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[personal profile] superboyprime posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Ethan van Sciver and Gail Simone have released some hints about the Fury of Firestorm book they're going to do. Of particular interest is van Sciver's comments about how the new DC is giving artists an increased role and involvement in writing stories.

First up, van Sciver talks about the book at (

On how he and Gail Simone share writing duties:

EVS: I have to tell you, Gail Simmone is doing the scripting! Here’s how it happened, I’m really more of an idea guy than anything, more than being a comic book artist, and I’m someone who can look at Green Lantern and sort of see a bigger picture, then work with a writer to develop it into something substantial. I created and designed the colored Lantern Corps and the emotional spectrum; it was my idea. So I had an idea for Firestorm, and the problem with creating the Red Lanterns and the Blue Lanterns and the others was that I wasn’t really able to get paid for it in any real way. So now people are walking around wearing t-shits and everything and I don’t get paid! It was just an idea that I had had! So I talked to DC about it and said “You know, there has got to be a way that I can create and develop a property and still be paid for it,” and they said “Well, why don’t you co-plot?”

So I came up with this idea for Firestorm, developed it with Gail Simone, a brand new way to look at Firestorm! I hashed out some of the points with Gail and I’m co-plotting it and Gail is going to write it from there.

It sounds like Simone will be doing the heavy lifting when it comes to the issue-by-issue actual writing, so that's reassuring.

On the status quo of the new Firestorm(s):

EVS: What I can tell you is that Ronnie and Jason are both in it now, both of them are Firestorm. They aren’t half of a Firestorm anymore, although they can fuse and can become a ten-foot tall being of nuclear energy that you will be seeing in issue #1. It is the same natural concept that Firestorm has always had to him - two guys burned into one. I always felt that the idea of me being a young man, all excited to be a superhero, but having a stodgy old professor who is a wet blanket that ruins everything, stuck in my head at all times. “Ronnie be careful! Ronnie look out!” as a kid; and you go back to this thing where it needs to appeal to kids, that’s my worst nightmare. That isn’t a power fantasy, to be half a superhero with my dad in my head. That’s horrible! But the idea of you two guys being superheroes and being best buddies, to have the ability to, if you were facing a problem that was too big for you, high-five and turn into the equivalent of the Incredible Hulk if he was on fire! That sounds cool, you know?

On the increasing role of artists in plotting at the new DC:

EVS: They do these things called “creator summits,” Marvel and DC both do, where they plan what’s going to happen in the next year. They take all the writers and they take the editors, and they all go up in the mountains somewhere - they don’t tell us where they go, and they plan out what’s going to happen. Then they come back and we artists go “Huh? What’s going on?”

Well that sounds like it makes good sense, but comics are a visual medium and writers really cannot do what we do. I think in terms of images; I think in terms of feeling...

* * *

I think in visuals and ways for fans to really interact with comics. Like with Blackest Night, we introduced all these symbols and these costumes and the idea was that putting on a different ring makes your costume change, and makes you behave differently. So suddenly, we had fans all over the world drawing not even just DC characters, but Marvel characters with these rings. What does Wolverine look like as a Red lantern? What would the Incredible Hulk look like as… wow an Indigo Lantern; can you imagine that? It became really exciting to be able to mix and match. My idea was that if you could just do comics that are interactive and that simple, that a child could understand it and yet fire up the imagination of the fans reading it so that they’re a part of it too. They start thinking about it, and you’ve got a monster hit idea!

These things occur to me all the time, but I don’t see a lot of these happening elsewhere. So I sit here wondering why the hell I’m not invited to these creative summits. And it’s not just me, it’s guys like Shane Davis and other artists that think visually like that with the ability to present that kind of idea or that kind of view to a writer, who will then make it into something like Blackest Night. That has all started to change now though, DC started to realize that and they’re saying that artists are going to become more deeply involved in the creative process at the beginning. I think it’s really cool.

Anyone else very wary about this? Remember the last time artists started playing a larger role in plotting? I'm speaking of the early days of Image Comic, of course. The last thing the industry needs is a repeat of that.

Moving on, van Sciver and Simone talk about the book some more at Newsarama...

Simone: To me, if you want to scare someone, you don't dress up as a flying rodent or a spider, you come out looking like a walking nuclear meltdown. Our Firestorm is all those nuclear paranoia films and messages come to life. It really feels like superheroics for a new age, where we have seen some of the disasters readers in the 1970's could only imagine.

And finally, we wanted to write a book that is actually about something, a book about what binds people together, and what separates people. Because they are the same things that bind and separate countries. And Jason and Ronnie are two young men with lots of questions and few answers. That stuff is very moving to write, it feels like it's real, and not just the villain-of-the-week wrestling match.

