Yesterday, MTV Splash Page brought you part one of an exclusive, two-part interview with "Gargoyles" creator Greg Weisman, where he discussed his work on the "Spectacular Spider-Man" cartoon and "Gargoyles." Today we wrap up our talk with Weisman where he discusses his upcoming comic work -- "Progeny" and "Mecha-Nation" -- from SLG Publishing.
One thing that you can definitely say about Greg Weisman is, he doesn't go into a new project blindly.
When asked how long the idea for "Progeny" has been in development, Weisman laughed, "Only three and a half decades, that’s all...every comic book reading kid has a comic universe in his head. I’m not going to kid that I’m the only one to come up with this, but the difference between me and most people is that I wrote it all down, took copious notes and have a comic book universe that goes back thousands of years and into the future a few hundred and has all these heroes."
And the centerpiece hero for his burgeoning universe is Mike Talan, a teen with a broken home life and a set of superpowered gauntlets that once belonged to his grandfather – the 1940s hero known as Night Ray. "Progeny" follows Mike's entry into a team of heroes who are similarly descended from Night Ray's WW2-era super group The Eternity Squadron. While the promo art for the series has shown what the legacy characters look like, Weisman provided a few names to go along with the new faces.
"Mike is the grandson of Night Ray, and then we’ve got another character who is the daughter of Lady Merlin and The Monk. We’ve got a character [with a connection] to Justice Ghost, and we’ve got a character called Jack Hammer who claims to be the great-grandson of Dan Hammer, but it’s somewhat dubious because they’re not even of the same ethnicity."
As with many legacy heroes, "Progeny" involves more than a few cases of confused identity as Weisman's hook for the series involves a lead hero who doesn't keep his a secret.
"Mike, the first thing he does is he ditches the mask, ditches the costume, keeps the boots and the power bands because that’s what gives you the powers, but he’s not interested in silly costumes, and he’s not interested in having a secret identity," the writer said. "He literally doesn’t get the whole secret identity concept because there’s no one in his life that he thinks he cares about. That’s not true, but he hasn’t analyzed it enough to realize that there might be people that might be in danger that he gives a damn about."
What Weisman does give a damn about is making sure his project works to his specifications, and by publishing through an indie publisher like SLG, he'll retain the rights to "Progeny" and be able to dictate a few terms if the property makes it to the small screen.
"I think it’s hard to sell anything in Hollywood these days period, but I think it is a little easier if you’ve got something concrete like a comic book that you can slap down on a table and say, 'Hey, read it. If you like it, come talk to us. If you don’t, no harm, no foul.' I think that I’ve seen in recent days a lot of comic book properties optioned – not big things like Batman or Spider-Man or X-Men but properties that to the general public would be pretty obscure."
But considering the fact that the entire creative team for both that series and Cook's "Mecha-Nation" are hip deep in work on a second season of "Spectacular Spider-Man," it won't be until later in 2009 that the new comics projects will see the light of day.
"My problem with 'Progeny' is that I’ve got too many stories ideas so I have to figure out, 'What am I starting with? Which one is the one I want to hit first?' Where as on 'Mecha-Nation' because we originally developed that as a television series, we have the pilot idea very clearly laid out," Weisman explained, adding that they've yet to finalize plans for an interior artist.
"We’ve talked a little bit about Vic laying it out and having someone else finish it. I haven’t written the script yet. I just finished this week the last issue of 'Gargoyles' for SLG. So before I could start on 'Progeny' or 'Mecha-Nation' I had to finish off my other commitments first."
Given Weisman's previous work, will you be picking up "Progeny" or "Mecha-Nation?" Let us know what you think in the comments!