The tagline for Stephen Mooney’s 2014 IDW title Half Past Danger was “Dames. Dinosaurs. Danger.” Now three years and many issues of DC’s Midnighter and Grayson later, Mooney is returning for a sequel – and the tagline is still “Dames. Dinosaurs. Danger.”
It’s a period piece, so essentially it’s timeless.
Scheduled to debut in in the spring of 2017, the five-issue Half Past Danger 2 reunites Mooney with his heroes Tommy “Irish” Flynn, John Noble, Elizabeth Huntington-Moss, and Ishikawa Minamoto as they move from the South Pacific to the Austrian Alps in pursuit of lost dinosaurs and a Nazi doomsday device.
Mooney talked to Newsarama about the new series, the new dangers for his quartet, and how his time on DC's Midnighter and Grayson changed the way he's approaching Half Past Danger 2.
Newsarama: Stephen, you're back with a new Half Past Danger. Is it "3/4 Past Danger" now? Tell us what's going on.
Stephen Mooney: Yeah! It's back and it's ready to rock, baby. At the end of the first series, Tommy 'Irish" Flynn had decimated the entire dinosaur population, the team had been betrayed by MI6 agent Elizabeth Huntington-Moss and the future was looking decidedly bleak.
The first issue of series 2 takes place around three months later, with Tommy and John Noble trying to pick up the pieces. Things manage to get even worse when the dino intel that Moss stole somehow finds its way into the hands of the Nazi Okkultismus science division and work recommences in earnest on their doomsday chemical weapon. Not good.
Nrama: You're coming back to your creator-owned franchise after spending the last few years on DC's Bat-titles. How do you think doing that DC work changed what you're doing with the sequel versus you jumping straight to it in 2014?
Mooney: Hmm, that's a good question. I think if anything, it's made me appreciate all the more how much actual creative freedom I have on this series. I had such a blast working on books like Grayson and Midnighter at DC - I got to scratch some serious itches. Dick Grayson has been my favorite superhero since I was a kid, so to be able to work on that character right out of the gate was genuinely huge for me. I was lucky to be on that book as well as the incredibly popular Midnighter series at a time when they were massively in the zeitgeist and more relevant than ever, so I had a lot of new eyes on my work. Hopefully some of those readers will come back to Half Past Danger with me and take a gander. I'm hugely grateful to Mark Doyle, Scott Snyder and all of the Bat-guys for that opportunity.
Going back to Half Past Danger - the reason I've returned to it now is simply because I had to. It's been burning in my gut to tell the next piece of the story, and I was worried that all of the people at conventions and online would stop asking about the sequel if I didn't get to it soon! There's also the fact that I feel like I've improved my craft a fair bit since the first series; assisted in no small part by the great editorial team at DC.
Half Past Danger was originally conceived as a trilogy, so I've known what was gonna happen for a long time now. I'm genuinely thrilled to finally be back on the book and also to be back working with my editor Chris Ryall and all the other stellar people at IDW. It feels a little like coming home after having spent so long there at the start of my career.
Nrama: So where are Tommy, Captain Noble, and the others at when this series opens?
Mooney: Tommy and John Noble are chasing down a lead on Moss' intel at a German-occupied castle in the Austrian Alps. Moss is at large... somewhere. The team's fourth member, the ninja Ishikawa Minamoto is AWOL with his newly acquired dinosaur pal.
Nrama: And this is deep in WW2 time period - who and what are after them from the German side of things?
Mooney: The aforementioned Okkultismus science division are leading the SS tasked with locating any trace of the dinosaurs. They're also deeply fascinated by Captain Noble, whom they covet as the absolute pinnacle of their imagined Aryan super race. Along the way our team will encounter various foes both familiar and new - some of whom are decidedly more toothy than others...
Nrama: In the last series it was dinosaurs on a South Pacific island - what can readers look for here in the Austrian Alps?
Mooney: Well, I don't want to give away too much, obviously. Let's just say that the tagline from the first series very much holds true here also; Dames, Dinosaurs, Danger.
Oh - and giant, hulking Nazi Mech-suits.
Nrama: Has your frame of mind for Half Past Danger changed since the first series in 2014?
Mooney: If anything, I appreciate it even more now how valuable it is to have complete creative control. This book, for better or for worse, is my heart, soul and imagination poured onto the page. While it's absolutely as cool as you might think to get the chance to work on the Bat-books, it simply can't compare to something that's truly, 100% you. I can do anything my imagination can conceive with this book, and while that's kinda scary it's also tremendously freeing and fulfilling.
I'm genuinely giggling away to myself while I work on these pages! It's just so much fun. That's the key word I think - fun. We need more comics that are swashbucklers. Romps. Derring-do. Alla that good stuff!
Nrama: And big picture, what do you want fans to look forward to with this sequel?
Mooney: A genuine good time. Adventure. Romance. Action. More action. Fun!