In part 1 of her interview with Newsarama, Marguerite Bennett told her story about Scott Snyder as a teacher at Sarah Lawrence College noticing her work and getting her a chance to work on next month’s Batman Annual #2. In part 2 of the interview, we find out more about her Villains Month‘s story with Lobo and her take on the Lobo character:
Newsarama: Marguerite, we have to completely switch gears after talking about having Scott Snyder for a teacher. That explains how you got to the chance to co-write the Batman Annual, but how did you end up writing the Lobo story for September?
Marguerite Bennett: Bob Harras actually had me called up while I was in the DC Offices for a meeting. Evidently, what scripts and pitches I had turned into my editors had sort of made the rounds in the offices and had come to Mr. Harras’s attention. (For the full effect, please imagine me internally panicking during our meeting, because this man has been an authority in the industry since before I was born.)
He called me into his office, was lovely and personable, and finally said, “So, what I’ve heard about your writing — and it’s all been good things, very good things — is that your style is, in a word…creepy.”
Then he told me Dan DiDio wanted to speak to me.
Forty-five minutes later, Bob and Dan told me they had confidence in me, and I was writing g*ddamned LOBO.
Nrama: That’s a fantastic story. So tell me about Lobo, as you see him. What appeals to you about the character?
Bennett: Lobo’s complete and unrepentant disregard for conventional morality is deeply appealing. He never apologizes; he is not beholden to anyone, let alone the writer, let alone the reader. He comes in like a force of nature, brutal, laughing, careless, enjoying himself to the utmost, and he leaves a force of nature’s devastation in his wake. He holds no responsibility; he is indifferent to consequence. He is absolute ego and absolute id, and who wouldn’t want to indulge herself to write a creature as casually vicious as that?
Not too much is shared about the story, however we are told that Lobo is going to back to his bounty hunter roots that will continue to help Lobo get closer to something that he is wanting. The part of the interview that may draw attention is that this story is going to have a different approach to Lobo and in a darker approach as well. She does state in the end of the interview her thoughts about her writing with a question about female writers:
Nrama: As you can probably imagine, fans are surprised to hear that a woman is writing Lobo, since it’s often expected that female writers would want to write female characters. What do you think of that assumption, and how does it apply to, or tie into, your experience writing Lobo?
Bennett: I think that assumption — women only want to write women — is deeply, deeply flawed. I think there is a natural exasperation when women see female characters written poorly, a frustrated inclination that makes me want to stomp across the sandbox and snatch a character away from the person writing her and say, “No, this is how it’s done. Also, jeez, why are we in sandboxes? We’re grown-ups, how did we get here.”
Honestly, I feel this way when I see any dear character handled poorly. There’s just often slimy, sticky suggestion of sexism to it when a male writer is given a female superhero and turns her into a sex prop. It becomes more than a poor display of craftsmanship; given the underrepresentation of our gender as creators in media, it becomes insulting.
I want to be in a position where I can write powerful, self-assured female characters, but I don’t make my decisions singularly on gender. Writing the one gender does not exclude me from writing another, nor would I want to write limit myself in such a way as a writer.
I don’t care if my character is male or female or genderqueer; I want a good character. I want a character that interests and inspires me, one to which I can do justice or one to which I can aspire to elevate. I am indifferent to the gender of the central character so long as I know my story will be good.
I’m thrilled to write Lobo and anyone who believes that I am going to tame him will be in for a very bloody awakening. I got Scott Snyder’s attention because I write villains, and I got Bob Harras’s attention because I write dark.
Readers may just have to get past my pretty polka dot dress and Disney princess shoes to realize that.
With the recent previews of Batman Annual #2 and this news, the New 52 look so far of Lobo may be completely different for Villains Month from his debut in Deathstroke and his current adventures in Stormwatch.