Van Sciver: Yeah, I've always been visually attracted to the character, since I saw the action figure back in the 1980's.

Nrama: What are you hoping to do for this character?

Van Sciver: I'm hoping we do for this character what Geoff and I did for Green Lantern, frankly. And that is to define who and what Firestorm is, and break the superhero concept therein down to a concept that a child could understand and be excited by, as well as adults. I still see superhero comics that way. Power fantasies. I need people to want to be Firestorm. Readers of all ages.

Simone: Exactly, and this is a new thing, I think. It's surprising, it doesn't matter if you've read every issue of Firestorm, or never read an issue in your life. This is the ground floor of one of the most compelling books I've ever been involved with. It's a rule breaker. This book is going to be one of the foundational titles of the DCU, and Firestorm's powers shift the entire balance of power on Earth. Every hero will have to take the Firestorm Protocols into account, no matter where their base of operations are. They have to address Firestorm, not the other way around. Not to mention that there's a scary as hell by-product of Jason and Ronnie getting powers, essentially what happens when Conan the Barbarian mates with nuclear reactor. And there's more, lots more. The Firestorm Protocols leave a mammoth footprint on the new DCU. If Firestorm farts, the JLA knows about it.

On the book's tone:

Nrama: People who follow you two on Facebook and/or Twitter know you two both have a great sense of humor, and we've seen it utilized in Gail's comics, particularly the darker humor in Secret Six. What's the overall tone of this comic?

Van Sciver: It's a religious tract for Scientologists, but we've disguised it as a nuclear scare superhero comic book. That's how we get your money.

Simone: It's got humor, but a lot of it is extremely sardonic, because it's imprinted on top of this new cold war close-to-the-brink-of-death tension. My favorite. It's a nuclear terror book. There may be a rubber chicken now and then, but it's glowing and has a half-life of ten thousand years.

Date: 2011-08-01 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
Jim Lee is probably encouraging this

Date: 2011-08-01 03:58 am (UTC)
ext_807024: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I trust Gail with this but I'm still pretty wary. The concept of Firestorm is insanely powerful so having two of them with even more power at their disposal sounds like the same bad news scenario thats plagued Superman, a hero too powerful to be relatable/writable.

Date: 2011-08-01 08:15 am (UTC)
magus_69: (pic#370607)
From: [personal profile] magus_69
The article made me think of this:

The idea of Firestorm scaring the everloving fuck out of, well, everybody, is a sound one, and in the right hands it could work very well. I will definitely check this out.

As for the idea of artists having a role in plotting: IMO, that is the way it should be. I digs me the Marvel Method, and I'm glad to see it make a comeback.

Date: 2011-08-01 11:11 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I was going to say, when it's evident exactly how much work someone like Jack Kirby put into first Fantastic Four and then his Fourth World stuff, it should be evident that sometimes, artists have a lot to say and contribute.

Comic artists should never just be told what to do, really, so I'm glad DC is opening up these doors for artists. In some instances, like Tony Daniel or David Finch, it doesnt work as well, but it's great to hear Van Sciver happy in how much he can contribute to this book in terms of ideas and plotting and not just visuals.

Date: 2011-08-01 03:28 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: (Happy Willow)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
As an artist, and a writer myslef (who sometimes gets stuck on one or the other, and then uses the other for inspiration on the former... did you get all that:) I like the idea of the artists having more say in the stories, and perhaps the writers having more say in the art.

this book is definately on my pull list. can't wait for it ;D

Date: 2011-08-02 07:53 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
Motto on all counts.

One thing I gotta say, since I have no real idea about Firestorm as of the moment, a new start would pull me in for him, at least.

Date: 2011-08-01 03:43 pm (UTC)
thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanekos
The Firestorm Protocols, not to be confused with the Captain Atom Protocol.

Date: 2011-08-02 05:20 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
but are they similar to the Xavier Protocols?

Date: 2011-08-01 06:52 pm (UTC)
maxisanacorn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maxisanacorn
Hmm, I know Firestorm is supposed to be scary but isn't nuclear threat already covered by Captain Atom and Bombshell?

Date: 2011-08-02 05:17 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
didn't firestorm come first? at least before Bombshell.

Date: 2011-08-01 10:59 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
Nice to know Brian Clevinger got fucked over for a good reason, at least.

Date: 2011-08-02 12:12 am (UTC)
big_daddy_d: (Default)
From: [personal profile] big_daddy_d
You know what would be awesome? If in one issue, one of the Firestorms had a long red coat like Edward Elric and the other in big armor like Alphonse. Just sayin.

Date: 2011-08-03 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
Seems like Gail & Ethan are at cross purposes here: He's all, "Power Fantasy! You'll want to be Firestorm!" and she's like, "Nuclear horror! Our protagonist threatens the world!"


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