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Chicago Comic-Con '09

Chicago Con '09: Parker on Thunderbolts

Writer Jeff Parker talks about taking over THUNDERBOLTS from the departing Andy Diggle

By Marc Strom

Lightning just struck Jeff Parker.

Beginning with November's issue #138, the fan-favorite writer takes charge of THUNDERBOLTS, picking up right where departing scribe Andy Diggle leaves off.

"You can't ask for a better writer to follow than 'The Diggle,'" remarks Parker. "He loaded me up on material [and] shared his thoughts on characters and cool developments- everything I needed to come into THUNDERBOLTS smoothly. There are many elements to juggle, but he and [editor] Bill Rosemann have armed me for battle."

Without giving away too much from the ending to Diggle's run, Parker could let slip a few details of where his tenure on the book will begin.

"You can probably tell this from the latest [issue of THUNDERBOLTS], but Norman Osborn hasn't spent quality time lately organizing the team to be a fine-oiled machine of cooperation," he points out. "I'm thinking he's been preoccupied with other matters, and I can't help but wonder if this chaotic approach to putting the team together won't bite him in the ass at some point!"

In THUNDERBOLTS #134, Diggle began reassembling some of the original Thunderbolts, including the Fixer, Songbird and Mach IV; Parker made no secret of plans for those characters' continued involvement as he takes over the title.

THUNDERBOLTS #138 cover by Francesco Mattina
"It's hard to say-oh, okay-yes!" exclaims the writer.

Of the newer additions to the team, however, Parker has had the most fun writing one character in particular.

"A bit surprisingly, Headsman," he declares. "Andy had the same reaction; something about the character surprises you once you get into it."

Remaining tight-lipped on whether he will be introducing any new faces or sticking with those that Diggle brought into the book and stating that saying anything "would give things away," Parker would comment on the overall tone and direction of the book following in the footsteps of the series' previous writers Diggle and Warren Ellis.

"It's still going to be dry, demented and harsh," the writer promises. "I'll prepare my WarrenDiggle author persona by drinking myself into a stupor before each script. For you readers, I will do that."

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