December 14, 2017

 




Interview:
Greg Rucka

By Michael Sullivan



 

The Buffy book was blatantly labeled as a volume one. Are you up for a volume two?

I don't know. That Thessily story was hard to write and I'm still not sure if it's successful. It is certainly a very different story than the rest of the ones in there. I've read the whole collection and I stick out like a sore thumb, just in terms of the narrative style that I was doing. There are things in the Buffy universe that I think are just fantastic ideas, so it would depend on the project and what was going on around it. There are characters that they've touched on that I have been intrigued by. Of the many things that Joss Whedon can be praised for, one of them is the complexity of that universe. I think it's just glorious. There's a wonderful mythology there. It would be fun to dabble in it, but again it would be so situational.

You have the SPIDER-MAN: QUALITY OF LIFE mini-series coming out this summer. It seems to have a big social issue attached to it.

Yes and no. You never want to write a polemic. I don't want to say that big corporations are bad because I'm not sure I agree with that one hundred percent. Like anything there is bad and good. The root of it is that there is a company that is doing something very bad and they refuse to take responsibility for it. In much the same way that cigarette companies refuse to take responsibilities for the very bad things that they were doing for a very long time. So that is the root idea.

If there is a real villain of the piece, it is cancer. I've been talking to Axel about this a lot, I've got one more issue to write, and it's cancer. Spider-Man can't punch cancer. You cannot wrap up cancer in a web and send him to prison. Cancer always wins. In the long run, cancer wins.

A company that, then, knowingly allows that to happen and then does nothing about it should pay a price.

The thing about Curt Connors is...I have a problem with straight villains. I have a real problem with villains like, for instance, the Joker, because all they are is chaos and evil. There's nothing there. Part of the mystique about the Joker is you don't know what's going on there. Even in THE KILLING JOKE, the potential origin of the Joker is subjective. The by-law there is that, actually, that is not a canonized origin because if it is from the Joker's point of view...well, he's crazy! You can't trust him!

So, the villains that really appeal to me are the characters that are, going back to a Greek concept, rife with pathos. Two-Face is a prefect example. Poison Ivy is a great example. Elektra is a character full of pathos. And Curt Conners is a great example.

Here's a guy who wanted nothing more than to find a way to regenerate his arm. There's nothing wrong in that. Then he becomes...it really is Doctor-Jeckyll-and-Mister-Hyde. And he can't control it. You put that character into an environment where he also finds himself helpless because you cannot become the Lizard and kill cancer and you have a very good basis for a story.

WHITEOUT. Because you can't get away from it.

(Laughs)

How's the movie going?

I have no idea!

Well, that doesn't sound good.

I really don't know. The people at Radiant (Wolfgang Petersen's production company) tell me they're committed. They tell my agent they're committed. They really want to see it made. There has been a screenplay. There has been a desire to get the screenplay rewritten. They're shopping it around because the Radiant deal at Columbia/Sony fell through or ended or whatnot. So, we'll see. This is not something I hold my breath about.

There have already been some significant changes. There was a draft that strayed so far from the source material. What's being done now is that they're looking for someone to bring it closer to what the actual mini-series was... If. When. How. I have no idea.

There will be a third WHITEOUT.

Yeah.

When?

It is not at the top of my list of projects right now. I am willing to go back to Carrie (Stetko, main character of the previous two mini-series). I think there is another story to tell, but I am not in a hurry to tell it. Any further WHITEOUT that would be done, pretty much would have to be done with Steve Lieber. There's just no way to do a WHITEOUT and not have Steve draw it. There is then the question of getting schedules in line and the question of actually writing it. The most important thing is...I don't want it to be, again, half-assed. I'm not going to write it because people want it. I'm going to write it because it's ready to be written. No offense to those people who want it, but you'll be happier if I write when it is ready to be written then when you want it.

The third would be the last?

Yeah. It is the last one. Regardless of what happens or how it would end.

There was a very mixed response to MELT (the second mini-series), and not solely because it was a different story than the initial WHITEOUT, but also because I think when I wrote it I wasn't sure. I knew what the story was I wanted to tell but i wasn't sure why I was telling it. I'm not going to replicate that mistake.

What else is coming up that I'm forgetting?

BLACK WIDOW: PALE LITTLE SPIDER. It's a three issue mini-series in Marvel's MAX line, which consequently people, I think, are expecting will be full of breasts, penises and bare bottoms and lots and lots of sex. If you're looking to pick this thing up for a date with your hand in the bathroom, you're going to be disappointed.

One of the things the MAX line allows is for the exploration of more adult themes and adult ideas and adult places. There is erotic content to the story. That's very intentional. I've heard people say "It's an excuse to have Black Widow naked." No, it's not.

Igor Kordey is drawing. First issue is pretty much done, He's finishing up the second one, I think, as we speak and it looks to be on schedule

This your second Black Widow mini, are there going to be more?

I don't know. I like the character. I like them both actually. I like Yelena, the new one, and Natasha, the other one. I like spy stuff. At their hearts they're spies not super-heroes. They're characters that I would be happy to play with again, but I don't have anything planned.


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