Barb Wire Brings Back The Bullets
May 12, 2015
by Vince Brusio
Writer Chris Warner has jumped out of the pit, onto the stage, strapped on a guitar, and cranked up the volume. Barb Wire #1 (MAY150010) is back in a new series from Dark Horse Comics, and writer Chris Warner tells all in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview! Get the first issue at your local comic shop on July 1st!
Chris Warner: Actually, star alignment wasn't involved, but I did get a fortune cookie that read "Pleasures await you by the sea," and then just like that—*boom*—Barb Wire relaunch. Gives me the chills just thinking about it. Actually, the new series was primarily Mike Richardson's doing. We'd talked about doing more Barb now and again, and Mike thought the time had come. He also thought the time had come for Dark Horse to develop its own space program, but that idea was tabled. For now.
That said, I'd always felt that there were more Barb Wire stories to tell, so I was happy to get back in the game and knock down a few dagger threes. Nothin' but net, brother.
PREVIEWSworld: Let’s say you’re in a room full of college freshmen. They may not be too familiar with the history of the character. Give us a crash course on Barb, and what makes her tick.
Chris Warner: If I'm in a room of college freshman, my guess is that they really want beer, but one thing at a time. Anyway, Barb Wire is the owner of a rock club (the Hammerhead) in the city of Steel Harbor, a Rust Belt town on its last legs beset by a crumbling economy and a plethora of Power Gangs, street crews led by super-powered overlords.
Barb's club is constantly on the ropes financially, and so bounty hunting helps Barb keep the lights on. And Steel Harbor has no shortage of bounties to hunt, though matters can get mighty dicey when some of Barb's best customers also carry the biggest bounties—even dicier when Barb tries slapping the cuffs on somebody who can flatten a tank like an empty PBR can.
PREVIEWSworld: A loner thrill junkie bounty hunter from the 90s (when the ‘Net was in its infancy) now resurfaces in an age where people’s cell phones have become their life line. Things have changed quite a bit since Barbara Kopetski had to make ends meet to keep her bar. Has the change in times affected any approach towards storytelling?
Chris Warner: I'm playing Barb a little different, a little old school in a changing world. In a sense, she hasn't changed at all, and that creates problems. To really work, a fantastical story should be about something real and something that's real to the writer, and so the foundation of the book is about change—about dealing with it, about holding on, and about letting go. Not all change is good, not all change is bad, and one man's rise is another man's ruin.
Hell, since I first created Barb Wire, I've had a kid, gotten divorced, quit drawing comics, and started playing rock 'n' roll again. I barely recognize the guy who created Barb Wire. For one, he was much skinnier!
PREVIEWSworld: Describe the fun factor for working on this book. What got you pumped during production? And were there any last minute changes? Or was it just full steam ahead?
Chris Warner: Writing Barb has always been fun, because fun is what the book was always about. Despite the seemingly heavy stuff I just talked about, the series is like the Hammerhead—a place you go for a kickass good time. I'm getting the chance to work with my pals Patrick Olliffe and Randy Stradley, along with new pals Tom Nguyen, Gabe Altaeb, and Mike Heisler, and that's just throwing more logs on the fire. Enough of these deadly serious, continuity-strangled bores so many comics have become. We're giving readers the chance to crank the volume, get a little nuts, stage dive into the pit, and laugh until they throw up. All in convenient pamphlet form.
Chris Warner: Don't have a convention schedule yet, but I'm sure I'll hit some events, most likely Comic-Con.
Dark Horse just announced the book, so I haven't done any social media shoutouts, but that's coming.
Be careful what you wish for--once I start blabbing, I can't shut up.
Save me from myself!