On this edition of the Word Balloon
Podcast, writer/artist Matt Wagner joins
us for an interesting discussion that begins with a question. Will
the 20th century superheroes be as easy to retcon and
update in the decades to come? How well do modern versions of
heroes like The Lone Ranger or Zorro work, without their 19th
century settings and tools? Don't they need the horses and pistols?
What about the Heroes created in the 20th century?
Matt asks this question not only about heroes he's currently
working on like Zorro & his upcoming 2010 take on the Golden
Age Green Hornet for Dynamite, who Matt thinks still works best in
his golden age era .
We also talk about what he has planed for Zorro in the
current arc Tales Of The Fox. Wagner says "General Moncado slowly
starts to gather information about this rogue highwayman...and it's
like Rashomon getting all these different points of view individual
stories of who and what Zorro is. At this point he's still more of
an Urban Myth."
On his Green Hornet plans with artist Aaron Campbell "I'm
going to tell you why he does it...why does Britt Reid who has a
way to fight 1930's social injustices through his newspaper still
need to adopt this alternate identity? ...We also explore Kato's
motivations He's Japaneese in my version, and I found a way to
weave his origin into a very historical
event.. We learn why this very skilled martial artist would support
and fight beside Britt."
We also discuss his Vertigo series Madam Xanadu which continues to
interact with other Vertigo characters that have strong DC roots .
Her main adversary through centuries on conflict is The Phantom
Stranger.but there are other "easter egg" character
apperances that blur the line between the DCU and Vertigo.
Matt says, "Everyone asks me how I'm able to do it, and my response
is, I'm just doing it. I don't ask (laughs). I do tend to keep
those references as ones that fit into her charcter history and
senarios,like Ertigan, Zatara, and detective Jim Corrigan (The
Spectre). Or they happen almost "off camera".Like the mystic green
lantern showing up in ancient China, or The Phantom Stranger
refering obliquley to the helmet of Doctor Fate. In the Kaluta run
we included the golden age Sandman because I needed a character
like "The Shadow" and Wesley Dobbs fit.
This arc has some unique time shifting where Amy will be on for two
issues, then representing a different era Joel Jones comes on for
two issues, then back to Amy. In this arc, Madame Xanadu runs into
another unexpected DC character."