Livewire is finally getting her own series, and we had a chance to chat with writer Vita Ayala all about Amanda's trip into the spotlight.
To get you up to speed, Livewire #1 is written by Vita Ayala and drawn by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin and picks up after the events of Harbinger Wars 2, which pretty much put a huge target on Amanda's back. You can check out the official description of the book below.
"Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout with her technopathic abilities, causing untold devastation. After choosing the few over the many, she must now outrun the government she served – and those she once called allies. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be…or will she be one at all?
From rising star Vita Ayala (Supergirl) and astounding artists Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín (SECRET WEAPONS) comes an electrifying new series that will launch the Valiant Universe into a new age of champions!"
The fallout from Harbinger Wars and Secret Weapons is a lot to deal with, but Ayala identified one particular challenge Amanda will face going into her solo series.
"I think going into the Livewire series, Amanda's biggest challenge is her own perception of things," Ayala told ComicBook.com. "There will be plenty of physical threats, but at the heart of the story is a woman who has not yet accepted and come to terms with the fact that she was a major party to hurting thousands – MILLIONS – of people. They always say you are your own worst enemy or your own biggest hurdle, and in this case, that couldn't be truer! BUT, this IS a redemption story, so keep that in mind as you read!"
Hit the next slide to find out more about the brand new series!
Livewire definitely made some enemies with her previous actions, but did she cross a line? Ayala thinks she did, but that doesn't necessarily mean they disagree with the decision.
"Like everything else in life, the answer to that is not either or, but much more nuanced and complicated," Ayala said. "It's wrapped up in survival versus heroism, and questions about whether or not we believe that heroes are allowed to make mistakes. I think that Amanda's actions absolutely crossed a line, but contextually, it is hard to say that I wouldn't have done the same."
Control (or lack thereof) also had a lot to do with how Livewire's actions were received.
"Back against the wall, her kids literally under the gun, her people being hunted like they were rabid animals – she reacted," Ayala said. "I think the real issue here is of power and responsibility. She lost focus and lashed out (understandably). If her power set had been something smaller, no problem. BUT, she is one of the most powerful beings on the planet. Does she get to lose control, even under circumstance that few could argue aren't understandable?
And, if not, can she atone for her mistake?"prevnext
Livewire is obviously the star of this series, but Secret Weapons fans will definitely have something to look forward to, and it's hard for Ayala to choose a favorite aspect of working with them throughout the series.
"I am really looking forward to getting to play with the dynamics of the Secret Weapons kids," Ayala said. "I love them all, and to me, they are Amanda's heart. They are a family, with all the love and drama that entails! It is hard for me to choose between them because they are all so different and have such rich motivations and needs. I love Avi's need to live his normal life and to connect with the rest of the world, I love Owen's yearning to belong and be a good person, and I love Nikki's independence and gentle empathy. Lucia too, though she is often separate, gives rise to this need to protect her. Don't make me choose between my kids!"
"Seriously though, as we see them more and more, all of them will grow and evolve in their own way, as individuals and as a team, and I cannot wait for it!"prevnext
Some Alone Time
Livewire and Ninjak have had an off and on relationship for quite some time, but this time around Ayala really wants to focus on what makes Livewire such a great character and not dilute the focus amongst other characters Amanda has had past relationships with.
"In Livewire, we really wanted to give Amanda the room to breathe and develop in a way that wasn't contingent on most of her past relationships (Secret Weapons excluded, clearly, as they are the motivation behind her actions in HW2)," Ayala said. "She is almost always seen in relation to other major players in the Valiant Universe, and in her solo book, we wanted to showcase exactly why she is one of the greatest characters out there!"prevnext
In Livewire #1 we see one of the many groups that have it out for Amanda, but Ayala teased there is someone very personal to Amanda at the center of it.
"Amanda will be on the run and battling many entities and individuals, but if you mean the new villain, then, all I can say is that it is someone from her past, who knows her as well as say, Toyo Harada does," Ayala said. "It's both a job and personal between them…"prevnext
Trusting Her Instincts
Livewire has changed quite a bit since she first appeared, and it's that constant evolution that excites Ayala about what comes next for the character.
"I think we have seen a lot of growth from Amanda since she was in the early issues of the rebooted Harbinger," Ayala said. "She went from a loyal soldier to rebelling against Harada, to leading a team of the most powerful beings on the planet (in the universe?), to a champion of her people and a guardian of a group of children. The Amanda of those early issues is both NOT our current Amanda, and clearly her."
It used to be very black and white for Amanda in the early days, but she's come a long way in regards to trusting her instincts and allowing compassion to hold a strong presence in her decisions.
She has learned to listen to the voice in her head that represents her empathy and compassion," Ayala said. "She has come into her own as a person, as opposed to as a follower of a bigger ideal (Harada). She trusts her own judgment more, and has come to see that trusting and caring for others is a strength and not a weakness. She is a complex, intelligent woman, and so she has a drive to understand duty and compassion in more nuanced ways."
"To me, the key to Amanda is her empathy and love, and how that can lead her to do both wonderful and terrible things," Ayala said. "As the Livewire title goes on, I want to show how complicated that is, and how she further evolves to see beyond the black-and-white views she was indoctrinated with."prevnext
Livewire is going to be the star here, and while Ninjak won't be stopping by for a while, will other Valiant heroes be showing up?0comments
"Well now, telling you that would be cheating, wouldn't it? Guess you'll have to read to find out!"
Livewire #1 is in comic stores now!prev