Where do the people of Secret Wars' Battleworld go when they want to unwind? The free-flowing nightclub called the Quiet Room of Inhumans: Attilan Rising. Lorded over by a more dapper looking Black Bolt, the Quiet Room traffics in good times for those that can afford it, but it's also the front for a rebellion brewing under the foot of Emperor Doom.
With Inhumans: Attilan Rising #1 debuting last week, series writer Charles Soule opened up about the Quiet Room, Black Bolt, Medusa and a surprise appearance by 1602's Matthew Murdoch, as well as talking about the Battleworld resistance effort brewing out of this series.
Newsarama: What can you tell us about the Quiet Room, the bar that is somehow connected to the Voice Unheard?
Charles Soule: Well, Inhumans: Attilian Rising #2 will get into this in more detail, but it's Battleworld's hottest hot spot! People (wealthy people, anyway) can go there to hang out, broker deals, see and be seen, and enjoy food, drink and entertainment from all over Battleworld. It's also a notable safe zone - you don't start trouble there, unless you want to deal with the club's proprietor - who we now know is Black Bolt. It's a pretty cool place - the model I asked the artists to check out was Club Obi-Wan from the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Just a cool 1930’s-style nightclub, really.
Nrama: How does a character like the Matt Murdoch of 1602 become involved with the Inhuman resistance?
Soule: Well, the Voice Unheard might have a bunch of Inhumans in it, but it's not only Inhumans. The resistance movement is dedicated to helping people all over Battleworld, and that touches on a bunch of all different sorts of folks. Some of them choose to help the resistance, and Matthew Murdoch is one of those. He's one of the top lieutenants in the movement. There are other non-Inhumans as well – MegaRad (one of my favorite character names in a long time) is a Hulk, for example. That's a new character, very ably designed by the incredible art team on the book - John Timms is on pencils, Roberto Poggi on inks, Frankie D'Armata on colors, and we've been really lucky to have Dave Johnson handling some design and cover work as well. Clayton Cowles on letters - I've worked with Clayton a lot, and he never complains about all the words I throw at him (at least not to me!) A lot of the early reviews I've read have been really struck by how good the book looks, and I'm right there with them.
Nrama: It looks like the G-Man is down for the count. Is that all we’ll see of the 1930’s Ghost Rider?
Soule: Man, I loved writing that character. However, I think my work on Inhuman-related stories so far has had a sort of tradition that nothing and no one is safe, and that's certainly the case with Attilan Rising. He certainly had some cool scenes, though - dude went down swinging.
Nrama: Medusa seems pretty dedicated to Doom’s rule. She’s been mind-controlled by villains in the past – is there an element of that here?
Soule: I wouldn't say that, necessarily. One of the beautiful things about Jonathan Hickman's Secret Wars story is that it really flips a lot of established ideas on their heads. Medusa is Doom's Baroness in Manhattan - his regent - and she takes that job very seriously. The Voice Unheard is a threat to the order she's trying to maintain, and so she wants to stamp it out. From her perspective, shutting down the resistance keeps her people safe.
Nrama: What is the goal of the Voice Unheard?
Soule: What we've seen so far is that they see certain injustices in the world - imbalances, even - and they want to do what they can to help. I don't think they have any illusions of bringing down Doom or anything like that - but they can make things better, whether that's delivering medical supplies to a beleaguered territory, making strategic guerilla attacks, blowing up bridges, that sort of thing. They'll do what they have to. Very much a World War 2 French Resistance vibe.
Nrama: Obviously, with a trip into Greenland, Inhumans: Attilan Rising isn’t confined to a single Battleworld zone. What other territories will the story visit?
Soule: A bunch. I wanted to use all of Battleworld as the canvas for the story, and fortunately this book lets me do that in a big way. The other book I'm doing during Secret Wars is the Civil War event with Leinil Yu, and that's completely self-contained within the Warzone territory, so it was nice with Inhumans: Attilan Rising to be able to play in the larger sandbox a bit.
Nrama: Other than Medusa, what will we see the Voice Unheard going up against? Any surprise villains in the works?
Soule: Plenty. The fun of a book like this is the twists and turns - well, any book, really - and again, I wanted to use that sandbox as much as I could. Battleworld is a strange place, with many bizarre creatures and inhabitants, and our heroes will certainly run into their share. Attilian Rising #4 has a really fun one.
Nrama: Is the Black Bolt we see at the end of the issue the 616 Black Bolt, or are there multiple versions of him running around Battleworld?
Soule: He's the Black Bolt who's a huge part of Inhumans: Attilan Rising. As we've seen, there are some significant changes to the way this fellow operates from the way we're used to seeing him. Not to spoil too much, but he's quite a bit chattier, for one thing. He's still Black Bolt, just with a twist - and it's the kind of thing that makes writing these Secret Wars stories so much fun. I mean, I got to bring Auran back, after her untimely death in Inhuman #7. I loved her, as did many fans of the book, so it's neat to see her again.
Nrama: What can we expect coming up in Inhumans: Attilan Rising #2 and beyond?
Soule: Well, Medusa (and her agent Auran) start digging in to the Quiet Room, and Black Bolt, to see what they might be able to learn about the Voice Unheard. We see much more about the way the Quiet Room operates, and get some really fun cameos, including Anthony Stark of the GearSphere... which you'll understand when you read the issue. He's a smooth operator, no doubt.
Inhumans: Attilan Rising gets really big, really fast, and it's designed to be an important part of the overall Secret Wars story, but also to stand on its own. I'm really happy with the work we're all doing, and I hope readers enjoy it.