Warner talks Dynamics of "The New Dynamix"

Tue, January 15th, 2008 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

"The New Dynamix" #1 of 5 on sale March 5
Where have all the super-powered beings gone in the Wildstorm Universe?

That's the question writer Allen Warner ("Ninja Boy") answers in the upcoming five-issue miniseries "The New Dynamix." Warner told CBR News the book will serve not only as a class reunion of sorts for many of Wildstorm's classic super-powered beings (or SPBs), but will also lead directly into Armageddon, the universe's forthcoming post-apocalyptic event recently revealed in the six-part miniseries aptly named, "Armageddon."

"Back in the late 1990s, there were hundreds of SPBs running around the Wildstorm Universe, but lately we've only seen the adventures of a relatively small amount," said Warner. "Basically, we wanted to tell a story exploring why the vast majority of these super-powered heroes and villains chose, or were forced, to disappear from the scene. 

"We'll show the current whereabouts and activities of characters from the original incarnations of books like 'Backlash,' 'Gen-13,' 'DV8,' and other titles that would give too much away.  We ultimately reveal who is responsible for orchestrating the upcoming Armageddon, and how our characters' reemergence impacts the event, and its aftermath."

Page from "The New Dynamix" #1
As for what exactly "the new Dynamix" is, the term and book title have a little bit of a double meaning. "First, I don't want to over-generalize, but Wildstorm's SPBs have classically been either covert, government-affiliated, self-righteous, overtly violent, emotionally and physically distant or all of the above," explained Warner. "They typically handle epic-scale threats, supernatural forces of evil and intergalactic attacks.  'The New Dynamix' characters, on the other hand, represent everyday people, and struggle with problems relatable to each and every one of us. They regularly interact with the people in the street, and do their best to address their concerns while dealing with their own stressful nine-to-five jobs, personal interests and insecurities, and moral dilemmas, in a celebrity-obsessed world where 'heroes' don't hesitate to decapitate any and all 'bad guys.' 

"We wanted to explore not only how our unique heroes and villains react to this world, but how the Wildstorm Universe and its 'normal' inhabitants view and affect them.

"Second, 'Armageddon' will drastically change the dynamics of the Wildstorm landscape, and the everyday existence of the human and superhuman population.  This series drops clues to the upcoming catastrophe and what led up to it, eventually revealing the nefarious force behind it, and why these characters, both hero and villain, play a key role in the master plan."

And while "The New Dynamix" does deal with some name-brand Wildstorm heroes, Warner says newcomers to the universe need no previous knowledge of it and/or its continuity.  "We're mainly dealing with characters that haven't been seen for years, and therefore had a lot of freedom in detailing their present lives, while re-introducing who they are, what they're capable of, what they've previously experienced, and what they currently stand for. 

Page from "The New Dynamix" #1
"We're also mainly dealing with universal themes like how responsibility and race relate to power, media relating to money, and the basic selfish versus selfless choices that force each individual to choose a path between good and evil.

"That being said, Wildstorm fans will get an extra kick out of the in-jokes, self-referential stuff, and seeing the revamped, current versions of many of their long-lost favorites."

Warner confirmed "The New Dynamix" does not tie-in with any other current Wildstorm titles or fuse with the upcoming DC/Wildstorm crossover event created by Keith Giffen. "It doesn't crossover with any current Wildstorm titles, but it does include up-to-date appearances by countless characters from Wildstorm's past," explained Warner. "As I said before, it directly leads into 'Armageddon,' revealing the villain behind it all, and the status of hundreds of other familiar heroes and villains."

Warner led CBR News around the solicited cover for "The New Dynamix" #1, featuring art by J.J. Kirby ("DV8," "Gen-13"). "The guy in the front is in fact Omni, but his alias, attitude, activities, personality, and public persona have evolved since he was last seen," said Warner.  "He's our central protagonist, and embodies the main themes of the story, struggling to find his way in the current Wildstorm Universe, while playing a pivotal role in the events leading up to 'Armageddon.'"

The original Omni was featured in the 1990s book "Backlash," serving with the titular character in the U.S. government's Department PSI (Paranormal Science Investigations).

Page from "The New Dynamix" #1
"Love Rocket is the female in the pink visor and the only SPB we created specifically for this book," Warner continued. "She's a friendly-neighborhood-socialist-superhero, who moonlights as a popular hip-hop radio DJ by day. She's far from the most powerful SPB, but has the vibe and backing of the people in the streets, and always has their best interests at heart.

"I can't reveal the identities of the remaining characters just yet, except to say that they're familiar Wildstorm heroes and villains from the past who will play an important part in this story and the events that lead to 'Armageddon.'  J.J. revamped their looks, but old-school Wildstorm fans can probably take some guesses."

Warner couldn't be happier about those "revamped" by Kirby. "First and foremost, J.J.'s an amazing artist, and I feel blessed to play a role in his long-overdue return to mainstream, monthly comics," said Warner. "He has a long history with Wildstorm, and originally created Omni, along with other featured characters in this book.  He loves superheroes, and uses his limitless creativity to see the untapped potential in not just the characters we spotlighted, but the Wildstorm Universe as a whole. 

"I also have to mention Chris Walker on colors, who I've been lucky enough to work with on numerous occasions. The combination of J.J.'s art with Chris's colors is awesome, and having Jim Lee providing variant covers is unbelievable icing on the cake."

Lee, Wildstorm's Editorial Director, created many of the DC imprint's heroes including Wildcats and Gen-13.  

Page from "The New Dynamix" #1
Warner said while nothing is in place yet, by the end of "The New Dynamix" miniseries it will be overly apparent that there's a ton of stories to be told with these characters following "Armageddon." "Not only how the characters adapt to the changed world, but how they'd eventually interact with everyone from Gen-13 to The Authority," said Warner. "I know J.J. and I would love to keep it moving, hopefully fans dig it. Only time will tell."

Warner also teased that he and artist Ale Garza ("Gen-13," "Teen Titans") may have a few more "Ninja Boy" stories in them. The duo teamed on the popular six-issue miniseries in 2003, which followed a young Japanese boy who seeks to avenge the death of his family following their murder by an evil warlord.

"I've mainly been focusing on screenplays and cartoon development stuff, and I have a couple comic projects in the fire that I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but Ale and I have always talked about doing more 'Ninja Boy,' to finish the story we initially set out to tell, and explore the rest of the crazy ideas we had for that world.  We've very recently been exploring our possibilities, so we'll see."

"The New Dynamix" #1 is scheduled to go on sale March 5.

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