After making his debut in today’s ORIGINAL SINS #1, Henry Hayes, aka the new Deathlok, will soon make the leap to his own ongoing series, courtesy of writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Mike Perkins.
As would any faithful follower of technology, we wanted to get ahead of the curve and chat now with the duo about the Marvel Universe’s latest cyborg and what makes him unique among his computerized peers.
Marvel.com: Nathan, let’s start with you: how does ORIGINAL SINS make for the perfect launching pad for the new DEATHLOK series?
Nathan Edmondson: The ORIGINAL SINS story is our opportunity to give the world an advance screening, an early taste of our grand designs. Not to reveal too much about the hook of our take on Deathlok, but we’re stepping into this universe with a unique perspective on the iconic character, and information revealed by the Watcher’s eye in ORIGINAL SIN gives us the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Marvel.com: Overall, how will DEATHLOK be attractive to both Deathlok fans and readers perhaps unfamiliar with the concept?
Nathan Edmondson: DEATHLOK is a book about fighting the machine. The machine of war that controls you, the machine within that empowers you. We have a radical new take on the infamous character and it’s one that I think will speak loudly, clearly and attractively to modern readers.
Marvel.com: Let’s put this next one bluntly: who is Henry Hayes? What makes him different from all the other Deathloks before him?
Nathan Edmondson: The way we’re introduced to Henry’s world, the way we construct his life will feel totally unique. Henry is a father, a medic working for non-profits, a conflict-averse military veteran. As for what about his Deathlok side will set him apart from anything we’ve seen before? You’ll have to read to see exactly.
Marvel.com: Looks like S.H.I.E.L.D.’s along for this ride. Is it as an antagonist or simply a challenge in Henry’s way?
Nathan Edmondson: S.H.I.E.L.D. is very interested in Deathlok, and they will become a significant antagonist in the story. We’re going to really play with the reader in terms of who is good and who is bad in this series. I challenge readers to leave preconceptions at the door.
Marvel.com: Will you be utilizing existing Marvel characters and concepts as well as new ones in DEATHLOK?
Nathan Edmondson: Yes, we’ll see many familiar faces, some new ones, and perhaps some shadows from BLACK WIDOW and THE PUNISHER as well as other titles.
Marvel.com: What's the coolest thing about working with Mike Perkins on this series? How does he nail it?
Marvel.com: Mike, that sounds like your cue. You’re known far and wide as a huge Deathlok fan; how does it feel to finally get this series going and to make your mark on the legendary concept?
Mike Perkins: In one word? Brilliant! Exciting! Humbling! As you can see it’s actually pretty difficult to put it all down in one word. The eight-year-old boy in me who came across Deathlok in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE still resides inside me—especially when I’m sitting down at my drawing board—and he’s jumping up and down.
Marvel.com: How involved were you with the new Deathlok design? And how much do you feel you were inspired by past versions of the concept?
Mike Perkins: Totally involved with it. It was intended to reflect the past designs and lend a nod or two to the [“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”] TV version, too. It’s interesting to me, though, that the base of the costume is the same, but we’re able play with different “modes” which allows us to bring in the full face mask, the half mask and whatever tool suits the mission. We have some moments coming up that will thrill and excite the Deathlok purists out there—and I sincerely count myself amongst that group.
Marvel.com: How would you describe Henry's world in terms of the visuals? What can readers expect to see?
Mike Perkins: It’s a real world setting with a visually exciting impact value. There are your classic thrills, spills and chills complimented by the modern day sensibilities we’ve seen reflected in the Bourne and new Bond films. I’m trying to capture mood and atmosphere but without skimping on the surroundings and settings which are massively important in such a globe-trotting milieu.
Marvel.com: Which new characters have you most enjoyed working on and why?
Mike Perkins: Our Deathlok himself. He’s his own man but mired in the dirty tricks of a shadowy corporation who are controlling him, which he doesn’t know about—they are that shadowy! It’s fun to introduce “our” Deathlok but equally as enjoyable to connect him with the Deathloks who have appeared in the Marvel Universe previously.
Marvel.com: We asked Nathan about you, so here’s your chance to turn the tables on him; how does he make your job more interesting?
Mike Perkins: He leaves enough space to breathe, allowing the visuals to open up and tell the story. We’ve gone back and forth in conversation and he’s very open to me dropping in ideas and thoughts, encouraging collaboration rather than control. We’ve wanted to work together for some time and now we get the chance to show everyone what we can do when we put our heads and talents together. It just happens to be on the character that has always been on top of my list!
DEATHLOK by Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins enters the Marvel Universe this fall—stay tuned for more news!