To set the stage for the story, we tracked down Jurgens to talk about last month's Aquaman and the Others #7, the second part in the "Alignment: Earth" storyline that pits The Others against a group of (mostly ex-Soviet) mercenaries with long ties to The Others.
Oh, and the ties to The New 52: Futures End are returning. Could "Alignment: Earth" have some meaning for the multiverse-spanning Convergence, which Futures End is leading to...?
You can check out the interview below, and the preview pages and solicitation text below that. Aquaman & the Others #8 is due in stores Wednesday.
Sayeh is an interesting case. What makes her so driven to help The Others?
Sayeh is certainly motivated by her sister's death. The fact that she has the same ability-- she's able to see glimpses of the future-- has pushed her to the point where it'd be almost impossible for her not to help the team. That's especially important because the Seal of Clarity is what helps her maintain some sense of control over her visions.
The fact that she's got a family at home really drives home the stakes and the nature of sacrifice for me. It almost seems like "superhero" is a career path for a lot of characters, so you don't see the way it affects the rest of their life. Do you think that's a fair observation?
I do, yes. For someone to really be a hero, there has to be some sense of personal sacrifice. What do they forsake to do the jobs they do, on our behalf?
Sayeh's sister, Kahina, was killed by Black Manta. She left a husband and two children. In terms of sacrifice, it doesn't get much more notable than that.
You've touched on the cultural conflict between Ya'Wara and Sayeh's family more than once now. Is that something that will eventually come to a head, or is it just characterization that you're developing as the series progresses?
I have a storyline in mind involving Sayeh where those issues would very much come to a head.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Others is that they come from remarkably different and varied backgrounds. Hers is bound to be the most different.
In fact, just as we're seeing a story play out where the Operative's past was intertwined with Prisoner-of-War's, I have something in mind that would, quite naturally, put Sayeh and the Operative at odds. In fact, it's reasonable to assume, given his age and past, that at one point or another, he has interacted with every member of the team.
At this point in your career, do you feel like you've earned the goodwill to be able to tackle things that are a little uncomfortable without anyone assuming you've got an agenda? Certainly a lot of writers just wouldn't want to touch those issues at all.
I wouldn't quite phrase it that way.
Quite honestly, if you look at who these characters are and what their backgrounds might be, I think any writer would have to address some of these issues. It gets to the heart and essence of who these characters are.
Anatoli's heroism is another fun one.Would the original Vostok have felt the same way?
Stay tuned! Readers will discover a lot more about Vostok-- both of them-- as the next couple of issues unfold.
When KGBeast talks about what "they" did to Vostok's mind, is he talking about the Russians or The Others?
Once again, see the above. There have always been hints that Vostok was a somewhat manipulated individual. There's a lot more detail on that to come.
Obviously this isn't the first time we've seen Cheshire in the New 52, although it is my first as somebody who didn't read Red Hood & the Outlaws for very long. Is the approach any different for her than it was in the pre-Flashpoint world?
It's a bit different, though I'd say she doesn't have quite the extensive background she did prior to the New 52. She remains, however, remarkably lethal and good at her job.
Is this Maelstrom at all related to the New God of the same name from before the relaunch? And if so, is this tied somehow to the Green Lantern event?
No. This Maelstrom is entirely different.
Re: "Mayhem," I have to wonder whether there could be a Brother Blood connection here.
There's no connection I'm building in at present. However, it'd be fair to say that it could be a much larger organization, with a loosely associated group of people all aiming for the same goal.
Did we ever have an explanation for what happened to Knyazev's hand in the old universe, or is this all-new?
In the KGBeast's original appearance, he was captured by Batman, but cut off his own hand in order to escape. I always thought that was a great story element, because it showed just how far he'd go to fulfill his mission.
Stranglehold gets a radical overhaul for the New 52 and Braze is an all-new character. Did you work with Lan on developing their looks?
Yeah, I gave him some fairly detailed character descriptions. Stranglehold's look is particularly effective. Lan did a great job with her.
Was part of the idea of the Stranglehold redesign just to bring her into line with Beast and NKVDemon, color scheme wise?
In part, yes. I also wanted a color scheme that was a little less obnoxious than what we'd seen before.
That's a heck of a twist...do we get to see next time how it all works out?
Of course! Something like that has to have some fairly major repercussions! We'll have quite a lot springing off from all that.
click on the splash page for a larger version.
AQUAMAN AND THE OTHERS #8
U.S. Price: $2.99
ON SALE 12/3
Art by: Allen Martinez, Lan Medina
Cover by: Joe Prado, Ivan Reis
Written by: Dan Jurgens
The Others try to survive the repercussions of their secret histories as Cheshire and the KGBeast look to thin the team's ranks – permanently!