by Vince Brusio
Don’t cross the streams. Things can go sideways. Things can get lost in translation. Ideally, you want to sprint when the starting gun fires, and not break stride until you cross the finish line. When a space saga is written by different creative teams, things can go sideways: ideas can be misconstrued. But writer Dan Abnett was picked to be the sole runner for Randy Stradley’s Prometheus saga. He’s the one man running around the track, keeping us up to speed on whose screams we hear on board doomed space vessels that have little chance for a safe return home. In this PREVIEWSworld interview, we talk to Abnett about his work on the Prometheus Life and Death Volume 1 TP, which arrives in comic shops January 11.
Vince Brusio: Can you explain to us at length the premise of Prometheus: Life and Death #1 (APR160056)?
Dan Abnett: Our heroes - or should I say survivors - find themselves on an active Engineer ship and have to find a way of staying alive... and unlocking the mysteries they find at their destination point... which ties in very nicely with Prometheus movie continuity.
Vince Brusio: Can you tell us what readers should know from previous events in the Prometheus saga, as this is the second chapter from the Life and Death story cycle.
Dan Abnett: Ideally, the story cycle is best read as a whole, so you get to know the characters and follow their deadly adventure, but this story is as self-contained as all the 'parts'. The survivors of a USMC mission to a remote world (on which they faced a pack of predators) have 'escaped' aboard the xenotech vessel they discovered (an Engineer vessel) … and there’s a reawakened Engineer aboard.
Vince Brusio: What went on behind closed doors when this project was in the conceptual stage? What kind of ideas were being floated? Or was this a case of someone built the foundation, and then the next team came in to put up the carpentry?
Dan Abnett: Randy Stradley mapped out what he saw as a great structure of the saga, and I've run with his blueprint. It's been a real luxury to be given the chance to write the whole thing — all the chapters of the saga, rather than have to play 'relay race' and go back and forth with other teams. It's given me real overview on the meta story, and allowed me to build the characters chapter-by-chapter.
Vince Brusio: Does this series fall back on the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it?" Or does it speak to a more ominous warning for humanity? Something like, would we really be ready to meet a God, because we operate from such different paradigms?
Dan Abnett: A little of both, I think. I really want to play up the alien-ness (small 'a') of the Engineers.
Vince Brusio: What do you find so cool about this book, and what adjectives would you use to describe the atmosphere, pace, or tone of Prometheus: Life and Death #1?
Dan Abnett: I'm loving the experience of writing this, and blending the mythos of Alien, Predator and Prometheus even more. It's creepy, lethal, eerie, tense, desperate and very, very character driven.