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DF Interview: Joshua Williamson brings Red Skull, anarchy to the world of Doom
By Byron Brewer
One of the most vile villains in Marvel history gets his own twisted “Secret Wars” series from writer Joshua Williamson and artist Luca Pizzari as the horror of World War II makes his way to Battleworld!
Yes, the Red Skull should be dead but his legend grows, so a team of villains is sent on a dangerous odyssey to the Deadlands to prove it … but no one ever comes back alive from the Deadlands. Or do they?
To get the skinny on this Battleworld odyssey, Dynamic Forces spoke with Joshua Williamson at a little diner somewhere between Killville and the Shield.
Dynamic Forces: So, in Red Skull #1, the scourge of WWII has arrived on Battleworld! How many times has the Red Skull come back from death now?
Joshua Williamson: This is Battleworld, it’s a whole new ballgame, so this Red Skull is only believed to have died once.
DF: Before we get into what we know is coming down, I have to ask if the Thors will be involved here at all? They seem to be everywhere in “Secret Wars”!
Joshua Williamson: The Thors make a cameo, but part of the rules of the assignment Doom gives the team [of villains] is to keep the hunt for the Red Skull quiet. To avoid any kind of spectacle. And that includes the Thors. This is more of a black ops type mission.
The Red Skull should be dead, and no one can know that they are going to prove that.
DF: Is there a certain section of Battleworld in which this is happening, re the Battleworld map?
Joshua Williamson: It starts off in Killville, makes its way over the Shield into the dreaded Deadlands. There are a few other locations, but it’s best to keep that a secret.
The Deadlands were a blast to work in. Mostly because I love the horror aspect of it all.
DF: I have to ask, is the Red Skull more influential alive or dead? I heard about the t-shirts: "The Red Skull Was Right!"
Joshua Williamson: Definitely dead. The Red Skull has become a symbol of dissention among some of the criminals and terrorists in Battleworld that want to violently overthrow Doom. BUT … all of his followers believe Red Skull is going to raise from the grave and lead an new army of terror across Battleworld to kill all that Doom stands for.
DF: Tell us about this most unusual team that goes to prove if the Red Skull is dead or alive, and how they were chosen, if you will.
Joshua Williamson: They are all guilty of angering Doom. This is their punishment but also an opportunity to redeem themselves and be free.
Magneto from Age of X, tortured and alone. The only one of his world to survive. Wants nothing more than to find a way home. Picked because of his powers.
Lady Deathstrike from House of M, violent and doesn’t take any s**t from anyone. She was chosen because of her skill as a deadly killer.
Moonstone from Civil War, cunning and a thinking villain. Who better to outsmart Red Skull than a manipulative former therapist. Also we couldn’t have a team of bad guys without her.
Ultimate Electro, a young punk. Cocky. One of Red Skull’s loyal followers.
616 Jack O’Lantern, the creepy and sadistic killer. Voted most likely to stab everyone in the back.
Bucky the Winter Soldier. The one lone hero. Has the most experience with the Red Skull. Can he lead them out of this hell alive?
DF: I wonder what is on the Winter Soldier's mind here?
Joshua Williamson: Revenge. If the Red Skull really is alive… the Winter Soldier is going to take him out.
DF: Why is Luca Pizzari the right artist for this book?
Joshua Williamson: Because Luca gets the kind of dark and twisted story we’re trying to do. He brings a level of energy and excitement to the pages. Luca’s inks bring life to the story and the horror. Ever since the start, Luca and I have been chatting about the style and the look of the book, and it clicked really quickly. He’s been awesome working with.
DF: Josh, off of Battleworld, tell us what other projects current or future are coming from your keyboard.
Joshua Williamson: Nailbiter, my horror series about a town that sixteen serial killers were all born and raised. Birthright, my fantasy family drama about a returning hero who lost his family. Those are my creator-owned focus right now. Making sure they continue to be books I’m really proud and happy with. I’m always putting together more creator-owned work, but for now those are the main two.
But I do have some other stuff I’m working on, some of which will be announced soon. Too soon to talk about them. But I’m super pumped about them. Going to be a busy year.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Joshua Williamson for taking time out of his busy (and apparently getting busier) schedule to answer our questions. Red Skull #1 hits stores today, July 1st!
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