Peter Milligan has written such comics as Marvel’s X-Statix and X-Men and DC/Vertigo’s Hellblazer, Human Target, and Shade, The Changing Man. This month, he’s writing Marvel’s 5-part weekly series, 5 Ronin. Westfield’s Roger Ash contacted Milligan to learn more about this series.
Westfield: How did this miniseries come about?
Peter Milligan: The story came about after a lot of phone calls between myself and Sebastian Girner, the editor of the comic. It was initiated by Sebastian’s deep interest in the Japanese world, and I thought I could really do something with the ideas he had .
Westfield: What can you tell us about the story?
Milligan: The story is set in 17th century Japan. It’s a time when masterless ronin wandered the country. Our story follows the lives of five very different characters, connected by a shared hatred, a shared destiny. These characters are Logan, Punisher, Psylocke, Hulk and Deadpool. They’re recognizable as the Marvel Heroes… yet they are unlike anything you’ve seen. Part of this strange Japanese world.
Westfield: Is this era in Japanese history one that intrigues you?
Milligan: The more research I did on it, the more it intrigued me. It was a time of flux… and flux or uncertainty is always rich with story possibilities. It is this uncertainty, or an attempt to find certainty in such an uncertain world, that informs the characters of our five heroes.
Westfield: Why did you choose the five heroes that you did for the series?
Milligan: Each character brings a very different attitude towards this world, and very different ideas of how best to survive it. How five such very different characters with such very different lives and outlooks find themselves on the same road, with the same destination is at the heart of the story.
Westfield: Each issue is drawn by a different artist. Did this create any challenges for you?
Milligan: Not at all. It was all good, because each episode has a really distinct feel, and each artist brings really distinct qualities. What’s amazing is though each book or chapter has this distinct quality with a different artist, it all seems to work as a seamless story.
Westfield: Are there other projects you’re working on that you’d like to mention?
Milligan: Yeah, the usual mixture of current stuff and work in the pipeline that I can’t really talk about now. I will be working on some very exciting Thor-related projects and some other more left-of-field Marvel things in the near future. Continuing to work on and love Hellblazer and there are some DCU projects which I’ll be working on next year. Also some creator owned projects in the pipeline which I’ll be able to talk about in a bit.
Westfield: Any closing comments?
Milligan: Just that if I haven’t already made it clear (I think I probably have) I am very excited about how 5 Ronin is turning out.