December 17, 2020


X-O Manowar Writer Dennis Hallum

Hosted by

Kenric Regan John Horsley
X-O Manowar Writer Dennis Hallum
Spoiler Country
X-O Manowar Writer Dennis Hallum

Dec 17 2020 | 00:54:34


Show Notes

Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum brought his passport by way of Spoiler Country and sat down with our man Jeff Haas and spoke Valiant, X-O Manowar, dealing with COVID and more. Take a listen and let your local comic-book store know you are interested in reading X-O Manowar by Valiant.

Say Hi to Dennis here:
Dennis Hopeless (@HopelessDent) · Twitter

“Drinks and Comics with Spoiler Country!”

Did you know we have a YouTube channel?

Follow us on Social Media:






Buy John’s Comics!

Support us on Patreon:

Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

Theme music by Good Co Music:

Drunkin’ Robot Steve Strikes again!

Dennis Hallum – Interview

[00:00:00] Jeff Haas: [00:00:00] Hello listeners, a spoiler country today on the show. We had the fantastic Dennis Hallam. How’s it going? Mr. Harlem?

[00:00:12] Dennis Hallum: [00:00:12] How are you?

[00:00:13] Jeff Haas: [00:00:13] I’m doing very well. And once again, thank you very much for coming back to the show.

[00:00:17] Dennis Hallum: [00:00:17] Yeah, thanks for having me on.

[00:00:18] Jeff Haas: [00:00:18] It’s definitely our pleasure. So, since you’ve been, since the time from the last time you were on the show, you have started writing X and O Manoa for buying comics.

[00:00:26] Is that correct?

[00:00:28] Dennis Hallum: [00:00:28] Yeah. I actually, started working on it a really long time ago. Cause we had a lot of lead time and then COVID

[00:00:34] Jeff Haas: [00:00:34] came.

[00:00:36] Dennis Hallum: [00:00:36] But yeah, no, the book is finally coming out.

[00:00:39] Jeff Haas: [00:00:39] It feels like COVID has ruined a lot of things for a lot of people. Yeah. So with XNL manna, where were you? A fan of the nineties?

[00:00:47] Diane complex, extra man of war.

[00:00:49] Dennis Hallum: [00:00:49] I did not read it in the nineties. I was reading comics sort of sporadically at the time cause we didn’t have a local comic shop, but I was aware of the value of books, but I didn’t read them. but when [00:01:00] they did the, the 20, whatever, it was 2011, 2012 relaunch, I was actually pitching on one of the other books.

[00:01:06] And so I read a bunch of old Valiant stuff. And then, I read the first arc or two of, of that exa run. I thought it was excellent back then. So I had a working understanding of it, before I got the

[00:01:19] Jeff Haas: [00:01:19] job. So, so w what is it about XL man of war that just grabs you and goes, this is the title I had to work on.

[00:01:26] Is there something, what is it that’s enduring about that character?

[00:01:32]Dennis Hallum: [00:01:32] for me personally, it was, it was fun to get like a, like a super masculine, super bad-ass punch him in the face and ask questions later, character. my career, most of my bigger books have been on teenagers or, you know, spider woman, I had a big run on, and so I haven’t had that like alpha male brutal action book.

[00:01:53] So yeah, yeah. Really excited to take that on and to figure out, what. My version of that would be, so that was really [00:02:00] exciting. I think in general, the thing that’s the most interesting and most fun about the character is the, the wild anachronism of, you know, a Visigoth warrior who’s used to stabbing Romans in the throat with a, with a blade being given a, you know, a suit, an alien, super armor.

[00:02:17] That’s more bad-ass than iron mans. And. I, you know, it’s, it’s just a really interesting combination. And then when you throw in that, the sentience AI as a, you know, like a partner in crime, it’s, it’s just a lot of fun.

[00:02:32] Jeff Haas: [00:02:32] And the other thing I really liked about reading the comic book, well, your, your, your run, I will read much of the nineties rando at the time I was reading mostly just, I think solar for value at that time is the scope of what it allows you to do with your stories with.

[00:02:47]Manoa. I mean, once again, you have a, you have a  from the past, he’s fighting on modern earth with futuristics, space weaponry with alien, from outer space. So, I mean, it gives you a [00:03:00] large scope of basically what was anything from earth realm issues to space issues in which to play in.

[00:03:07] Dennis Hallum: [00:03:07] Yeah. And it’s a lot of, that was the interesting thing about.

[00:03:10] Taking it over. Is that a lot of what has been done with the character since that, since the 2012 launch has been in space, stopping alien armadas, you know, like I’m imprisoned on an alien spaceship, living on an alien world. And we hadn’t really gotten to see much of the. Man at a time element of it. but you know, just a human from a before times, living in the modern world and having to figure out, a modern sensibility while also being, you know, the most powerful guy in every room.

[00:03:41]so it was nice that we had that little, that little niche that hasn’t really been touched upon to, to really dive into and build the terrestrial world of it. You know, like his, his villains on this, in this series, in his co-stars in this series, they’re very much. Human beings with human problems and, and everything is earth based.

[00:04:00] [00:03:59] So that’s fine.

[00:04:01] Jeff Haas: [00:04:01] You reading the back issues, you thought it really, the thing that you thought yourself was to make it yours. You want it to keep it more like terrestrial,

[00:04:10] Dennis Hallum: [00:04:10] but yeah, I just want to, you know, Eric as a human, Living, you know, he he’s living in a different time, but around other human beings.

[00:04:16] And he hasn’t had that, you know, he’s had, familiar yeah. Relationships, but it’s been with, you know, other alien slaves and stuff. So yeah, I wanted to ground it. And part of that is just, that’s what I do. That’s where I come to. Most of my stories is like, how do you make these characters relatable? And is it about the human condition that we can, that we can play with here?

[00:04:37] And I think. Being a person who’s out of place being a person who doesn’t understand the mentality of the room, you know, like the, that doesn’t get why people aren’t responding the way he wants to, and trying to figure out who to trust and trying to build that found family, that we all, come, come to build over our lives.

[00:04:57]that makes him relatable, even though he’s, you know, [00:05:00] he’s wrapped in a nuclear weapon that. It tells him when he’s doing something wrong and it has within breadth of human knowledge at his disposal. He doesn’t really understand the world that he’s in, but in order to be a person and have a life and to, to grow as a human being, he’s going to have to figure that out.

[00:05:16] So that’s, what’s relatable about it to me. And what, what makes the, you know, the human half of the book we’ll have fun. We’re also blowing a lot of stuff.

