Aliens. Gladiator-style competition. Possible genocide.
In January 2010, Zenescope expands their line from fantasy horror to science fiction. One of the first series to premier from their new direction promises action in a series of cinematic alien battles. Screenwriter turned comic scripter Scott Burn gave Newsarama this exclusive interview about his new limited series entitled Agon and what were the inspirations behind his creation.
Newsarama: So, Scott, for those of the readers out there unfamiliar with your works, mind if you tell what you've worked on before?
Scott Burn: I'm primarily an action/science fiction screenwriter. The other projects that I've written include Countdown (which was sold to Summit Entertainment), a story about a group of astronauts who land on a planet and find their own dead bodies. That's in development now and is based on a Richard Matheson short story called Death Ship. Last year I set up a script called Origin (Relativity Entertainment), a different sort of take on black holes and the origin of the species. And the first script I co-wrote called Redline (Bob Yari Productions) was about an FBI agent trying to catch a beautiful thief.
Nrama: What is the story of Agon? Better yet, what is Agon?
Burn: Agon is a Greek word meaning, among other things, "contest". The story is about an alien civilization coming to earth to tell us that we've reached a stage of enlightenment where we're invited to join an advanced alien hierarchy. But to do so, we have to compete against three other alien civilizations in battle. The winner gets to join. The losers have their entire species wiped out.
Nrama: What were the inspirations behind the look and feel of the book?
Burn: I'm a huge fan of the classic sci-fi writers like Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. They have storylines that are epic in scope, but with many characters who are compelling to watch. And while there may be violence in the stories, they also pose really intriguing questions about the nature of humanity, and that drew me to this story. And I've been very fortunate to work with Joe and Ralph who brought in great artists who were able to capture the images I described almost exactly as I had them in my head.
Nrama: I love history, especially the ancient Greek era, did you take a lot from that time period such as architecture or borrow anything from mythology?
Burn: I majored in history in college, and I'm also very drawn to that period. However for the comic book, because the majority of it does not take place on earth, the story doesn't focus on Greek architecture or myth; except to the extent of exploring our original concept of mythology and Gods from the sky type ideas. There are some interesting theories about whether aliens were mistaken for gods in the early stages of mankind, and in that respect, mythology plays a role.
Nrama: Will this be an ongoing or limited series?
Burn: As of now, the plan is for Agon to be a 5 book series (plus the prequel).
Nrama: What are you hoping readers take with them after reading Agon?
Burn: While I hope readers enjoy the action and suspense of the story, I hope it goes a little deeper as well. The goal is to examine the nature of humanity...and whether you have to be human to possess it. Ultimately, I like stories that explore what is the nature of the species and that's what I've tried to do with Agon.