Chuck Dixon Interview

Chuck Dixon has written many comics during his career in the field, including DC?s Birds of Prey, Nightwing, Robin, and Marvel?s Punisher. This month he talks with Worlds of Westfield Content Editor, Roger Ash, about his newest book from Marvel, Marvel Knights.

Chuck Dixon: Joe Quesada called me and asked me if I?d be interested. Once I heard that Punisher could be part of the book, I jumped at it. Then things just got better and better. I got Eduardo Barreto on pencils and Klaus Janson on inks. I couldn?t be happier.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in the book?

Dixon: It?s not like other group books in that this group is made up of a bunch of loners who aren?t used to working with anybody. It?s kind of an anti-group book. There really won?t be a status quo established. They won?t have headquarters and things like that. It?ll be very much a rotating roster. Daredevil and Black Widow will be constants on the team and Punisher will be in the book in almost every story, but not as a member of the team. He has sort of an unusual role in the book. He sometimes fights side by side with them, but mostly they?re after him.

Westfield: Who is showing up in the first storyline? 

Dixon: In the first storyline it?s Daredevil, Black Widow, Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu, and Dagger. And before you ask, Cloak is elsewhere, but he is very much a part of the first few arcs. The third arc of the book will deal with where is Cloak and what?s been going on with him because Dagger is looking for him. Punisher is both an adversary and an ally in the first arc.

Westfield: Why these characters in particular?

Dixon: They come under the Marvel Knights banner. They?re all situated in New York, the series will very much just take place in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and a few of the outer boroughs now and then. They lend themselves to the tone of the book. It?s a group made up of loners; people that aren?t usually team players and resist being team players.

Westfield: You obviously have an affinity for the Punisher. Are some of the other characters ones you?ve always wanted to write?

Dixon: Yeah. I followed Cloak and Dagger pretty closely. I like those characters. I feel some sort of relationship to them. Shang Chi I always was crazy about. Moon Knight will be showing up in the second arc. Daredevil and Black Widow I?ve followed consistently for years and years. They?re all characters I?m real familiar with.

Westfield: Without giving too much away, what can we expect storywise?

Dixon: I don?t want to give away the surprise from issue 1, but they?re facing people, things, creatures, they never faced before. This book has kind of a different tone. It?s not strictly urban street drama. I?m calling it super hero noir for lack of a better term. It?s a more mysterious approach to some of this stuff. We?ll be seeing familiar Marvel villains but with an X-Files sort of approach. Our heroes aren?t real sure who they are because they?ve never run into them before, but the readers will know them. It?s kind of a street level look at everything.

Westfield: How long is the first story planned for?

Dixon: The first three arcs will all be three issues each. I?ve written the first four issues, so I can say that with some assurance.

Westfield: You?ve worked with Eduardo Barreto before. Was he your choice for artist?

Dixon: Yes. He was very much my choice. Eduardo and I had been wanting to do a monthly book for a while and it just seemed like this was the kind of book where we needed more of a real world approach. I needed an artist who could draw the real world the way it looks. The book pretty much has one foot in reality. I wanted New York to look like New York; cars to look like cars, things like that. He?s great at environments. Plus, any time he does a character, it?s the classic rendition. And everything I?ve seen so far, it?s like, ?Wow. This is the way these characters look ideally.?

 I?m real glad Klaus Janson is on the book. He gives it a more realistic feel; a more textured feel. He really does fit the tone of the book.

Westfield: Are there any closing comments you?d like to make about Marvel Knights?

Dixon: Moon Knight will be showing up. It?ll seem like they have a status quo for a while with a headquarters, but that doesn?t last long. These characters are real hard luck characters, nothing ever goes right for them. I wish I could say more about the villains, but in each story the villains are a big surprise. Hopefully a big surprise [laughter]. I don?t want anybody to figure it out by page 2.

Westfield: Do you have any upcoming projects you?d like to mention?

Dixon: Superman/Aliens 2 comes out this summer by me, John Bogdanov and Kevin Nowlan. It?s set in the Kirby-verse, so we get to see Aliens on New Genesis and Apokolips. I?m almost done with that. Robin Year 1, a Prestige Format mini-series, comes out in September. And I?m still working on all my regular DC books; Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey. It?s keeping me off the street [laughter].