The Danger Girls are international superspies ready for just about anything.
Ash is a chainsaw-handed madman who has seen hell on earth, battled all manner of supernatural creatures, and is likely the most hard-headed character created in the last several decades.
Throw them together, and what could possibly go wrong? Well that's what Dynamite and IDW are doing in this crossover, written by Danger Girl co-creator Andy Hartnell and drawn by Chris Bolson. We spoke with Hartnell to find out why now was the time for a return to Danger Girl, and how these two properties come together.
Newsarama: Taking two separate fan favorite franchises and slamming them together seems like a natural idea. How did this particular one come about?
Andy Hartnell: I was actually kind of surprised when Nick Barrucci called with the idea. First reason was because it’s crossing over books from two different publishers, IDW and Dynamite. That in itself is something you don’t see very often. Second reason was because Army is more of a horror/fantasy title than an action/adventure series like Danger Girl.
So bringing them together didn’t even seem like something that’d be doable at first. But then everyone started to see the fun we could have with this idea...
Nrama: Why are these two properties a good fit?
Nick Barrucci: Well, they're both fun-living. If you've seen the Army of Darkness movie, if you've read Danger Girl you can tell they're a good fit Andy and Jeff have a passion for Army of Darkness and they obviously have a passion for their own series, Danger Girl. When you have that going for you it makes for great comics.
Hartnell: The speed in which their adventures unfold, the intensity of the action, the humor that often lightens the weight of their stories. They have more in common than I initially thought. And then plot-wise, there’s the whole thing where both Abbey and Ash often find themselves in some sort of quest for supernatural antiquities.
Nrama: Abbey Chase and friends are pretty headstrong and independent. Ash is headstrong to a fault - it doesn't seem like these folks would get along very well at first. What can you tell us about the clashing of these personalities?
Hartnell: That’s actually the most interesting aspect of this series. We already know that both Abbey and Ash can handle a crisis. We already know that they can both take on the bad guy. But what we don’t know is how these two completely different personalities will coexist when they’re trying to achieve a common goal. How will each of them react when the other is always trying to take the lead?
Nrama: It's been awhile since you've written the tales of the Danger Girls, Andy. Why was now the time to come back to these characters?
Hartnell: We were in the process of putting together the new Danger Girl Deluxe Edition when J. Scott Campbell and I began talking about developing some all-new adventures for the girls. Following that new edition of the original series just naturally felt like the best time to do it. This was around the same time Nick called with the idea for the Army crossover. So we decided to start with the crossover first, in order to not interrupt the narrative of our new Danger Girl stories coming out.
Nrama: How easy was it to jump into their heads again? How about into Ash's?
Hartnell: I know them well enough by now that most of my time is spent finding an interesting plot to put them in. Once they’re there and I put some goals and obstacles in front of them, it’s just really fun for me to see how they react. But what I often try, which isn’t easy, is to get them to react in ways I wouldn’t expect. That while still keeping the characters true to their nature.
Nrama: Ash tends to fight some pretty crazy monsters. Can you tell us about who the villains of this story will be and a little about how these superspies will react to the supernatural?
Hartnell: Of all the Danger Girls, Abbey is most in tune with the world of the supernatural. But she’s skeptical of Ash. He boasts about his fantastic, previous adventures and she just thinks he’s nuts. Now, will Abbey herself encounter any of those otherworldly, bizarre things from Ash’s world? And will she still think Ash is a nut even after she does?
That’s what’s interesting.
Nrama: Have you started working with Chris Bolson yet? How do you think you'll write for his art style?
Hartnell: Chris is already well into the series. His style is probably the most “realistic” take on Danger Girl yet. He really knows his stuff when it comes to all the various weapons and pieces of high-tech equipment the team is geared up with. So the story is written with maybe a little more emphasis on realism, which I think makes the supernatural bits stand out as a little more special and dramatic.
Nrama: You're probably still early in the process here, but can you leave our readers with a specific moment from the series that you're especially excited for them to see?
Hartnell: You know, it’s always the new stuff you’ve most recently written that you’re most excited to see. But there’s a sequence in the third issue, where Sydney Savage has to infiltrate this facility to extract someone.
And there’s a moment where she and that someone are both in disguise and they unknowingly just pass right by each other that I think is pretty funny. Just the whole sequence of her infiltrating and slinking her way through that facility is pretty cool. That and I think the “mini-origins” that begin each issue. Those were fun to write.
Nrama: Anything else you'd like to tell the readers about this big crossover?
Hartnell: Both Danger Girl and Army of Darkness will be continuing on in their own series after this crossover. So this event is really just offering everyone a pretty fun and different way to jump back into the action.
Danger Girl and the Army of Darkness #1 ships April 2011!