Chuck Dixon has written many comics during his career in the field,
including DCís Birds of Prey, Nightwing,
and Marvelís Punisher. This month he talks
with Worlds of Westfield
Content Editor, Roger Ash, about his newest book from Marvel, Marvel
Chuck Dixon: Joe Quesada called me and asked me if Iíd 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 couldnít be happier.
Westfield: What can people look forward to in the book?
Dixon: Itís not like other group books in that this group is made up of a bunch of loners who arenít used to working with anybody. Itís kind of an anti-group book. There really wonít be a status quo established. They wonít have headquarters and things like that. Itíll 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 theyíre after him.
Dixon: In the first storyline itís 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 whatís 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. Theyíre 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. Itís a group made up of loners; people that arenít usually team players and resist being team players.
Westfield: You obviously have an affinity for the Punisher. Are some of the other characters ones youíve 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 Iíve followed consistently for years and years. Theyíre all characters Iím real familiar with.
Westfield: Without giving too much away, what can we expect storywise?
Dixon: I donít want to give away the surprise from issue 1, but theyíre facing people, things, creatures, they never faced before. This book has kind of a different tone. Itís not strictly urban street drama. Iím calling it super hero noir for lack of a better term. Itís a more mysterious approach to some of this stuff. Weíll be seeing familiar Marvel villains but with an X-Files sort of approach. Our heroes arenít real sure who they are because theyíve never run into them before, but the readers will know them. Itís 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. Iíve written the first four issues, so I can say that with some assurance.
Westfield: Youíve 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. Heís great at environments. Plus, any time he does a character, itís the classic rendition. And everything Iíve seen so far, itís like, ďWow. This is the way these characters look ideally.Ē
Iím 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 youíd like to make about Marvel Knights?
Dixon: Moon Knight will be showing up. Itíll seem like they have a status quo for a while with a headquarters, but that doesnít 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 donít want anybody to figure it out by page 2.
Westfield: Do you have any upcoming projects youíd like to mention?
Dixon: Superman/Aliens 2 comes out this summer by me, John Bogdanov and Kevin Nowlan. Itís set in the Kirby-verse, so we get to see Aliens on New Genesis and Apokolips. Iím almost done with that. Robin Year 1, a Prestige Format mini-series, comes out in September. And Iím still working on all my regular DC books; Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey. Itís keeping me off the street [laughter].