As Telos launches in October, the ongoing will not only follow up on a few loose ends from DC's Convergence story, but will also bring a renewed focus on DC's cosmic characters and concepts. Jeff King, who's' writing Telos as one of DC's spin-offs from his Convergence event, is dropping names of several familiar cosmic characters — from Captain Comet to the Green Lanterns to Brainiac to Hal Jordan Parallax.
And in one of the more surprising twists, the series will also feature K-Rot, the recent Keith Giffen-created, space-based version of Captain Carrot.
King will be creating the series with artists Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz, launching the comic alongside two other Convergence spin-offs in October: Titans Hunt and Superman: Lois & Clark. Newsarama talked to King to find out more about the involvement of DC's space characters, how this spins out of Convergence, and who else the readers can expect to see in Telos.
Newsarama: Jeff, it looks like this is a space odyssey of sorts, featuring many of the characters that people love from DC's cosmic side. Am I reading that right?
Jeff King: Yes, absolutely. Telos is not going anywhere near Earth. His journey is going to take him out into what sometimes is called the United Planets, and to other parts including Colu, Brainiac's home planet. And the greater DC cosmic universe becomes the setting for this story.
The DC cosmic universe is a wonderful and rich arena that has been the playground of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and is the home of wonderful adversaries and villains, and I'm going to connect with a lot of them.
And of course, right now in the DC Universe, the Green Lanterns are under siege, and that part of the DCU, they're absent. Eventually that will have an impact on my story as well.
Nrama: The Green Lantern universe will be part of your story somehow?
King: We're all playing the same sandbox. Right now, there aren't a lot of stories that are operating in this corner of the DCU, so there's an opportunity for me to eventually connect into a couple of them. And I'm hoping that people will enjoy the ride.
Nrama: Obviously Telos is a key part of this story, but there are some other familiar names that are showing up in solicitations — characters like Captain Comet and K-Rot and Stealth. Can you talk about the familiar characters we'll see in the first few issues? Or are they ongoing characters?
King: I'm having a blast with Stealth and K-Rot. And picking them up from the last time that we saw them in the DCU, which was at the end of Threshold. They've been operating as a team and moving contraband from one corner of the galaxy to the other. And they get sucked up into Telos' story because of the passenger they're carrying, that is Captain Comet.
They're on a mission whose intention is going to be slowly revealed, because they have to choose, when they get wrapped up with Telos, which is to fight or to team up for their mutual benefit.
Nrama: How would you describe Telos as a character, as we pick up his story in the first issue?
King: He started as a villain and he becomes a hero. What ennobles him in his love and faith that he's going to be re-united with his family, and his desire for redemption. When he discovered his true identity, he realized that redemption was his true path, and home was where he wanted to be.
Nrama: How would you describe the style of this book? Convergence was pretty serious, but with a character like K-Rot involved, this has got to have some humor in it?
King: No one can't smile when they meet a talking rabbit. But no, I feel like the stakes in this story are enormous and in some cases epic. And at its core, it's a very personal story, and I feel like life has natural humor in it, and I think these characters will let us see that aspect of Telos' personality as well.
Nrama: Would you call it an adventure as well? A space adventure?
King: It is, although it's got a pathos of course, as Telos tries to find his way back to his family. He believes nothing can stand in the way of him doing that, but of course, there are things that will. And so how he deals with that is going to be the real adventure of the story.
Nrama: I assume Telos was a character who, after of the Convergence mini-series, you felt had more story to tell?
King: Yeah, absolutely. Out of Convergence, we knew that our Lois and Clark story needed to be told. And it was a great opportunity to create a story for the Titans, and I wanted the opportunity to open up the story of Telos and keep you on the journey back to where it all began for him. We touch on it a little bit in Convergence #0, and you got a little bit of his back-story in the fifth issue. But this is a full-on odyssey for the character, taking him back to his roots.
And to get there, you've got to go through his tormentor and master, Brainiac.
Nrama: Despite the involvement characters from that mini-series, though, will the #1 introduce them anew to readers?
King: Yeah, absolutely. I'm going to introduce him at the point that wraps up at the end of Convergence #8.
I'll bring him right back into conflict with Brainaic. At the end of Convergence, Brainiac returns the true name of Telos to him and gives him the location of his family. But just like everything that you really wish for in life, getting that isn't always so simple. And unfortunately, that's what's going to happen to Telos. What he believes is the truth is bad information from Brainiac.
Nrama: It sounds like he's a key character? This version of Brainiac?
King: Yes, but we're going to discover that Brainiac, who has been cataloguing and recording events in the Multiverse since time began, has lost his memories, and along with them the location of Telos' family. So to get to it, Telos has to make a deal with the devil — with Brainiac — to fight a common enemy of theirs, and that leads to Colu.
But although Brainiac is important when we start, the story will spin off into the bigger cosmic universe.
Nrama: And you're working with Carlo Pagulayan on this series?
King: Oh my gosh! Yes! Carlo and Jason Paz, who work together as artist and inker, are really crushing this book. The pages are just gorgeous and powerful and expressive. Carlo Pagulayan was one of my artists on Convergence. In fact he and Stephen Segovia, who's doing a couple covers for us, did the majority of the interiors on Convergence, which, by the way, is coming out in hardcover on October 13, and is beautifully collected.
Nrama: With the journey of Telos, the involvement of characters like Brainiac and Captain Comet and other space-based heroes, and a future interaction with the Green Lantern universe, it sounds like you're packing quite a bit into this comic.
King: Absolutely. But of course, like every good story, it starts with one character, and then it's going to branch and broaden out into the larger DCU, as Telos has to go further and further and fight harder and harder to fulfill his quest.
Nrama: Then is there anything else you want to tell fans about Telos? Maybe a tease about what they might see as this series travels into the cosmic DCU?
King: Don't be surprised to see a few very familiar faces pop up, not the least of which might be Parallax, who is making a return from the time in Convergence when they all separated to return and reset the Multiverse during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Nrama: So he may play a part in this series? By "may," I'm assuming you mean "will."
King: [Laughs.] Well, I can say that, in this book, we're going to find out what happened to Parallax.