[00:05:25] Jeff Haas: [00:05:25] So one cool thing is, like I said, I. I’m actually really a big fan of the time period with the Visigoths and the, and the Romans. Are you going to be showing some more flashbacks of what life was like for him back then?

[00:05:39] Dennis Hallum: [00:05:39] I’d really, I’d like to get into that. eventually we’re, we’re doing a lot of here and now world building, and then you have these first couple arts because, you know, he hasn’t been on earth much and we really want him to, to sink his feet into the dirt here. But yeah, I, I agree that stuff is all really interesting.

[00:05:55] And his, his perspective is interesting, like, yeah, the idea of being, trying to stop the [00:06:00] Roman empire from up and crushing you under foot like that. That explains his mentality. That explains why he does the things he does. And yeah, I’d love to get there

[00:06:10] Jeff Haas: [00:06:10] now, as you kind of touched on it a little earlier, there was obviously, a situation in the real world that caused some problems.

[00:06:17]see COVID that, that felt like the entire world for at least for the last. I don’t know what he would say nine months at this point kind of has totally stopped. And unfortunately the same thing kind of happened with XNL manna war, where it happened just at the time when the first issue launched, getting ready for the second issue.

[00:06:37] And there’s a bit of a delay there.

[00:06:39] Dennis Hallum: [00:06:39] Yeah. Our first issue was shipped. the last week there were comics before diamond closed down in March. So we came out and then like a week or two later, it was pencils down across the industry. So, yeah, that was a little rough.

[00:06:53] Jeff Haas: [00:06:53] That’s some really shitty timing right there.

[00:06:56] Dennis Hallum: [00:06:56] Yeah, no, it was. and like I mentioned [00:07:00] before, we had a lot of lead time on this book, like Heather, Called and, and talk to me about what we’ve been doing, Heather, Antone’s the editor. Yeah. about what I would do, and I was pitching the book when the previous run was still going. Like I don’t, I think the last couple of issues hadn’t come out yet.

[00:07:12] So we spent a lot of time figuring out how to make this something new, but that still resonated with the existing readers and what direction we take it in. And we talked to. For a long time and spent a lot of time on our, long-term plans and short-term plans. So by the time that first issue came out, like, I feel like we’d been talking about it for.

[00:07:31] 18 months or something. And I had four issues in the can. So, yeah, whenever it was finally time to rerelease it and I put up the number one again, and then now with the second issue out, I have to go back and reread them because it’s hard to remember for, for the, you know, all this press tour started.

[00:07:50] Remember like even what happens. So it was funny. To get back in and revisit it. And then as we’re, as we’re working forward, it’s almost like I’m taking over from a different writer. Cause I read it. Okay.

[00:08:00] [00:08:00] Jeff Haas: [00:08:00] So you went back, you were like, what the hell was I doing there? What was happening? I don’t remember this.

[00:08:05] Dennis Hallum: [00:08:05] Well, it strokes, it becomes hard to remember what happens in which issue. So especially I got to make sure not to spoil stuff. That’s about it.

[00:08:13] Jeff Haas: [00:08:13] That’s really funny. because you also had that huge gap between issues and obviously the pencil down, time period. Did you have the opportunity to, and did you at all kind of rethink where you’re taking the character and where is the current story at all affected by those decisions in that, quiet time between those issues because of the delay?

[00:08:37] Dennis Hallum: [00:08:37] Well, that, like I said, the first four were written and those. I, I believe I did a revision on four and like early days of the pandemic, but then it was kind of just a wait and see, cause we didn’t know how long things were going to be closed. our long-term plans are pretty similar to what they were, but I would imagine that my mental state in the

[00:08:56] Jeff Haas: [00:08:56] first,

[00:08:58]Dennis Hallum: [00:08:58] and having, [00:09:00] because it wasn’t just this book, like all of my books, all my work for hire stopped and all my income stopped at the same time.

[00:09:06] So if you told me. That there are elements of my mental state from that time period in the plot outline for the second arc 100% believe, but not, you know, not me real practical, you know, there’s no, there’s no quarantine or pandemic in the book. but yeah, I would, I would say that probably all of the fiction that’s being made right now and, and during that has been affected by it because it’s hard not to, it’s weird even to watch, TV shows or movies where people are like hugging and interacting and they’re in tight spaces, concerts or things that we haven’t seen in so long.

[00:09:41] So yeah. I’m guessing it’ll imprint on our fiction for awhile.

[00:09:45] Jeff Haas: [00:09:45] Yeah, definitely. I definitely would say so. I mean, just the idea of when you see someone TV not wearing our master, like son of a bitch put on your mask, what are you doing?

[00:09:54] Dennis Hallum: [00:09:54] Eat off each other’s plates. And then they’re

[00:09:57] Jeff Haas: [00:09:57] like, go ahead. [00:10:00] I, it feels like something that didn’t seem natural now.

[00:10:04] It feels almost like a hardcore, like, Oh, what are they doing those best? Don’t do that.

[00:10:08] Dennis Hallum: [00:10:08] Yeah. I wonder I have, six year old twin boys and this is supposed to be their kindergarten year and we’re doing it sort of half remotely, half homeschooling. cause they can’t go into school and I wonder what it’s doing to them, like, cause to them, you know, staying away from other people and having masks on.

[00:10:26] They’re not going to remember much before that, because they’re like that exact age work memory starts to kick in really hard. Yeah. So yeah. I wonder for how long a generation of kids is going to be germaphobic. Cause I would imagine like we’re all filthy creatures that made our habits, our habits or our deep set groups.

[00:10:42] So I would imagine most adults are gonna snap back know once, once we’re through it. But yeah, I bet these kids are going to be much cleaner. Like their hands are going to be cleaner and they’re going to be more conscientious about sneezing and stuff than we ever were.

[00:10:55] Jeff Haas: [00:10:55] Well, there’s definitely going to be some, a certain amount of, I guess, PTSD that’s been going on with [00:11:00] the younger generation.

[00:11:01] And I would wager that whatever cultural changes they adapt are going to be very calm, very noticeable as they hit teenage year. They’ll realize, you know, the not shaking hands at the, you know, any more. They’re not, you know, they’re, they’re like doing like weird elbow bumps as hellos, things of that nature.

[00:11:18] Dennis Hallum: [00:11:18] Yeah. The handshaking thing is weird. Like, it feels rude to not shake somebody’s hand, but it’s actually maybe rude to shake someone’s hand now. Yeah, it’s a strange cultural shift,

[00:11:28] Jeff Haas: [00:11:28] I would think so. I’m actually, I’m a teacher at a, at a therapeutic high school in Rhode Island. And the few times someone has approached me to shake my hand, like an adult.

