Monday, October 1, 2007

Alex Ross talks about Captain America and Kingdom Come

The latest Alex Ross interview from Wizard Universe:

…or is he? Ross dishes on Avengers/Invaders and his return to Kingdom Come in ‘JSA’

By Danny Spiegel

Posted September 30, 2007 10:40 AM

WIZARD: When Avengers/Invaders was unveiled the initial reaction was that the real Captain America was coming back, but obviously that’s not the case.

ROSS: It was all just a big tease that was entirely my fault. I had this last-minute idea of a teaser illustration of Cap with a “hinting” of the other silhouetted Invaders figures, but focusing on the idea of Cap and the word “Return” in a dramatic haunting. And everybody bit into it. We loved the idea of teasing people for a short time that this was actually the return of Steve Rogers. Not a dream, not a hoax. But of course it would turn out to be, “Oh, it’s time travel and that’s him from the past!” Does that make it unsatisfying? I don’t know. Hopefully it makes it interesting for people just to see where it goes.

Did you even know back then that Captain America would be dead by this point?

No, I didn’t know that Cap was dead until he was dead. I heard a hint of somebody asking me about it, like, a couple of weeks before. “Did you hear about this whole thing that they’re gonna kill Cap?” And I thought, “No, they’re not gonna do that!” And then...bada bing!

Which characters are definitely coming back when this comes out in February?

The original five Invaders, who, technically, were the only ones who actually existed in the ’40s: Captain America, Bucky, Human Torch, Toro and Sub-Mariner. Characters like Union Jack and Spitfire will appear in the series but they actually didn’t exist until the 1970s.

Will the two Buckys interact with each other?

Well, that’s something I’d like to see.

“... He said, coyly.”

[Laughs] That’s enough of a tease, right? After all, it’s not like I can say “He’s gonna meet him in issue #4 and they’re gonna go out and have scones.”

I love cinnamon scones. What about you?

It’s the breakfast of champions.

I think that’s Wheaties, actually. On a more serious note, can you comment on your affinity for characters from the ’40s?

I was always intrigued with these characters from a bygone age that by comparison with a modern art style seemed more like cave paintings. When you look at the earliest style of art given to characters like Superman and so many others, it’s a bizarre origin that was absolutely entrancing to me as a young boy.

Do you ever play, like, big band music to get yourself into the ’40s mode?

No, not at all.

So what type of music do you listen to then?

Uh, Queen doesn’t sound very ’40s-ish, do they? But I do like them as well as the Beatles, the Monkees and Badfinger.

You’re co-plotting Justice Society of America, but whose idea was it to bring in the Kingdom Come Superman?

That was mine. The thing that I miss about the Justice Society that I loved when I was a kid is the fact that they had an older Superman in the group. That was something that was really cool. Not just the idea that he was the first Superman but that here you have him as truly the patriarchal hero. And I made the recommendation that instead of the Earth-2 Superman who I had no idea was going to be revived in Infinite Crisis—

Geoff Johns didn’t tell you?

He did not tell me, no, because he is a sly bastard. [Laughs] I said we—he—should take the Kingdom Come Superman from that story, and then I immediately concocted a way in which we could do this. He’s taken from the middle of the story before the end of Kingdom Come when he’s still wearing the costume and everything.

How does that happen?

I can say that Starman is pivotally responsible for bringing him into the DC Universe.

How long will this Superman be hanging around?

We’ve yet to put a limit on that. I certainly wouldn’t have a grand objection to him being around a year or more. Then again, I don’t control Geoff. And he is a sly bastard. [Laughs]

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