Being able to run fast has its advantages.
And so does having writer Joe Casey and artist Kevin Maguire on your side.
The Top Cow character Velocity learned that lesson when the character won one of two coveted spots as an ongoing series by winning Top Cow's inaugural Pilot Season initiative. Originally created in 1992 by Marc Silvestri for his Image launch book Cyblade, Casey and Maguire's Pilot Season tale told a story of a teenage girl trying to balance a social life with a superhero. Being the fastest girl on earth can only help so much.
The 2007 one-shot issue won the hearts of fans, racing to the finish line and winning last year's Pilot Season. With a new series on the horizon and recent news that artist ChrisCross would be penciling it, we talked to Joe Casey to find out more.
Newsarama: Joe, once you knew that your Velocity issue was one of the two winners in last year's Pilot Season contest – what came next, Joe?
Joe Casey: You mean, after the disbelief wore off? At that point, I started wrapping my head around the follow-up mini-series, tapping into my inner-John Broome but with an eye toward the future. It actually took quite a while to find the right artist... and, honestly, I held back a little until I knew exactly who'd be drawing this thing. I knew I wanted to take some of the freakier aspects of my creator-owned work and fuse it with this very mainstream Image superhero character, but we needed just the right artist.
NRAMA: So tell us about it – what can we expect in this first issue?
JC: Actually, I don't want to give away too much this early, especially since I'm still writing the thing and the way I'm working is a little free-form so it's tough to even predict where things are going to go. It'll be a ride, though. Having said that, the first issue contains the mayhem of the New Gun Kids, the excitement of the DNA Races, and the red-hot romance of our gal, V, enjoying two separate dates simultaneously (one of the perks of super-speed... take *that*, return of Barry Allen!).
NRAMA: Besides Velocity, can we expect any other familiar faces from the Top Cow universe to show up?
JC: I'm going to say... yes. However, while we are diving into the Top Cow Universe in all its glory -- specifically some old Cyberforce characters that haven't been seen in years -- when even longtime readers see *how* we'll be using these characters, they'll know right away that they're swimming in the New.
NRAMA: How does this new miniseries compare to the one-shot you did in 2007?
JC: That's tough to say. The Pilot Season one-shot was exactly what it was marketed to be: a pilot. Now we're into the series proper, and we're taking more risks, picking up the pace, turning it up to eleven, and any other cliché you want to pull out of your ass to get the point across that this new series is fueled by a lot more ambition than simply putting out a happy, snappy one-shot.
NRAMA: For this, artist Chris Cross is joining you to draw the interiors while original artist Kevin Maguire is doing covers. What's it like having those two on board?
JC: Well, Kevin's a pro. He was fantastic on the Pilot Season issue and I think he's underrated as a cover artist. Cross, on the other hand, is one of the great, undiscovered artists of our time. Not to say he hasn't had his moments of glory. He blew me away on Xero, even before I turned pro. He was great on <>Captain Marvel, he was stellar on Firestorm. He did a few JLA and Outsiders issues that were pure eye candy. Here's a previously untold career tale: Cross was my first choice to draw the Earth's Mightiest Heroes sequel. I just felt like, more than anyone out there, his art possessed that Buscema classicism that EMH2 really needed. We were so close, Marvel wanted him, Cross wanted the gig, but unfortunately -- and, to my eight-track mind, inexplicably -- ended up doing a massive project for Humanoids (seemingly the great No Man's Land of American comic book artists). But now he's back and the timing on Velocity ended up being right for both of us. Now I just have to write something that's worthy of his talent... and maybe push it a bit further than it's ever been pushed. I only say this because it's what he asked me to do, so I'm more than happy to oblige.
NRAMA: How many issues will this be?
JC: Four issues of surreal, psychedelic mayhem with the Quickest Girl on Earth. She's hot and she's fast. With a series like this, what else is there?
Velocity will debut this fall from Top Cow.