Duncan McAlpine interviewed Christian Ward at MCM London Comic Con solo today, though Christian's compatriot on Aquaman Andromeda Ram V was sadly at home with the coronavirus. But it definitely gave Christian the chance to speak, espeically on his new Aquaman project, a character of which Duncan McAlpine is a longtime fan.
Christian Ward talked about the approach to the comic as being Event Horizon underwater, but he also took aspects of The Abyss and the Alien films, even Prometheus and Covenant, as well as Dune. Currently eight pages away from finishing the 48 pages of Book Two, which will be published in
September August, he promised to try and get Aquaman's boxing six-armed octopus Topo, a favourite of McAlpine, into the third book.
Saying that he wouldn't have been ready to draw this book two or three years ago, he pointed to the exact spot that he met Ram V for the first time several years ago, when the late Supercon event was also in the ExCel centre. When a short haired Ram V came to his table, asked for advice, wanting to get into comics, and showing off the comic he was working on at the time, Black Mamba. And now look at them both…
Ward also talked about the decision he had to make before taking on Aquaman Andromeda, having to drop an Image Comics series – for now at least – with a very well respected writer. But what swung it was Ram V and DC editorial's pitch for the vision of what the book could be. That Aquaman does not have a Dark Knight or an All Star Superman book that you can point to, as the essence of what the character is. And that is what Aquaman Andromeda is meant to be.
Given that Christian Ward is best known for his cosmic world, that is also how Aquaman Andromeda is menat to look. the closest thing to another world, just underwater. The majority of the book is set underwater, and he approaches them as cosmic scenes. Instead of pinpricks of light on stars, they are now on pinpricks of light on bubbles.
It takes place at the Nemo Point, with a group of explorers in an advanced experimental ship, searching for… something. They find a craft, but when they find it, all hell breaks look, and Aquaman is in the middle of it. And while this is billed as cosmic horror and a Black Label book, there is not blood and gore, no nudity or swearing, it should be suitable for all. And for all of the bombastic special effects, most exciting part of the comic to Christian is the intimacy and psychoiogy of all these different characters. We have a different looking Aquaman as well, covered in coral, and more like Swamp Thing in appearance.
Talking about the release of the Kraken in issue 1, he also told us that he didn't quite read the script as much as he should, and only when he later realised that the scene was set in a gracveyard of ships where no animals can survive – he had to paint out all the fish he has been creating for the previous pages. I do hope he found a way to use them later.
Black Manta features heavily in in issue 2, and Christian Ward finds him very cool to draw. He has given Black Manta a kind-of-light saber, a hot sword, and Aquaman has his trident. I guess we can look forward to hand-to-hand combat of that ilk….
Aquaman Andomeda Book One is published on the 7th of June. Book Two is scheduled to be published on the 2nd of August. Book Three is out in Octiber.
AQUAMAN ANDROMEDA #1 (OF 3) CVR A CHRISTIAN WARD (MR)
(W) Ram V. (A/CA) Christian Ward
Deep in the Pacific Ocean, at the farthest possible distance from any land, sits Point Nemo: the spaceship graveyard. Since the dawn of the space race, the nations of the world have sent their crafts there on splashdown, to sink beneath the silent seas. But there is something…else at Point Nemo. A structure never made by human hands. And that structure seems to be…waking up. The crew of the experimental submarine Andromeda, powered by a mysterious black-hole drive, have been chosen to investigate this mystery. But they aren't the only ones pursuing it. Anything of value beneath the ocean is of value to the master pirate Black Manta…and anything that attracts Black Manta attracts Arthur Curry, his lifelong foe, the Aquaman! But heaven help them all when the doors of the mystery at Point Nemo swing wide to admit them… Bringing a bracing cosmic-horror sensibility to the world of Aquaman, rising superstars Ram V (Venom, The Swamp Thing) and Christian Ward (Thor, Invisible Kingdom) team up to put Arthur Curry through an exercise in psychological terror that could break the will of even a king!
Retail: $6.99 In-Store Date: 6/7/2022
AQUAMAN ANDROMEDA #2 (OF 3) CVR A CHRISTIAN WARD (MR)
(W) Ram V. (A/CA) Christian Ward
When an underwater explosion rocks the crew of the Andromeda, Aquaman comes to their rescue, but the damage has already been done. The explosion has damaged the ship's core and unleashed a sickness that will threaten everyone on board. But as tensions flare, Black Manta makes his move—it's information he's after, but what do ancient aliens have to do with Atlantis?
Retail: $6.99 In-Store Date: 8/2/2022