[00:11:36] And I got to looked at him like back the fuck up, you know? I mean, I know he was trying to be nice, but in my head, I’m just like, dude, this is a major imposition back up,

[00:11:45] Dennis Hallum: [00:11:45] right? Yeah. I think probably a lot of people also dealt with Thanksgiving has just happened. And irritated family members when you didn’t want to come and gather with everyone, that’s like, well, not only am I not coming, but why are you doing this?

[00:12:00] [00:12:00] Jeff Haas: [00:12:00] It’s like a terrible idea. Yeah. It, it feels when you hear someone else saying I’m going to my, I mean, I’m going to hang, you know, my family for Thanksgiving or something. You think yourself, you know, you want, you must feel like they’re doing something wrong. You’re like, what are you doing? You know, that that’s, do you know how bad this is?

[00:12:15] You know, that kind of thing. Sure. So when, when you’re. If you read the next issue that you’ve written during this pandemic, is there going to be, are we going to notice like a sort of weirdness like, wow, Dennis Hallam has been locked in his house way too long when he wrote this?

[00:12:32] Dennis Hallum: [00:12:32] I hope. I mean, in order to write these characters, especially fantastical ones, you kind of have to inhabit a different time and place and mentality anyway.

[00:12:43] So I don’t think that there’s anything that directly, Not at XO. Also, we played it. Like I said, we had a lot of lead time. So we plotted this thing pretty tight. I would, I doubt there’s anything that makes you think I’m crazy person. Now see a star is [00:13:00] my image book that has space monkeys and space fish and stuff that I, that I do with Steven Green and Jason, Aaron.

[00:13:06] That has definitely gotten weirder. Like, it is very clear that I have had fewer jobs. And when I go to write that one off the rails, but no, excellent. I think they smartly are keeping me on the straight and narrow with, with the plan.

[00:13:22] Jeff Haas: [00:13:22] That’s awesome. So the other very important question, I’m sure our listeners would want to know is to read the current run of XiO Manno work.

[00:13:30] How familiar do they need to be with the prior run runs of the Manoa and the surrounding universe?

[00:13:38] Dennis Hallum: [00:13:38] You, you don’t need to read it at all. Like we make it pretty clear, what has happened and what got him to where he is now. If you have read the previous runs, there’s stuff in there for you, and you will understand, you know, his attitude and his mentality and his damage.

[00:13:55]a lot better if you’ve read that. But, I tried to, I always think of cable because one of [00:14:00] my first, ongoing books was cable and X-Force and you know, I’d read cable books. I knew who cable was, but I sat down with cables, Wikipedia, and with some old comics to try to like, Figure out, like what a good reference to what to put in there.

[00:14:12] And cable’s backstory makes no sense. Like there’s no way that one man lived all those things and there’s no way to reference any of it quickly in a 20 page comic while you’re also telling a new story. So what I came to was, okay, this is a guy that’s been through all these things and he wears the weight of them and you know, his, his attitudes and fears and.

[00:14:34] Personality all where’s the coat of the stuff he’s been through, but we don’t talk about it that much. Like it’s only referenced if it’s, if you know, it’s very specifically deals with what’s going on and that’s, that’s the kind of the way we’ve gone with Xcel. Like, Hey, this guy has been through a lot and it’s a lot of really strange stuff that was really effecting, but it’s probably not going to sit and talk about it.

[00:14:54] It’s like a guy quiet guy. That’s been through the war. Like if you ask them directly he’ll answer and he wears the weight [00:15:00] of it, but it’s not just going to be chatty Cathy about all the time. so that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to see really new reader friendly, and it is a very new direction for the character, but this is the same guy.

[00:15:10] This is, this is Eric. the Visigoth who, who did all those things, Yeah, it’s just, it’s not a major part of our, of our plot.

[00:15:20] Jeff Haas: [00:15:20] So how tight of a universe is the Valiant universe? It like, are we going to definitely get nods to the other characters within actual manner? Or is it a little bit like maybe older DC where, you know, you kind of know they’re the same world, but they don’t really impact each other.


[00:15:37] Dennis Hallum: [00:15:37] yeah. at first with all of these books, the current runs, we’re trying to really establish the characters in their own little, Oh, the Valiant universe, just so that new, you know, to make any reader friendly is always a big part of it. But also just so you get everything you need to know from reading these pages, but like I’m good friends with Colin bun and [00:16:00] he’s writing a shadow man, and I want nothing more than to.

[00:16:03] Totally chunked shadow man, in the pages of man of war, just whatever and Cohen. So we have plans going forward. So yeah, for the first couple of arcs of all the books, I’d say to plan on it being pretty, focused on the central character, but going forward. Absolutely. We’ll take advantage of the shared universe because the characters are, you know, super interesting and different from one another than that.

[00:16:26] Yeah. The potential to have like a magic versus science, storyline coming up or shadow man gets involved. Is huge. So it down the line for sure. We’ll do that.

[00:16:35] Jeff Haas: [00:16:35] I definitely hope so. Like I said, I think value is a really fun universe and it’s been, I think a while that the boundary as a universe, as a whole has gotten as much recognition as it probably does.

[00:16:46] Dennis Hallum: [00:16:46] Yeah. Now this, this plan there’s definitely plans for it now, obviously the pandemic a everybody’s plans a bit. but yeah, I think you can, you can play on that. Yeah,

[00:16:56] Jeff Haas: [00:16:56] the other great thing that I enjoyed about reading your issues of actional man of [00:17:00] war is that the art is tremendous. Oh, I’m going to get the guy’s name wrong.

[00:17:03] Emilio laser Lazo.

[00:17:06] Dennis Hallum: [00:17:06] I believe that’s how you pronounce it. Yeah.

[00:17:08] Jeff Haas: [00:17:08] Oh, Hey, I got one, right. This isn’t pretty good. yeah. How does it change what you’re writing to have to know that your artist is as talented as he is?

[00:17:19] Dennis Hallum: [00:17:19] Well, I mean, usually the hardest thing about taking over a new book is. You’d never know what it’s like to work with the artist because, No, unless it happens to be a friend of yours or someone you’ve worked with before, you don’t know what that first issue’s going to look like, and you kind of find your, your, your legs together.

[00:17:35]and you can kind of push and pull the play to their strengths. But fortunately, I worked with Emilio on one of my Spider-Man game, reverse, arcs. He, he drew and I knew. Just how much energy and movement and amazing facial expressions and character acting he could do. So it was really nice writing the first issue because like, Oh, I know.

