It was recently announced that Bane co-creators, Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan, would be returning to DC for a brand new 12-issue story centered around the character they created. DCN’s own Joshua Raynor had the opportunity to talk with artist Graham Nolan about this new series, titled Bane: Conquest.
Check out the interview below:
DC Comics News: I want to start off by saying thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Bane is one of my favorite comic book villains, and that’s all due to yours and Chuck’s work on Knightfall. Between the amazing writing and beautiful art, it’s no surprise this character became such a huge hit.
So, to start things off, what was it like getting back together with your old partner-in-crime, Chuck Dixon, for this new series?
Graham Nolan: Well, actually Chuck and I have continued to work together, just not on a DC project. We did two projects for Graphic India and our creator owned project, JOE FRANKENSTEIN for IDW last year.
DCN: What was it that finally brought you and Chuck back to the world of Bane? How did the opportunity come about?
GN: We pitched a Batman vs Bane idea to Dan Didio and the timing was right. Although he was looking for something more Bane-centric than Batman, so we reworked it as a chance to set Bane up as the “Doctor Doom” of the DC Universe.
DCN: Does ‘Bane: Conquest’ tie into Rebirth or is it a separate story from the main continuity? What exactly is the premise of the new series?
GN: This takes place in current Rebirth continuity. There is a new player on the bad guy world stage called Dionysius. When he starts to set up shop and bring trouble to Gotham it gets the attention of Bane and The Batman pretty quickly…for different reasons. Bane is looking to expand his empire on to the world stage. That is his “Conquest”.
DCN: Will Bane’s addiction to Venom be addressed here or is it pushed to the side to give us the Bane we all know and love?
GN: Yes, Bane is back on the juice! I think the juiced Bane is the one we all know and love.
DCN: How important is it to get the balance right between Bane’s physical presence and his intelligence/strategic thinking, particularly when going up against an opponent?
GN: It’s what separates him from other powerful villains. It’s his intelligence and strategic skills that make him Batman’s equal. All that stuff that fans love about Bane, his brutality coupled with his smarts and naiveté (where woman are concerned) are all here in this epic story.
DCN: In the new series, Bane will reunite with Bird, Trogg, and Zombie, his henchmen from the Knightfall series. How did this come about, and what was it like drawing these characters again after so many years?
GN: Chuck and I love those characters and they never got the “screen time” they deserve so we are remedying that here. I’ve redesigned them all to bring them up to date visually and we’ve given them much more in-depth characterizations.
DCN: It’s been four years since you last worked on this character for DC, and when we last spoke, you said they had changed the character so much that he was almost unrecognizable to you. In what way will you be putting your stamp on this character you helped create? Will you be going back to his original look, or making a blend of new and old?
GN: I can tell you that fans will recognize THIS Bane! The first thing I did was redesign the character to return Bane to his “classic” look while also adding aspects from my original designs that never made it to his finished look. So a little of the old and the new yet he’s instantly recognizable as Bane!
DCN: What kind of twists and turns can we expect in this new series?
GN: I don’t want to give anything away, but you can bet there will be guest stars popping up in the series and when it is said and done, Bane will be standing at the top of an empire!
DCN: After ‘Bane: Conquest’, do you have any other DC projects coming up?
GN: I still have 8 more issues of “Conquest” to finish. It’s too soon to be thinking that far ahead. It’s some of the best work of my career so hopefully DC will like what I’ve done and other projects will be offered.
I’d like to say thank you to Graham Nolan for taking the time to talk about his new project. It’s a true honor.
Bane: Conquest #1 hits shelves this May, so be sure to pick it.