He’s here for humanity, though he doesn’t fully understand it.
Writer Chuck Wendig and artist Nik Virella both believe that digging deep into their newest project, HYPERION, helps them understand what makes its lead character tick. Hyperion originally sprang forth from the Squadron Supreme, a group of heroes from an alternate universe, but he’s a man on a solo mission now, working for the people of Earth, and much like his creative team, trying to figure them out as well as himself.
Marvel.com: Chuck, who is Hyperion? What kind of a person is he and who does he want to be as this new ongoing series begins?
Chuck Wendig: Hyperion is a man who lost his universe. He doesn’t belong anywhere. And as a result, he lost himself and hasn’t yet found who he really is. He’s been taught these precepts by his father, and he believes he is meant to be a teacher, a savior—a father in his own right—and so he adopts America and its people as his children. But he doesn’t understand them, and this is about Hyperion going out into the country to find out who these people are. And, by proxy, who he really is, too.
Marvel.com: What’s the range or depth of his powers? And will that change as the series progresses?
Chuck Wendig: Hyperion is by and large a god in the guise of a man. His powers right now are about how he uses them quietly; he wants to walk among us, not fly above us. What I find interesting about his power set, too, is that he has intellectual abilities, too: the ability to suss out mysteries, to see down to a microscopic level. He’s like if Zeus was a detective.
As for changes, well, early on, it’s mostly about revealing and dealing with who he is. But there’s no reason not to think his power set might get weirder and deeper as time goes on.
Marvel.com: Why does he want to understand humanity? For himself, or to better help humans?
Chuck Wendig: He thinks it’s for them, but I think it’s also for him. He’s adopted us. The bigger question is, will we adopt him back?
Marvel.com: How will the darkness he may find away from the cities differ from the dark underbelly of a big metropolis?
Chuck Wendig: The middle of the country is a wide open nest of roads that take us to stories both light and dark. The dark will be painted starkly, though, I suspect; you look at a show like the first season of “True Detective” or “Justified,” and you get a sense of how leaving the cities doesn’t somehow make you safe. Guns, drugs, local militias, religion. And that’s just from the human side of it.
Marvel.com: What will the first big story of HYPERION be like? What can we expect?
Chuck Wendig: It’s about him picking up a hitchhiker—or, little does he realize, it’s more him being picked up by a hitchhiker. And that girl, Doll, has her own little dark history going on. Why has she chosen Hyperion? What does she need from him?
Marvel.com: That leads nicely into the supporting cast; what will it be like?
Chuck Wendig: We’re going to have some local super villains cooked up—a real freak show—coming after him and his hitchhiker. They will bring with them a host of prejudices and ruination and it’ll lead us to a bigger story. Then, of course, there’s Doll herself.
Marvel.com: And what will be the greatest joy for you to write this series?
Chuck Wendig: Already I’ve gotten to write a scene where Hyperion uses a tractor trailer as a weapon—like, a bludgeoning device—so I feel like my life has already improved 1000%.
Marvel.com: Nik, swinging it over to you, what about this book and the character really excited you about taking it on?
Nik Virella: The most exciting thing about this project is the fact that Hyperion gets to shine in his own series. It’s a new introduction, where he will be able to interact with all kinds of characters and really come into his own. People might not know Hyperion as well as they know the bigger names, so I’m looking forward to giving him that spotlight.
Marvel.com: Who is Hyperion to you? What will be your approach to his features, his costume, and his overall presence?
Nik Virella: Hyperion as a super hero is imposing, but other than that he appears just to be an ordinary man. Even though the costume itself will be keeping that black and gold theme, Hyperion’s goal is to blend in and look like a normal human being the rest of the time. There are super heroes who are striking even when they’re incognito, but Hyperion looks like a typical guy, and people don’t notice him at all unless he wants them to.
Marvel.com: What will it be like working with Chuck? What does he do as a writer that really engages you on HYPERION?
Nik Virella: I haven’t worked with Chuck before. So, it’s always very exciting to team up with a new writer on a new series! I think what Chuck will bring to this series is an emotional and gritty real-life quality of the American backdrop and possibly consider a lot of the big social issues going on today, which Hyperion will end up exploring one way or another.
HYPERION takes to the skies in 2016