The following is my e-interview with comic writer extraordinaire Greg Pak.
Every Marvel job I’ve ever taken involves characters who are beloved to devoted and protective fans. All you can do as a writer is do your best to tell a great story that respects what’s come before but takes the characters to a new and exciting place. With “Alpha Flight,” we had the advantage of being able to reassemble the original team that everyone has been aching to see together for years. And then we turned everything upside down with the rise of the Unity Party and Canada going fascist — because it’s when you take characters ouf of their comfort zone that fun and compelling stories really percolate.
Fred, Dale and I are enormously appreciative of Alpha Flight fans, who were wildly supportive of the series and sent us all kinds of good vibes every step of the way via the internet and at cons. You guys made it so much fun for us — thanks!
Also, do you have a favorite canuck hero?
I’m going to be totally honest and hopelessly mainstream — I love Wolverine. Right now I’m particularly in love with Howlett, the early 20th century alternate universe version of him that I’m writing in “Astonishing X-Men.” Former Governor General of the Dominion of Canada and Viceroy of Her Majesty’s Mission to Shangri-La. What’s not to love?
I just now called four comic shops in town to snag a copy of Dead Man’s Run #1. Can you give our readers a run down on what it’s all about and your inspiration for the series?
Thanks for the dedication!
“Dead Man’s Run” tells the story of Sam Tinker, a young cartographer who forms a deadly partnership with a group of monsters and madmen to break his sister Juniper out of Hell — which exists right here on Earth in the form of the world’s most horrific and dangerous maximum security prison.
The book is being produced in conjunction with Gale Anne Hurd‘s Valhalla and Aspen Comics. I got involved when Ben Roberts at Valhalla called me up and said “Jailbreak from Hell.” And I said “Hell, yes!” It’s one of those high concepts that works on about a billion levels and has allowed us to create a wild supernatural action story with a real emotional core.
Tony Parker is the penciller and inker, and he’s been phenomenal. He has a great, realistic style that grounds all of the characters and environments — and lets the supernatural and fantastical moments really explode in contrast.
Here’s a bit of a curveball question, but I remember reading the epic Marvel versus DC series in the ’90s and I am wondering, if you had the opportunity to do a crossover book, which Marvel and which DC character would you pick? And why?
There’s a Hulk/Superman crossover book drawn by Steve Rude and written by Roger Stern that I think is just gorgeous and ten tons of fun. Putting those two powerhouses in one book would be a huge temptation. But a few years back, Gail Simone called out to me at a signing and asked who’d win in a fight: Hulk or Wonder Woman. Despite my repeated statements that the Hulk is the strongest one there is, which, of course, he is, I immediately and instinctively shouted back “Wonder Woman!” There’s something to that — the Hulk’s strength comes from his anger, after all, and there’s something about Diana that might just be able to reach — or in a strange way, relate to — that raging monster inside him. Ever since, I’ve thought that a Hulk/Wonder Woman story could be just tremendous.
Finally, one of your partners in crime – Dale Eaglesham – will be appearing at this year’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. Any chance you’ll be able to make it?
The Calgary folks are fantastic and we’ve been talking, but I’m not yet sure of my schedule, alas. But go see Dale! He’s amazing! And he’s selling original “Alpha Flight” art even as we speak!
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