Marvel Comics and Top Cow Productions have joined forces to create "Unholy Union," an all out fight comic starring Top Cow flagship characters Witchblade and the Darkness and Marvel favorites Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider and the incredible Hulk. Written by Ron Marz with art by "The Darkness" series artist Michael Broussard, "Unholy Union" is an over-sized one-shot fans are sure to enjoy. CBR News spoke with writer Ron Marz about this summer's clash of titans.
|"Unholy Union" promo art|
a partnership of sorts, but how did this project with its diverse set
of characters get settled upon?
It usually doesn't happen this way, but in this case, I got to pick. On the Top Cow end, we knew we wanted to include both Witchblade and Darkness, so Matt Hawkins at Top Cow asked me to come up with a list of who I wanted to use from the Marvel side. Then it just became a matter of who I wanted and who made sense for a one-shot story. It was nice to approach it in that manner, instead of, "Here, this is what you get, make it work." Marvel has been great through the whole process.
Ghost Rider made sense to me because The Darkness is an anti-hero who would logically attract the spirit of vengeance. The Hulk has already encountered the Darkness. Plus, let's face it, it's cool when the Hulk busts up a lot stuff. And I love Doctor Strange, so I was damn well gonna find a way to get him in there.
Secondly, introduce our audience to the story in "Unholy Union." What
have you cooked up here?
|"Unholy Union" cover inks|
Both the Top Cow and Marvel Universes have undergone some pretty major
changes in the past years. You've taken "Witchblade" in entirely
unexpected and exciting directions. Marvel's had a few wars. When you
consider the Darkness and Witchblade, plus the Marvel characters in this
book -- Hulk, Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider -- where are these characters
in terms of their own books? Is this the same Sara and Dani we're
familiar with from the current storylines? Is this the same Hulk who's
made his way back to earth?
|"Unholy Union" pages 6 and 7|
I've also read that this issue contains a preview for "First Born." Is
the preview part of the story, or something separate?
Both, actually. As I said, there's a story element in Unholy Union that's will be carried through to First Born. It's not a situation where we're holding a gun to the reader's head and saying, "You must read THIS in order to read THAT !" It's an appetizer, not the main course, but it does play a part in teasing First Born. It's subtle enough that it won't interfere with your enjoyment of Unholy Union or First Born if you read one and not the other. But taken together, it shows a bit larger picture. The last page of Unholy Union contains some characters that we haven't made public, and that scene points toward the First Born storyline as well.
|"Unholy Union" page 8|
What was it about this project that attracted you to the book? How much
freedom were you given in crafting your story?
I've always enjoyed writing crossovers, and I've been fortunate enough to do a quite a few of them. By their nature, they should be big summer blockbuster-type stories. That's what Unholy Union is. I mean, where else do you get the chance to write Ghost Rider and the Darkness beating the hell out of each, while the Hulk comes smashing through a wall, looking to squash them both? I was given the freedom to have fun, and hopefully the readers will as well.