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by Vince Brusio

With Season 9 of 24 coming to Fox this May starring Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub, writer Ed Brisson helps to cement the opinion that Jack Bauer is the ultimate hero who does the unthinkable because no one else can do it. Jack is back, and ready for any attack. No challenge is too big. No threat is too small. The secret agent is on the case with both guns blazing, and no quarter is ever asked or given. In this exclusive PREVIEWSworld interview, Ed Brisson explains how he put together 24 (FEB140371) for IDW Publishing ahead of the TV premier of  24: Live Another Day.

24 #1 arrives in comic shops April 23.

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PREVIEWSworld: What's your connection to the show? Naturally you have an affinity because of your Murder Book stories, but have you been experiencing Jack Attacks since David Palmer was running for President? I’m sure fans would like to know how you got this gig.

Ed Brisson: I’ve been watching since about the second or third season. When 24 first started up, we didn’t have cable, so my wife and I binge watched it on DVD and then signed up for cable so we could watch it as it aired. So, I’ve been on board since fairly early on and it was always one of those shows that we watched every week — which is rare for me. I’m a picky TV watcher. I tend to prefer to watch stuff on DVD or (now) Netflix rather than keeping track weekly. Denton Tipton had contacted me last summer about the project and asked if I’d seen the show. I hopped at the opportunity to write it.  I pitched a few ideas and, thankfully, they (IDW & Fox) seemed to like them, so here we are!

PREVIEWSworld: Who is Jack Bauer to you? Keifer Sutherland is now synonymous with the character, but what does the character do for crime in pop culture? Is he the 21st century’s John Wayne or Dirty Harry?

Ed Brisson: He’s a reluctant hero and that’s interesting to play with, I think. John Wayne and Dirty Harry were these ultra-macho dudes and I don’t think Jack is that. He’s not a dude to posture while shooting a guy down and then utter some sort of nonsensical catchphrase to look cool. He’s not about posturing. Jack is doing what he has to because he has to. Lives are on the line and to save those lives, he may have to do things that conflict with his own conscience — which makes him a far more compelling character to my mind.

PREVIEWSworld: Which character was the most fun to write about in this new 24 book? Why?

Ed Brisson: Jack is always fun to write. He’s got all these Bauer-isms that I’m looking forward to using. He never has time to explain and will say about 100 times “you have to trust me!” That aside, writing a guy who just wants to be left alone, just wants to have some semblance of peace, yet constantly gets tossed into just the worst situations, it’s fun to write. Sometimes it’s fun to run a character through the wringer and Jack is one of those characters who pretty much demands it.

Other than him, I really dig writing a lot of the Russian gangsters who’ll be playing a big role in the series.

PREVIEWSworld: How do you think 24 will appeal to comic readers who are into crime comics? Today, readers are familiar with crime titles like Sons of Anarchy and Sheltered, but they might not know what to expect with 24. If you had to put something together in a tweet that would drive people to the shops to get this comic, what would you write?

Ed Brisson: Hmmm… a 140 character pitch? Man, I dunno. That’s tough. “NEW 24: MICHAEL GAYDOS ON ART!” would be a big one for me. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that Michael Gaydos’s art? Well, I do. Want to marry it, love it. His art alone would get me to pick up the book.

I’m hoping that people react to the crime element here. Of course 24 is always about the crime, but it’s generally on a much larger scale — an international scale — in the show. Here it’s much more personal. It’s something that hits closer to home for Jack, it’s about family and trying to do the right thing when your options are limited.

But, don’t think that you’re going to miss out on government agencies getting involved. If Jack’s involved, you know that they can’t be far behind. The CIA is going to be throwing some serious kinks into Jack’s plans. How’s this for a tweet: “The Russian Mob vs. Jack Bauer vs. The CIA!” (there’s probably a reason I don’t work in marketing).

PREVIEWSworld: How many issues will there be in this series?

Ed Brisson: The first story arc is five issues, and hopefully it will prove popular enough to do more.

PREVIEWSworld: How much, if any, input did the producers/writers of 24 have in the making of this comic?

Ed Brisson: We had a conversation before I started and they obviously have to read over and approve the stuff I’m doing. There were a few different options that we were looking at early on, but once I arrived at the story that we’re currently doing, they were cool to let us work it out.

It wasn’t a situation where they said you need to have X, Y and Z in the story. More that they would provide some parameters such as time frame (ie. This takes place after season 8, but before the upcoming season 9) and characters that we could or couldn’t use, but from there, they really let us develop the story.

PREVIEWSworld: The book is a prequel, correct? So was it tedious to write a script without knowing how it would exactly tie into the TV show? Or were there parameters given to you by IDW or Fox?

Ed Brisson: Not at all. It’s not so much a prequel as it is a sort of season 8.5. We already have 8 seasons of Jack Bauer to pull from, so it’s not a matter of going in and retrofitting a past for a character. It does come before season 9, so obviously we had to take that into consideration. But, not tedious at all.

I would also mention that Fox and Imagine Television were kind and comfortable enough to share the first episode's script with us.

PREVIEWSworld:  Last question: what social sites would you want people to visit to keep tabs on what you’re doing these days?

Ed Brisson: Well, they can check me out on Twitter at @edbrisson and follow my blog/tumblr at www.edbrisson.com.

You can now order 24 from IDW Publishing from the PREVIEWS comic shop catalog!

ITEM CODE TITLE PRICE
FEB140371   24 #1     $3.99  
FEB140372   24 #1 SUBSCRIPTION PHOTO VARIANT     $3.99  
MAR140444   24 #2     $3.99  
MAR140445   24 #2 PHOTO VARIANT    $3.99  
FEB140374   24 OMNIBUS TP     $24.99  

You can follow 24: Live Another Day on Facebook and Twitter.