You are completely out of the Bat-books past
Detective? There's GOTHAM CENTRAL, right?
I am told that you can expect it before the end of
the year. I have seen inked issues one and two of it.
Ed is working on the first story arc after that. I
think it's really more a question of when marketing
wants it out. It is moving forward and Michael Lark's
art on it is phenomenal.
In the post 9-11 world, we've seen some ramping up
of police and rescue related stories. Marvel is doing
THE CALL. Is any of this renewed interest in that sort
of story going to affect Gotham Central in any
It is not my intention.
I wanted GOTHAM CENTRAL to be, and I had this idea
for awhile and when Ed came in he and I talked, that
GOTHAM CENTRAL is about a fundamental question. It is
a question that Brian Bendis is asking a variation of
in POWERS, but the heart of GOTHAM CENTRAL is that
you're a dedicated detective in the most prestigious
squad in this horribly corrupt department. You are one
of a handful of twelve or eighteen honest good cops
and every day you go to work knowing that there is a
chance that you'll get a call and when that call
comes, you will be so far in over your head that the
city's costume vigilante will have to bail you out.
What is like to be that cop? For me, that is a
compelling question. Let's say you discover that the
triple-homicide you're investigating is actually
related to something that the Joker is going to do and
the Joker never does anything small. The investigation
will be out of your hands because the commissioner
will go up to the roof of the central precinct and
switch on the Bat-signal and that's it. It's over. At
that point you now work for Batman, whether you want
to or not.
That's what GOTHAM CENTRAL to me is about. What is
it like to be a cop in Gotham?
You'll get into a whole world of mess if you say
that New York City in the DC Universe was attacked and
the Twin Towers were collapsed, because you must then
ask "Why didn't Superman, Wonder Woman, the
Martian Manhunter, The Flash....you know? That's
enormous. I think that's problematic and it diminishes
what really happened.
Then you have to turn around and say the reason
Superman wasn't there is he was busy on Krypton and I
think it destroys that the super-hero universe is a
fantasy universe. You can't take the horror of what
happened on 9-11 and transport it. Especially not
when, in the super hero universe, we have had the
Green Lantern Corps blowing up planets and we have
seen multiple deaths in the millions and billions. So,
my inclination there would be to stay as far away from
it as possible.
When Phil Jiminez was announced as taking over
WONDER WOMAN, it was said that he'd run for a year and
then you would follow.
It's been a year and he still keeps going.
Yes. Good for Phil.
Are you still going to get your shot?
I love Diana and I really really want to work with
the character. Mostly it's going to be a question of
when Phil is done and when my schedule permits it.
I've got no urge to shove Phil Jiminez out of the way
and if that opportunity is still there...it goes to
the DETECTIVE book, why I'm leaving DETECTIVE. There
are certain things that nobody wants to do half-assed.
I don't want to write Diana half-assed, when I get the
opportunity to write that book I want to make sure I
give it everything I've got. I don't want to worry
about other projects. I don't want to worry about
being behind on a deadline. As a result, I'm going to
wait until I'm in the right position to do it.
HIKETEIA, which is the 96 page hardcover that J.G
Jones has been working on, it seems like for years, is
going to be out in June, I understand. It may be that
from that litmus test, it might be that the Wonder
Woman fanbase will go "Dear God!"
Don't let him near Wonder Woman again?
That's a valid point, and if that happens, then
maybe DC is going to turn and say "Well, you know
those things you wanted to do with Diana? Go away now,
Greg." We'll see. I really do want to work with
the character. I love Wonder Woman and I have faith
that it will happen, it's just a matter of when.
How did the Wonder Woman Hardcover come about?
It's pretty funny actually. Bob Schreck called me.
It's gotta be three years ago now, almost. He said
"I just got out of a meeting and we were talking
about doing a Wonder Woman Hardcover and I thought of
you? Would you like to do a 96 page hardcover Wonder
I've noticed a lot of Greek women in your work
lately. There's Elektra, there's Wonder Woman, and
there's Thessily Thessilonikki (featured in "Born
To Run" the lead story in TALES OF THE SLAYER
VOL. 1, a collection of short stories based on the Buffy
The Vampire Slayer Universe, specifically focusing
on past Slayers). Is that merely a coincidence or is
there something more to it?
I've always been really focused on Greeks. There's
always been that history and that mythology. What made
J.G. such a great choice for "HIKETEIA" is
that so is he. He is a nut. He's worse than I am, to
such an extent that I was writing in the script
"okay, now this is the Agora. The Agora is...,
" and then a little description for those of you
who don't know what the Agora is...and Jeff calls in
that....drawl of his..."Yeah, I've been wanting
to draw the Agora for years!" So basically, I'm
like an idiot in my script because he knows all this.
There is something. I wish I could put my finger on
what it is about this time period. There's certain
historical eras that just compel me and that's one.
And the whole issue with that Buffy story is that I
wanted to do something way back and I think in that
collection, by over a thousand years, that is the
oldest Slayer we see. I think we go from that one in
Marathon to, I think, the next one is in Elizabethan
And, it's okay to write in Elizabethan England and
I have no problem with anyone doing that, but doesn't
anyone want to write about the Roman slayer? Or see
the Mongol slayer? There is so much history. There's
something about the nature of religion and culture and
especially what's going on in Athens
There's a bit and it never made into this ELEKTRA
arc, that was going to be in, I think the third issue,
where Katamides, who hires Elektra to get these men
for her (because they raped her), had this speech
about what she wanted her vengeance to be. The reason
it was cut is that it was me pontificating, but it was
going to be her talking to the effect of the worst
thing that can happen to you in Athens.
The worst thing for punishment of a crime was not
execution. It was exile. It was to be told you are no
longer a citizen. You do not belong here. And to have
that taken from you was literally a fate worse than
death to an Athenian. They would rather die that not
be able to call themselves an Athenian.
In imagining that place and being somewhere where
the religion and this nascent sense of civics is so
tight and there's this world and mythology that
There's an argument being made that their Gods were
as secular to them as they are to us. That they did
not actually go and pray to Zeus expecting Zeus to
come down with a lightning bolt and to do anything.
They did treat their gods as abstractions to an
extent. So, in that sense, that runs counter to what
we've been led to believe. We've been led to believe
that Greeks would go around saying "Hermes made
me fast today." Rather than saying that Hermes is
So you have all that and the sense of incredible
advancement, but at the same time the Greeks are
keeping slaves and their women are second class
citizens at best. There's a lot of contradictions
there. It's fascinating stuff.
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