by Vince Brusio
How can you tell if you’ve done a good job for your country if you’re in the armed forces? Well, when the associates of those you killed cross oceans to make you pay for your job to Uncle Sam, that’s a good indicator that you were Employee of the Month…if not Employee of the Year. In the case of Eric Carter, he’s most likely up for Employee of the Decade. Eric Carter has the honor of being the leading man for IDW Publishing’s comic adaptation of 24: Legacy — Rules of Engagement #1 (FEB170356), and in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview with writer Christopher Farnsworth we learn that working covert ops all over the world still may not be enough to keep Eric Carter two steps in front of a bullet.
Vince Brusio: Tell us about the 24: Legacy himself, Eric Carter. Why must he live up to being the legacy for Jack Bauer? Or will Eric’s perils have nothing to do with previous paths blazed by Jack Bauer?
Christopher Farnsworth: Jack Bauer left very big shoes to fill, and I don’t think anyone would willingly step into them. But Eric Carter has the role of hero thrust upon him, and he’s pretty well qualified for the job. He’s a former Army Ranger and the leader of a team that killed one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. In the TV show, that comes back to haunt him when he’s targeted for assassination by the terrorist’s followers. In the comic, we’re looking back at what made Carter the man he is now.
Vince Brusio: The solicitation text says that Carter has learned about the “Rules of Engagement.” What does this mean? Will we be shown some of the trials by fire that forged Eric Carter’s personality?
Christopher Farnsworth: This is basically Carter’s origin story. Carter grew up in some of Washington D.C.’s roughest neighborhoods, and he did what he had to do to survive. He joined the military, and became a member of one of its most elite soldiers, working covert ops all over the world. The series looks at his time in both parts of his life — how he took what he learned on the streets and used it in his first mission in Iraq. We’ll get to see why Carter is so driven — and why he’s so dangerous to his enemies. He’s been a warrior all his life, in one way or another.
Vince Brusio: Tell us about those who were working on this book. Who are the people that pull the levers on this project? Was there a strict adherence to the events in the TV show, or will there be subtle differences from what we’ll see on the small screen?
Christopher Farnsworth: This is a prequel to the TV show, so it’s a different story. It takes place years before the events in the show, but it provides some of the history there. That also freed me to tell a different story, without worrying about spoiling some crucial plot twist. (Seriously, I always hated when I’d find out something that happened on the show before I got a chance to watch it.) Antonio Fuso did the art, which looks fantastic. Denton Tipton and Chris Ryall edited it at IDW, and Fox and the producers of 24: Legacy, Manny Coto and Evan Katz, oversaw the entire project to make sure I didn’t accidentally nuke anything important.
Vince Brusio: Apart from the obvious departure of Jack Bauer, how is this 24 tale similar yet different from previous storylines? In your own mind, do you see yourself building the perfect beast?
Christopher Farnsworth: I think there’s something really vital and mythic about the idea of a lone man standing up against impossible odds. What makes this different is that we get to look back and see what it takes to be that kind of person. Everyone likes to believe they’ll turn into Jack Bauer — or Eric Carter — when it all hits the fan. But only a very few people can actually do that. What I’m hoping to show readers is how Carter became that guy — how he was forged into a hero.
As for building the perfect beast, I’ve always been a big fan of 24, so it’s a real privilege to be able to add to the mythology. I hope I do it justice. Like I said before: big shoes to fill.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.