Garth Ennis has returned to Red Team with a new series for Dynamite, Double Tap, Center Mass. The writer sat down with Byron Brewer and talked about the second issue. Cover art by Dan Panosian.
GARTH ENNIS: A very pleasant sense of business as usual. I like working with friends to begin with, and Nicky Barrucci and Joe Rybandt lead an extremely competent team. The new Red Team series has overlapped with A Train Called Love, so we're currently in the middle of a good long run. And it's nice to be writing Eddie and Trudy again — two of my favorite characters.
BB: And you are reunited with artist Craig Cermak! Tell us about the importance of his photo-realistic art to the previous "season" of Red Team.
GE: Craig's one of my favorite artists to work with. Smart, professional, great storyteller, excellent sense of character. He constantly thinks in terms of narrative — not the texture of a page or a nice panel, but the overall story. You can tell he knows why characters have to have certain expressions, that faces are often as much a part of the story as dialogue. He's not blundering around in the dark, he never leaves out the important details.
I should say that I feel particularly lucky with artists at the moment: Keith Burns, Raulo Caceres, Tomas Aira, Carlos Ezquerra, Goran Parlov, Russ Braun, Mark Dos Santos (to name but a few).
BB: In the first go-around of this series, you gave the vigilante police genre a morally inquisitive tone and a really off-the-wall dramatic spin … and that pronounced realism. Will "Double Tap, Center Mass" follow suit?
GE: This second storyline sees our heroes breaking the rules and stepping outside the law once again, but in a different way to the first series. This time, they're not knocking off a list of targets. They're going after a very specific one by different means, but even then they're still leaving a certain trail of chaos in their wake. And they slowly realize it'll come back to haunt them, but – again — in a different way to series one.
BB: Talk about the world – or their little part of it – Red Team survivors Eddie Mellinger and Trudy Giroux find themselves in now, as issue #2 goes on sale in August. For this new 9-issue run, what is the storyline going forward?
GE: Eddie and Trudy are in limbo. They weren't fired after the events of series one, because their cooperation was vital for the cover-up to work, but enough senior NYPD officers either know or suspect what happened that our heroes have been banished to outer darkness — crap work, zero responsibility, no juicy cases. Then, completely by accident, they get wind of a very big case that could change everything for them, and decide to go for it. Unfortunately, this takes them into dangerous territory, a place where New York's criminal element rubs shoulders with its elite society. And, of course, they just can't resist following the Red Team model and bending the rules to suit themselves.
BB: Any new characters we should be on the lookout for? Tell us about them.
GE: We've got Eric Nightingale, poor little rich boy and narcotics trafficker, who ends up with something nasty stuffed in the trunk of his car. There's his extremely reptilian lawyer, David Dershowitz. There's Captain Byrne, far less sympathetic than our heroes' last commanding officer but still a woman who recognizes talent when she sees it. And then we've got our apparent villains, Phat Man and Little Boi, two drug kingpin brothers with a particular connection to Red Team. Their own relationship is not all it might seem.