Exclusive Interview: Paul Jenkins on BOOM's new hero battle book, Deathmatch!
Cosmic Book News: For those unfamiliar explain to us the concept behind Deathmatch.
Paul Jenkins: The basic premise is that we have 32 of the world’s most powerful or intelligent heroes (Supes), villains (Fears), and neutrally aligned (Neuts) people all locked up together. None of them know why, or how this has even happened. They are suddenly participants in the Deathmatch arena, in which they are forced to kill each other to survive into the next round. No matter their feelings about these death matches, as soon as they enter the arena, they seem to be brainwashed into competing to the death. The identity of their captors is a mystery, and the technology keeping our combatants in the prison seems nothing short of supernatural. Trust me, we are in for a wild ride as the main characters do their best to find out what is happening before there is only one person left alive. And when readers find out what is really going on their heads will explode. Boom! (See what I did there?)
Paul Jenkins:Yeah ... I hate killing some great characters but this is our rule: when they are dead, they remain dead. Something tells me that if a character remains dead, the fans will actually embrace it because we all know dead does not usually mean dead for long in this business.
Paul Jenkins: The people or person running the prison and the Deathmatch arena ... their identity is a complete mystery. And there seems to be no way to combat them – the technology behind the prison is capable of holding the 32 combatants and keeping them there, as well as forcing them to fight to the death.
Paul Jenkins: The arena adapts, literally: it seems to change with each match to create a level playing field so that the winner is determined not by who is necessarily the strongest. For example (using mainstream characters) how would Spider-Man fare against Superman? Well, what if the arena was full of pockets of Kryptonite?
Paul Jenkins: Think of it as the NCAA basketball tournament (or the FA Cup for my compatriots): it is a staged series of battles, not a philosophical disagreement. But I feel another way we can differentiate is that our results are definitely going to be final: you lose, you die. And you don’t come back. Plus, I think we have a little more latitude sometimes than the Big Two to do more challenging stuff. We can have our characters do very extreme things, if necessary.
Paul Jenkins: By making stuff blow up, thereby cracking the Internet into a large number of small pieces. And by focusing on the meaning to the characters, not always who has the greatest powers. Though that is, of course, pretty cool and the reason we are doing this.
Paul Jenkins: Ha ha! I feel the only answer to that is, “Have you seen his art?” Carlos is a great artist, and it’s a pleasure to work with him.
Paul Jenkins: Humberto Ramos and I have a great series, a labor of love we are working on called Fairyquest (which can currently be purchased in prestige form at www.fairyquestbook.com). I love that series so much, and we’re bringing it to
Deathmatch #1 hits shelves in December!
I wish to thank Mr. Jenkins for his time as well as thanks always to Filip Sablik, VP of Publishing and Marketing for