Talking "Seven Brothers" with Garth Ennis

Fri, September 1st, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Arune Singh, Staff Writer

This October, one of the biggest names in film, writer/director John Woo, and one of the biggest names in comics, Garth Ennis, join forces on the five issue mini series "Seven Brothers" from Virgin Comics. CBR News sat down with Ennis for a short chat about the series and what we should expect.

Garth, let's start with the basics. Tell us what "Seven Brothers" is all about?

Seven powerful men who can't control their powers and don't even like each other much unite to save the world. Only one long-suffering woman, guided by an ancient Chinese legend, has any hope of pulling them together. Meanwhile, evil is on its way- all-powerful, all-devouring, and rather well-dressed.

What was the genesis of the project?

Virgin offered me a good deal and the chance to work with John Woo. And off we went.

That's easy! Now, John Woo's name is attached to the project, but what's his involvement with the book? What's it been like to collaborate with him?

Been a dream so far. I got a couple of paragraphs with the broad outlines of the characters and the original Chinese legend, and the rest was up to me. What I was dreading was some kind of ten page overview with no room to manoeuvre, which is what you usually get on these sorts of properties. That's why I tend to stay well clear of 'em.

That makes sense. Now, looking at your body of work thus far, one thing that each book has in common is a certain "edge." While you've worked on a diverse array of books, that Ennis edge is always there. Will that be true in "Seven Brothers?" And how would you compare it to your previous works?

Yep, plenty of edge. I would say this story is a lot more epic than most of what I've written, a real widescreen experience.

Please provide a brief introduction to the main characters.

The Seven Brothers are Robert Akimbe, from Africa, Baz Hooker, Australian, Jagdish Verna, Indian, Daniel Falling Water, Native-American, Gabriel Castillo, Argentinian, Muhammed Ridwan Salim, Arab, and Ronald "Double-Double" Wipes, from South-Central Los Angeles. You'll get to know them better, as well as who does what, as the story goes along. There's also Rachel, the young lady with the thankless task of making them do as they're told, Zheng, the world's deadliest killer, and the Son of Hell - the arch mega-bastard to end them all.

Ancient prophecies, strangers banding together - it's all familiar to fantasy/genre fans. So what makes the combination of those ideas so unique in "Seven Brothers?"

It has to do with a certain part of Chinese history; a role China may have played in the development of the human race that few people are aware of.

Thematically, what kind of ground are you covering in this series? Is there a specific message you're hoping to convey or specific theme that you feel dominates the book?

That sort of question has only one answer: read the book.

It's been said that Virgin is more focused on the international market, especially India. Does that affect how you're writing "Seven Brothers" at all?

Possibly. It occurred to me that an international cast couldn't hurt (see above).

Garth, what else do you have coming out in the near future? Any new projects on the horizon? More work with Virgin?

What have we got… "The Boys" is off and running, as are "Battler Britton" and the latest "Kev" story… there's the monthly "Punisher," as well as two spin-off miniseries… Two new series from Avatar, "Wormwood" and "Streets Of Glory" … another "Ghost Rider" story, a western this time… four issues of "JLA Classified" with John McCrea, featuring Tommy Monaghan from "Hitman" … "Back to Brooklyn," with Jimmy Palmiotti … and the new "Midnighter" series with art by Chris Sprouse.

There is no doubt you're one busy many right now! We'll let you get back to it, but do you have anything you'd like to add before we let you go?

If you like dragons, you'll like this.

CBR News

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