It’s Dynamite Friday here at The Beat with DEJAH THORIS writer Robert Napton interviewing various peeps. First up, Andy Diggle, whose UNCANNY #5 just came out
Q: Andy, just a general question first — if someone hasn’t ready Uncanny, can you tell us what it’s about?
DIGGLE: UNCANNY is a noir-tinged supernatural action thriller about a professional gambler, thief and all-round scoundrel-for hire named Weaver. He has an uncanny ability to “steal” memories, skills and abilities from other people for a short period of time, which he uses to pull off heists which would otherwise be impossible.
Q: Slightly related question, but tell us about the meshing of genres here — with crime/noir and the supernatural coming together in Uncanny? DIGGLE: I’m obviously not the first person to mix crime and the supernatural – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been doing it to fine effect in FATALE. I’ve always enjoyed writing caper stories and action thrillers, and adding a touch of the supernatural allows me to take it in a slightly different direction. You’re never quite sure what might be possible. It keeps you on your toes. I started out keeping the supernatural elements very low-key, but as we get deeper into the story, the weirdness becomes more overt. Weaver gradually becomes aware that he’s not the only one with uncanny abilities – and these “actives,” as they’re known, are themselves being hunted, for reasons which will soon become apparent.
Q: Let’s talk a bit about Uncanny #5 out this week. Weaver has hit rock bottom, or so he thinks… Without going into spoilers, can you tell us a bit about where we are in the story?
DIGGLE: Weaver and his new partner Maggie Ford were hired by Deacon Styles, a shadowy arms dealer, to steal valuable information from a global intelligence think-tank called Cadre. After a spectacular heist sequence in New York, it all went horribly wrong. Now, Weaver and Maggie have been captured by Cadre, who are studying “actives” and their abilities. Weaver and Maggie find they’re just minor players in a much bigger game – an intelligence war being fought between Deacon Styles and Cadre. So issue 5 sees Weaver at his lowest ebb… and then in issue 6, things go absolutely apeshit.
Q: Part of the thrust of this series is Weaver moving toward the truth about himself — will he find that truth or will it remain elusive?
DIGGLE: He’ll learn more about himself than he ever wanted to know. He has never really questioned his abilities too closely, his mantra being, “don’t mess with a winning streak.” But now that his winning streak has ended, and his life is being torn down around him, you realize that he’s not as confident and self-reliant as he seemed. It was all just for show. At the start of the second arc you’ll see more of where Weaver came from, what made him the man he is today, and you’ll start to get a sense of the wider conspiracy and his place in it.
Q: You have a favorite of mine from Dynamite’s Sherlock Holmes doing art — could you talk about what Aaron Campbell brings to the table?
Aaron’s great. He brings just the right balance of gritty realism, dynamic action, and characters who come to life on the page. I’ve given him some tough stuff to draw, and he’s handled it all with aplomb. I find now that when I’m writing it, it already looks like Aaron’s art in my head. You know it’s really working when that happens.
Q: Weaver can swipe the ability of others. Its a pretty compelling to imagine what it would be like to have that ability. If you did, what skill would you like to “sample.”
The ability to write six different comics at once! It’d come in handy just lately. I’m currently working on UNCANNY, THIEF OF THIEVES and CONTROL, plus a couple of new things which haven’t been announced yet, plus planning a couple of new creator-owned books for 2014. Things are a little crazy in Diggle Town…
Robert Place Napton is currently writing the monthly series WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS 9In stores this week) for Dynamite. His past work includes WARLORD OF MARS: FALL OF BARSOOM, WARRIORS OF MARS, THUN’DA, and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: ADAMA also for Dynamite. His other recent projects include SON OF MERLIN for TOP COW and he wrote the graphic novel adaptation for Terry Brook’s story DARK WRAITH OF SHANNARA for Del Rey/Random House.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.