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Brian Augustyn Interview (Sept. 1, 1998 )

Other Interviews

Todd Nauck - 1998

 

Geoff Johns - 1998

 

Brian Augustyn - 1998

 

Todd Dezago - 1998

 

Ethan Van Sciver - 1998

 

Chuck Dixon - 1999

 

This interview was conducted via email with Brian Augustyn. I've had the pleasure, of interviewing Brian, earlier this year, before I closed the Justice League Headquarters. I am personally a big fan of Brian''s work concerning the the different JLA related objects and also his awesome work on the Flash. Thanks again.

Craig: As you are one of the main, if not one of the best writers on the Flash team, who's idea was it, to come up with the character Impulse? Also, what basis what the character created for?
Brian:First off, I'm interested to note that you classify me as A writer, but not the BEST writer. Sure Waid is one of the best writers in the business, and my best pal...still! I mean, I have little ego to offend, but if you're asking for my cooperation on this interview, a little butter goes a long way.
As to the question of Impulse's creation; my memory is that Mark created the character, with input from me as then-editor of Flash. We'd wanted to do a new take on a kid-flash character for a long time, and Bart is what we came up with. We had a blast doing the series, trying to do Impulse more as a situation-comedy than a standard super-hero title. I think the first six issues were actually something new and excitingly different, and what followed was damn good too.

Craig: Is the Flash writing team, happy with the way the character is being portrayed now? As it was compared to how Impulse was originally supposed to be wrote?
Brian:For the most part, sure we are. Bill Loebs has done a pretty good job getting a handle on Impulse and friends, and his issues have often been hilarious. Todd Dezago did a very accurate job with Bart in World Without Grownups, the set-up for Young Justice. I've heard he'll be taking over Impulse soon, and that would be good news. In guest appearances, Christopher Priest, Tom Peyer and Karl Kesel have always gotten Bart right, but Impulse's appearances in "Titans," and "Sovereign Seven" were like alternate-earth versions of Impulse they were so far off base.
In your question above, that would be "supposed to be written," by the way.

Craig: What is your personal opinion of the way, Peter David is writing Impulse? Your opinions on the Young Justice book?
Brian:I'm told that YJ is a very nicely colored book.

Craig: Laying off the Impulse questions at the moment, lets go to JLA Year One. As the story and maxi-series ends, what thoughts are you left with as the story ends? Feel different now about any character? If so, how, and why?
Brian:We had a great time, and spent a year with a lot of wonderful old friends. JLA:YO was a great deal of fun and it was exciting to be part of reexamining those earliest days of some of our favorite heroes.
Actually, I feel surprisingly different about all of the characters now, even Snapper Carr! In writing the series, Mark and I have been consisitantly surprised to discover new things about the characters, and each of these insights has helped make the story richer and more satisfying for us. We felt (as have many JLA writers before us, I suspect) "stuck" with Aquaman at first, for instance. What do you do with a guy who can only be on land for an hour at a crack and has no discenable super-power while he's there? But Aquaman has turned into one of our favorite characters. We discovered the bit about his slight accent, and that he hadn't yet acclimated to how sound carried in air, and so he seemed to mumble. That and his "stranger in a strange land" status gave us bits of superficial business for him to do, but we also grew to know him even better than that and came to appreciate the character's integrity, heroism and no B.S.-straightforward nature. Aquaman became for us much more than the guy in the background with the glass of water. We also learned new things about Hal, Barry, J'onn and Dinah too. And all of the new, or reinterpreted stuff winds up on the page, thank goodness, so we get to share it all.

Craig: If DC Comics asked you along with Mark Waid, to come back and do a JLA Year 2, would you? If so, what would draw you back? If not, what would draw you away from the series?
Brian:We think about it from time to time, and I believe the company is very interested. We realized, for instance, that the first "Crisis," that is, the first meeting between the JLA and JSA takes place in Year Two.

That seemed a very intriguing tale to fit into the new continuity, and we were excited for about ten minutes. Then it turned out that someone else is working on that story already, and we crashed nose-first into the tarmac. 

 

 

 Still, Year Two is where we see the first expansion of the league, and it might be interesting to see Green Arrow, Atom, and (I think) Hawkman at ground zero too. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, Waid, Tom Peyer and Barry Kitson are doing a six-issue mini starring Hal Jordan and Barry Allen that will take place in the months following JLA:YO. That ought to keep the whistles whetted, whatever THAT means...

Craig: In the last eview we talked about one of your favorite characters being the Martian Manhunter John Jon'zz, and your love for writing mysteries, now that the Martian Manhunter has his own book, have you been reading the first couple issues and are you even considering asking to step in and write a couple guest issues?
Brian:I've so far only seen the #0 issue, and thought John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake did a very nice job. I'm not sure yet how I feel about John now assuming the identity of a detective named John Jones, as opposed to creating the identity, but that won't keep me from enjoying the book. I also think that Ty Templeton did a terrific job on the Annual.
I don't think John is going to be taking the monthly in a strictly mystery-oriented direction, so I'm not sure that I'd be able to incorporate the kinds of ideas I've had for the character on fill-ins. But given my enjoyment for and appreciation of the character, I'll be content to be merely a fan.

Craig: The Flash. One of the biggest comics in DCU right now, has just returned the reigns to yourself and Waid, can we have some spoilers on so big events that are going to happen?
Brian:No. That would be telling. Besides. we'd have to figure it all out first, and even we don't know for sure what's coming... :-)

Craig: We saw the wedding..or what we thought was the wedding..and a prelude to one of the worst years in the life of the Flash? Could we possibly see the return of Professor Zoom? Barry Allen? Black Flash? Linda Park? Where will these characters and the Speed Force be, in 12 issue aka 1 year?
Brian:
—Professor Zoom may figure in the "Chain Lightning" story-line, but not in connection with the missing Ms Park. And not in a way that anyone would expect.
—Barry Allen will play a major part in "C-L", especially in the amazing climax.
—Black Flash will not return during the story-line, or in the immediate future. Black Flash was an interesting idea, and Mark Millar did a very nice job telling the story, but it feels resolved for the time being.
—Linda Park will be visible in cut-away interludes here and there during "C-L", but her dissapearance won't be solved until after that epic wraps up in #150. Maybe not until well after!
—Where will the Speed Force and all the characters be in a year? Like I said, that would be telling--and even we don't know for sure. I am reasonably certain that the Speed Force will be exactly where it is now though--wherever in the infinite cosmos that is!

Craig: Besides the Flash, what other projects can we find you on now?
Brian:I still write the occasional "Painkiller Jane" one-off for Event Comics. I'm writing the monthly Cliffhanger title, Crimson with Humberto Ramos. And I'm developing a Darkchylde spin-off with creator Randy Queen. That plus a bunch of one-shot Flash stuff.

Craig: If DC Comics said you could have total control over these books, what would be your first impression of the book now, and how would you personally change them?
A) Superman?
B) Impulse?
C) Robin?
D) Young Justice?
E) JLA?
F) Nightwing?
G) Batman?

Brian:I think playing this particular game can only make enemies out of the fine folks who do these books now, so I'll decline to speculate. In most cases, I like what's happening in these books anyway.

Thanks again, to Mr. Augustyan, for doing this eview for the site. If anyone is interested in seeing the last interviews from the JL Headquarters, with many differnt comic talents, coming soon, they will all be posted.

 

 

 

This interview is exclusively for the website Young Justice: The Hangout and personal properity of Craig Young. If anyone would like to link to this interview, please send me and Email Me . This text and all parts of this site are copyrighted to Craig Young, please do not use without written permission. All characters are exclusively belong to DC Comics.