Rik Hoskin write for the Dynamite comics series Cage Hero sits down with Byron Brewer and talks about issue #2 and working with Ian Parker and Kevin Eastman. Cover by Renato Rei.
RIK HOSKIN: I'd already written several projects for Dynamite–specifically, Mercy Thompson and an upcoming fantasy series–so editor Rich Young knew my work well and felt I'd be a good fit for Cage Hero. I'd previously written similar material for the UK market (I'm British, by the way), including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Jackie Chan Adventures, so I had plenty of experience handling martial arts heroes.
BB: Tell us about the rather unique premise of this book.
RH: Cage Hero concerns five teenagers who discover that they are the world's only defense against a sinister conspiracy that threatens to destroy civilization. Each has a specific fighting skill, such as kickboxing, karate and ju-jitsu, but they have to find the hero within themselves to unleash their secret super-powers if they are to have a hope of saving the world.
Cage Hero was created by Ian Parker and developed by Kevin Eastman, who co-created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ian's background is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and he wanted to develop a story which would appeal to that audience. It's been great fun–Ian's secret super-power is having the enthusiasm of a hundred ordinary men!
BB: Who is Ryder Stone, in your perceptions as a writer?
RH: Ryder Stone is our point-of-view character, the story's really about his journey to discover that the hero comes from within ourselves. He's a teenage army brat who doesn't seem to fit in at school, but shows incredible talent in the wrestling ring, a talent that hints at his secret, untapped super-power.
BB: Rik, tell us a little about your comics background, which goes more toward the licensed comics side of things, right?
RH: I'm based in Great Britain and I've been writing comics for over a decade. I was the regular writer on the UK's Star Wars comic for about five years, helped develop a Spider-Man title aimed at younger readers, and I've written Superman for DC Comics in the U.S. and Angry Birds for the UK. I've also worked on various DreamWorks, Disney and Pixar characters. These days I'm writing Doctor Who comics and I've just wrapped up a motion comic for the BBC. There's more stuff that I'm not allowed to talk about yet.
I'm also a novelist. I'm probably best-known for my work under the pen-name "James Axler"–I was the primary writer on the Outlanders science fiction series for seven years, and also wrote for the post-apocalyptic Deathlands series, totaling 24 novels in all. Right now I'm writing a series of original novels for HarperCollins based on the Hercules, the Legendary Journeys television series, and I'm also writing an original science fiction horror novel for Resurrection House.
BB: How has it been working with artist Renato Rei?
RH: Renato's artwork is amazing, he brings tons of energy to his pages. I only wish I could have included more double page spreads in my script because the ones we have look incredible! Editor Rich Young and our original assistant editor Hannah Elder deserve a massive thank-you here for helping to get the creative team up and running.
For more on Cage Hero #2, click here.