[00:17:56] And I got yeah. To push in those directions. but yeah, it definitely gives you [00:18:00] a ton of freedom when, you know, not only are you going to get crazy bombastic, action sequences, but you can also ask for a wry smile or something, and that’s going to make sense. So, yeah, it’s, it’s a huge, it’s a huge advantage to have, not just a fantastic artist, but, someone with some range,

[00:18:18] Jeff Haas: [00:18:18] did you find that you, You can in your writing, play down things in dialogue.

[00:18:24] Cause you know, he can bring it up in the look of the character in the artwork. You can say, you know, as I need him saying this or thinking this, you know, like in the writing, cause I know in just, you know, this image, this how he sets this up, that will already be told in the picture.

[00:18:39] Dennis Hallum: [00:18:39] I usually. So like with action sequences, my initial draft or the drawing drafts, if you want to call it that, doesn’t have much in the way of dialogue, unless it’s really important, to understand what’s happening because yeah, I’ve worked with enough brilliant artists in my career that a lot of times you’ll write a bunch of flowery poet, you know, [00:19:00] poetic.

[00:19:00] Captions or dialogue over an action sequence, and then you just erase it all when you get there. So I try to make it to those, those stand on their own, as much as possible. And then once it’s drawn, I can look at it and be like, okay, you know, like a funny one-liner here or something to add some clarity here or whatever the case is.

[00:19:16]so yeah, I, the worst thing is when you’re working with somebody who doesn’t. The thing, or like it’s focused on something, usually it’s just a miscommunication, like they’re focused on not what you intended. And then you have to go back over the top and make it clear in the dialogue. And that’s not an issue with Emilio at all.

[00:19:36] Like you could literally remove me from the action sequences and it would still be just as

[00:19:40] Jeff Haas: [00:19:40] much fun. So for, for the new writers who are maybe listening to the podcast, you know, the, the, the rookie us correctors. Would you say then the first, the major mistake that they make is they put too much wording in the story, like is less, more in comic books.

[00:19:58] Dennis Hallum: [00:19:58] I mean, I think [00:20:00] a lot of times, yes, a lot of times you need to let the art stand on its own. And I say that as a very wordy writer, like I, my comics all have big dialogue sequences and lots of back and forth. but what I try to do is. Give the artist, something fun to draw while the characters are talking.

[00:20:20]but not something that’s so elaborate that you’re going to cover it all up. and then yeah, have some pages, like a lot of them, a third of the book where you’re just getting out of the way and letting the artists play because, you know, nobody wants to draw a bunch of people sitting behind desks in an office, chatting agents and you know, most people don’t wanna read that either.

[00:20:39]so yeah, I think it’s, there’s a push and pull to it. The best thing is when you develop a rapport where you can just give them like three or four sentences of what happens on the next three pages, and then they just go and you get back this brilliant work. And that’s, I think that’s the goal. That’s what you should want is a collaboration where.

[00:20:58] Everybody plays to their strengths [00:21:00] and elevates it. And yeah, we’ll never because the book, isn’t the thing that’s in your head when you’re typing it’s what is, you know, what comes back and what you put on top of that and what goes to the printer? So the ability to be flexible and to collaborate and to let their input.

[00:21:18] The artist, what the artist is capable of bringing to it, be as big a part of the stew, if not bigger than what, than what you’re bringing as this crucial, because you can tell, you can tell when someone’s drawing, what they’re being asked and when someone’s strong, you know, what they think is good. So, yeah.

[00:21:33] I mean, collaboration is the name of the game for sure.

[00:21:35] Jeff Haas: [00:21:35] Amy, can you tell when an artist is not into it? I mean, I, I don’t know if you ever had the experience ever had ever existed with you, but can you tell the difference of when your artist is really like. Owning the story or when they’re kind of like, all right, I’ll do what you tell me to

[00:21:50] Dennis Hallum: [00:21:50] sometimes.

[00:21:51]there are a lot of people that are, I mean, I’ve just been, I’ve been really lucky to be honest. I’ve, I’ve worked with even when I was green and when people [00:22:00] shouldn’t have been giving me their all, because they didn’t know what I was doing, I have, I’ve gotten by and large, just fantastic art. but yeah, there are, there are times, especially early in my career where I was just.

[00:22:11] In love with my dialogue and asking for a scene that had no visual interest to it and working with an, a seasoned artist who was like, okay, well, that’s a, that’s a day off that page. Doesn’t have to be interesting. And it’s a shame cause you’re, you know, you’re boring them. You’re not getting their best work.

[00:22:29] And then you end up with, you know, three quarters of the book. That’s amazing. And then he’s. You know, five or six pages that are boring. When, if you had followed a little bit about like, I don’t want this guy likes to draw, like I’ve seen his work, I’ve, you know, read her comics or whatever. I can make this more interesting, then that’d be better.

[00:22:47] And, and a lot of times it’s just finding your way, finding your collaborate and all of those instances I learned from, and then by the end of that collaboration, it was great. So sometimes it’s just finding it, but for sure. And,

[00:22:59] Jeff Haas: [00:22:59] and it must be [00:23:00] kind of fun when, the artist does come back with their work and it must be sometimes what you’ve been excited and shocked that the artist has incorporate something to the story that maybe you hadn’t even thought of it.

[00:23:09] Dennis Hallum: [00:23:09] Oh, more often than not. Yeah. the pages I get back are often much, much cooler than what I was picturing in my head. And, yeah, the, the best collaborations you, you completely rewrite the book based on what they’ve done or not. So that your letter must kill you. I don’t mean that, but I just mean you read, you see stuff that was, that, that they have added that elevates the scene and then you tweak it to, to lean into that.

[00:23:34] Or, yeah, like I said, just get out of the way, like, there’s this other, the best example I can think of, of that was in my Spiderwoman run. We did a alien hospital. She gives birth in an alien hospital. That’s being overrun by its scrolls and. The pages that came back for her, like hiding out and fighting her way through this insane jet [00:24:00] Kirby alien, hospital re so much more incredible than anything that I could’ve thought of.

[00:24:04] And Javier is page layout and the structure of it was just so brilliant that I didn’t want words that’s on it. Like this, this is like much cooler than anything I was capable of writing. And yeah, the way that happens is by letting creative people be free to do what they want.

[00:24:24] Jeff Haas: [00:24:24] That’s awesome. And the other interesting about Xcel man award because of the suit, is it, am I pressing right?

