Exclusive Interview: Christos Gage Writer of BvS Prequel Comics

What is it Like Writing a Comic for Dr. Pepper?

Photo of Christos Gage
Christos Gage. DC Comics/Dr. Pepper

 Why do the Batman v Superman prequel comics not suck?

Most of the time Superman comics written for promotional reasons are silly and boring. For example, the wonderfully groan-inducing Hostess ads. But the free promotional Batman v Superman prequel comics for Dr. Pepper are outstanding. One reason is they got a crack team of artists and the dynamite writing of Christos Gage. Batman-News called it a "short, fun read" and I agree.

Christos Gage is a New York Times bestselling writer of television (Daredevil, Law & Order: SVU), comics (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spider-Man), graphic novels (Area 10, Sunset), movies (The Breed), and video games (Captain America: Super Soldier). He's written for the Netflix show Daredevil and his episode was called the "quintessential Daredevil episode" by IGN.

He agreed to an exclusive interview and talks about reading the movie script, the joys of tie-in comics and the key to writing short comics.

Superman.About (Maurice Mitchell): How did you get the job working on the comics?

Christos Gage: The editor, Alex Antone, and I have worked together on many projects going back a few years now, and always enjoy working together.He got in touch and asked if I'd be interested, and I thought it sounded like fun.

I think my screenwriting experience was a selling point.

SA: You've written for several comic book companies including Marvel and Dark Horse. What was it like working with such iconic characters as Batman and Superman?

CG: It's great! One of my very first projects in comics was an arc on Legends of the Dark Knight (#201-203).It took me longer to get to work on Superman, but one of my favorite things I've ever done was the "Flowers For Bizarro" story for the digital-first Adventures of Superman (available in print as Adventures of Superman #9).

There's a reason these characters are as iconic as they are...you can do a wide variety of types of stories with them. And I'll admit, writing characters like Batman and Superman does make you feel legit.

SA: Did you get a peek at the script for the film or were you given a description of the storyline?

CG: I was able to read a version of the script that had a number of sections redacted, especially towards the end, but I signed an NDA [Non-Disclosure Agreement] so I can't really talk about it.

SA: How much freedom did you have to develop the series? Was there anything you wanted to do that got rejected?

CG: I submitted two or three ideas for each character, but I can't say what they were, both due to the NDA and the fact that I often find places to use rejected ideas down the road!

SA: What was it like working with so few pages to tell the story?

CG: It wasn't a problem. I've worked on the digital comics before. I enjoy writing short stories, they force you to distil your writing to the stuff that really matters. Some of the old Creepy and Eerie stories, especially those written by Archie Goodwin and Bruce Jones, are master classes in writing effectively with limited space.

SA: Did your work on Daredevil and Law and Order affect your writing of the comics? 

CG: I think all the writing I do affects and informs all the other writing I do. I often find myself applying things I learned in TV writing to comics and vice versa, or video games, or whatever. Hopefully, you're always learning.

SA: The comics have gotten rave reviews. Has the reception to the comics been surprising to you?

CG: I guess I'm pleasantly surprised that so many people in the world of die-hard comics fans and comics review sites are paying attention to them...I thought they'd be more of a thing that the general public would see, and the core of the comics community would sort of dismiss as, like, on the level of the old Hostess ads (which I adore). So I am gratified that people seem to like them so much, especially the Lois Lane one, which I've gotten a lot of kind words on.

Our entire team - from Alex and Brittany, the editors, to our awesome art team of Joe Bennett, Sean Parsons, Hi-Fi and ace letterer Deron Bennett - worked very hard on making the best comics we could, and it's nice to hear that people feel we did a good job.

 

I've always loved tie-in comics, from the 70s-80s Star Wars, Godzilla, Shogun Warriors, and Indiana Jones issues to the Buffy comics I write for Dark Horse in collaboration with Joss Whedon.

It's important to me that they be as good as any other comic on the stands, not "just" a tie-in comic, so I'm glad people like 'em!

SA: Where will we see your work next?

CG: My wife Ruth [Fletcher Gage] and I co-wrote our first superhero comic together, a story for DC's Digital First series Wonder Woman '77, based on the Lynda Carter show. It's chapters 16 and 17; the first installment should be out late this month, I think. Also, our collaboration on the original graphic novel The Lion Of Rora, a historical epic for Oni Press, is still available and has gotten rave reviews, including winning Best Historical Comic of 2015 from Comics Alliance. 

I'm writing Buffy for Dark Horse, and coming up in a few months, I'm living a dream by co-writing ROM: SPACE KNIGHT with Chris Ryall for IDW, with our first issue debuting on Free Comic Book Day. Then, of course, there's the stuff I can't talk about right now, of which there is no shortage!

Make sure you check out Christos website http://christosgage.com

Read my reviews of the comics here

About Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) opens March 25, 2016, in RealD 3D, and in 2D, and in select IMAX 3D theaters on March 25, 2016. It has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality. It stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Gal Gadot. 

Official Synopsis: "Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs.

 And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before."

Official Site: http://www.batmanvsupermandawnofjustice.com

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