What better way to celebrate Duke’s return than with a comic book? Sure enough, IDW is on the case with Duke Nukem: Glorious Bastard a four-issue miniseries with 400 issues worth of violence from the team of writer Tom Waltz and artist Xermanico and variant covers by John K. Snyder; the creative team will also be doing a one-shot Duke Nukem Forever comic packaged with the video game. With all this hardcore Duke action, we got up with Waltz to get to the bottom of this book. As it happens, here is a writer who takes his source material very seriously…
Newsarama: Tom, what will happen in this new miniseries?
Tom Waltz: Bullets will fly, aliens will die, babes will be bodacious, bombs will explode, naughty words will be spoken, and the rude and the crude will rule the day! And that’s just in the first issue!
More specifically, we initially find ol’ Duke partaking of the good life — the guy has saved the world a bunch of times and is enjoying the fruits of his labors. He’s got a billionaire’s mansion, endless kegs of beer, a loyal butler, and babes, babes, and more babes!
It’s a quiet life (if you don’t count the endless passionate screams from those babes, babes, and more babes!), until a mysterious French woman appears — she’s more than 90 years old, says she served in the French Resistance in World War II (under the codename the “French Tickler”), and foiled an alien invasion in 1945 Nazi Germany with the help of… drum roll… Duke Nukem!
She claims she’s come to retrieve Duke in order to take him back in time to ensure their hard-fought victory in the past is not wiped away from the annals of history. Duke is always ready to kick alien booty — anyplace, anytime — so he signs up for the crazy mission, and is swept back in time to face down the extraterrestrial baddies.
There will be loads of explosions, bullets, babe ogling, and more deus ex machina than you can shake a dynamite stick at!
Nrama: How did this book come about?
Waltz: Duke Nukem came into our offices one day, Desert Eagle in one hand, cigar in the other, and he proceed to jam that big hand cannon into my forehead. Hard. “Make me a comic book,” he growled. “And make it good, punk.”
I was frozen with fear, but snapped out of my horrified paralysis when he shouted, “Well, what are you waiting for — Christmas?!” Who was I to argue, right? So, after I changed my soiled skivvies, I got right to it.
Nrama: …yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what happened. What made you want to work on this?
Waltz: Fear of an unnatural (and unpleasant) death by Duke. I’d say I was in it for the hot babes and the glory, but Duke keeps all that good stuff to himself. Let’s face it—it’s Duke’s world and we’re all just lucky he lets us live… period.
Nrama: What is different about Duke in comic form than in video game form? As someone who's worked in both forms of media, what are the major similarities and differences in writing them?
Waltz: The main difference is you don’t need a joystick to enjoy the comic book Duke Nukem (though the real Duke Nukem would like me to inform all the hot ladies out there that he has a special joystick he’d like to invite them to beta test).
Otherwise, as Duke so often reminds us, Duke Nukem is awesome no matter where, when, or how you find him. Just make sure he doesn’t find you first!
Nrama: You’re starting to scare me. Tell us about your artist, the awesomely-named Xermanico. Who is he and what does he bring to the book?
Waltz: Xermanico is a mystery. He hails from Spain, and he draws a kick-butt comic book page, no doubt about it. But I’m a bit suspicious about that name of his—my guess is he’s using a pseudonym so he can remain anonymous on the off chance he draws Duke in a way Duke doesn’t like. It’s a self-preservation kind of thing.
Nrama: Duke Nukem Forever has gotten something of a reputation for tardiness in the video game world. What steps are you taking to make the comic more timely?
Waltz: The only person who scares me more than Duke Nukem is my boss at IDW, CEO Ted Adams. Duke kills aliens, yeah, but Ted annihilates editors and creators that can’t get their books out on time, so I make sure that doesn’t happen to anything I’m working on.
Again, it’s a self-preservation sort of thing… and I can only afford so many new pairs of underwear, you know?
Nrama: What a pleasant image. Now, who would win in a fight –video game Duke or the Duke Nukem who fought Captain Planet? This has bothered me for years. Think carefully.
Waltz: The video game Duke just found out you asked me this question and he’s heading to your house right now. Hope you got some extra underwear, muchacho.
Nrama: Oooookay. What, in your opinion, is the fundamental appeal of Duke Nukem?
Waltz: Duke is fun and he can be mental. The “da” part is the glue that keeps them together. I’m not sure what that means, to be honest, but if you had to ask what’s so cool about a guy who has tons of guns, hot babes, drinks beers all day long, fights aliens, and smokes cigars, then you deserve that goofy answer… and the personal visit Duke is about to pay you at your home.
He wasn’t smiling when he left here, and he said something about chucking a s*&tload of feces (redundancy intended) on your car and at your house before he comes inside to introduce you to Mr. Desert Eagle. Don’t believe me, do ya? Then check this out:
Nrama: You’re scaring the hell out of me, Tom. What's next for you?
Waltz: If the comic is a hit, and Duke’s happy with it, the continuation of my pitiful existence. Otherwise, a hot bullet followed by a cold grave. Needless to say, I really hope this comic is a hit.
Nrama: Anything else you'd like to talk about that we haven't discussed yet?
Waltz: I was gonna tell you about all the other projects I’ve got going on at IDW, but Duke just (firmly) reminded me that this interview is about him, so I need to just shut up, take my seat, and ride the Duke Express. I suggest everyone else does the same… that Desert Eagle is big and scary, especially when it’s pointed straight at you!
Duke Nukem: Glorious Bastard will blow you away in July from IDW. Writer Zack Smith mysteriously disappeared after submitting this piece, a smoking crater where his condo once stood. We are praying for him.Visit Newsarama on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and tell us what you think!