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The ‘Marvel Zombies’ scribe spills on his and Rob Liefeld’s all-new, all-different take on the post-apocalyptic Warrior of the Worlds

By Jim Gibbons and Sean T. Collins

Posted August 10, 2007  4:30 PM

Move over, Marvel Zombies—the Martians are coming, and they’re bringing Rob Liefeld along for the ride.

As announced today at Wizard World Chicago’s Mondo Marvel panel, writer Robert Kirkman and artist Rob Liefeld are teaming up for Killraven, a 5-issue miniseries “reimagining” of the classic ’70s sci-fi swashbuckler.

But the red-hot writer behind Marvel Zombies, The Walking Dead and Invincible and the controversial artist of X-Force and Youngblood aren’t serving up your father’s Killraven. They’re offering a new twist on the War of the Worlds-inspired hero and his guerilla war against a Martian-dominated alternate future, one that’s firmly rooted in the continuity of today’s Marvel Universe—and which may see some unexpected cameos from the coolest people and weapons Marvel has to offer.

Listen up as Kirkman tells this tale of two Robs, explains how their Killraven will be different from every other version and explains how in order to do justice to the Marvel Universe, he and Liefeld needed the freedom to destroy it…
WIZARD: What is it exactly that you and Rob are working on?

Rob and I are reimagining Killraven into a hot new property for Marvel. It was something Rob came up with and I was brought in to help flesh it out and make it awesome, which I plan on doing in spades. It's going to be a 5-issue miniseries, like Marvel Zombies, coming in 2008.

What’s the basic premise of the series?

Killraven is a human who has grown up in a future version of the Marvel Universe that has been overrun with an evil Martian empire. Killraven and the other humans don't even remember a time when Martians weren't running things. Basically Mars tried to take over, and the heroes of the Marvel Universe lost. But Killraven is a heroic, determined individual and he's going to be hell-bent on overthrowing the Martian rulers. And he's going to be getting
some help along the way from a band of freedom fighters, and some very familiar artifacts from the Marvel Universe we all know and love.

How did you hook-up with Liefeld for this project?

Like I said, it was all Rob's idea: A tour through the Marvel Universe of the future, lead by Killraven, kicking ass all along the way. It's a really fun series to be working on and getting to do a mini-series with Rob Liefeld truly is a childhood dream of mine. X-Force, Youngblood—I love all that stuff.

Why was he the perfect guy to collaborate on this project with?

I hope he'd say the same, but I think we work really well together. Whether it's with our own creator-owned work or our work at Marvel I think Rob and I both kind of have a reputation for creating things that are new. Even if we're on established Marvel books, we add new characters, and I think the best stuff we've done at Marvel has been twisting established Marvel characters into something new, like Marvel Zombies or say, X-Force. So the both of us together, getting our own corner of the Marvel U. to play with and wreck as we see fit, is a whole lot of fun. We're really just going crazy here. I don't think people are going to see a lot of the twists and turns of this series coming.

I don’t think it’s any secret that you and Rob seem to be pretty big fanatics of Marvel history, especially ’90s Marvel stuff, so can we expect to see things in this series that reflect that?

Well, there is a certain Marvel artifact that was a very important part of Marvel from the 90s and I made sure to get that in there. I won't say what it is, but you'll definitely see it in issue #3. There will definitely be a lot of tight continuity with the Marvel U. of today. This is a new take on Killraven, firmly set in the Marvel U. We'll be seeing a lot of familiar items and landmarks, and there are probably a few characters still kicking around in the future as well.

What elements of classic Killraven stories can fans expect to see crop up in your story?

Virtually none. This is a brand new take on the initial concept. We're trying to break new ground. I know that'll make purists moan and groan a bit, and I understand and sympathize with that…this is really just another Killraven from another universe. The original Killraven is still out there.

Can you tease about the antagonists of this tale will be? Is it just Martians—and if so, are we talking about old Killraven-style Martians, War of the Worlds Martians or Marvin the Martian—or can we expect some classic and recognizable Marvel villains to be pulling Martian-strings behind the scenes?

These guys are Rob Liefeld Martians, and they're pretty damn cool. We won't be seeing any actual Marvel villains in this series, but the Martians may have used some of their tools to take down the heroes of the Marvel U., so we'll probably see some of that stuff.

Can we look forward to any cameos from characters that would either be unexpected or that haven’t been seen in a long time?

Yes, but I'm not really going to say more than that. There's going to be a lot of familiar things in this series that will make hardcore fans of Marvel Comics very happy—and at the same time we're going to be using things in new and exciting ways, making new characters along the way. This might as well be called New Killraven and the Future Avengers as far as I'm concerned.

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