An DC:UNG Email Interview with Erik Luke
DCUNG: What first got you interested in comics, both as a hobby and as a career?
EL: As a hobby: it was when I was a kid buying them off the rack at the drugstore, and not being able to throw them away for some strange reason, I started sticking them in a box. Man, do I have a lot of boxes by now. As a career: I'd been writing for film and TV for a while, and reached a frustrated point where it didn't feel like my own work anymore (there's a reason they call it development hell.) I knew Randy Stradley at Dark Horse through my film work, and told him I'd be interested in writing for comics. They were just starting up Comic's Greatest World, and I was lucky enough to get Ghost, which turned out to be a hit. I've been writing ever since, and in many ways it's still more fulfilling than film work.
DCUNG: What was your first professional work in comics?
EL: A short story for Dark Horse Presents (Issue 23, I think?) With my friend Phill Norwood, who also works in film. It was called Project: Overkill.
DCUNG: What's in store for WW under the new regime (so to speak)? Will Byrne's work be built upon or will you make as abrupt a change as he did at the begining of his run on WW?
EL: I'm going to be returning to some of the original concept ideas of the character, as Morrison is doing on JLA: back to basics, but done smart and fast. Diana will be the proactive character at the center of her own book. Diana's role as a warrior sent to bring peace to the world of man is what should drive the book, and there's enough internal conflict and ambivalence (a warrior fighting for peace) inherent in that concept to make for great, dramatic stories. I'm going to be building on what John set up, but paring it down to make it simpler, in keeping with the basic dramatic drive I'm trying for. So no, it won't be as abrupt, but there will be some strong changes.
DCUNG: Perhaps the biggest question I have is about Cassie, the new Wonder Girl. Will she get a real costume? Will she still play a vital role in WW's life? Or will the sidekick angle be played down?
EL: Without giving too much away, there are big plans for Cassie in the future, but she has a long way to go. I think some of the negative reaction to her is because she's been pushed into the spotlight too soon. She hasn't earned her powers or her spandex yet. Her role will become evident as the stories progress, and yes, it will be vital.
DCUNG: Rumors abound about WG joining Young Justice. Your thoughts?
EL: Great! I think a girl would bring an interesting dynamic to the group.
DCUNG: How would having her in Young Justice affect the tone and stories in the WW book?
EL: No, not as far as I'm concerned. It's possible to explore different facets of a character in different books, and still have it feel consistent. Again, see Morrison and JLA, and different emphasis in individual books. We still accept it as the same character.
DCUNG: Why do you think teen heroes (especially sidekicks) are becoming popular again?
EL: Simple answer: they're fun. In a time when the grim-n-gritty versions of their elders got to be a drag, they brought fun back to comics. They're also new at what they do, so we identify with them more readily. We'd be making mistakes in the same position.
DCUNG: Any future plans or projects we should be looking for?
EL: Wonder Woman will put in an appearance in an upcoming Green Lantern I'm writing, and also in this year's Holiday Bash. And that's just for starters.