Deadshot has a deathwish, and Brian Buccellato wants to tell you about it.
Although fans might know Buccellato best for his mainstream superhero work on The Flash and Detective Comics, outside of DC he's better known as a horror writer on indie titles like Sons of the Devil and Foster.
And now Buccellato is bringing his darker sensibilities to the DC Universe with January's Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot/Katana.
The issue, which DC put together to leverage some of the interest for next year's Suicide Squad movie, will feature two regular-sized comic book stories together in one over-sized issue. While Katana co-creator Mike W. Barr is teaming with artist Diogenes Neves for the Katana story, Buccellato is working with Viktor Bogdanovic on the Deadshot story.
And although the issue will feature some members of the Suicide Squad, Buccellato said the story gets very personal for Floyd as he goes on a solo mission. Newsarama talked to Buccellato to find out more about the story, about his interest in Deadshot and what else the writer has up his sleeve.
Newsarama: Brian, I already talked to Mike about his Katana story. His interest was kind of obvious, since he co-created Katana. But why did Deadshot interest you as a writer?
Brian Buccellato: I think Deadshot plays to my strengths in a lot of ways. I know that a lot of people see Flash and think that Francis and I are all about the good guy characters, the more wholesome heroes. But anybody who's followed me and stepped outside my DC work knows that I tend toward a lot darker material. Sons of the Devil is a horror, and I did Foster a few years ago, which was also horror.
For me, Deadshot was interesting because he's darker and troubled and haunted. He's got a death wish. And I just wanted to explore that.
So I think he's a character that's tailor made for me to do what I do well.
Nrama: This character is getting a lot of attention because of the Suicide Squad movie. I know the character you're writing is the one from the current DC Universe, as opposed to the movie. But did the film play at all into the way you approached him, or anything about the story?
Buccellato: There is definitely an impact on the story, but not necessarily in the way that people might expect. I don't know how spoiler-y I want to get, but there is going to be a foil for Deadshot in this story, and that character will bear more than a passing resemblance to a certain character in the movie.
Nrama: Do you know a lot about the movie? More than most people?
Buccellato: No, I only know what everyone else knows. I don't have any special insight. I know that Will Smith is playing Deadshot and he looks pretty awesome.
Nrama: I know it's hard to tease a one-issue story, but can you set up the situation in which we find Deadshot in your issue, and what happens to kick off the story?
Buccellato: Absolutely. This is a solo book — it's not a Suicide Squad book, even though you will see Suicide Squad members in this story — it really focuses on, initially, a mission that he goes on on his own.
Lloyd's got a secret about his past. And it comes back on him. And that motivates a choice that he makes out on his own, against the wishes of Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad.
Nrama: It sounds like it's a personal story. How would you describe this character as you're writing him in this issue?
Buccellato: As I understand him, he carries a tremendous amount of guilt. But he's not going to kill himself. What he will do is put himself in situations where someone else can kill him. That's not to say he's doing suicide by cop or anything like that. He will fight to stay alive, but he takes chances, and he does things that are incredibly risky and could cause him to die, because he really doesn't give a damn. He truly is a character who doesn't care if he lives or dies.
I think he's a very dangerous type of person to have in your life, if you're a friend of his or an enemy.
That's interesting to me, exploring that type of person, who truly doesn't care.
Nrama: For this you're working with Viktor Bogdanovic. What do you think of his work here?
Buccellato: He's really talented, and his first six or seven pages are really good. I'm really happy with how it's come out so far.
You will see a nice body count, so he's had plenty of opportunities to show Deadshot at his best.
But also, there is a lot of emotional content in my story.
Nrama: So I was right that it's a personal story?
There is a path that's been set up in the "New 52," and it may not be the path that very happens for Deadshot. So we're going to explore a lot of emotional stuff in his life.
Nrama: Does the story involve Lex Luthor? There was something about him in the solicitation.
Buccellato: No. He was there in early stages, but he kind of got cut from the story because I wanted to focus more on the character of Floyd and what he's going through. The more I worked on his story and getting him to the place I want him to be, there was less room for Lex. So for those of you who are expecting to see Lex Luthor, he's not going to be there.
We'll still see other members of the Suicide Squad.
Nrama: What else are you working on, Brian? I know you just left Detective Comics, but you've got some other things happening at DC and elsewhere, right?
Buccellato: I'm working Injustice: Year Five for DC. That one is underway, and it's focusing on the villains. This is the last year before it catches up to the video game. So this is the last year of Injustice. So we have some work to do to get the world's status quo to where it is in the video game. So a lot of things will be geared around that and around villain characters. In Year Two, it was about Green Lantern, Year Three was about magic and Year Four was about the gods. And Year Five is now going to be about the villains.
And then I have the trade paperback for Sons of the Devil coming out at the end of this month, which collects the first five issues by myself and Toni Infante. We're working on the next arc, which will come out beginning in March.
And then I also have another Image series coming soon. I can't say what it is, but it'll be announced in January.