is the sort of book
serial killers have on subscription.
Speaking of your Vertigo projects, THE SAVIOUR is going to be re-presented by Vertigo, is it not?
Well, itís weird that all sorts of rumors are flying out around it just now. Itís like—
[W]hen THE SAVIOUR came out in 1990-whatever ... the company went bust when it was on issue 6, and people always said to me, "Are you ever going to finish this series?" and I said, "Well, it was a good idea, but I donít think I executed it very well, you know? It was my first-ever job; Iíd really rather not do it again." And people always say, "Do you want to do it?"
Alex Ross, [painter of MARVELS and KINGDOM COME], was actually in a pow-wow with me when I said that, and he said to me afterwards, "You know, I didnít realize you wrote THE SAVIOUR. We should do it together." And I said, "Well, itís a big, expansive book. You wouldnít have time to draw 12 issues." And he said, "Well, why donít we completely rethink it?"
So weíll do it like ASTRO CITY, where heíll do all the designs and be involved in the plotting and things like that—and also do the concepts and the covers. And weíll get an artist to actually draw the pages.
That sounded interesting, so I said, "Great." And that really got me charged up about it again, and I just thought, "Iíll radically rethink it. Iíll just keep this very, very basic premise and the title, and every, every aspect of it will be redesigned."
And I just mentioned this in passing to someone in Marvel who said they were very, very interested in it. In fact, I was just talking to somebody at Marvel a half an hour ago. And then I just happened to mention in passing to someone at DC that Marvel were interested in doing this book with us, and they said, "No, no, you must, must, must do it for DC. DC would love to do this book."
And I havenít even written a word of a proposal or anything like that!
And suddenly weíre in this really nice situation, so weíll see what happens from here. It certainly wouldnít be suitable for DC Universe because, although itís got super-heroes in it, itís a real sexed-out book, you know? I mean, this is the sort of book serial killers have on subscription. So I think that Vertigo is probably its home, you know? [Laughs.]
Have you had a chance to talk with any potential artists for the book, or do you have anybody in mind?
We really donít, actually. Once weíre decided on the company, weíll probably think about the artists, because each company has their own little stable of guys. If we do it for Vertigo, itíd probably be a very different kind of artist than whoever they have at Marvel, you know?
True. Who was your original collaborator when it was published ... by Trident?
Actually, a couple. The guy who I did it with originally was Grant Morrisonís next-door neighbor when he was a boy, this guy called Danny Villelli. And Danny was brilliant; Danny was great. Iíd kind of taken the book to this company, and after Iíd come up with a character and all this kind of thing, I needed to find someone to draw it. And Danny was the guy for it. But he only did one issue because Danny was involved in a band and all this kind of thing and didnít have time.And another guy called Nigel Kitchen drew the next five issues. So, really, this wouldnít be like a— You know, itís not like weíre using any of the designs or any of the concepts or anything, so it would be an entirely different thing. Iím just actually taking the title and the basic premise that I had myself, so the copyright will lie with me and Alex Ross and whoever the new artist is.
Well, I should also mention that RED SON is not your first exposure to doing Elseworlds stories in the DC Universe. In SWAMP THING, you did a series of stories called "River Run."
Oh, right! Yeah.
Probably the highlight of [your] run on the book was seeing all these characters that you had known from 20 years of SWAMP THING taken completely out of context and put into other worlds with strangely familiar trappings.
Yeah! [Laughs.]Is that a fascination for you—Elseworlds stories, different settings?
It really is. Did I say to you the other day that I really wanted to do an Elseworlds monthly? Did I tell you that?
No, you didnít.
All right. ĎCause thatís one of the deals that I really, really wanted DC to do, and I sent them a letter yesterday saying this. Thereís a whole lot of people to be consulted with this, you know. Itís something Iíve been thinking about for a while, but I want to—
When RED SON finishes in summer, I really want to follow up with a monthly book and get Dave Johnson to do the covers. Iíve already spoken to a few artists, and theyíre really, really interested in it.
[Iíd] get really, really good artists to do four-issue story arcs and actually do three four-issue story arcs a year, as a monthly book. So the first one would be a Superman Elseworlds drawn by someone, then followed by a separate (altogether separate) Batman Elseworlds drawn by J. H. Williams and Mick Gray, then a separate altogether Wonder Woman Elseworlds where sheís the leader of an all-female Justice League, drawn by Phil Jimenez.
And after that, [weíd] follow up with the sort of Elseworlds you would normally get—with a four-issue Shazam Elseworlds or something and maybe a four-issue original Teen Titans one. I think it could be a blast, and the great thing about it is every four issues you can have a great new artist and a whole new premise, but the book itself would be ELSEWORLDS # 1 and continuing from there.
Yeah, Iíve heard some rumors about the possibility of such a book. It would definitely be something worth seeing.
Oh, I think it would be enormous! It would be great! And it would be a good way of utilizing these great characters without spreading it too thin, really. I donít want to see another six JLA books a month, you know? I donít want to see—
The most obvious thing to do is just do twice as many books with the same guys. At least this would be using the character imaginatively and setting him in different scenarios so you donít get tired of seeing him, you know?