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Simonson creates a graphic novel of Bibical proportions: The Judas Coin

Posted By: Wonder Worlock
Sat, 06/09/2012 - 12:25

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:1904:]]Legendary comic book creator Walt Simonson (Avengers, Thor) examines the history of the world – and the DCU– in his new graphic novel, The Judas Coin. Written and drawn by Walt, the work follows the tales of various DC heroes from the days of the Roman Empire to the year 2085.

“Basically I put together six characters in six stories that ran over the course of a couple thousand years,” Simonson told CBR in an interview. “Because a lot of the characters were slightly ahistorical, I was able to put them into the times I thought they'd do nicely in. For example, I like the Roman Emperor Vespasian. He was an interesting guy, an old soldier who rose to power, and as Roman emperors go not a bad guy. So I set the Golden Gladiator story during the reign of Vespasian.

“Bat Lash I put in Tombstone territory after Tombstone was founded and the silver was still running high. The Manhunter 2070 story I put fifteen years later because it enabled me to actually go back and pick up some threads from the Showcase stories. In that case I tried to write it that, and only time will tell if I was successful, so that if you've never read the original three stories it's not going to matter -- and if you've read those stories you'll go, ”˜Oh, cool!’ Or I hope that's what you say!

“I had these stories lined up; I plotted all of them out pretty carefully. In my own work I do what used to be called Marvel style, which isn't done much anymore: I write my plots, I thumbnail the story from the plot, and then I write my script from my thumbnail. About that time Mark told me we weren't going to put any more issues of Solo out. Of course I was crushed, but I had taken so long on Elric I understood completely -- but I really liked the idea.

“So I went to [DC Comics Co-Publisher] Dan DiDio's office in my usually annoying fashion, I think I just knocked on the door and nobody was in his office but Dan right then, so I said, ”˜Hey Dan!’ and walked in. I asked him if I could lose money for DC on one more issue of Solo, and he laughed and asked what the idea was. I told him, he liked the idea a lot, and basically right then said, ”˜Go find an editor, write up a proposal, we'll do it as a ninety-six page hardcover.’ I said, ”˜Okay!’ I was thrilled, it was a little more work than I expected, but it was great. So I talked to Joey Cavalieri, old pal of mine at DC; he was game so I wrote up a proposal, it was approved, and I began working on it, with some other stuff here and there.”

What comes of Simonson’s work is a brilliant look at heroes in a new fashion throughout the course of recorded human history, and beyond.

The book, which also stars Batman and Two-Face, does have a uniting theme. That is where the ”˜coin’ comes in, Walt said.

“Basically one of the 30 pieces of silver gets out into the world,” he said. “In the Bible when Judas throws the money back in the temple he goes off and he dies and the money is now regarded as blood money. One of the stories is it's used to buy a potter's field where they bury the unknown and the indigent. The only variation I've dealt with is that I show one of the coins bounces off the door of the temple, rolls into the street, a beggar grabs it and from that point on the coin is out in the world. So the coin appears in each story and each story involves a betrayal -- and usually some death.”

The Judas Coin will be out in September 2012.