WITCHBLADE/RED SONJA Aims to Avoid Crossover Clichés
WITCHBLADE/RED SONJA Crossover in Feb.
Still, a crossover between the two doesn't necessarily feel like the most natural of choices, if for no reason other than Top Cow's Witchblade series typically takes place in present-day New York City, while Red Sonja is traditionally seen in an archaic fantasy environment.
The two characters meet in Dynamite's five-issue Witchblade/Red Sonja miniseries, debuting in February 2012. Newsarama talked with writer Doug Wagner about bringing the characters together, avoiding crossover clichés and working with artist Cezar Razek.
Newsarama: Doug, last time you spoke with Newsarama was just about a year ago. How has the past year gone for you, and what makes Witchblade/Red Sonja the right project for you at this juncture? (Also, is there an update on World of Warcraft: Horde?)
The Witchblade/Red Sonja crossover is the perfect opportunity at the perfect time for me. Over the past several years, I’ve written books for Image Comics, 12-Gauge Comics, and the licensing guys over at DC Comics, but I haven’t worked on a title that has given me the exposure to my comic peeps that Witchblade/Red Sonja will provide. Career-wise, it just seems like the next logical step. And I’m doing my best not to waste this opportunity. I’ve been putting in some serious hours in an attempt to deliver a series that I hope fans will enjoy.
As far as my World of Warcraft: Horde graphic novel, I can tell you that we’re almost done. Jheremy Raapack is on the home stretch of his amazing pencils. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes up this month, and I’m finishing up dialogue touch ups as we speak. I haven’t been given a release date yet, but I expect an announcement real soon.
Nrama: Witchblade and Red Sonja both have a lot of history in the medium, but going into this series, how familiar were you personally with the two characters?
Nrama: The initial press release for Witchblade/Red Sonja stressed how this was not a "typical crossover." In what ways are you avoiding familiar crossover tropes?
Wagner: The big one I wanted to avoid was the most obvious to us comic folk — "The two heroes fight until they find someone else to beat on." I was lucky that everyone involved in the project wanted to stay away from that particular trope. It sure made my life easier not having to defend my case. I also wanted to stay away from two other familiar tropes — the cataclysmic, multi-dimensional event that merges the heroes' universes and the archenemies deciding the only way they'll be free of their respective heroes is to join up and crush them together. Of course, that meant coming up with a new approach. That decision didn’t make my life painless.
Wagner: On the surface of the story, a common villain brings them together. However, if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find the two characters are brought together by their love of family and their primal urge to exact justice. And when you get down to it, aren’t those the two aspects that truly drive real heroes?
Nrama: And once they are together, what makes them an interesting pairing? How do you characterize the dynamic between the two?
Wagner: Although they share the same foundation as heroes, they go about exacting justice in two different ways. Sonja’s more direct, an ass-kicker that won’t stop once she’s set on a path. Sara is by far more subtle and tends to tread carefully.
Nrama: Cezar Razek is on art for the series. How has collaborating with him been thus far?
Wagner: Cezar’s amazing. He’s translating my scripts to the page with storytelling perfection. He’s been flexible, easy to work with, and focused on doing his best work. What I love about working with him is Cezar takes the time to understand what I’m attempting to achieve on each page. The byproduct of this understanding is an actual enhancement of the entire story. Being on the same page story-wise makes the entire collaboration shine even more. Plus, he draws some of the hottest women in comics.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!