Sunday, November 8, 2015


It seems like yesterday I walked in my local LCS and asked the store owner to recommend a graphic novel that was a “must read”. That book was The Surrogates, and at C2E2 I paid forward that recommendation and bought the entire HCB staff a copy. Getting the opportunity to briefly chat with the creator of this book and so many other quality titles is truly an honor.

Robert Venditti is the New York Times best-selling author of The Homeland Directive and the groundbreaking graphic novel series The Surrogates, which has since been adapted into a feature film starring Bruce Willis. He currently writes for both DC Comics and Valiant, writing four ongoing monthly titles: X-O Manowar, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior. His debut novel, Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde, was released by Simon & Shuster in June 2015.

William: Firstly, thank you for this opportunity. Producing multiple contributions to the medium has to be a time consuming practice. To start, I want to talk Valiant. What attracted you to writing X-O Manowar? How is he different from the average superhero, and why should people be putting the title on their monthly pull list?

ROBERT VENDITTI: There were a lot of things that attracted me to X-O Manowar. First and foremost was the high concept, the tremendous mix of both historical fiction and science fiction. A 5th Century Visigoth fighting with sentient alien battle armor in the modern day . . . the appeal was apparent to me. It was also a chance to launch not just a new monthly series, but to help launch an entire universe as well. Those types of opportunities don't come along every day.

William: The Green Lantern Universe has become dense and filled with many different characters of every ilk. It has also had runs featuring some of the greatest comic writers of all-time. What do you hope will be your contribution to the mythos of such an iconic comic franchise?

VENDITTI: I try not to think about things in those terms. Green Lantern has been around for a long time, and it'll continue long after I'm gone. It's wonderful to be a part of that tradition, but I don't ever feel like I have to compete with that legacy. I just try to tell the stories that I like to tell the way I like to tell them, and hope readers enjoy the result.

William: Completely unrelated from comics, I noticed on your Twitter account that you're a huge Star Wars fan. Are you excited for the re-boot, or are you concerned about the missteps from the past? Will you and your family be first in line for Episode VII?

VENDITTI: I am. A new Stars Wars film was an event when I was a kid, so I'm excited to see what they do with the franchise. I don't know that I'll be jostling for a spot in line on opening night, though. That's probably going to be a madhouse.

William: Due to the immense success of The Flash moving to television, and the legions of fans waiting with bated breath for his emergence on the big screen, how do you think this will affect the monthly comic, if at all? What are your plans for Flash now and in the future?

VENDITTI: The Flash comic book operates separately from the T.V. and film endeavors. We aren't aware of what they're doing, and I doubt they're aware of what we're doing. I do watch and enjoy the show, but I'm just like every other viewer, experiencing the story for the first time when the episode airs. The show has helped bring the character to the forefront of the pop-culture consciousness, though, so it's a fun time to be writing the series.

William: "Grodd of War" from Flashpoint cemented Gorilla Grodd as one of my all-time favorite comic book villains. Who are yours?

VENDITTI: I love Grodd! What's not to love about a super-genius gorilla? Another of my favorites from Flash history is Mirror Man. Outside of Flash, I like Two-Face, General Zod, and my all-time favorite long-shot villain, Gentleman Ghost.

William: In that same vein, there have been many incarnations of the Green Lantern. Which one is your favorite and why?

VENDITTI: Aside from the human Lanterns, it'd have to be Mogo. Such a great concept. One of the first things I wanted to do when I took over the series was make Mogo a more permanent fixture. I'm glad I was able to do so.

William: The Surrogates has cemented your legacy in the world of comics, and I'll be the first to admit that when I see the name Venditti on a cover I'm in for at least one arc. What can Robert Venditti fans look forward to in the future? Are there any upcoming projects we need to know about?

VENDITTI: That's very kind of you to say. I'll always be proud of The Surrogates--it was my first book--and I still get people talking about it with me at conventions. The story isn't finished, so there are more Surrogates books that I hope to write one day. For right now, I'll be working on X-O Manowar and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior at Valiant, Green Lantern and The Flash at DC, and I just launched my first children's novel series, Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape. There are other projects in the works as well, but I'm not able to talk about them yet!

We want to thank Robert Venditti for agreeing to talk to us and answer our questions. Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, X-O Manowar, Green Lantern, and The Flash can be purchased at your LCBS. Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde can be purchased both online and at your local bookstore. Now go out and buy some comics. What are you doing? Go. Now.

Interviewer: William R. Davis, Jr.

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