This December marks the launch of a new ongoing Marvel comic book series focussing on Jim Rhodes, aka War Machine, the character played by Terrence Howard in the “Iron Man” movie. The book will be written by Greg Pak with art by Leonardo Manco. Here’s an excerpt from Brett White’s WizardWorld interview with Pak about the series:
Since War Machine is going to start acting globally, have you used real life global conflicts and political events to inform the series’ tone or stories?
PAK: You bet. For the most part, we’re avoiding the use of actual countries because we don’t want to create a fake history in which a superhero solves the problems of real world conflicts that continue to this day. But there’s a real world precedent for almost every outrage and atrocity we’re showing. If you’ve ever opened up the newspaper and shook your head with dumbfounded amazement at the horrific stories that the whole world seems to be doing its best to ignore, War Machine might just be the comic book for you.
You’ve gone from creating the epic “Planet Hulk” storyline to this new, globally conscious “War Machine” series. What attracts you to the bigger storylines and how do you balance character work with explosions and high-action?
PAK: When you’re telling a giant story, concentrating on the characters is pretty much the only way to make it work. We’ve all been to spectacular action movies with the most mind-blowing action sequences imaginable…that were totally boring because there was nothing there to make us care about the characters. So I’ve always loved stories that combine those big genre hijinks with genuine emotional stories. “Seven Samurai” is probably my favorite movie of all time, both for its ridiculously entertaining epic scope and for its utterly human and humane depiction of every character. As far as I can figure, the trick is to make certain that every big action piece reflects and furthers the emotional conflicts at the core of the story. So in every issue of War Machine, we’re aiming to blow your mind viscerally and emotionally.