Josh Green recently got the chance to sit down and chat with writer Sean McKeever. In this interview, Sean gives us a look into his latest works with Marvel and the possibilities of what’s to come.
JG: So Sean, it has been a little while since you have worked at Marvel? Are you excited to be back at your old stomping grounds?
Sean McKeever: Yeah, it is pretty cool. I did miss the “House of Ideas” the last couple of years. It’s just like riding a bike and I am finding myself jumping right back in with both feet.
JG: It was announced recently that you are going to write Nomad: Girl Without a World, starring Rikki Barnes as the new Nomad. Can you tell us the premise behind this new four-issue mini?
SM: Sure, well it all launches out of Captain America #600. She makes an appearance, talking about how she is from another world and how she feels lost in this one. Because in her former world she was Captain America’s partner and his sidekick, and in this world the Captain America she knew has been assassinated. And now some guy who she doesn’t know is Captain America, so it is all very disorienting for her. So the premise behind Nomad: Girl Without a World is for Rikki Barnes to find a role in this world and to find some sort of tether to keep her from slipping away. She wants to meet Captain America, and she is also going to a local high school where she’s found this universe’s version of her brother. She wants a second chance to have a relationship with her brother, as well.
JG: After Rikki’s appearance in Cap #600, will your book continue to tie into Captain America: Reborn?
SM: Not directly. I actually don’t know much about “Reborn.” But it is not going to tie into that or the Captain America series directly. But part of what I want to do is to make it feel like it belongs in the Captain America family of books. It will have a first person narrative, and it’ll be introspective and realistic in the same way that Brubaker’s Captain America has been.
JG: Will there be flashbacks or references to her old life in the “Heroes Reborn” universe, or will Rikki be looking more towards her future than her past?
SM: Rikki will look more towards the future, but it’ll all be rooted from the fact that her past experiences is nothing like her present. So we will be looking a little to the past, but we won’t be making it confusing to everybody. We won’t be referencing a bunch of things that you might feel compelled that you have to read, but at the same time if you aren’t familiar with “Heroes Reborn”, you might want to go back and pick those books up. But anybody who reads the four-issue miniseries will understand everything they need to know about Rikki without needing to do any homework.
JG: The initial “Heroes Reborn” story ended 12 years ago. What is it about Rikki’s character that continues to resonate with Marvel fans?
SM: You know, you’ll have to ask Marvel fans that I guess. I remember when those books came out and I went nuts over it in a negative way because I was enjoying Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s run on Captain America. But in the end, “Heroes Reborn” ended up doing some pretty interesting stuff. They generated a huge amount of buzz at a time when the business was really floundering. [Rob] Liefeld and [Jim] Lee were able to come and inject a lot of energy and excitement in the business.
JG: You are also writing the Ravager co-feature, beginning in Teen Titans #72. What kind of a journey should we expect Ravager to take? Is it a path of greater descent or redemption?
SM: [Laughs] A little from column A and a little from column B. She’s currently addicted to Epinephrine, and she is basically an adrenalin junkie but not in a thrill-seeking way. So she’s got that addiction to deal with. In the first chapter you’ll see her in the upper edges of Canada where she’ll find a little settlement town that is just a little bit off. So Ravager is going to wind up in an adventure that takes her around the globe, and has her doing terrible things to horrible people.
JG: Will Ravager meet up with any of her old teammates from the Teen Titans, or will she mostly be interacting with new characters?
SM: It will mostly be new characters. In terms of the Teen Titans; yes and no. And you’ll see in the first chapter what I mean by that. I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll let people find out for themselves when the book comes out.
JG: How soon should we expect to see Deathstroke tormenting Ravager? Will you be continuing any of the remaining threads from your “Deathtrap” storyline with her brother, Jericho?
SM: Deathstroke will be a constant presence in the story, but he won’t actually be in the co-feature. He is still important to Ravager’s life, not only by being her father but also because he mentally and physically abused Ravager. He force-fed Ravager drugs, which had her so delirious that she took out her own eye to be like him. But in reality, Ravager wants now to have nothing to do with her father.
I have no plans to follow up any of the threads from “Deathtrap” with Jericho.
JG: Does your approach to writing differ for a co-feature, considering they contain considerably less pages per issue than a typical comic book?
SM: Yeah, it makes it so that every panel is very precious. But I have always liked the idea of shorter stories on a regular basis. They are more akin to the old movie serials, with a cool cliff-hanger every ten pages. This is a fun way to do a book, and it is a cool experiment in pacing as well. I wouldn’t mind doing something like this on a weekly book. I would love to do something like a 160-page story to be released over 16 weeks.
JG: You have gained critical acclaim from books like Sentinel and my personal favorite, Mary Jane. Now that you are working for Marvel again, is it possible that you might bring any of these series back to life?
SM: Not just yet. I do have one project other than Nomad that will be out at the end of the year for Marvel. We’re keeping quiet on that for right now. But it is pretty exciting, and I get to work with one of my former collaborators who is not Mike Norton. [Laughs] Just to narrow it down by one. In terms of Sentinel and Mary Jane, no plans right now but I hope to talk to Marvel about revisiting some of my older projects. But I think with Mary Jane that that ship may have sailed. But never say never.
JG: Thanks for the interview, Sean.
SM: My pleasure Josh.