[00:24:31] Hara

[00:24:32] Dennis Hallum: [00:24:32] Shannon? I, yeah, I, I don’t know everybody pronounces it differently. I say Eric, for the, for exes. Yeah, first name and, every one of valiance has arc, but I know a guy named Eric spells it that way. So whatever, just pronounce it.

[00:24:48] Jeff Haas: [00:24:48] You’re the writer so far for today. We’ll we’ll call him Eric. So because of the suit, how defined did, did you, do you want the, the abilities of the suit to be [00:25:00] well,

[00:25:01] Dennis Hallum: [00:25:01] the problem with the suit.

[00:25:03] Is that it’s so powerful and has done so many different things in the past that it can basically do anything. which makes it a little bit like a Greenland and ring where it’s kind of like it’s up to the imagination of the wearer. and Eric is very smart and very savvy, but maybe not the most.

[00:25:24] Technologically imaginative, imaginative fellow. so we start pretty simple with it, like he does what it would occur to him to do in that moment. but as the book goes on, he starts leaning on the supporting cats a little bit more, with Shahara his thoughts. And then we introduce a new character who is, is kinda enter that realm with them.

[00:25:45] And so we will start to see us kind of push the boundaries of what. What not necessarily what the suit’s capable of, because it’s always been capable of this stuff, but just what it occurs to them to do in the moment. And also you got to make the villains [00:26:00] bigger and more bad-ass as it goes on, so that he’s not just crushing everyone in a second.

[00:26:04] So yeah. As, as things get harder, you’ll see the, the suit become cooler.

[00:26:09] Jeff Haas: [00:26:09] Okay

[00:26:16] are actually challenging to them. Oh, hello? Oh yeah. I think, I think we lost each other first for a moment. I said, because of how powerful the suit is. Is it difficult to come up with villains and challenges that are actually going to, I guess, challenge him?

[00:26:33] Dennis Hallum: [00:26:33] Well, that was one of the big things. Like the two things we wanted to do is make the world.

[00:26:39] To build the world from a human level and emotional level. So he has a community and then also to make the world bigger and scarier and weirder. So we can get to a place where we’re doing Thor, Ragnarok. but it makes sense in the violent universe. Cause the Valiant universe at base level is very much the real world.

[00:26:55]so yeah, that’s, that’s where we’re headed like this arc and then the [00:27:00] first couple of arcs are sort of about building credible threats from the ground up so that, yeah, it’s, it’s not just. Eric crushing everyone is really, you know, like normal human pho is going to be any match from, and he can, you can end the war with a punch, but yeah, th th the threats it’s like the world changes around him too, to match him like this thing exists.

[00:27:23] So now the world has to be different because of it,

[00:27:26] Jeff Haas: [00:27:26] because it does sound like there’s potential. or you, or did you consider the potential of the, I guess I call it Superman problem where you have a character like Superman. Who on one issue is moving an asteroid. And the second issue is grunting stopping a train.

[00:27:39] I do ever wonder, like, how do you like measure and make sure that, you know, it’s consistent.

[00:27:45] Dennis Hallum: [00:27:45] Yeah. And I answered to that is when he’s early on in the series, the threats are not that physically difficult for him, but the repercussions of his solution become really problematic. So like in the first issue, he there’s a, a dead, [00:28:00] Spaceship, that’s falling out of orbit is going to crash into the city and he catches it and stops it from killing a bunch of people.

[00:28:06] But then he lands it and drops it in the middle of rush hour traffic, which obviously pisses off thousand new Yorkers. And that creates problems from him from a PR standpoint. So now everyone in the neighborhood hates him and thinks he’s crazy. And that is an issue or, We did a short story, teasing the book where he crashes the, helicopter through a bunch of apartment buildings, which is great in that he stops the bad guys, but if you live in the apartment buildings, it’s a problem.

[00:28:33] Right? So, yeah, there’s, there’s real world repercussions to normal superhero things. And then as the book. Goes on. Yeah. We just make the shirt bigger, like the bad guys and the things that he’s facing will become much more difficult for him. And then his power grows and they changed the medium it’s so, yeah, by the end of it, you should have plenty of credible threats that actually tax the, [00:29:00] the character and the suit.

[00:29:01] Jeff Haas: [00:29:01] And the other thing I thought was really cool is that you compared the suit to the grill entrance ring, knowing that because of the way its power works, but because the green lantern ring in later years has been demonstrated to be, I guess, sent in and also iron man’s armor. So his chin Hara sent in the way that it has emotions and morality, or is it more of just an AI?

[00:29:24] That is, I guess, opinionated, but definitely that doesn’t have like a.

[00:29:28] Dennis Hallum: [00:29:28] Yeah, Shahara was actually a, person and she was alien, but once upon a time she was a living being and then her, I don’t remember exactly how it worked, but her, personality and essence and sentience got put into the suit. So we we’ve given her this Shahara character a lot larger or role.

[00:29:49] She’s a lot more of a vocal partner. but yeah, she’s definitely. She’s giving her opinion. She has access instantaneously to, you know, all of human and alien knowledge. [00:30:00] So she’s a bit of a know it all and can be kind of annoying in that Siri way from time to time. But she has a personality. She has a voice.

[00:30:08] She, you know, she is a person, with, with the inherent morality, which is important, I think because you have two very different creatures with two very. Different mindsets, who both have habit, this superhero essentially. And the one that controls the body is the one that thinks less and punches first.

[00:30:31] You know, he’s, he’s not dumb, but he’s very much action first. And Shahara is always thinking, always seeing five chess moves ahead, always telling him the possible negative repercussions of everything while he’s going ahead and doing this. So it makes for a really fun partnership. She’s to answer your question directly, she’s she’s definitely a person with a morality.

[00:30:54] Jeff Haas: [00:30:54] It it’s it sounds, I mean, it’s the interactions a little bit like, when, when I was growing up, one of my big combo characters, I was a fan of, [00:31:00] is a firestorm, the Ronnie Raymond professor Stein interaction where Ray, Raymond’s obviously a kid. So he doesn’t really know exactly what he’s doing, but he does have the mentor Stein.

[00:31:08] Who’s kind of coaching until the next explaining how things were supposed to be operating.

[00:31:13] Dennis Hallum: [00:31:13] Yes. Yeah. I fathered that whenever I first started writing it, my actually some random seventies issue of firestorm that I got at a Stuckey’s when I was funny was my first comic book. I, I, I thought of that, relationship when I was for sort of writing.

[00:31:33] Jeff Haas: [00:31:33] Yeah. also it must help as well as making your armor sentience, because I guess when difficult that you have with a character who’s by themselves is that, you know, who’s he talking to who’s? Who is he explaining what’s going on with our thinking. It must help to have an armor for him to have a conversation with.

