Ben Raab Opens "Warehouse 13"

Wed, August 24th, 2011 at 9:58am PDT

Comic Books
Steve Sunu, Staff Writer/Reviews Editor
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"Warehouse 13" opens its doors to comics fans

Debuting this week, Dynamite Entertainment opened up SyFy Channel's "Warehouse 13" to the comic book world with new adventures and escapades of the television series' team. Following the agents of Warehouse 13 as they round up artifacts with dangerous and terrible powers for storage in a secret facility in South Dakota, the new ongoing features art by Ben Morse and has a writing team of scribes direct from the hit television series including Executive Story Editor Ben Raab. Raab is best known to "Warehouse 13" viewers as the writer of "Duped," the popular episode where agent Myka Bering is trapped inside a mirror while a duplicate takes her place on the team. Now, Raab is ready to introduce the agents of "Warehouse 13" to the comic book world.

The writer took some time out of his "Warehouse 13" story editing duties to speak with CBR News about the upcoming series, how the characters develop in the comic, its relationship to Season 3 of the television show and some of the crazy artifacts the Warehouse agents come across during their first foray into comics.

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CBR News: Ben, tell us about the work you're doing on the "Warehouse 13" comic -- where does it fall in terms of the actual show? 

Ben Raab: The "Warehouse 13" comic book is pretty much a stand-alone series that exists both in and out of continuity. Readers don't need to know every last detail about Warehouse 13 -- or have seen every single episode -- to get the gist of these characters, their relationships and the world of endless wonder they inhabit.  If you have watched the show, then you'll enjoy some of the little references and in-jokes from Seasons 1 & 2 the writing team has peppered throughout the series. But if you haven't, you can still enjoy these stories for what they are -- a fun, funny, mystery, action-adventure, "thrilleromedy" (as our Showrunner/Executive Producer Jack Kenny calls them).

"Warehouse 13" will be accessible to everyone, even if they haven't seen the show

What's the premise behind this story?

"Warehouse 13" is about a team of agents whose job is to collect artifacts with dangerous and terrible powers and lock them away in a top-secret storage facility in the badlands of South Dakota -- and the comic book version is just that. Each month, we'll see Pete Lattimer, Myka Bering, Artie Nielsen and Claudia Donovan doing what they do best: traveling the world, snagging, bagging and tagging whatever ancient trinkets are threatening to ruin the world's day. When a series of seemingly random, ancient artifacts ping the Warehouse team's radar, our heroes soon discover that a lost chapter from Warehouse history has been re-opened -- one that could have potentially devastating consequences for the United States.

Who are the major players? Will they all be recognizable from the television show or will we see some new faces?

Naturally, our four principal characters will all be featured heavily in this series. As for our "villains," just like on the show, each issue will introduce a different person who's come in contact with an artifact that they are now using for their own selfish purposes. By the end of the series, a "big bad" will emerge with an artifact capable of destruction on a massive scale -- and it's up to the Warehouse team to stop him from using it.

You're obviously familiar with these characters through your work on the "Warehouse 13" television series (specifically your episode "Duped"). How do these characters that you've worked with before continue to evolve in the comic?

Any significant character growth is more likely to happen on the show than in the comics. After all, the show is the engine that drives the franchise. That's not to say the latter can't have an impact on the former at some point. All the writers on the comic -- who include my writing partner, Deric A. Hughes, Ian Stokes ("13.1"), Mike Johnson ("Buried"), John-Paul Nickel ("Of Monsters And Men"), Ian Maddox ("Of Monsters And Men") and Marque Franklin-Williams -- have gone to great lengths to introduce some new and interesting character details for Pete, Myka, Artie and Claudia that may someday find their way into the show. You'll all just have to tune in and find out.

Considering that "Warehouse 13" is heading for its third season, what can we expect in terms of connectivity? Is there anything in the comic that fans can look out for when the new season premieres?

I think what connects Season 3 to the comic books most are the kinds of stories we're telling in these five issues. With a couple of seasons under our belts, we all have a keen sense of what works for the franchise and what doesn't. So what you'll see in the comic is a lot like what you see on the show -- only with an unlimited special effects budget!

"Warehouse 13" is all about supernatural artifacts and the stories behind them. For this particular adventure, what can you tell us about the "artifact of the week?"

In the premiere issue, the Warehouse team has to retrieve an artifact that's causing devastating geological upheaval down in Brazil. In issue two, they encounter an object that's causing people to mysteriously disappear on a small island off the coast of Ireland. And in issue three, they must stop an assassin who's using an artifact to literally cut a swath through the ranks of the Yakuza. By the time we get to issue four, the team will discover that the sudden, simultaneous re-appearance of these long-missing artifacts is no coincidence -- and the most dangerous one is still at-large and in the hands of a madman.

What kind of research and preparation did you have to do for this series?

Lotsa Google, lotsa Wikipedia. They've both proven invaluable for historical research., and as readers will see, there are a lot of historical elements in this comic series. Sure, we play a little fast and loose with the past for the sake of story, but that's one of the most fun and unique challenges of both the "Warehouse 13" comic book and TV show -- how can we tweak the facts to create fiction that's grounded in reality, but with a new and unexpected twist?  I think we've all risen to that challenge quite well with this series.

What's in the future for you and "Warehouse 13?" Are there any plans for a follow-up episode to "Duped?"

No plans for a "Duped, Part 2" this season, but, as your readers probably already know, season 3 of "Warehouse 13" premiere in July, right in the middle of Syfy's new "Powerful Mondays" programming schedule along with "Eureka" at 8pm and the new series, "Alphas" at 10pm.  This summer, our heroes will face a foe unlike any who've threatened the Warehouse ever before. We'll also meet some new faces -- namely Agent Steve Jinks played by "Smallville's" Aaron Ashmore -- and dig deeper into the mythology of the Warehouse's supervisors, the Regents.  We've also got a great list of guest stars appearing throughout the season including "Star Trek Voyager's" Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan, "Caprica's" Alessandra Torresani and Sasha Roiz, not to mention the return of "Eureka's" own Douglas Fargo played by the ever-hilarious Neil Grayston. So it's without any exaggeration when I say that this season promises to be our biggest and boldest yet.  We all hope everyone tunes in!

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TAGS:  dynamite entertainment, ben raab, syfy, warehouse 13

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