As part of DC's Faces of Evil event in January, artist Scott Kolins and writer Geoff Johns are turning their talent for redefining "rogues" toward the villainous Solomon Grundy.
In a special one-shot titled Faces of Evil: Grundy #1, Kolins is co-writing with Johns, his frequent collaborator since their three-year run on The Flash. Fresh off the three-issue Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge mini-series, the pair are hoping to tell a story that shows a scarier side of Solomon Grundy.
Newsarama talked to Kolins to find out more about how he became a co-writer with Johns and what readers can expect from the issue.
Newsarama: Where did the idea for this story come from?
Scott Kolins: I told Geoff that I really wanted to work on a monster for DC. Geoff suggested Grundy. I said I loved Grundy, so Geoff let me know about a Grundy idea he had. It all just snow-balled from there. Everyone got excited.
NRAMA: You're co-writing this. How did that come about, and how are you sharing writing with Geoff?
SK: It was the good out of a bad situation. Bad in that Geoff is always so busy and it looked like we wouldn't be working together right away after Rogues. Geoff has known for years that I've tried to write as well as draw some books so he offered this idea up to help me get started. Thankfully, Geoff has time to co-write this with me. And it was easy for us to work together this way -- we've always had similar tastes and goals. There are some books you chase and some you know are home-runs. This one actually snuck up on us. We've talked about doing a book like this for years, and it kind of came together without us realizing it. And DC has been really great! I really appreciate this opportunity! Thanks, Dan!
NRAMA: You've mentioned Solomon Grundy before as one of your favorites. Are you a long time Solomon Grundy fan?
SK: I have always loved monsters. Grundy is a great monster! Not many monsters can take on Superman or Green Lantern, but Solomon Grundy can! And he's mean! I really love horror stories and Grundy fits right in there -- especially I our story.
NRAMA: As an artist drawing the character, what about him do you love so much?
SK: He's a monster and not ashamed of it. So many supposed monsters I see now-a-days look almost cute. Little button nose? Perfect teeth? Clean clothes or even a fancy uniform?? What kinda monster wears spandex? Grundy is an un-dead monster rising up from the murky swamp to kill us all. Nothing pretty about it. Just scary!
NRAMA: Then from a writing perspective, what's so great about Grundy as a character? And what parts of him are you and Geoff going to
highlight and refine in this story?
SK: Well, Geoff and I have definite views on how Grundy should be played so he's not silly. Similar in how we treated the Rogues. A lot of other stories misused them as silly, incompetent villains. We had them as really cool, mean street fighters with incredible weapons. Grundy may not be Lex Luthor smart, but he's not a baby looking for his lollipop. I think of him more as a crazed serial killer with base needs who can't die and can knock down a building. And with Geoff's new springboard idea, that makes this only half the story we're going to tell!
NRAMA: Give us the premise for the story we'll see in the one-shot.
SK: You know how Grundy has come back again and again? And how sometimes he's come back different? Sometimes smarter or heavier? Well, this time it's a bigger change and it has to do a lot with where Grundy came from. You'll get a hint of that in these preview pages.
NRAMA: It's been hinted that Geoff is going to use Solomon Grundy in Blackest Night. Does this serve as set up for that?
SK: I can definitely see the connections between Blackest Night and Solomon Grundy, but Geoff hasn't told me how it will all work out yet. This Grundy story is fairly self-contained, like Rogues Revenge, but it does seem to work into the bigger picture.
NRAMA: Any other writing or art projects coming up for you in the next year that you can at least hint about to your fans?
SK: Plans change all the time, but it looks like more Grundy! We'll see!
NRAMA: Anything else you want to tell readers about Faces of Evil: Grundy #1?
SK: This story is a game-changer for Grundy. Things aren't going to be the same. We're already discussing Grundy plans after this one-shot. I'm very excited!