Interview: Fred Van Lente on Valiant Entertainment’s Psi-Lords

Psi-Lords #1 Rod Reis cover

Psi-Lords #1 Rod Reis cover


Fred Van Lente is the popular writer of such comics as Archer & Armstrong, Marvel Zombies, Action Presidents, and many others. His latest tale introduces Valiant’s newest heroes in Psi-Lords. Van Lente and Westfield’s Roger Ash discuss this mysterious upcoming series.

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 1

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 1


Westfield: What can you tell us about Psi-Lords and who are the main characters we’ll meet?

Fred Van Lente: Psi-Lords is a science fiction, action-adventure mystery and treasure hunt, starring four people who we—and they—only know by their codenames: brainy Beacon, protective Tank, brash Artisan, and feral Hazard. They wake up trapped in a strange prison run by a mysterious group calling itself the “Starwatchers,” and discover that the key to freeing themselves is to track down the most important prisoners in there: the titular “Psi-Lords.” Along the way, they’ll learn more about their strange new powers, their pasts, and their relationship to each other.

Oh, and did I mention this “prison”—The Gyre—is the size of a planet? It’s gonna take them a while to explore it all and meet all of the strange creatures and terrifying enemies to be found therein.

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 2

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 2


Westfield: Did you draw any inspiration for the series from other sources?

Van Lente: I love a lot of that trippy, European science fiction comic albums, particularly Jodorowsky and Gimenez’s Metabarons, and [Psi-Lords artist] Renato [Guedes’] painted style really lends itself to that kind of a treatment. People are going to get blown away when they check out what he’s doing here.

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 3

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 3


Westfield: I read the script for the first issue and there’s a lot of mystery in the story. How did that approach to the series come about and what is the appeal for you?

Van Lente: I love science fiction that borders on horror—there’s that thrill of discovery, but also the fear of the unknown. Also, since our characters are suffering from amnesia, they get to discover a lot of unknowns about themselves at the same time the reader gets to know them. It really makes the characters and readers go on the same journey at the same time; it’s pretty cool.

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 4

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 4


Westfield: You’re working with artist Renato Guedes on Psi-Lords.  What can you say about your collaboration?

Van Lente: I had never worked with him before, and when the pages for #1 started coming in, I realized I would have to step up my own game, which is the best kind of collaboration. As our heroes explore the Gyre, they meet strange alien races and monsters and vast lost civilizations. I keep challenging Renato to draw all this crazy stuff and he keeps blowing away my expectations every time! I couldn’t be happier.

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 5

Psi-Lords #1 preview page 5


Westfield: Is there any connection to the old Psi-Lords series?

Van Lente: If you’ve read Archer & Armstrong or Ivar, Timewalker, my previous stabs at reimagining 1990s Valiant titles, you’ll know I incorporate elements from them, often as Easter eggs, as just background elements. Like, just as an example, the Gyre is a “Sargasso Sea in Space”—meaning it’s made up of all these shipwrecks adrift around Nihlio, the Vampire Star. A bunch of the ships are ones seen in the 1990s series, which is obviously super subtle. There a few more in there, but I can’t reveal them without getting spoilery. Besides, half the fun of a mystery story is watching the audience figure it out on their own, no?

Psi-Lords #1 JonBoy Meyers cover

Psi-Lords #1 JonBoy Meyers cover


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