Alan Davis Interview (2007)

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(WoW DEC 07)

Alan Davis is the popular artist and writer of such books as Marvel's X-Men, Fantastic Four: The End, and Killraven, and DC's Justice League of America: The Nail. This month he returns to Marvel's ClanDestine. Westfield's Roger Ash recently contacted Davis and discussed the Destine's history and future.

To link to this interview, use this link (right click and copy)

Westfield: You created ClanDestine in the mid-1990s and they haven't been seen much since then.

Alan Davis: The first series ran into problems before issue one saw print because Marvel UK was the first casualty of the comic industry implosion and, literally overnight, went from publishing 26 titles to editing (for Marvel US to publish) just one, The ClanDestine! I stuck with it for as long as I could, because I loved the book, but it soon became obvious that it wasn't a viable situation and I moved on after eight issues. Some time later Bob Harras offered me the opportunity to do the X-Men/ClanDestine crossover - but as a prelude to drawing a regular X-Book rather than resurrecting the Clan.

Westfield: Why did you decide to bring them back now?

Davis: I didn't decide, I was asked - and I was more than happy to accept the opportunity to tackle some 'unfinished-business.' Before finalizing the plot for issue one of the original series, I had an overview for more than twenty-five issues of story and had mapped out a history-tree for all of the key members of the family - so I felt I had barely gotten started after just eight issues.

Westfield: Super-hero teams may have a family dynamic, but in the case of ClanDestine, they actually are a family.

 height=Davis: Every team or group has some degree of family dynamic and a few do have actual familial bonds, but when I first pitched the ClanDestine concept I was warned against restricting a group to immediate relatives because it removed any opportunity of introducing the romantic merry-go-round that is a staple of so may other team-book. But I see that 'challenge' as the strength of the ClanDestine book.

Westfield: Do you enjoy working with the interaction between the family members?

Davis: Very much. It's the characters and relationships of a particularly quirky family that are at the heart of the series - we can choose our friends but not our family. Most teams gather because they have a common cause, but all the Destine's share is their peculiar lineage. They are all long-lived children of Adam, an immortal, and a mysterious spiritual entity legend holds to be a Djinn. Because the Destine's age far more slowly than humans, the family members cannot maintain ordinary relationships and must constantly move on to avoid detection so, ultimately, the only people who understand their dilemma are their kin.

Westfield: Is there anything you can tell us about the story of the new mini-series? Which members of the Destine clan are involved?

 height=Davis: The twins Rory and Pandora, Walter, Kay, Samantha, Dominic, Newton, Albert and Adam all have key roles. The story picks up a short time after the X-Men crossover - as if no significant time has passed since the Clan's last appearance. Walter is still totally opposed to Rory and Pandora's crime-fighting escapades while Kay is happy to indulge the twins because it amuses her - and irritates Walter... Life in the Destine pressure-cooker goes on as normal. But then things start to go awry... Is it an attack by an old enemy or some flaw within the Destine's own hybrid nature? Part human, part 'Genie,' they don't really know what they are and their search for answers leads to a roller coaster ride of discovery with a few unexpected 'guest stars' along the way.

Westfield: Will you be picking up any story threads from your previous ClanDestine stories, such as what happened to Vincent? [NOTE: Vincent was one of the Destine children and was killed by their father, Adam. How or why this happened has never been revealed.]

Davis: There are a couple of major plot threads that will be picked up and resolved but not the Vincent storyline. When I plotted the original long-story for the Clan, I had a definite idea of how events would unfold and there are a few things that need to be in place before the 'Vincent-storyline' can be told. The future of the ClanDestine is totally reliant on the sales of this five issue arc and if this series sells well enough to justify another story arc, we may yet get to know what happened to Vincent.

Westfield: In past stories, you've mentioned that there are a large number of Destine siblings. Will you be introducing any new family members in the new mini-series?

Davis: Yes there are, or at least have been, a large number of Destine children but the exact number who have survived to the present is uncertain. This series introduces more of the family, more of their history, and also reveals how some, like Walter and Kay, have forged attachments with non-Destines in the present... so the saga really begins to open out with this story.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Davis: I have finished the fifth issue and had a tremendous amount of fun writing and drawing the ClanDestine again. Now the Clan's future depends on whether enough readers are willing to give the book a try.