm just a much better writer now. In theory anyways. Aside from that, while the first issue was all action, it was really about wish fulfillment, a bit. This is a girl who's been training and trying to be this super-spy, and all of the sudden... she's it. The last punch at the end of the issue is about her realizing that there's consequences to her actions. The rest of first arc deals with that feeling. Knowing that you've done heinous, awful things, and that you may have to do a lot more before you're free of it. So, the action of the Pilot is a counterbalance to the dramatic stuff going through the rest of the series. I want the book to be lots of fun, but I think there's a much deeper potential to these characters than just running around firing psychic blasts at things.
NRAMA: For this, you're joined again by Rick Mays. What's it like working with him, and knowing you have him drawing your scripts?
JHF: It's much easier, because I already know what Rick'll do with the script. I can write to his strengths and just let him soar on some of the layouts. There's very few guys who can tell a story as well as Rick, and if anything, I'm hoping I get to make him do some crazy shit.