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DF Interview: Chuck Dixon gives twists, turns to his hero’s life in Black Tiger
By Byron Brewer
As a child, Rajan Shah lost his parents to a hit-and-run driver. Resigned to a life of poverty, Rajan is stunned when a mysterious benefactor pays for his education. Determined to make the most of his good fortune, Rajan becomes a lawyer to fight for justice. But Rajan quickly learns his benefactor is not what he seems and that some forms of justice must take place outside the law.
From the legendary Detective Comics creative team of Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan comes their newest 4-issue limited series, Black Tiger! With issue #1 already in stores, Dynamic Forces leaped like the proverbial striped feline to talk with scribe Dixon about this latest collaboration.
Dynamic Forces: Chuck, tell us about how Black Tiger came into being.
Chuck Dixon: The folks at Graphic India approached Graham and I on two projects, both superhero concepts that they had come up with and wanted the two of us to flesh out. Black Tiger is the first of these to appear.
DF: Was there any certain media, etc. from which you derived inspiration for the book?
Chuck Dixon: It’s a straight-up superhero story from his origin to his first adventures. This stuff is in Graham’s and my DNA. We needed to dramatize the origin and make you care about the main character while introducing the supporting cast, stakes and threats all in way that was exciting and fresh. The setting helps. Modern-day Delhi is an awesome location to work with.
DF: Who is Rajan Shah?
Chuck Dixon: He’s a guy of very humble origins who is orphaned at a young age. But a mysterious benefactor lifts him out of poverty and gives him a chance at a better life. But it’s up to Rajan to succeed in this life. In the end, the secret of his mentor leads him to become the Black Tiger. And in that role, he learns of a dangerous cult that threatens the freedom of the world.
DF: Ookay. My next question was, “What can you tell us, non-spoilery, about the storyline?” but …
Chuck Dixon: … I think I just did. Except to add that the Black Tiger derives his power from a stone with incredible properties. But he is not the only one to possess a stone like it.
DF: Is this the first time you have re-teamed with artist Graham Nolan since your notable run on Detective Comics? What strengths does Graham have that make him good for this book?
Chuck Dixon: We worked together on a Phantom one-shot story and the recent Joe Frankenstein mini. We’re preparing to work on a brand new graphic novel project soon. We’ve been working together since we both started in the business and have a great working relationship. We’re both stubborn but there’re no egos in the way. We trust one another creatively.
DF: Chuck, any other projects current or in the future you may want to discuss?
Chuck Dixon: I’m working on two series of prose novels, Bad Times and Levon Cade. Both are available in print and on Kindle through Amazon. I have other comics projects in the works including a major deal with a big publisher as well as a couple of creator-owned projects. But it’s still early days on them.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Chuck Dixon for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Black Tiger #2 (of 4) hits stores October 28th!
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Order your copy of DEAN KOONTZ'S FRANKENSTEIN: STORM SURGE #1 (OF 6), also from Chuck Dixon.
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