DnA and B Into A Realm Beyond: Interview with Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Bill Rosemann
Recently announced at the Chicago Comic Con, Marvel unveiled their latest Cosmic storyline, Realm of Kings.
Come November, Realm of Kings #1 will be the headliner written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, known as DnA to the rapid cosmic fans, with art by Leonardo Manco (War Machine) and a cover by Cline Langley.
The Duo will also pen the two Realm of Kings mini series: Realm of Kings: Inhumans and Realm of Kings: Imperial Gaurd.
Realm of Kings: Inhumans features art by Pablo Raimondi (X-Factor, Books of Doom), and covers by Stjepan Seijic. Realm of Kings: Imperial Gaurd showcases the art of the talented Kev Walker who cosmic fans should remember from Annihilation: Nova and covers by Brian Haberlain.
Both are set to be five issues and also debut this November.
The recent War of Kings event saw the two kings, Black Bolt of the Inhumans and Vulcan of the Shi'ar, face off and seemingly be killed.
As witnessed in the conclusion, with the detonation of the T-Bomb, a fracture was created in time and space.
CosmicBookNews spoke with the two cosmic grandmasters, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning along with Marvel Editor, Bill Rosemann on Realm of Kings, Darkhawk, Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
CosmicBookNews: The one shot, Realm of Kings #1, is set to go off in November, starring Wendell Vaughn, Quasar, what can you tell us about that?
DnA: The story Realm of Kings follows Quasar as he attempts to explore and analyze the bizarre and dangerous new region of space called the Fault.
The Fault is a rip in the fabric of space time that resulted when the Inhumans detonated their T-Bomb at the end of the War of Kings series.
The one-shot will show how strange and extreme things inside the Fault can be, and Quasar discovers a dark secret he realizes he must do all he can to save our universe!
CosmicBookNews: The heads of both the Inhumans and The Shi'ar have been essentially cut off with the deaths and/or disappearances of Black Bolt and Vulcan.
What can you tell us about Realm of Kings: Inhumans and Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard?
Who will step in to fulfill their role as leader?
DnA: The Imperial Guard series showcases several of the most interesting members of that military force as they try to stabilize the Shi'Ar Imperium in the aftershocks of the War of Kings and establish the legitimacy of their new Majestor, Gladiator.
What is of interest for us in writing this series this is we get to show the Imperial Guard as highly trained and very powerful military operatives rather than conventional superheroes. This is something we found particularly attractive about War of Kings as they were deployed as super-powered military assets.
We'll get a chance to focus on a few of them as characters too, and flesh them out, something that hasn't been done much in all the years they've been around.
We'll also be continuing the development of Gladiator's personal storyline in the wake of the events of War of Kings.
The Inhumans series will focus directly on the Royal Family and their attempts to consolidate and unite the Kree Empire following their decisive but costly victory after War of Kings.
We'll see firsthand how Medusa is coping with the death of her husband and king, now she has taken the role of supreme monarch.
We will also explore how this impacts upon the other members of her family, Crystal in particular and how their own courtly intrigues and personal agendas conflict with it.
They will be facing threats from without and within.
CosmicBookNews: Last we time we saw Darkhawk, he had promised to go after the Raptor Amulets.
Now that the T-bomb has created the rip, will we be seeing more Raptors? Is Talon dead? What role will Darkhawk play in Realm of Kings?
DnA: Darkhawk's mission is to track down and stop the evil Raptors before they can establish a foothold in our universe.
This mission is somewhat handicapped by the fact he is also the universe's most wanted fugitive.
This puts him in direct conflict with his old team mate, Richard Rider, the Nova Prime, whose remit is to police the galaxy.
Darkhawk's story will play out within the pages of Nova and other unexpected cosmic venues.
CosmicBookNews: The space rip has generated a lot of buzz as it could be an engine for the return of many obscure or even dead characters.
Could you share with us how you go about finding these characters or do you have some big "cosmic" library at home?
DnA: Part of the fun of working in Marvel's cosmic Universe is that we get to dust off and play with these great old characters, many of which haven't seen the light of day for a good few years.
The fact these more obscure characters haven't got long histories of continuity and haven't been used for a while is liberating for us as writers as we get to explore their possibilities and characters and the readers have a real sense that anything can happen to them and this has led to the Cosmic Marvel Universe being a genuinely dangerous place.
As for unearthing these obscure and old characters, we have countless reference aids, the Marvel Handbooks, Encyclopedia etc as well as back issues and online resources.
And Bill Rosemann, our Living Planet editor, has a bottomless pit of knowledge of bizarre and forgotten characters that he keeps digging into to throw up a hero who's been MIA since the '70s!
CosmicBookNews: Will the rip be noticed by any of the Abstracts?
We saw in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy, Oblivion. Does Oblivion have anything to do with Realm of Kings?
Will we see other Abstracts? Maelstrom mentioned an "End War" -- is that part of the overall War of Kings story?
Is this the ultimate war of the cosmic powers referred to during the 1990s Guardians of the Galaxy series?
DnA: The Abstracts are bound to take an interest in such a reality adjusting event, and several of them may seek to take an advantage from it.
Like a great cosmic game of chess however, they make moves from a distance, so that their activities are not immediately obvious.
It's even possible that the manipulations of one or more of the Abstracts could have led to the conditions that led to the Fault in the first place.
Their involvement may or may not become clear as the story unfolds.
CosmicBookNews: Speaking of the Guardians of the Galaxy, what's going on with Adam Warlock? In the last couple of issues he's looked very Magus-like at times.
Is this a hint of things to come?
DnA: Quite possibly.
Adam is tied up in the next major storyline for Guardians and if you've read issue # 17 you'll have a very clear idea of where that story is going.
CosmicBookNews: We've been hearing that Nova will be joining the Avengers; and a younger version of Nova will be joining Marvel Adventures Super Heroes.
Will DnA be involved in either of these projects directly or in an advisory role for the character?
As a fan who passionately believes Nova works best in space; can you re-assure me that the ongoing Nova series will not be turned into an Earth-based series?
Bill: The fact that other creators and editors want to tell stories with the Human Rocket is tribute to the amazing job Dan, Andy and the rest of Team Nova have been doing for the last 28 issues.
And, since Rich Rider is such a relatable character who supplies a grounded view of our often mind-blowing cosmic concepts, he's a perfect fit whether he's jetting through the stars or through the concrete canyons of Manhattan. Nova's ties to characters both in space and on Earth make him a crucial character who can bridge both arenas and introduce readers to realms they never thought they'd ever experience or enjoy.
CosmicBookNews: Thank you for your time, gentlemen. We appreciate you taking the time out to answer our questions.
Be sure to pick up the War of Kings epilogue, Who Will Rule this September which deals with the aftermath of the events that took place in War of Kings #6!