Monday, June 13, 2011

Paul Cornell on Stormwatch/DCnÜ Misconceptions

Big thanks to commentator Ryan for pointing me to an interview with Paul Cornell at Newsarama that goes a long way toward assuaging any fears among fans in the DC and WS camps that their characters wouldn't remain true to form. Of Stormwatch the book, Cornell said:
"It's at the crux of a lot of things for where DC is going to be in September. It's a bit of a kingpin book. It united a lot of things."

That tells me this isn't just some lark, but essentially ground zero of the integration of the Wildtorm properties into the DCU.

Newsarama: Paul, I think one of the most exciting things about the announcement is that people finally know where Martian Manhunter ended up. Can you tell us anything about what his function is on this team?

Paul Cornell: Well, he's a superhero, and Stormwatch are not. And there's a certain contradiction there. And he's a major player in the book.

Newsarama: It's true that they really don't seem to go together, because Martian Manhunter is like the odd man out.

Paul Cornell: Yeah. He's in there to kind of put a certain gravity to it, to mess things around. He does make sense in the book, though. Very much so. And you'll see why he makes sense when the idea behind the book gets talked about. But I think it's obvious that there's going to be some friction there. There are going to be some issues.

Newsarama: The information DC released said he'll try to "change their mind." That doesn't imply mind control or anything, does it?

Paul Cornell: Ah, no. He's trying to change their minds about being recruits. He's not controlling their minds. That would be bad!

Newsarama: OK, OK... just checking. But so many people know Martian Manhunter, even in the mainstream world, since he was such a huge part of cartoons like Justice League. Is the same character we know? Or has he changed?

Paul Cornell: Those things that you liked are still there.

Cornell was apparently a big fan of Warren Ellis' Planetary, but only recently read Stormwatch and The Authority in trades. That explains why the character selection is so heavily skewed toward the later material. Cornell confirmed Apollo and Midnighter would be out and proud, that the team's edgy swagger would remain, and that it's actually Jack Hawksmoor at the center of that first cover. I'm rather curious where the women are at, and how big this group will be at the end, but I'm mostly just relieved to hear Cornell will be writing a recognizable J'Onn J'Onzz in a dynamic new setting.


LissBirds said...

I can't say that I'm too exited about this book, considering that I have no idea who these characters are. (Which may be a blessing in disguise--not having any preconceptions to color my preconceptions.) But this also probably means no detective work and no secret identity, two things I'm always looking for in a Martian Manhunter story.

But I do like the sound of "He's not controlling their minds. That would be bad!" That sounds hopeful.

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

I guess they(DC) had to stick him somewhere since he can't take his rightful place with either Justice Leagues teams, still it will be an interesting ride for MM and WS fans alike in the coming months ahead.

I will say, I trust Cornell, but this WS isn't the same as the ones Ellis and Millar worked on, so we all will have to wait and see how this goes. Maybe some other DC characters will get shuffled in w/ Stormwatch like Blue Devil, Red Tornado, Metamorpho, or something like that. Plus with J'onn there, Stormwatch hopefully won't be all "kill first, ask questions later" like they usually are portrayed.

Diabolu Frank said...

The whole "grr, we're fascistic socialist international post-humans who punch the bad guys' faces off (and by "international" I mean British, and by "bad guys" I mean analogues of American super-heroes) thing got pretty played out. I'm hoping Cornell can explore Stormwatch's appeal without that kind of pandering repetition, with J'Onn's inclusion being a good start.

Diabolu Frank said...

Almost forgot-- Liss, the Stormwatch/Authority guys are prone to wearing suits and trench coats, so there's no telling if John Jones will make an appearance.

LissBirds said...

Ooooh. Now you've got my attention!

I hope there's some sort of government conspiracy in this upcoming book...that would make me happy, too.

Diabolu Frank said...

I don't understand how there could not be a government conspiracy in a Stormwatch book. Jenny Sparks was basically Cameron Chase with an even pissier attitude and bigger powers, while Sarge Steel, Amanda Waller, Director Bones and the rest of that lot are exactly the kind of people whose faces get punched off by these guys.