Prior to the regroup of the Green Lantern titles, Tony Bedard was the writer of Green Lantern New Guardians. Recently he gave some hints in a interview about what is to come in his Villains Month issues of Black Manta and Ocean Master. In a unique but accurate description of Black Manta, he says that he is the villains version of Batman:
Nrama: What’s unique about both villains in their New 52 incarnations?
Bedard: : Anyone who’s been reading DC comics in the past decade knows that Geoff has an amazing talent for drilling down to the essence of a character, especially underappreciated villains like Sinestro and Black Adam. (Yeah, they’re A-listers now, but it wasn’t so long ago that they weren’t). With Black Manta, we have a real mystery man driven by revenge, and the big surprise there is that he has a legitimate beef with Aquaman, who really did kill Black Manta’s father. Sure, it was a mistake, but that doesn’t make a difference to Manta. He’s just an ordinary human, but he’s put together all the gear he needs to take on a super-strong titan.
In a way, Black Manta is like an underwater villain version of Batman. I like to think of him that way — a man whose iron will, cunning and awesome equipment puts him on equal footing with godlike beings.
As for Ocean Master, here’s a guy who only assumed the throne of Atlantis so he could save his brother Aquaman from the “horrors” of the surface world. Then Atlantis gets attacked and he leads his army against what he thinks is the source, only to find it’s a trick. But Ocean Master’s attack on the surface world was as well-intentioned as our response to 9-11. And for that Aquaman throws him in jail? Ocean Master has just as legitimate a beef with Aquaman as Black Manta does!
Nrama: What is it about Black Manta that appeals to you as a writer as you take on his Villains Month issue?
Bedard: To begin with, Black Manta is one of the coolest-looking villains in comics, period. That costume and that helmet are awesome. Plus, he’s a man of few words. Very few. There are lots of silent scenes in the script I’ve written for Villain’s Month.
But the thing I really love about him is how far above his weight class this guy can punch! Again, the Batman comparison comes to mind. He’s a man out to avenge an injustice against his family, dressed all in black, armed with an arsenal of cool-themed weapons and vehicles. He’s basically the flip side of the Dark Knight.
And no matter who he’s up against, you don’t bet against Batman, right? Black Manta is dangerous, no matter who you are.
In some interesting points though to the article, it is interesting to reveal that Waller is going after Black Manta and Ocean Master for the Suicide Squad, and it gives hints that when the heroes are gone that possibly the villains are not as “free” as you would think. Also revealed is that the events of these 2 issues will impact the Aquaman title as well as Forever Evil:
Nrama: You’ve worked pretty closely with Geoff over the years. How would you describe the experience of working with him, and what does it offer to you as a writer on these two villains?
Bedard: : Geoff and I are actually co-plotting these two issues because both of them have major implications for Aquaman and for Forever Evil. I think readers who miss either book will kick themselves once they realize what pivot points they are for both of Aquaman’s greatest enemies.
I’m used to collaborating with Geoff from my years on Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians. It’s a pleasure — the guy is not only insanely talented but a very generous collaborator. I’m in awe of the way he’s raised up so many of my favorite characters and franchises, unleashing potential that other creators hardly scratched.
Geoff always focuses like a laser on the emotional core of a story, and after 20 years of making comics for a living,
I feel like I learn something new every time we get on the phone and talk through a story.
So I’m psyched that he’s letting me play along with his master plan. And I can’t stress enough how much you have to read Forever Evil #1. That script had me saying “Oh, $#it!” every other scene!
Each one of these interviews continue to build the story of Forever Evil and continue to show the path from Trinity War to Forever Evil to the implications for all the heroes as a result of the villains stories. Let us know what you are thinking about the development of Villains Month.