Can’t say much yet, but to address one of the more common questions on the message board:
Q: I am not familiar with the original Devil Slayer. Will that hamper my enjoyment or understanding of this series?
A: Not at all. In fact, it may increase your enjoyment. Let’s be honest here. Devil Slayer was always a B-list Marvel character (which is a shame, because he had so much potential). He never had his own series. Instead, he appeared in numerous issues of The Defenders, as well as popping up occasionally in Marvel Team-Up, Man Thing, Marvel Comics Presents, etc.
Despite this (or maybe because of it) he was always one of my favorite characters. Eric Simon Payne (Devil Slayer’s alter ego) was a conflicted, disturbed character whose very existence was one of contradictions. He was a Vietnam veteran turned Mob hitman turned occult assassin turned superhero turned born-again warrior for God. He believed he was doing God’s work but simultaneously hung out with the Antichrist (Damion Hellstrom), other gods (Valkyrie) and Earth’s sorcerer supreme (Doctor Strange). His was one of the first interracial relationships in comics (which isn’t such a big deal now, but in the Seventies and Eighties, it was pretty groundbreaking stuff). Most fascinating was his dark side. This is a superhero who struggled with alcoholism, clinical depression, drug addiction, and ultimately, insanity. Today, we’ve got Moon Knight and Sentry and good ol’ Punisher running around doing crazy shit, but back in the day, Devil Slayer was the most emotionally and mentally unstable character Marvel had in their line-up, culminating with his suicide attempt on the edge of the Negative Zone.
You don’t need to know any of that to enjoy this revamp. You don’t need to track down back issues (although you might enjoy them). All you need to know is this: I intend to capture those core traits and human foibles. My version of Devil Slayer is about a man — a warrior — trapped between goodness and evil, darkness and light, God and the Devil, the needs of his country and his own moral code. Its about the conflict we all identify with—the conflict of getting through each day in this fucked up world without snapping or giving up or just going insane. It holds true to the spirit of the original, but it is definitely an updated tale for our times.
If you give it a chance, I think you’ll dig it.
* * *
Meanwhile, spent Friday and Saturday working on Scratch and Devil Slayer. Took a break yesterday and went to a party at Bob Ford’s house. JF Gonzalez and Kelli Dunlap and a few other writer folks were there, and it felt really good to unwind for a bit. Between bottles, diaper changes and deadlines, it’s been far too long since I just sat down, drank a few beers, and talked writing with my peers. Good times.