When comic book fans make lists of intelligently crafted, emotionally charged, and nuanced stories- Mike Carey is always near the top of the list.
Carey's prolific work spans comics, novels, film scripts, and TV shows. Carey made a splash with DC/Vertigo's LUCIFER - the longest running and most successful Sandman-related spinoff to date. While continuing to work on Vertigo series, he took over as lead writer for Marvel's X-MEN (now X-MEN: LEGACY). His work includes DC/Vertigo's HELLBLAZER, Marvel's ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, the FELIX CASTOR novels, THE STEEL SERAGLIO, and DC/Vertigo's THE UNWRITTEN.
Now, BOOM! Studios is thrilled to welcome Mike Carey into the fold as he unveils his first original ongoing series for an independent comic publisher.
PREVIEWSworld: You've created and written comics for a wide variety of publishers during your career – DC Comics (particularly Vertigo), Marvel Comics, Virgin Comics, 2000 AD – but this is your first original/ongoing series with an independent publisher. Why did you pick BOOM! as your home for SUICIDE RISK?
Mike Carey: That’s a long story, actually. It goes back to New York Comic-Con, 2010. I’d been talking to Ross and Matt at BOOM! about doing a book, but hadn’t gotten any further, really, than saying “wouldn’t it be nice…”
But at that show, Ross heaped me up with riches in the form of a whole lot of books, giving a cross-section of what BOOM! was producing then. I remember it included Johanna Stokes’ STATION, the first IRREDEEMABLE trade, DEATH VALLEY, THE UNKNOWN, one of the MUPPET SHOW books, and more. It was an eloquent argument. There was so much variety and so much imagination in those books.
I came home really wanting to put a pitch together. Various other things intervened, but we kept on talking, and eventually the stars aligned.
PREVIEWSworld: What initially inspired SUICIDE RISK as a project for you? How is it different from your other projects?
Mike Carey: I love writing superheroes, and I hadn’t done it at all since leaving X-MEN. And in a way, this builds on all the things I was doing when I was on the X-MEN books, but using the additional freedoms that you get from not being in a shared continuity.
The most important thing about it is that it’s a book with a strong emotional core. Leo is a man who forms strong attachments, and everything he does in the book, all the decision he makes, are because of things he owes or thinks he owes to other people. It’s his great strength, and yet it brings him to disaster.
But I think if we’re talking about what makes it different from my other work, it’s the structure more than anything. SUICIDE RISK tells a story that at first might look quite familiar. But there are progressive reveals – a lot of them – that change everything. We’re going to end up a long way from where we seem to be going, and those surprises – I think – are all going to be good ones.
PREVIEWSworld: Is there a particular element you waned to explore in SUICIDE RISK that you feels sets it apart from other superhero titles in the market?
Mike Carey: Yeah, there is – and the best way I can explain it without giving too much away is by an analogy. When I began to write the CASTOR books, I roped in almost the entire supernatural bestiary. I had ghost, zombies, were-beasts, everything except vampires and creatures from the black lagoon.
But there was one mechanism at work all the way through – one factor that explained all of these different types of being, and the relationships between them, with a big pay-off in the fifth book when you realize how that factor applies to demons, too. It’s the same in SUICIDE RISK.
This is a world with a big superhero/super-villain community. Big, and recent. There’s a reason for that, too, and it’s central to everything that’s happening.
Oh, and the super-villains outnumber the heroes a dozen to one. There’s a reason for that, too, and it’s central to what we’re doing.
So I guess the answer to the question is that I wanted to do a book about the emergence of superpowers, and I wanted to do something original and unexpected with that situation.
PREVIEWSworld: Your artist on the series, Elena Casagrande, is a relative newcomer. Why is she a good fit for SUICIDE RISK?
Mike Carey: New she may be, but Elena is already making plenty of waves. And she can go dark when needed, which is something I like.
The world of SUICIDE RISK definitely had its dark side, and some harrowing things are going to happen in it. I know that Elena is going to be able to express that and give it is proper weight.
PREVIEWSworld: What are you most excited for retailers and fans to discover in SUICIDE RISK?
Mike Carey: More than anything? The cast of characters – Leo, his family, his colleagues, and his terrifying array of enemies. And a couple of real low lives named Jed and Hailey who have a lot to answer for…
SUICIDE RISK #1 (MAR130918) from BOOM! Studios is available on May 1st at your local comic shop!