Welcome back to The Dynamite Report, a special feature here at CraveOnline that focuses exclusively on Dynamite Entertainment!
Dynamite is one of the largest comic book companies in America, with titles including Red Sonja, Flash Gordon, Vampirella, Army of Darkness, The Twilight Zone, A Game of Thrones, Zorro, The Lone Ranger, Lord of the Jungle, John Carter of Mars, Dejah Thoris and several others.
The company is also well known for its stellar lineup of comic book creators including Gail Simone, Jeff Parker, Nancy Collins, Steve Niles, J. Michael Straczynski, Tim Seeley, Mark Waid, Greg Pak, Marc Andreyko, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Duane Swierczynski, Peter Milligan, Alex Ross, Jae Lee, Gabriel Hardman, Joseph Michael Linsner, Amanda Conner, Francesco Francavilla, Terry Dodson and Emanuela Luppachino.
We’re kicking off 2015 with our biggest column to date! Joining me are Dynamite Senior Editor Joseph Rybandt and Associate Editor Molly Mahan.
Let’s start with Masks 2. As a sequel to the original Masks miniseries, how do the multiple time periods intersect with each other in the new story?
Joseph Rybandt: We’re covering three periods of time, and our villain is the key to how and why this is happening.
Molly Mahan: There may be some benefit from reading Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of Red Death” before the first issue hits stands, even if it’s just personal. His birthday was this past week, so it’s timely.
Will we see some heroes who didn’t make it into the first Masks miniseries?
Rybandt: Absolutely, it was actually the inclusion of these heroes that put us into the mode of spanning multiple periods of time. To make the inclusion work, and fit in with the timeline we have used internally, this became a must. As such, I think it adds a really fun element to this sequel that sets it apart from the original.
Mahan: We’ll also see some legacy characters — familiar and new — interact with the original mantel bearers, which I personally am enthused about, especially those who are inspired by the originals than connected by blood.
Can we get an update on Gail Simone’s Women of Dynamite event? Is it a crossover miniseries with tie-ins? Does the main book have an artist? And which characters will be in the spotlight?
Rybandt: We are a go on all fronts! The series is titled Swords of Sorrow and that will also be the title of the miniseries that ties it all together. There will be one shots and miniseries coming out of the main miniseries, featuring a variety of characters and creative talent. Official announcement coming soon, but look for it in beginning in May.
Mahan: The shorter answer would be to say which characters aren’t involved in the series. But the main characters will be Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris. There will be a couple of new characters as well, who are absolutely fantastic—both in form and function. The first issue just wrapped line art, and it’s beautiful. We can’t show anything just yet, but you’ll see!
On a related note, how close are we to a new Red Sonja creative team?
Rybandt: Gail winds down her run with issue #18 and we have a crossover miniseries that will be happening towards the tail end of that. From there, we’re looking at later this year for any possible new creative team…
Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the Project Superheroes: Blackcross miniseries by Warren Ellis his first book for Dynamite?
Rybandt: You are not wrong and it will not be his only book for Dynamite this year…
Tell us about the story in that book. Is it a part of the larger Project Superheroes story that came before it?
Rybandt: Yes and no. it does nothing to negate what came before, but it’s also not dependent on what came before. We gave Warren free reign to do what he wanted with this concept and characters and he turned it on its side and upside down, as we hoped he would. It’s open and accessible for new readers and a wonderfully creative addition for older fans.
The solicits for the King miniseries suggest that all five books are converging. Will there be a King miniseries with Flash Gordon, the Phantom, Mandrake, Prince Valiant and Jungle Jim coming together as a team?
Rybandt: That is the plan. All 5 miniseries are four issues and all intertwined, leading to a bigger event down the road…
Now that the Gold Key books are ending their initial run, will there be a team-up there as well? Or is a relaunch coming soon?
Rybandt: It’s almost like you’re in the office with us, or are we just that obvious? Don’t answer! Yes, after the initial series of Solar, Magnus and Turok, we will be doing a solitary title to start, that will feature a unification of the universe, titles and characters…
I was surprised to see Looking For Group as an upcoming monthly series. That’s been a long running and very successful web comic. I’m curious as to why the decision was made to release it as a monthly instead of an initial trade paperback.
Rybandt: We’ve worked with the people behind that series on other projects and we are always open to helping to bring other material to the comics market – stuff that was created for Kickstarter, the web, etc.
Are there any plans for Voltron in 2015?
Rybandt: There are. Cullen Bunn will be writing and it should be kicking off this summer.
Tell us about the Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro crossover and how that came together. And will we see Lady Rawhide and Zorro reunite after nearly 20 years?
Mahan: Putting Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro together seemed like a pretty logical idea for 2015 after their solo miniseries in 2013 and 2014. As for Zorro and Lady Rawhide … I think she’d prefer to take the foxes on one at a time!
What led to the creation of Altered States? And will there be more beyond Red Sonja, Vampirella, The Shadow and Doc Savage?
Rybandt: We’re always looking for new ways to take familiar characters and place them in new situations. Altered States allows us to do that by altering the character and the setting and making the familiar unfamiliar. As far as more, most likely another wave down the road in 2015.
Do the Altered States stories standalone? Or is there a connection between the books?
Rybandt: No direct connection between the books, each stands on its own.
Last question, what Dynamite project for 2015 are you most excited about?
Rybandt: Bond. James Bond.
Mahan: Swords of Sorrow. It’s definitely the most ambitious and expansive project I’ve been a part of, and I am very excited to see how it is received.
That’s all for this installment of The Dynamite Report here at CraveOnline! But if you want to send us questions for the next Dynamite Report, you can tweet your questions to @BlairMarnell or @CraveOnline!