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Ed Brisson: From the Depths of Hell to Krakoa (Talking Ghost Rider & New Mutants)

Updated: Jan 25


Ed Brisson is back at it again. He's launching 2 of my favorite franchises, Ghost Rider and New Mutants.

When I heard he was launching a new Ghost Rider book, I immediately reached out to him. Being the awesome dude that he is, he happily obliged.

Little did I know he was also gonna be able to tease a little about his part in the upcoming relaunch of NEW MUTANTS as well. These are 2 books that have been on my radar since they were announced. Hope you guys enjoy the info that Brisson shared with us.

Don't forget to pick up GHOST RIDER #1 this Wednesday (10/2/19)!

COMIC LOUNGE: You just had to massive books announced over the past couple week. Let's talk about GHOST RIDER first. This came out of nowhere, can you talk a little about the book?

ED BRISSON: It’s funny, because for me…I’ve been working on this for about a year now, so when it was announced, I was thrilled to finally be able to talk about it. Keeping secrets is hard!

This book is going to be everything readers love about Ghost Rider. The Spirit of Vengeance decimating demons and saving Earth for Hell -- though, we’re going to be pushing this into new and interesting directions, introducing new characters form Ghost Rider’s past, while revisiting some old favorites and giving them a nice bit of polish.

Aaron Kuder has been doing some incredible designs, both for the new characters and new takes on established Ghost Rider favorites.

We’ll be exploring what it means for Johnny to run the place that he’s spent so much of his life trying to escape. For Ketch, we’re…well, we’re really going to be running that poor bastard through the wringer.

COMIC LOUNGE: Have you always been a fan of Ghost Rider? Why was it decided to bring back Danny Ketch?

BRISSON: Danny Ketch was my first Ghost Rider growing up. I’d been aware of Johnny Blaze, but my jumping on point to the larger world of Ghost Rider was the 1990 series by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares.

When I heard that Marvel was planning a new Ghost Rider series, I sat down and wrote out a pitch that had been sitting at the back of my mind for months. Chris Robinson, the editor, had an idea of where he wanted to take it. One of us had a Ketch focussed idea, the other a Blaze focussed concept. But, oddly, the two concepts fit together beautifully into one much larger story -- playing off one another in unexpected ways. The plans changed from there, but it gave us a nice starting point involving BOTH Ghost Riders in a way that is both organic and exciting.

COMIC LOUNGE: I know Danny will be the main Rider, but will we be seeing Johnny Blaze as well?

BRISSON: They’re both featured equally in the book. I know that some folks took the initial announcement to mean that this was a Danny Ketch book, but it’s a Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze book.

When we come into the series, Johnny Blaze is the reigning King of Hell, after having taken the throne from Mephisto in last year’s DAMNATION event, his struggle, moving forward, is maintaining that status quo -- but as is usually the case, the staff don’t have much respect for the new management and so Johnny has had his fair share of challenges keeping things under control.

COMIC LOUNGE: Where is Robbie Reyes play into all of this?

BRISSON: There is no initial plan for Robbie Reyes. He’s off in the Avengers, doing his thing and so we thought that we’d take some time with Danny and Johnny and tell their stories and re-establish them first before we start bringing in other Ghost Riders.

That’s not to say that he won’t appear, but it’ll be a little bit before he does.

COMIC LOUNGE: What kind of tone will this book have, horror, dark, etc.?

BRISSON: It’s a horror book. 100%.

I grew up (and still am) a huge fan or horror and am infusing this book with my lifelong passion for the genre.

COMIC LOUNGE: What are some of the long term plans for the book?

BRISSON: Long term, the focus is on Johnny and Danny and how their own struggles spill out into the larger narrative where we’re going to see a battle for the control of Hell. Where they are in that battle, that’s for the reader to find out.

Johnny's fighting to maintain control of Hell while Danny's fighting to maintain control of his life. And just when it seems like they've managed to get a win, the rug is pulled out from under them.

There are outside forces working against both of them, determined to rip the two apart and destroy their lives.

The big thing with Johnny is that it seems that his reign as King of Hell may be corrupting him. You can only pretend to be something for so long until you actually become that thing (fake it 'til you make it). One of the things that we're exploring here, that I think is very interesting, is -- what happens to Johnny when he becomes the very thing that he's been fighting for his entire life?

COMIC LOUNGE: The other book that was announced is NEW MUTANTS, which you're co-writing with Hickman. What is the premise behind this new iteration?

BRISSON: Secrets!

Honestly though, I can’t say much at this point but will say that part of the purpose of the book is to serve larger X-plans moving forward, while also reasserting the New Mutants place within the X-World. We’ll be exploring what it means to be a New Mutant and evolving the characters (both old and new) in ways that we haven’t seen before. Kids can’t stay kids forever.

COMIC LOUNGE: How much of the book is you and how much is Hickman?

BRISSON: Hickman and I co-wrote #1, which kicks off a New Mutants in space story. Hickman will be continuing the story while I turn my focus on to what’s happening on the ground, while most of the New Mutants are in space.

How much of #1 is either of us? I don’t know, to be honest. Readers will have to decide for themselves.

But, beyond #1, we’re each doing our own thing -- though, of course, the stories will dovetail into one another.

COMIC LOUNGE: What about the book made you decide to be apart of this new era of the X-Men line?

BRISSON: It’s the New Mutants! I love the New Mutants!

Aside from my love for the characters, I’ve felt that there was a promise of the New Mutants that never really played out -- or at least not for long. Who they were, what they meant. I think that we need to see more development of younger mutants up to mainstay mutants and I’m hoping that with this book, we can do a little more of that.

We’ll also be playing with shifting rosters, which, to me is incredibly interesting. With the first arc that I’m writing on my own, we start using other mutants on the team (Armor, Glob [of course], Maxime and Manon) as they go on their own mini-adventure on Earth. We’ll be bringing other legacy New Mutants into the story but having that flexibility to play around with the roster and idea of what makes a “New Mutant” is interesting to me. It allows us to bring in a lot of the younger characters, who are typically my favorite to write.

COMIC LOUNGE: Which character has been your favorite to write so far?

BRISSON: That’s tough. I’m going to go for the cop out answer and say that they all have been great. In the first issue, I had the opportunity to write a lot of characters for the first time -- characters I’ve been familiar with as a reader, but have never written -- so that experience of trying to get their nuances and personality down was a welcome challenge.

COMIC LOUNGE: Is there anything you can tease about either book?

BRISSON: I’m not teasing anything about New Mutants for fear that Jonathan might show up to my house and smother me with my pillow while I sleep.

As to Ghost Rider…without giving away too much, I will say that this is probably the biggest and most ambitious story I’ve ever attempted. The scale is going to be incredible. We’ll be doing a lot of deep diving on Ghost Rider history in such a way that new readers won’t be missing out on nuance, but old readers (like myself) will hopefully appreciate.

#Writer

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