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Three’s a Crowd: Ron Marz Speaks About Broken Trinity

Posted by Luke Brown On July - 17 - 2008

Top Cow is bringing their own flavor to the summer blockbuster with Broken Trinity. We had a chance to speak with the crossover’s writer, Ron Marz, about the big event and what it means for Top Cow going forward. And what’s this about dating Megan Fox and Marissa Miller? Hit the jump to find out for yourself.

Since joining the Top Cow Universe, Ron Marz has had his hand in just about every major moment that’s transpired. With First Born, a baby was born from the Witchblade-bearing Sara Pezzini and the Darkness-cursed Jackie Estacado, and now the Top Cow U is about to get another shake-up. When given the chance, we had to take the opportunity to ask Ron to spill whatever he could.

The last time the Darkness, Witchblade and Angelus all got together it in First Born was for the birth of Witchblade bearer Sara Pezzini’s baby, Hope.  After what transpired in that series, what could possibly happen to bring them all back together in Broken Trinity?

Ron Marz: Well, the handy tag we’ve been using is that First Born was about a birth. Broken Trinity ultimately involves a fairly high-profile death. But what initially brings everyone together is the discovery of new Artifacts in the Top Cow Universe.  Or maybe re-discovery is a better word. We’ve established that there are 13 Artifacts, or powers, in the Top Cow U., and the Witchblade, the Darkness and the Angelus are just three of them. So Broken Trinity reveals at least one powerful Artifact … and maybe more. New Artifacts mean new bearers, so suddenly the Angelus, Witchblade and Darkness aren’t the only players on the field.

Stjepan Sejic fully painting a book is one thing, but also having Phil Hester on to assist with the layouts really makes each panel pop. What was it like having two artists of this caliber bringing your script to life?

RM: Kind of like dating Megan Fox and Marissa Miller. Life is good any way you look at it. Phil’s a great storyteller, so we’re leaning on him for that, and Stjepan brings a slick, amazing finish to it. Part of the reasoning is we thought having Phil and Stjepan working together would speed the process, so we can stay on schedule. But beyond that, we really wanted to see what would come out of the collaboration of two artists who have distinctly different styles and approaches. So far, so good, because everyone, including Phil and Stjepan, is really pleased with the results. We’ve got the gritty character stuff that Phil is known for, and the big eye-candy moments that people have come to expect from Stjepan’s work.

With Broken Trinity getting a prelude comic for Free Comic Book Day, Top Cow looks like they’re anticipating this bringing in a lot of new readers. After reading through the first issue, I have to admit it was refreshing to read a crossover event not bogged down in eons of continuity. Was it difficult to write a story that appealed to long time readers, while still making it accessible to new readers?

RM: You know what? It’s not difficult at all if you’re doing the job right. Books like this should satisfy regular readers and still be completely accessible to new readers. I’m in a constant state of amazement at how much the comic industry as a whole just preaches to the converted. Yes, there’s absolutely a place for material that appeals to and even caters to longtime readers. But sometimes it seems like that’s most of what we as an industry do these days. As a writer, I’m not interested in putting together a storyline that only appeals to people who have been reading comics for 20 years. That’s like taking a guy who eats at McDonald’s every day and handing him a Big Mac. Of course he gobbles it up, but where’s the challenge in that? Publishers promote the hell out of these event-type crossovers in hopes of attracting readers. So why are the stories set up to appeal only to the readers they already have? These kinds of projects should be welcoming, ground-floor reads, and you can certainly write them in such a way that that they serve that purpose and entertain the faithful at the same time.

While this upcoming story isn’t a direct sequel to First Born, were the events about to transpire something you had planned back then, or did Broken Trinity evolve out of another idea entirely?

RM: First Born was designed to stand by itself, and so is Broken Trinity. But taken together, they form an evolving storyline, especially in the relationship between Sara Pezzini and Jackie Estacado, as well as how the Witchblade, Angelus and Darkness relate to each other. Once First Born was complete, we sat back and went, “Gee, that turned out pretty well. Do we have a good enough story to tell that we should do it again?” And the answer turned out to be yes. There’s also, frankly, a counter-programming aspect to it.  While Marvel and DC are engaged in these huge, epic crossovers, with all sorts of spin-offs and tie-ins, we’re doing a story that is contained within three issues, and has three tie-in issues. At most, the entire thing’s gonna cost you $18.

With the Broken Trinity taking place in self-contained issues, will readers see hints of what’s happening in the regular monthlies as it’s progressing, or will it be more down the road?

RM: The events of Broken Trinity, or more properly the fallout from it, will be reflected in both the Witchblade and Darkness monthlies after Broken Trinity has wrapped. Again, we wanted to make sure Broken Trinity was as self-contained as possible, not a sprawling thing that kept reaching into readers’ wallets. The Witchblade monthly will be effected in ways that will become obvious once we reach the end of Broken Trinity… he says ominously.

Given that there’s going to be a fairly high-profile death occurring in Broken Trinity which will be permanent (which death rarely is in comics), was it hard to take a character out of the Top Cow universe knowing that he or she would never be returning?

RM: Hell, no! It was fun! Giving somebody a great death scene, and knowing they wouldn’t be coming back as an evil twin or a clone or whatever, is very satisfying as a writer. It’s obviously a genuine big moment in a story, and the more of those you have, the better. And it helps that we know what’s coming next. The death leads to more stories, and more big moments.

You’ve been working in this universe for close to 4 years now. Where are you hoping to take these characters over the course of the next few years?

RM: I have a pretty good idea where I’m going to take Sara in the next few years, because Stjepan and I are signed on until at least Witchblade #150, and maybe even beyond, because we’ve got enough ideas for another year or two past that. Some of what we’ve got planned isn’t exactly pleasant for the main characters, but I think it’s good fodder for drama. Sometimes readers complain when writers put characters through the wringer, but that’s why you read the book. To see what happens next, to see if the characters make it out alive, or at least very least, to see how they deal with what’s being thrown at them. Nobody wants to read a book about someone who wins the lottery and spends a year watching TV and eating pie.

Broken Trinity #1 will be out next Wednesday. We’ll have a review (and hopefully a preview) up for you early next week.


1 Response so far
  1. » Blog Archive » Review: Broken Trinity #1 Said,

    [...] more visually appealing than you would expect. Sejic and Hester obviously make a great team; as Ron Marz said, it’s “kind of like dating Megan Fox and Marissa Miller. Life is good any way you look [...]

    Posted on July 22nd, 2008 at 6:05 AM

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