[00:31:50] So you can kind of share his thoughts with him.

[00:31:52] Dennis Hallum: [00:31:52] Yeah. It’s it’s alone. It’s helpful. It’s actually kind of, it’s my favorite thing to write is people arguing, and always has [00:32:00] been. And so the fact that I don’t have to add another character to the mix, to have an argument, is it’s like what, the best thing and the worst thing about the book, because I’m constantly having to be like, okay, calm down.

[00:32:10] This scene is about something else. Arguing about basketball right now.

[00:32:16] Jeff Haas: [00:32:16] But,

[00:32:16] Dennis Hallum: [00:32:16] yeah, it’s a lot of fun,

[00:32:17] Jeff Haas: [00:32:17] but one of the, what you mentioned the basketball scene, I must admit, I thought that scene where Eric, Eric was playing basketball with the kids was a phenomenal scene. I think it was such a smart scene for you to add.

[00:32:28] So I think it really humanizes, like when the armor says fit, the physics is dubious when he’s playing basketball. And I thought it was a perfect scene to humanize the character of Eric. Was that like, when you were plotting the store, were you thinking to yourself, I need this issue to ground them? Was it just something to lay in the delighting, the mood?

[00:32:44] What was your thought process on that one?

[00:32:45] Dennis Hallum: [00:32:45] Yeah. That’s well, that scene has a couple of different things going on. Number one, I wanted to show. Okay. That the kids in the neighborhood would immediately think he was awesome. Cause they don’t care about the fact that he breaks buildings or that stops traffic or whatever.

[00:32:59] Like they [00:33:00] just like, Oh, this is a bad-ass superhero hobo that lives in my neighborhood. He didn’t have a place to live. He refused to like wear clothes. You don’t want to buy anything. And so it’s just like, it’s a dirty Superman that walks around. And so. What were the neighborhood kids want to do with the bad-ass guy that can fly and like basketball made sense.

[00:33:20]but I also wanted to show that while Shahara can tell him. Anything, any human has ever thought or said she, I can’t help him play basketball. Like you’d go to the Wikipedia entry for basketball and explain academically where the pick and roll is. It doesn’t gonna make even the world’s craziest, most gifted athlete be able to play basketball, but

[00:33:40] Jeff Haas: [00:33:40] you kid,

[00:33:42] Dennis Hallum: [00:33:42] it’s a pretty funny scene.

[00:33:43] Cause he’s asking like he wants her to explain what he’s supposed to do and she’s talking to him about. The inception of the game and the peach basket and chucks the ball up at the almost knocked the back board off. And that by one of the kid’s [00:34:00] moms, because the creepy superhero guy is talking to her.

[00:34:04] Jeff Haas: [00:34:04] And I really like that slogan. You should put that on top of the comic book, dirty Superman, extra Amanda Ward, dirty Superman.

[00:34:14] That’s funny. and the other thing I think is interesting too, is that the people around him do know that he’s out, he doesn’t have at the moment, at least a secret identity. Is that something that is intentionally going into complicate things for him because they know the villains and never would knows where he lives or is going to live.

[00:34:31] Dennis Hallum: [00:34:31] That’s a thing that wouldn’t occur to him because of the time and place that he’s from. Right? Like the idea of hiding. His identity. Like he’s a warrior. He doesn’t, he doesn’t think about that. He doesn’t care about that. but yeah, it, the idea of him having an image and people having any thoughts, other than I didn’t die, that’s good from what he’s doing.

[00:34:52] And it doesn’t occur to him at first. And then it becomes a major focus of the book. Like you don’t get to go stop a war unless the world loves [00:35:00] you because that’s international politics and can be a problem. Right, right. Power vacuum in the Ukraine. Someone fills that. And unless you want to be a King in the Ukraine, it’s not going to be you.

[00:35:12]so he starts to develop, as the series goes on, like a superhero persona, but then you have to live up to that and then you’ve got a target on your back. And it, it’s just, there are a lot of real world problems to being that, that, you know, that figure in modern society. So. A very elaborate. Yes, definitely a thing we’re addressing.

[00:35:37] Jeff Haas: [00:35:37] So, and, and I think it’s also pretty cool that Eric,

[00:35:39] Dennis Hallum: [00:35:39] sorry.

[00:35:40] Jeff Haas: [00:35:40] There’s no worries. When, prior to when he was a Visigoth, my understanding that he was a Prince, is that correct? Yes. So there’s moments in the first issue where he’s shown to be penniless and around other people who are definitely homeless.

[00:35:53] Is that an intentional attempt to show. How he’s going to grow and maybe develop a level of empathy [00:36:00] for others who are maybe suffering.

[00:36:03] Dennis Hallum: [00:36:03] Yeah. When a lot of that comes from where, you know, he spends so far removed for years now, from what, where he grew up and how things were, you know, he, he lived as a slave for years on an alien ship.

[00:36:16] And then when he escaped it was because he accidentally bonded within an alien armor, then flew back to earth where. You know, hundreds of years have passed and then he had to stop an alien invasion and then he lived in an alien world. So like he, he’s just, I think brass tacks. If you think about it from a, from a, PTSD standpoint, he’s been through so much, his identity is very fractured.

[00:36:40] Like everyone he knew and loved is either dead long, dead or on a distant planet. Right. And so, yeah, I mean, he’s just like literally starting from the ground up. Like I don’t at first is I don’t need anything. I can hunt my own food. I can, you know, I can survive anything and I’m just going to be [00:37:00] the champion of these people and help people.

[00:37:01] I just want to help people, but that doesn’t work longterm. You have to have people in your life to not go crazy. And Shahara understands that and he starts to develop that. But yeah, I like taking him all the way to. So rock bottom from our perspective was a way to kind of like to grow a new version of him up out of the ground.

[00:37:23] Jeff Haas: [00:37:23] So for the readers, such as myself who may have not been familiar with the previous run on, on Zomato war, do you, why does he want to do good things for other people? Is he just good hearted? Is there something else that is driving him?

[00:37:37] Dennis Hallum: [00:37:37] Yeah. And I think fighting for what’s right. Is how he was trained.

[00:37:40] Right. Like they, or like how he was raised. Raised as a Prince that’s to try to stop this. The Roman empire at that point was an unstoppable force, like the board or something, right? Like they’re going to come and crush you and you, you, you fight for your people so that you don’t get crushed. And yeah. I mean, I think it’s just been through so [00:38:00] much.

