Greg Rucka began as a novelist, writing the Atticus
Kodiak series of crime-thrillers. He created the Oni
Press mini-series Whiteout, also a
crime-thriller...set in Antarctica. Then Denny O'Neil
read of one of his books and before he knew it, he was
being offered that Bat guy. Building a rep during the
"No Man's Land" event he capped it by taking
over Detective Comics.
He's spun out into writing many many more comics. Black
Widow, Elektra, his creator-owned Queen
& Country, Felon, and many others.
He let us try to turn his brain to slush, but he is
wily, that one.
Instead, my brain was turned to slush transcribing
You've completed a new novel. Is it another in the
Atticus Kodiak series?
It's from Bantam, but it's not a Kodiak. It's the
first non-series book I've done and it's called A
FISTFUL OF RAIN. It's a departure book, but it's still
a kind of suspense/thriller, but if you read it
carefully you can figure out it's taking place in the
same world, though none of the Kodiak characters
Is this the beginning of a new series?
The character is really different and I like her a
lot, but I honestly don't know if initially she'll get
up and walk and talk for a second novel.
With Atticus, it's easy for him to professionally
get into trouble. It's the nature of his job. He's a
bodyguard. He's going to get involved in stories with
suspense and so on.
The main character of this book is a 26-year-old
alcoholic rock star who gets home from touring to find
her life falling apart, not in the least because her
father, who murdered her mother when she was eleven,
has just gotten out of prison.
She's really different. She doesn't kick and she
doesn't jump and she doesn't have a gun to point at
someone, so it creates a really different dynamic. She
has a very active character, but unlike Atticus...who
if you say "you're going to be ambushed in a
car," now knows what to do.
The suspension of disbelief can only get you so
far. How many times is something like this going to
happen in a rock star's life? She could go further. I
have no immediate plans to follow it up. The one after
that is actually a novelization of QUEEN AND COUNTRY.
Straight prose. Then after that I'll get back to
Will the QUEEN AND COUNTRY novel be a new story or
an adaptation of a story from the comic?
It'll be a variation of a story arc There are
certain changes that I'm making. Ideally it's not
going to be recycled material.
Instead of basically going right, it makes a left
and that makes for a different book and that's also
more along the lines of what's been presented for the
Where is that at?
Tall Trees, Betty Thomas's production company has
the rights and a treatment is in at Fox. We're waiting
for the go-ahead on the screenplay
Are you getting a crack at the screenplay?
That's what we're waiting to find out.
How might it differ from it's own source material?
Because it is a film it is going to be different.
Oddly Hollywood seems to-- well not oddly-- Hollywood
wants certain things. They're more inclined to the
running and the jumping and the shooting.
Because QUEEN & COUNTRY and the British
television show The Sandbaggers (Rucka's
inspiration for Q&C) are similar, how is
that going to affect the film? Will it seem like a Sandbaggers
I have spoken to Ian Mackintosh's brother (Lawrie)
and we've been corresponding and that has all been
cleared up. Fox was concerned that there would be
issues with the similarities, but there's only so far
you take the similarities before you have to go
"QUEEN AND COUNTRY isn't the same." It is
its own thing.
You can see Crocker and Burnside are cut from the
same cloth. The initial political connections on the
surface are very similar. The difference between the
Minders and the Sandbaggers are growing. They are
different people. The focuses on the series are really
different. Ian Mackintosh was in intelligence. He knew
what he was writing about. He was also writing in a
world where the espionage and political stuff was, in
its own way, easier to trash.
Because these are different people and because the
world is different and my knowledge is very different,
the stories tend to go a very different way. The stuff
I'm working on now does seem to be moving in a fairly
different direction...hopefully still as good because I
think THE SANDBAGGERS are the best TV ever. If
I can aspire to that level of writing I'd be a happy
"Morningstar," the current arc in QUEEN
& COUNTRY deals with the Taliban in Afghanistan
and was written entirely before the events of
September 11th. Was anything altered in the aftermath?
Not a bit.
Will 9-11 have an impact on the series?
The story arc after "Morningstar," is
called "Crystal Ball." It begins with a 3-4
page sequence taking place on September 11. It's shown
from the point of view of the Ops Room and then from
where the Minders are when they find out. The reason
I'm doing that is because it becomes a pivotal date in
intelligence work, if for no other reason than that
the immediate focus is on intelligence and the goals
of intelligence are being reformatted. It's kind of a
QUEEN AND COUNTRY isn't set in this world, but it's
set pretty darn close, so there is no way to write an
espionage story and ignore it. It has to take it into
account because it changes the nature of what going on
in intelligence. One of the things going is how the
CIA and SIS are working with other intelligence
It deals in part with fact that, if you retaliate,
there is an issue of feeding a fire that's already
raging because you're going to get attacks anyway.
It's pretty clear that Al-Qaeda is going to keep going
regardless of what one does. There are lots of
elements that are motivated by 9-11, I should say.
There was talk of a Question miniseries following
the recently collected BATMAN/HUNTRESS: CRY FOR BLOOD
miniseries. Where does that stand?
As a backup now. We tried to get approval for a
miniseries, but DC seemed to feel that no one would
buy it, though Rick (Burchett) and I really wanted to
do a Question mini series. What that has metamorphosed
into is a backup in Detective, probably starting in
November. It'll run about eight or nine parts. It will
follow up on the Question and the Huntress and it'll
bring back a couple of characters from the late
Question series (by Denny O'Neil).
One would think that the collection of CRY FOR
BLOOD would bode better for Vic Sage.
One would hope. The Question is a strange character
at DC from what I can gather. People seem to like him
but they aren't quite sure what do with him. At
various points people have proposed using him in a
Vertigo line. He's cropped up in other places in the
form of the Ditko version and the Denny variation.
The impression I've gotten is that the real
resistance to doing anything with the Question is that
he doesn't have a costume per se and it seems to be a
What about moving him to Vertigo, then?
I've never been approached about that, but then,
that's not something I would want to do. When you move
somebody into Vertigo, they are pretty much gone from
the DC Universe. The two really don't meet. This is
why you don't get John Constantine wandering around in
JLA. If you took the Question out of the continuity
like that, you're left with the core of the character,
but invariably, I think, if you put him in a Vertigo
series he'd spend about three issues pondering his
navel and then go off in search of God, kicking a lot
of ass along the way.
Denny was able to elevate the Question to some
fairly serious comics literature and he posed some
really good thematic questions. He did that when there
wasn't really a Vertigo line, so I don't think there
is a reason to take the character out of mainstream
continuity like that.
And the other thing that happens, frankly, is if
you do that then you take him away from other people.
That not cool, I think.
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