BYRON BREWER: Ray, I know this could not be a very easy book to write. How is it coming together for you?
RAY FAWKES: In a way, I’ve got the easiest job in these books! My story is the last adventure of the iconic versions of these characters, so I get to dig into the rich material that’s out there and really get into why they’re all so great. Chuck, Aubrey, and Kyle are the ones with the tough jobs [dealing with new iterations of the classic characters] — and I’m very into what they’ve come up with!
BB: As you handle these legendary names, is there one or two that are becoming your favorites? Any that have been especially difficult?
RF: Turok has always been my favorite of the bunch — which I suppose is a bit funny, since he faced his end in the first issue of The Sovereigns. Never let it be said that writers like to make it easy for themselves. But Turok’s spirit is a big part of the whole story of the book, and he may yet have a major part to play…
BB: As of #3, on sale in July, what challenge are each of these heroes facing in their lives?
RF: Turok has, uh, shall we say “no more problems”. But Magnus is faced with a world that was very nearly poised to become a utopia thanks in part to his efforts, and is now collapsing into chaos. He hates it when things get chaotic, so he’s struggling to figure out a plan. Solar, on the other hand, is fascinated by the puzzles presented by the challenge of The Sovereigns, and facing it all much more cheerfully than Magnus. And Samson? He’s just trying not to die while literally everything is trying to kill him.
BB: Have there been any tropes associated with the characters that you found yourself wishing you could use in a certain situation but cannot?
RF: Not really! Even if the characters are changing, it’s our intent to be true to their spirit. I mean, there are certain outdated tropes about the portrayal of Turok as a Native American, or Magnus as a manly-man, but those mostly show themselves in the narratives, not the characters themselves. This is a thoroughly modern story about great characters.
BB: How has it been collaborating with Johnny Desjardins? From what I’ve seen, he has been knocking it out of the park. This is one impressive series all the way around.
RF: Thank you! Johnny is fantastic. I think he must be getting bored of my expressions of amazement whenever he turns in pages. I love how he’s bringing this story to life. It’s definitely a demanding one, and he’s killing it.
BB: Ray, can you give us any non-spoilery hint about what’s coming up with Turok’s Lost Valley in your part of issue #3?
RF: Hmm. The Lost Valley reveals more of its secrets, Solar figures out a huge piece of the mystery, and Samson tells us which one of our heroes is going to die on the moon. The moon? You should probably read this.
BB: Speaking of which, has that been a boon or not to have a back-up story also featuring individual action
of these Sovereigns?
RF: I enjoy the hell out of it! The cool thing is that, while it may not be apparent at first, all of the backup stories are tied into the main tale of The Sovereigns. When the story is done, it’s going to blow readers’ minds.
BB: Any projects coming up you can tell readers about?
RF: Besides The Sovereigns? I’m working on my creator-owned ongoing series for Image Comics called Underwinter. Check it out! There’s nothing else like it on the stands.