[00:38:01] I think he’s, he likes the idea of. Fighting as an existence, like fighting for good and helping people as a, as an existence. and we don’t, again, we don’t get into, especially at first the how and why of how he showed up, because it’s not really the point of this story. but he’s back on the earth.

[00:38:20] It’s not that similar to what he remembers. He no longer has these extra terrestrial problems to solve. But he’s, you know, he’s a fighter, he’s a warrior. So it’s just the next battle I think is the way he looks at it. But again, he’s also pretty broken from like, from all of this stuff he’s been through.

[00:38:40] And that kind of explains his mental state.

[00:38:43] Jeff Haas: [00:38:43] So, and the only thing that, like I said, I really did love what we do, those first two issues. And I liked that you incorporated the Ukrainian civil war into the story. I especially could be. I don’t know if Alyssa is what they know about current events, but we obviously know there’s an issue in Ukraine going on right now.

[00:38:57] And. Is that it felt [00:39:00] like that was a way that you literally grounded in and say, this story is happening now in here. and not only that, but as we go, we’ll discuss a little bit later. the impact of that was that, was it that kind of a way to let your readers know that this really is going to be based on what’s going on in our world?

[00:39:18] Dennis Hallum: [00:39:18] Yeah. One of the differentiating, you know what, I’ve spent a lot of years writing Marvel comics where. All the bad guys are from fake countries. And mostly, you know, science is mostly magic and everything is, you can do anything. you want without really explaining it, but it also, the, the stakes never feel very realistic in a lot of ways, you know, they can be human, but not just not super realistic.

[00:39:39] And so the fact that we were going to be able to, like, for instance, have police make a mistake and not necessarily be the white shining Knight without. The company worrying about it was nice. And then, yeah, being able to set a, a war in an actual fraught [00:40:00] country, you know, in the real world was, was nice.

[00:40:03] Cause it does, it makes it feel more real. It makes it feel like something from the news with a superhero element added to it and not just made up country number seven, you know, whatever. at the same time, It’s not what we’re doing. Isn’t the actual Ukrainian civil war. You know, it’s not, it is inspired by recent events in that part of the world.

[00:40:26] And we’re using their real names, but it’s our bad guy is a made up in a warlord. Super, he’s not an actual human being and this isn’t my treatise on the, that part of the world. And nor am I capable of writing such a thing, but you know, you do enough research to kind of. Get the lay of the land and to be able to make it seem real enough, real ish, and hopefully not wildly offensive to, But yeah, that was purposeful to make it feel grounded for sure.

[00:40:54] Jeff Haas: [00:40:54] And then I agree with what you said about like the idea of the superheroes and other other universes where, you know, [00:41:00] if we think about it, if the characters like Superman and some of these other characters, the Hawk, all these other things, if they really lived in these, cities and with the level of destruction they caused, the, the amount of must have been constant deaths, you would have to wonder one.

[00:41:15] What is the budget of these cities to afford repairs. And also obviously, why would anyone live in those cities? There’s no consequences. They just, but they don’t go into any of those consequences. That would be, I guess, I mean, severe, you know?

[00:41:28] Dennis Hallum: [00:41:28] Yeah. I actually, I was working on a Spider-Man book that, got killed because of COVID.

[00:41:33]But one of the plot points that we were dealing with involved a property value. And it’s a weird thing because property value in Manhattan, pre COVID. Right. Like it’s a no lose proposition, right? Like you buy Manhattan property and then 10 years it’s worth a lot more because it’s just, there’s not very much of it.

[00:41:53] And it’s very sought after. Yeah. But in the Marvel universe, that’s where every horrible thing happens and no one would live in New York, [00:42:00] like New York, terrible, terrifying place. All of these super villains are always breaking things and killing people and it would be terrible, but it that’s not how, you know, superhero universes don’t usually have.

[00:42:12] Like real world repercussions to the weirdness. cause he has it, that would be the worst place. Like no one would live on the Island of Manhattan because it’s where all of the crazy scary people are who want to kill each other and break things all the time. Right. And we, yeah, so we take real world, New York, put one hero in it.

[00:42:30] And have him break things and piss people off,

[00:42:33] Jeff Haas: [00:42:33] which is a lot of fun. Yeah. Cause I, I do think about when we think about the Marvel universe and I do enjoy the Marvel universe, the issue is everything does occur in New York. It’s like, you know, no, one’s had nothing’s happening in the Midwest. Apparently no stories have no villains are there.

[00:42:45] So why not just move a little bit to the West? And you’re just fine. Why would you screw around and live in New York for God’s sakes? Say with like Gotham or something, you know, like why would he live in Gotham?

[00:42:55] Dennis Hallum: [00:42:55] Right. Yeah. It doesn’t make practical sense, which is why, I mean, it’s. And that’s part of the fun of those [00:43:00] universities is that it’s sort of like New York, but it’s packed with all this weird stuff.

[00:43:03] Like, I’m not saying it’s bad, but it just, it’s hard to talk about real world repercussions in those universes because there have never been any, you know, like it’s, it’s all, it’s all. Different physics sort of diff different cultural physics. And we tried to keep in this because, you know, we have the freedom to keep the cultural physics as realistic as possible.

[00:43:24] Even if the things he’s physically doing are impossible.

[00:43:27] Jeff Haas: [00:43:27] And then there, and I really liked that. I mean, without giving too much away, there’s a moment where, Eric decides to. Solve, I guess in quotations the issue in Ukraine, civil war. And it kinda goes to shit a little bit while he made those an honest attempt.

[00:43:42] And I think there was a wonderful way of teaching, character, the lessons of, yes, you can do whatever you want, but keep in mind is that because you think it’s a good idea. People’s not gonna turn around and be like, Oh thank you. Oh great. Eric, everything is good. Now that you stop this, you know?

[00:43:59] Dennis Hallum: [00:43:59] Yeah.

[00:44:00] [00:43:59] And it all comes down to. Optics. And, you know, I think a lot of stuff has come out in the last, couple of years with the United States being so politically divided and the idea of, algorithms showing you the kind of news you would want to see and the most salacious versions of it, like. Yeah, like this guy doing this, if you watch it on this channel is an amazing hero, doing an amazing thing.

[00:44:24] You watched it on this channel. The devil has come to kill assault and you know, people genuinely believe that. So yeah, even, even like a totally moral, totally heroic act, if you don’t sell it. Right. yeah. You get a real problem on your hands and it’s just the optics of it. Like, like you said, in the case of going and stopping award, then what.

