Today's issue of Amelia Cole--#11, or The Hidden War, Part 5--was awesome. It continues to be one of the most delightfully fun, beautifully-executed books on the market. If you don't believe me, go get a copy and read it. In fact, do that even if you do believe me, since we've got commentary track for the issue incoming with Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride!
ComicBook.com: It seems to me worth noting that this is the first time that a character other than Amelia has been the focal point of the cover. Adam P. Knave: It is, isn't it? Well it's also kind of a reverse of Issue 8's cover. See, just last issue you felt that Omega Company got the short shift in the issue. And now this! D.J. Kirkbride: It's fun to have these two parallel stories running. We want to give the universe more scope and scale... grandeur even! ComicBook.com: Man, it's been a while since we saw a Persuasion Demon, hasn't it? DJK: Yeah, we don't want to overuse them. One opened up the debut issue, and we spotted Persuasion Demon Lawyer (I smell spinoff!) back in issue 5. They have a scary look, and it was fun to see this kinda smaller, sprier one Nick drew for this issue. APK: I loved the idea that this one is small and spry, and so small-minded he uses his ability to rob purses. ComicBook.com: You know, if there was some sense of context, I could almost understand the boss-man's indignation. If Amelia had been told, "This guy is a priority because he's going to kill a bunch of people," or whatever. Do you think he plays it so close to the vest he actually hurts his cause?
APK: The Magistrate doesn't really trust Amelia. And he's getting crap for even having her there from his bosses. So, yeah, he's human and makes mistakes and is under a lot of pressure. It's a running theme, I think. That people under pressure may react oddly. DJK: Especially pressure from creepy robed monster dudes living in shadows and speaking in a weird, letter-annoying fashion. ComicBook.com: And "who else is in here?" Well, maybe his comments about invisibility weren't JUST a smug joke but something that was fresh on his mind... DJK: Hm, maybe! I didn't consider that, but part of me thinks I should lie and say I did. Maybe Adam did... APK: Yeah I thought we did that on purpose. Maybe I'm rewarding us after the fact. The secret lives of writers! We have no memory some days! Hooray! DJK: No, no! Uhhh... I'm sure you're remembering it right, Adam! Yeah, that was all planned. We are very clever people! ComicBook.com: I love the collar on our mystery reptile-villain. It reminds me of Hordak from Masters of the Universe. Is it great to have somebody like Nick, whose character designs and general sensibilities don't seem to be chained to any one style?
DJK: Absolutely! Nick's eclectic and varied design style is essential for this book. We have these crazy worlds with magic and occasionally weird, outdated tech and creatures -- it gives the book the perfect look. (That rhyme was unfortunate.) APK: That rhyme was magical. ComicBook.com: And there's a lot of "greater good" talk going on. Are we sure Reptilio the Great is really the bad guy? DJK: I would say that she certainly wouldn't say she was the bad guy. Villains think they are the heroes of their own story, and that makes them compelling. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they're doing and truly believe they're in the right. In a way, the fact that Amelia sometimes questions herself is what helps keep her on the up and up. APK: And it isn't like we've ever showed you someone and led you down a road to thinking they're a bad guy only to then show you how they aren't. I mean, we haven't done that, so why would you suspect us? ComicBook.com: It's interesting--he "left his wand in the conference room." I remember mentioning to you a while back that it was a while before I noticed him carrying it. Is this a recurring issue for the Magistrate? APK: He's a busy guy. While at Baltimore Comic Con I left the bar and went to go talk to some people I'm working with, and left my phone on the bar. Now, we had a bunch of folk there and it wasn't in danger of getting stolen but I left my phone behind. I hardly ever leave my phone more than six inches from me. But it happens, and you feel silly when it does. When you're busy you can be forgetful.
DJK: Yeah, he's under a lot of pressure and doesn't need to use magic like Amelia The Protector or Officer Freeman. His air of authority is kinda magical, though. ComicBook.com: Having Malone harbor the revolutionaries is risky, isn't it? There's a direct line from him to Amelia, and it could put him in some danger. APK: It really could. Amelia still, at times, puts plans into motion that may not be the absolute best. She's learning and growing and that isn't being perfect, but it's being true to the character. DJK: Malone does assure her it's all good, and she puts that protection spell on the building, but, yeah, this isn't an ideal situation. Amelia has the best of intentions, but we know what those can pave...