Joe Casey is back in the superhero game, this time creating and writing heroes as part of Lion Forge's Catalyst Prime universe. And on stands now is Incidentals #1, the first in an ongoing series about a group of "normal people dealing with extraordinary circumstances." There's superpowers, but no superhero codenames - just people out to protect someone from being exploited while trying to get along with each other in the process.
Casey is doing Incidentals with artist Larry Stroman, best-known for his iconic run on Marvel's X-Factor in the 1990s.
With Incidentals #2 due out September 27, Newsarama spoke with Casey about this new superhero series and how he's working to make it grounded and stand out from the crowded shelves at comic book stores.
Newsarama: Joe, you've worked in numerous superhero universes - including some of your own creation. What makes Lion Forge's Catalyst Prime unique?
Joe Casey: Anything that doesn't have the baggage of other, more established comic book universes - some that have been around for fifty plus years - always has that air of danger to it, the sense that anything can happen. I like that. I like to write comics that way and Lion Forge makes that possible for me.
Nrama: Then, so how does Incidentals fit into that?
Casey: It's a bit of an outlier, more of a "boots on the ground"-side to the whole Catalyst thing. These aren't the astronaut heroes who tried to save the world from total destruction. These are normal people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. Whether or not they'll be able to work together is a major thread of the series. Fitting into the wider Catalyst Prime Universe is almost secondary to them actually fitting together.
Nrama: Who is Seven and why are they worth saving?
Casey: Seven's not a "they". Seven's a "she." Some folks who have been affected by the fallout from the original Event (as depicted in the Free Comic Book Day one-shot back in May) have been targeted in order to exploit those effects. Seven is one of them.
Nrama: Bo Vincent Chen is a billionaire, so what's in it for him in saving Seven?
Casey: Chen's got a higher calling now. The Event changed him, as well. Luckily, he's got the means to fulfill his new dream.
Nrama: Who are the Incidentals he recruits for this?
Casey: I could rattle off names here, but they wouldn't mean anything unless you were committed to reading the book. There's no superhero codenames involved. I'm writing these characters as realistic, grounded individuals, each of whom has their own life and backstory and point of view. Some of them are down with Chen's ambitions. Some of them... not so much.
Nrama: Protecting a teenager doesn't seem like too tough a job - what makes life difficult for Seven?
Casey: Seven is, to use an old chestnut, from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks. More than anything, she needs a place to belong, a place she can call home. But, again, she's just a small piece of a much larger puzzle.
Nrama: Working with on this is Larry Stroman. How'd you react learning he'd be drawing your script?
Casey: I've been a fan of Larry's from way back. And I knew he'd kill it on this series. He's makes talking head scenes look like major action sequences. I knew from the beginning that's what this book needed.
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals for Incidentals?
Casey: As with any comic book I write, my goals are to entertain. When it comes down to it, I'm just a song and dance man. If people get the deeper themes out of Incidentals - and they're in there, trust me - that's just icing on the cake of simply spinning a good yarn.