It’s not every day that we get to enjoy seeing writer Rob Venditti chime in X-O MANOWAR and more, so let’s do this, with relish.
Q: The big milestone issue of X-O MANOWAR drops in September. We’re pumped! What’s been your favorite part of the creative process with this title?
A: I would say the growth of Aric as a character. Seeing him go from the fight-first, ask questions later Visigoth that he was in issue one, to the hero he is today. Violence isn’t always his first response anymore–he has grown and changed to coincide with what our modern day ethic is, as opposed to the world when he grew up. I’ve enjoyed seeing that long evolution develop over fifty issues.
Q: What more can you tell our Multiverse readers about those aliens who snatched Aric in 5th century Europe? Who are they?
A: They’re called the Vine, and they are a species of alien that goes from planet to planet and leaves behind offspring that mimic the appearance of the apex indigenous species: in our case it’s humanity. They would never have returned to Earth if Aric hadn’t escaped with the sacred suit of sentient armor, the X-O Manowar armor. That led the Vine to come back to Earth and try to take the armor back from him. They continue to grow and develop just as Aric has, though. Some of the Vine now befriend Aric while others want to kill him. Just like any other society, they’re multifaceted.
Q: If you, in real life, could have any one of Aric’s powers for one full day, which would you choose? And what would you do with said power?
A: Flight. I’m an avid bird watcher. I have nest boxes and feeders on my property. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated with birds and flight. So that would definitely be the one that I would pick.
Q: If you could say anything to your younger self during the time of X-O MANOWAR #1, what would you say?
A: You learn so much as you’re writing. It’s a constant process. There are so many things I’ve learned along the way. I guess if I was to go back and tell myself something, it would be something that Warren Simons, editor-in-chief of Valiant and editor of the majority of my X-O Manowar run, said to me. He told me that characters don’t always have to be rational. He was so right. Characters, just like people, aren’t always rational. A lot of times, it’s more fun if they aren’t rational.
Q: What are your five (5) favorite things about the Valiant Comics universe?
A: I like the X-O Manowar armor, I like GIN-GR the giant robot, I like Animalia–which is one of the Generation Zero kids that Joshua Dysart co-created in the Harbinger series–I like Gilad the Eternal Warrior, and I like Colonel Capshaw.
Q: What’s one current indie comic that you would really enjoy seeing more of for a good long while, and why?
A: Right now I am enjoying House of Penance, which is a new Dark Horse series by Pete Tomasi and Ian Bertram. It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever seen. It’s a very unique, visual story.
Q: Five dinner guests. Which five living illustrators (of indie comics or otherwise) would you invite to a dinner party?
A: Eddie Campbell is my favorite creator in all of comics, so he’s definitely on the invite list. Rafa Sandoval and Raul Allen are two creators I’ve been working with for a while—and I love their work—but I’ve never actually met them, so it’d be great to do that. Then, I know you said “living,” but I’m going to break the rules because I’m a rebel. Charles Schulz and Bill Mauldin.
Q: [Role play] You’re on a ship at sea. It’s a dark and stormy night. The captain is nowhere to be found. What do you do?
A: I’m assuming there are other people on the ship besides me [laughs], so I would steer the ship as best as I could and try to make sure we all got back safe. What a boring answer!