Nancy Collins, writer of Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1, talks with writer Frank Barbiere about Dejah Thoris #2, both on sale March 2 from Dynamite. Cover is by NEN, interiors by Francesco Manna.
FRANK BARBIERE: Gail Simone was the architect behind the "core" of the book—she had the wonderful idea of taking Dejah out of Helium and away from John, then having her enlist as a soldier under a new identity. It was a very inspiring "jump-off," and I quickly looked for important thematic elements/things I wanted to say about Dejah with this story. I think it's a very fresh, character-centric take and we really get to spend some time with the true Dejah vs. the elements that normally define her (Helium and John Carter).
NC: Is there a real-life analog for the People's Army of Barsoom?
FB: There's no direct analog, but I think the idea of the disenfranchised rising up and taking action is fairly universal. I thought it would be interesting to seed a contingent of people on Barsoom who were unhappy with the Warlord and Jed, who started a militia to fight for themselves. It also works really well with Dejah having left everything behind—she's literally joining the opposition and getting an experience from a fresh perspective.
NC: Are you happy with your artist, Francesco Manna? How do you two collaborate on the storytelling?
FB: Francesco has been doing an amazing job and has really come to define the look of our characters and the world. He has a great design sense and wonderful storytelling abilities, so he really is a great collaborator. I write a "full script," but always leave room for my collaborators to pick shots/get creative, and Francesco has really risen to the occasion and done some beautiful work. Our colorist, Morgan Hickman, has also really contributed to the fantastic look of the world—his color palettes are excellently chosen and he really works the warm desert tones into the book.
NC: Where can we expect Dejah Thoris' journey of self-discovery to take her (and the readers) next?
FB: Hopefully somewhere unexpected! Dejah is quickly moving further and further away from her past life, and I can't wait for readers to see what kind of trouble she gets into out in the badlands. There are a few spinning plates right now and we're really going to start to see what each character's endgame is—I can promise it's going to be action-packed and lead to some exciting revelations for Dejah!