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DF Interview: Justin Jordan accepts challenge of the Dark Gods
By Byron Brewer
Writer Justin Jordan is preparing to unleash a story of epic proportions on the comic book world. Humanity’s last line of defense faces Primordial Chaos as gods walk among us. What can hold back the flood of horrors that comes with the return of the Dark Gods?
To find out, Dynamic Forces met with Jordan on a random island of this apocalyptic world. Here is what he said.
Dynamic Forces: Justin, just how many books do you have going right now with how many publishers? You must be the busiest guy in comics!
Justin Jordan: Um, let me see. Right now I’m working on:
New Guardians from DC
Spread from Image
Legacy of Luther Strode from Image
Deep State from BOOM!
Dark Gods from Avatar
Red Shift from Avatar
And a couple of thing I can’t talk about. So yeah, I stay busy. Or I’m insane. Could go either way, really.
DF: Is Dark Gods your creation, something you pitched? Tell us how it came to be at Avatar.
Justin Jordan: Dark Gods is kind of interesting. Basically, Avatar publisher William Christiansen had an idea about a horror book about evil gods that we’d call Dark Gods. So he asked me if I could do something with that.
As it happens, I’d had an idea I’d wanted to do for a while, about a group of people whose job was to track down and kill the gods that were lingering in our world. So that formed the basis of what would become Dark Gods.
It’s pretty much all me aside from the title would be the short answer.
DF: Does this involve something like a return of Lovecraftian monsters to the Earth from another dimension? Exactly what time period are these monsters coming into?
Justin Jordan: The basic premise is that there were creatures that lived in the primal chaos that existed before the universe. They were able to use men’s belief in gods to creep into our universe. As we stopped believing in them, they were largely forced back out.
The key word is largely. Some of them have managed to stick around, and ALL of them want back in. What kicks off Dark Gods is the world becoming much more amenable to their return, and humanity attempting to stop them.
The main narrative is modern day, but we get to see parts of the story in essentially every time period. The first issue features the creation of the universe, prehistoric man, ancient Greece and Egypt, all the way up to the modern day.
So the scope is pretty ambitious.
DF: What dangers do these monsters present to humankind, short- and long-term?
Justin Jordan: Well, fundamentally, these are creatures of chaos, which means two very bad things. One is that the more chaos they introduce in the world, the stronger they become. Which means that murder, pain and destruction make them more powerful, and they encourage it.
The second bit is that as creatures of chaos, they warp reality around them, breaking down the fundamental rules. This is not good for human minds or bodies. So the Dark Gods are bad news for people.
DF: Who is your primary protagonist in Dark Gods, and what is the Storm?
Justin Jordan: Basically, the group term for the Dark Gods is The Serpent. It’s not really a group in the sense of having an organized structure. The gods will fight each other if no one else is available, and some of them might side with people if it helps their goals.
The other side of this is The Storm, which is the loosely affiliated groups of humans that are trying to stop the gods from returning.
Those aren’t just random names; there’s an odd recurring motif in ancient mythology of storm gods slaying serpents, which reappears in a lot of disparate mythos, so I used that as the basis for the two groups.
There IS a Dark God who forms the main antagonist for this arc, but I’m going to keep their identity a secret for a bit.
DF: Tell us about these "gods."
Justin Jordan: Basically, in order to get into our reality, the creatures of the chaos become the gods of myth. If enough people believe in a god, it creates a kind of space for the creature to occupy. They become that god. Their abilities vary – they’re limited, in part, by what the beliefs about the god they’re being can do, and by the personal level of power they have.
But none of it is good.
DF: Was there any source material like the dark workings of Lovecraft or Robert E. Howard that inspired Dark Gods?
Justin Jordan: Dark Gods is both Lovecraftian and Anti Lovecraftian. It’s Lovecraftian in the sense of unknowable creatures doing horrible things to people, as well as cults and sorcerers and such.
But the real core of Lovecraft’s horror was the idea that we’re in a universe that’s indifferent to us, and indeed, largely unaware of us. In Dark Gods, humanity is important, but that just makes a target for a universe that is actively malicious.
Beyond that, there’s a pretty heavy influences from Arthur Machen and Robery Chambers who, not at coincidentally, were influences on Lovecraft.
DF: Finally, Justin, tell us why Dark Gods is the type of book you enjoy writing and we will enjoy reading.
Justin Jordan: I like horror. I’m not entirely sure why, exactly, except maybe that it’s a sort of primal experience. Horror, as a friend of mine pointed out, is like humor. It’s tapping into some sense of the absurd, of the world not working the way we think it should, to get a response.
And you know, it’s a response that pretty much bypasses our thinking brain. There’s no real good reason someone farting at the wrong time is funny, not really. You don’t think about it, you just laugh. Likewise, there’s no particularly reason we get creeped out by certain old houses. You might know rationally there’s nothing to fear, but you’re scared anyway.
That’s fun. To experience and to write. So I enjoy writing that sort of thing, seeing how much I can get into people’s heads and scare them. Or gross them out. Or make them laugh. I’m easy
And I think, hope, that’s why people will enjoy reading it.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Justin Jordan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Dark Gods #1 hits stores in November!
Don't forget to grab your copy of some signed books by Justin Jordan!
Deep State #1
Spread #3 First Printing
Spread #2 Second Printing
NEW! 1. 05/24/2023 - DOUG WAGNER
2. 05/16/2023 - RYAN CADY
3. 02/10/2022 - SIMON SPURRIER
4. 02/07/2022 - ADAM P. KNAVE
5. 02/04/2022 - KURT BUSIEK