Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys #1In Dynamite’s world of Project Superpowers, the heroes of the Golden Age have come back.
But what about the villains? Where are the villains for the heroes to fight?
That question gets answered beginning in August with Project Superpowers: Mee the Bad Guys, a four issue miniseries plotted by Alex Ross and scripted by Joe Casey, with interior art by Chasen Grieshop.
With issue #1 promising the debut of Blood Lust, a new villain connected to the Green Lama, we spoke with Casey about the project.
Newsarama: Joe, let's start with the overview of Meet the Bad Guys - is it basically as simple as what the title says, that this is the introduction of the villains of the Project Superpower universe?
Joe Casey: New villains, to be exact.
NRAMA: Right. How did you come on to this project after your run on Death Defying Devil? Did this come as a cold offer from Dynamite, or was this a particular vein that you wanted to explore?
JC: They just asked me. The Devil mini was a relatively painless experience so, when they brought up this particular project, I decided to go one more round with these guys. Mainly it comes from my friendship with Alex, and we've had a pretty good time working on this stuff. It's nice when that happens.
NRAMA: So, generally speaking, who are the bad guys of the Project Superpowers universe? We know that the heroes are, by and large, the heroes of the Golden Age who were trapped in the Urn and recently released. Their contemporary villains, to the best readers know, weren't. So are these modern-day "bad guys?"
JC: They are, although some of them have pretty strong ties to the past... as the stories will reveal.
NRAMA: As we saw in the opening issues of the first Project Superpowers series, crime wasn't rampant on the world, so either the villains were suppressed by the
Dynamic Forces Corp, or just not present. What causes them to come out now, after the heroes of the urn have made their presence known?
JC: Villains are generally a reaction to the existence of heroes. It's just the way nature seems to work. In some instances, old wounds have been reopened by the heroes' return. In other instances, it becomes a situation of "There's not enough room for both of us in this world."
NRAMA: Talk a little bit about the dynamic between the heroes and the villains here. While the heroes aren't exactly strangers in a strange land, they're still relatively new to the modern age. How do the villains see the heroes?
JC: They each have their reasons for interacting with the heroes. Revenge, ego, self-survival... they run a broad range of reasons.
NRAMA: Fair enough, but on the flipside, how do the heroes see these villains? Already Black Terror has shown himself to be someone who's not afraid to kill, and this certainly isn't a Marvel or DC-style universe where bad guys are put into Revolving Door State Pen...
JC: No, the villains in this stories are a little more complex, in terms of their relationships with the heroes they do battle with. It wouldn't be worth it for me if it were too simple. The heroes are realizing that their return to the world has consequences... and this new breed of adversary is one of them.
NRAMA: Along those lines, what would you say, generally speaking, are the stakes in the battles between the heroes and villains of the Project Superpowers Universe? Are the relationships between the heroes and villains a little more...say, realistic? The Project Superpowers world doesn't seem to be the home to mustache-twirling Dr. Evil type schemers...
JC: I don't know if "realistic" is the word I'd use for this stuff... it's pretty far out. There are real world elements to add the necessary amount of gravitas that the kiddies love, but it's still good rockin' comicbooks.
NRAMA: How were these villains created? With the heroes, Alex and Jim pulled them from the Golden Age as well as created many new characters, but for these guys? Are they whole cloth new creations?
JC: Brand new, top to bottom. Alex had some sort of divine inspiration to add some new blood to the Project Superpowers universe. God knows what he was thinking, but here we are anyway. I think it was the right move, since the public domain angle is a good foundation for a long-lasting concept, but you've gotta mainline the New into it if it's going to last.
NRAMA :That said, tell us what you can say at this point about Blood Lust? The solicitation makes it clear that she has a connection to the Green Lama…
JC: Her connection is a very personal one... one that goes all the way back to Green Lama's original stories set in the 40's.
NRAMA: Joe, you've never shied away from writing villains in your books, or focusing on them, and you're also writing Dark Reign: Zodiac at Marvel that tells the stories of a cabal of villains. What's the attraction for a project like this for you, given its subject matter?
JC: These one-shot stories have become a bit of a lost art. To tell a fulfilling tale in just 22 pages was the real challenge of these books, so that's really why I did it.
NRAMA: To wrap things up, if you can, sketch out the next three issues - will each of them focus on a single villain, such as issue #1 with Blood Lust?
JC: Every issue introduces a new character, one that has some sort of personal or thematic connection to an already existing hero. More than that, I cannot say... except that Alex came up with some great original characters and it's been good fun to help flesh them out.