Tim Seeley took on a pretty big challenge last year. The writer and artist best known for creating "Hack/Slash" took over writing chores on Top Cow's flagship title "Witchblade," a book that had been rejuvenated by writer Ron Marz years earlier. As if that wasn't enough, Seeley and new ongoing artist Diego Bernard also found himself dealing with a rebooted Top Cow Universe thanks to the events of Marz's "Artifacts" and the subsequent Rebirth event that changed elements of "Witchblade," "Artifacts" and "The Darkness."
Story-wise, Rebirth took place after Witchblade-bearer Sara Pezzini and Darkness wielder Jackie Estacado had to sacrifice their daughter Hope in order to save the universe. In the process, though, Jackie took the opportunity to remake the world as he saw fit, which included making it so his girlfriend Jenny not only didn't die, but also became his wife and Hope's mom.
In "Progeny", the linewide crossover running through Top Cow's core titles, "Artifacts" star Tom Judge must track down various heroes and explain how Jackie did what he did and the threat it poses to their very existence. This week, Tom makes his way to Chicago to let Sara in on the details she no longer remembers. CBR News spoke to Seeley to get the inside track on crossovers in general, how this one differs from the rest and working with fellow Cow writers Ron Marz and David Hine on "Progeny."
CBR News: Without giving too much away, what are the key elements of the larger story you're tackling handled in your "Progeny" tie-in issue?
Tim Seeley: My issue is about Sara facing Jackie for the first time since she became aware that something was "wrong" in the universe. Sara has to deal with what she did to save the universe, and she may not be sure the sacrifice was worth it.
If someone is coming to your run of "Witchblade" by way of the crossover but might not know what's going on, can you give a brief rundown of recent events?
Sara Pezzini, having been kicked out of the NYPD is a now a low rent detective in Chicago who happens to attract a fair amount of supernatural weirdness! She's made new friends, and new enemies, all the while dealing with the inherent supernatural corruption infecting the city of Chicago!
Had you been working elements of "Progeny" into your issues up to this point?
Yes. We knew the broad strokes from the very beginning, and each of us seeded those throughout our respective series.
One of the big story points in the crossover involves Tom Judge explaining how the Rebirth Universe formed -- how does Sara respond to this information?
Initially, Sara's attitude is "I'm out of this game." She doesn't want to be involved with Tom and the rest of the Artifact bearers, and is content to keep out of their way as long as they stay out of hers.
Without giving too much away, how will the events of Progeny be reflected in "Witchblade" moving forward?
Progeny will help Sara understand where she's come from, and where she has to go in the future. It helps set up a new status quo for her, that I think will make for some great stories.
From the issues I've read, I really like that they feel both like parts of the ongoing and part of the crossover. Was that a difficult balance to achieve?
Not really. I feel like that's the job of a comic writer. The fact that it doesn't work more often than not just means too many companies and writers aren't doing their job!
Were there any existing crossovers that you looked at as good examples of the storytelling form when developing the story?
Nah. Honestly, I almost always stop reading any superhero comic the moment it enters some line-wide crossover. "Civil War," "Infinite Crisis" -- the moment that stuff shows up I'm out, as it's always far too encompassing and never as good as the books were on their own. We approached this as "individual issues that worked towards the same goal," rather than a "wide line marketing event," I think. I hope that's obvious in the stories themselves!
How was it working with fellow writers Ron Marz and David Hine on "Progeny" as a unified story?
Really easily actually. The three of us get along really well, so we had total confidence in each other, not to mention that I'm the newbie of this group so I know when to shut up and listen to the smart guys.
"Witchblade" #164 is on sale now and leads into "The Darkness" #111, on sale March 13. "Progeny" wraps up March 20 in "Artifacts" #26.