In space, no one can hear you scheme -- that is, unless you are the villain of the Farscape Universe, the hybrid tactician known as Scorpius.
With BOOM! Studios having major success with its Farscape books, the publisher recently announced that they would be launching a new Farscape: Scorpius book with David Alan Mack, Mike Ruiz, and Farscape showrunner Rockne S. O'Bannon. Newsarama caught up with O'Bannon, and asked him a few questions about the future of this new book.
Newsarama: Rockne, for those who aren't familiar with the world of Farscape, can you give us a quick idea of this premise?
Rockne S. O'Bannon: Farscape takes place in a far-distant corner of the universe known as The Uncharted Territories, and tells the bizarre adventures of a man from Earth who finds himself adrift in this freaky place full of alien species who are very intensely alien. Farscape: Scorpius follows the primary villain from Farscape, a half-breed alien named Scorpius.
Nrama: What made this the right time to launch a series about Scorpius, the villain of the series? Can you tell us a little bit about what he'll be going through in this book?
O'Bannon: With the success of the Farscape comic series, BOOM! Studios and I were looking for ways to further explore all that’s going on in The Uncharted Territories. The instant we thought of Scorpius we all went, “Yes!” – for no other reason than that we also wanted to know what he was up to when nobody else was looking.
Nrama: Can you tell us a little bit about Scorpius, who he is? For you, what is it about him that makes him a compelling character?
O'Bannon: Scorpius is the ultimate schemer. He’s also the smartest person in any room into which he ventures. He always prides himself on being several moves ahead of everyone else. He’s a being of extreme passions, desires – his very favorite urge being for revenge. He will do absolutely anything to indulge each and every one of these.
Nrama: In terms of tying in with the other Farscape books, will there be any Farscape guest stars or Easter Eggs here? Will we get to meet up with John Crichton?
O'Bannon: The Farscape: Scorpius series runs parallel to the ongoing Farscape series. So the adventures that readers are following in the main Farscape monthlies and the Scorpius monthlies are occurring at the same time. So it certainly seems likely that the characters from one book will find his or her way into the other book from time to time.
Nrama: For you, as the creator of Farscape, how do you feel that the franchise has changed since its inception? What do you think of the second chance that comics have given the series?
O'Bannon: Part of me wants to say that the thing I miss most in the comics is the participation of our fantastic family of actors. But what’s been so gratifying is that all of our actors created such powerful and unique characterizations and voices for our characters, and comic scriptwriters Keith R.A. DeCandido and David Alan Mack have so beautifully captured those voices on the page, that you really can “hear” the actors in their roles when you read the comics. From a storytelling perspective, the most significant difference is that we can present adventures, create creatures and settings on the page, that we never could have afforded for television. So, in an odd way, the comic books are actually a purer presentation of the world of Farscape.
Nrama: Something that really springs to mind about Scorpius in particular is the fact that he's a product of two seemingly incompatible alien physiologies, which requires him to have that cooling apparatus to his suit. Will this conflicting heritage play a part of this series?Click for a 10-Page Preview O'Bannon: Indeed, being half Sebacean and half Scarran defines him. As much as he would like to move on from the reality of this impossible internal conflict, it is who he is. And it motivates his every action – whether for better or worse. Usually for worse.
Nrama: You've also working with newcomer artist Mike Ruiz. What do you think makes him a good for this book?
O'Bannon: Mike is giving Farscape: Scorpius a fantastic look. It’s certainly the Farscape world that we know, but filtered by the fact that these new stories are told from the point-of-view of Scorpius, so it’s a much darker, edgier look. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Nrama: Finally -- for those readers who still aren't sure about Farscape: Scorpius, what would you tell them to bring them on board?
O'Bannon: For fans of Farscape, and readers new to the world of Farscape, this new series is like Farscape Extreme. Scorpius was always among the most complex, fascinating, and shocking characters in the original series. And now, as the center of his own stories, his motivations, his scheming, his twisted passions are revealed like never before. This Farscape is not for the faint hearted.Click here for a 10-page preview of the April 2010 shipping issue!