GREATEST HITS: Meet Golem

Wed, October 15th, 2008 at 2:55pm PDT

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "Greatest Hits" #2, on sale this week.

"Greatest Hits" #2 on sale now

At this year’s New York Comic Con, Vertigo announced its first superhero team book since Grant Morrison’s seminal “The Invisibles” ended in 2000. The six-issue miniseries “Greatest Hits” -- written by David Tischman (“American Century,” “Bite Club”) with art by Glenn Fabry (“Hellblazer,” “Preacher”) -- features The Mates, a British-bred league of justice who may bring to mind a certain other Fab Four.

“They are not The Beatles. But they hold a place in the zeitgeist that The Beatles had for us. There is no one else like The Beatles - and that’s who The Mates are,” Tischman told CBR News back in April.

CBR has been profiling one Mate a week since the release of “Greatest Hits” #1 last month. We first spoke with us about Solicitor, the self-taught crime fighter and ass-kicking Olympic-level gymnast and boxer, who most closely resembles a John Lennon archetype; then about Crusader, the super-strong, non-flying boy scout who most closely resembles a Paul McCartney archetype; then about Vizier, the spiritual Mate, who if he were a Beatle (which he isn’t) might most closely be cosmically aligned with sitar-plucking George Harrison; and again about Zipper, the Mates' girl-crazy speedster.

With “Greatest Hits” #2 on sale this week, Tischman joins us for a final installment, this time to discuss Golem, the Pete Best of The Mates.

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CBR: What is Golem’s superpower?

David Tischman: Golem’s body is made of a billion cells of living clay, enabling him to shape himself into any object. Those cells are super-dense, which gives him incredible strength and durability. He’s probably stronger than Crusader, but not invulnerable.

SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "Greatest Hits" #2, on sale this week.

Golem in "Greatest Hits" #2

What is Golem’s secret origin or how did he acquire said superpower?

Because the Mates are a team of heroes who comes together in the sixties, I wanted their origins to feel authentic to the time. And Golem got his powers after coming into contact with a radioactive space meteor. The meteor crashed into his wife Trudy’s garden, in their back yard. The alien bacteria on that meteor altered his cell structure, and turned him to living clay. Nigel was a big guy to begin with -- a real bruiser, but now he’s something more (although still a teddy bear at home with the wife). He takes the change in stride -- unlike The Thing, he realizes there’s just no way he’s ever going to go back to “normal,” so he might as well get used to it -- and have some fun.

What Beatle does Golem most resemble? And why?

Golem quits the team, and he quits before the Mates make it really big, which makes him kind of a Pete Best type. But personality-wise, there really is no counter-part. Imagine a real rock star that just kind of stumbles into a life onstage, and on the road. This is a simple guy. He likes his tea and his football, and a night out at the Pub. He’s never going to worry about politics -- but at the same time, he has a very fundamental sense of right and wrong. We see that in the way he protects Vizier, his younger brother (who’s more than capable of taking care of himself).

What is Golem’s super-vice?

"Greatest Hits" #1

Golem is the only member of the team with a wife, a family. He leaves the team because his wife puts her foot down. And it's perfectly understandable. There are plenty of other heroes out there fighting the good fight. And Nigel's on the road, traveling all over England having these adventures, and he's neglecting his family. There are more and more fans, and the girls are going crazy for the team, and he's fucking his brains out.

What do you love most about writing Golem?

He quits the team because he loves his wife and he’s saving his marriage -- and he watches as his friends become the biggest fucking thing since sliced bread — the superhero equivalent of the Beatles. And there he is, totally out of the spotlight. He grows to resent everyone -- his wife, the Mates -- and he’s so desperate to get that attention back. It’s tragic, with just a trace of pathetic. Our culture is so celebrity-obsessed. Golem shines a nice light on that point.

What do you love most about how Glenn Fabry draws Golem?

The gut. A hero with feet (and body) of clay, with a gut.

And finally, what’s one thing you can tell us about Golem that will give us some insight into who we are dealing with?

He dies. How’s that? At the end of “Greatest Hits” #2. It’s really one of the most emotional sequences in the series. And it has a long-lasting effect on Vizier.

Vertigo’s “Greatest Hits” #2 is in stores now.

TAGS:  greatest hits, david tischman, glenn fabry, vertigo, the mates

 
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