[00:44:47] Like, if you defeat both sides, if you force both sides to stop fighting, then who’s in control. What, what happens next? which has happened in, you know, the U S has funded some, some civil Wars and some uprisings places. And [00:45:00] oftentimes 10 years down the line it’s much worse for everyone than it was before.

[00:45:05] Jeff Haas: [00:45:05] Like I say, I understand. Yeah.

[00:45:07] Dennis Hallum: [00:45:07] Yeah. That’s what I was. yeah. So, you know, a superhero tried to go do that. We, you would have similar results, I think. And that was. That’s a good lesson for them to learn, because how do you do this the right way? Like, what is the right way to go be Superman? Is there like, is there a way that people don’t get hurt and you don’t just poke holes and things that fill up with something worse?

[00:45:28] Jeff Haas: [00:45:28] It is. Are you going to explore also the possibility? Cause I also, I think there’s in society, probably two types of people in any situation, the ones who are going to be like angry that someone got involved in their shit. And the other side, PE group of people who would, basically begging this person to get involved in every situation that they have is, is, Eric would find itself in a certain situation where people are also going do this for us.

[00:45:55] You need to fix that. Why can’t, why aren’t you doing this other thing?

[00:45:59] Dennis Hallum: [00:45:59] Yeah. I mean, we, we, [00:46:00] and we will definitely like where his we’re going to play a lot with where his influence has come from and why he makes these choices and what, you know. Okay. What makes sense, I guess, is what it comes down to because there are the, the thing is you can, it’s sort of like, you can do nice things because it looks good.

[00:46:19] And because it, if you give to this charity, then your taxes are lower and then you can do the things that know that are just good, that no one’s going to notice. And the superhero version of that is there’s the messy stuff that needs to be done. That some people aren’t going to like, and then there’s the.

[00:46:37] You know, the stuff that they put you on the cover of the magazine for that makes everybody like you. And he kind of tries to thread that needle. How do you stay popular enough, doing clean, squeaky, clean stuff that you’re capable of getting your hands a little bit dirty to try and help out here. And it, yeah, it’s a major theme of the book going forward.

[00:46:56] It’s what is, you know, what does a hero [00:47:00] need to do?

[00:47:02] Jeff Haas: [00:47:02] Okay. Yeah, I really liked that. Cause I, I would imagine if I was a hero, there would definitely be not just a motivation, but you know, a need to want to be loved and do whatever it is that will get you more love.

[00:47:16] Dennis Hallum: [00:47:16] Right. And, well, the beauty of Eric is at the beginning, he doesn’t care.

[00:47:19] He wants to do what’s right. Like his, you know, he’s kind of like a clean on like, he has a. code and as long as he’s following that code, all his might is right. Or whatever, but that’s not how modern humanity sees it. And there’s cameras everywhere and there’s going to be an unflattering angle of everything that he does.

[00:47:39] So he has to start caring about that. And then how does that change you and how does that change your motivations? And do you, do you lose your heroism in that? If you have to worry about that,

[00:47:50] Jeff Haas: [00:47:50] and one great character that you introduced is Troy Whitaker, who makes a joke that he’s not a bill in the traditional sense.

[00:47:56] So as you develop him, how close to that [00:48:00] truth is he when he says, I’m not, I’m a bill in a traditional sense, he’s still technically going to be the primary villain of the story.

[00:48:06] Dennis Hallum: [00:48:06] No, Troy is much more complicated than that. Troy is a billionaire that wants what’s best and who is brilliant. And he sees all of the angles.

[00:48:15] He’s losing everything that, that Eric is not like he sees the optics of everything. He sees the angles he sees, like he understands. The political move, but he also wants, you know, he, he wants a better world. He wants the same things that Eric does. but getting the two to CII because of that, it’s difficult because if it were up to Troy, Eric would only always do the stuff that gets him on the magazine cover because that shit up their hats politically as capital, But no, he, you know, he understands how Eric’s going to see him, which is why he says that.

[00:48:44] But no, he’s, he’s definitely not, the villain, he’s just a very complicated, ally, I guess, is the way to put it. he also in my head, has Matthew McConaughey his voice on the right?

[00:48:58] Jeff Haas: [00:48:58] That’s that’s pretty good. I [00:49:00] didn’t hear that voice in my guess. Now that you’re saying it, I can, I can totally hear Matthew McCarthy and, you know, getting that character.

[00:49:05] Dennis Hallum: [00:49:05] He’s like a Texan. Elon Musk sort of, he has all the money in the world, but yeah, he sounds like Matthew McConaughey.

[00:49:14] Jeff Haas: [00:49:14] So that another catalyst that you introduced as interesting as that is Tina Morris. So is she being set up as the love interest?

[00:49:25] Dennis Hallum: [00:49:25] Hello? Hi, sorry. I’m thinking about the question.

[00:49:28] Jeff Haas: [00:49:28] Oh, okay. Fair enough.

[00:49:29] Dennis Hallum: [00:49:29] Not as such. We’re building. We’re building a family forum as a sort of is my way to put it, but I, I don’t think of it in terms of a love interest, at least not first. It’s more just like that. Like friends giving sort of a family, you know, like the community that the family that you find, the community that, that comes together, around you, when you, when you.

[00:49:55] Aren’t able to be your true self and the, this, that most of the side characters [00:50:00] try included, I guess it’s a bit, it’s a weird entry into this. yeah, they just became, they sort of all gel around to become Eric and Shannara as people. but Eric, if you go back and read the previous runs, his romantic history is, fraught, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put him in a relationship right off the bat.

[00:50:21] So I guess no is my answer, not a love interest, but there’s definitely a lot of love

[00:50:25] Jeff Haas: [00:50:25] there. So, so what can the readers look forward to in the next issues of XNL man war?

[00:50:32]Dennis Hallum: [00:50:32] lots of crazy pops off pretty quickly. like I said, the goal is to make this world big and weird and scary enough that it needs an Eric.

[00:50:41]And that starts to happen pretty quickly. So we, you know, we, we’ve established a home base. We’ve established a, a core group around him and the people that are gonna help them go forward. And now we’re going to smash it with a sledgehammer and make them pick up the pieces.

[00:50:55] Jeff Haas: [00:50:55] Well, like I said, I really thought it was a wonderfully, done the first two wishes, able to re [00:51:00] I was able to read an actual manual.

[00:51:01] I think it was very well done. And I do look forward to seeing, what would you do with it? And I want to thank you very much, Mr. Holland for talking with me. It was, you’re a fantastic guest.

[00:51:09] Dennis Hallum: [00:51:09] Yeah. Thanks for that.

Other Episodes