Loki & Rogue writer: Rob Rodi

Rob Rodi has written such books as DC/Vertigo's Codename: Knockout, CrossGen's Crossovers, and Marvel's Elektra and the upcoming Identity Disc. This month he is writing two new projects for Marvel; and . Worlds of Westfield Content Editor Roger Ash recently contacted Rodi to find out more about these books.

Westfield: You have two new projects coming from Marvel in July; Loki and Rogue. Let's start with Loki. What intrigued you about telling Loki's story?

Rob Rodi: Loki is the small, clever little brother to a much-loved heroic golden boy. And he's adopted, to boot. You look at him that way, and suddenly it's not such a surprise that he grew up embittered and resentful. I thought there was good material for a story there.

Westfield: What can you tell us about the story of the mini-series?

Rodi: We open with Loki having triumphed. After all these years, he's finally got what he's always wanted: he's the lord of Asgard, and the rest of the royal family are under his thumb. He's exultant, but quickly slips into a "Now what?" frame of mind. The basic premise is: be careful what you wish for.

Westfield: How much of the story is based on Norse mythology vs. Marvel mythology?

Rodi: We start out hewing pretty closely to the Marvel scheme of things (though the book is deliberately placed a half-step outside regular continuity). Then in the second and third books we open things up and begin introducing lots of concepts and ideas, and even characters, from other parallel strains of Norse mythology. Loki finds out, for example, that he's not the only Loki, and it freaks him out a little.

Westfield: In this series, do you see Loki as a villain?

Rodi: No, Loki's our hero. But he's a hero in the Shakespearean sense; he has a tragic flaw. In fact, he's got two or three. You might also call him an anti-hero, in the old "rebels against authority" sense.

Westfield: I have heard some wonderful things about Esad Ribic's art for the book. What do you think he brings to the book?

Rodi: Esad's work on this book is gorgeous and sumptuous. He's really taken a quantum leap. He gives this tale of gods and palaces and armies tremendous verisimilitude - there's just nothing he can't paint. The only trouble is, he might disrupt the momentum of my script, because readers will be lingering over each page admiring its beauty before going on to read the next.

Westfield: Moving on to Rogue, how did you become involved with the project?

Rodi: Simple: it was offered to me. Though I did relish the challenge of making something new and different of an X-book.

Westfield: How much does the Rogue connect with the other X-titles?

Rodi: The X-Men appear with her in the first issue; after that they'll pretty much be out of the picture. I'd like Rogue's book to have the same relation to the X-titles as Wolverine's does. It's her solo book, she'll be solo in it.

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

Rodi: Oh, lots of cool stuff. You'll finally learn Rogue's real name. You'll meet her family and discover that the onset of her mutant powers isn't the only reason she fled her home. And we'll be taking a more supernatural turn than the other X-books, a kind of Southern Gothic feel, to better suit Rogue's background and heritage.

Westfield: What have you found interesting about the character of Rogue?

Rodi: The obvious thing is that she doesn't have just one set of memories in her head. She's got hundreds. And it's tough for her to sort through them all to get to the ones she's lived herself. This is going to make her journey of self-discovery a little more difficult, and a little more surreal and fun.

Westfield: What can you say about artist Cliff Richards' contribution to the book?

Rodi: He's just come on board; but his work on Buffy The Vampire Slayer gives him a leg up on setting the right tone for this series, given our tilt toward the supernatural.

Westfield: I have always enjoyed your sense of humor in such books as Codename: Knockout, The Crossovers, and your novel What They Did to Princess Paragon. Will any humor find its way into these books?

Rodi: Yes - though humor of an entirely different kind. Obviously I won't be going for belly laughs. There are a few razor-sharp verbal exchanges in Loki; and what humor there is in Rogue will be of the surreal, David Lynch variety.

Westfield: You've written both novels and comics. What do you enjoy about working in the comics format?

Rodi: The primary difference is that comics is a collaborative form. It's always a surprise and pleasure to see what my artists make of what I give them. That's the most enjoyable aspect of this job, for me.

Westfield: Do you have any other projects you're working on you'd like to mention?

Rodi: Nothing just yet, but there should be some news soon. We'll talk.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Rodi: Yes. Don't do low-carb diets. You need carbs to survive. This fad is a deadly conspiracy.