Exclusive Interview: Jason Sterr and Daniel Maine, The Consultant

In Comic Books, Interviews by Iron SquidLeave a Comment

Coming soon is a comic that I am looking forward too…the story of dirty Super Heroes getting away with horrible crimes, kind of like Pol–..Anyway, here is an interview with Jason Sterr and Daniel Maine about their new book from Action Lab: The Consultant.

So, for those who don’t know, what is the Consultant about?

Jason: The Consultant is about Marcus Greenberg – a former Navy Seal – who works for our world’s superheroes, covering up and cleaning up their crimes, accidents, mistakes, and God knows whatever else they pay him to do.  The easiest comparison that I can think of is Superman’s Ray Donovan…but with absolutely no conscious.

Why show the more gruesome side of the superhero universe?

Jason: Because gruesomeness is what inspired the story.  That and my love of superhero comics – my dad taught me to read with Aquaman and Superman comics and I’ve been reading them ever since.  I came up with the story on a deployment a few years ago in response to some of the outlandish things I saw and was asked to do.  “The Consultant” was actually my way to stay sane over there.

Are we going to see more of Spartan and the other heroes being dirty?

Jason: The heroes get into all sorts of ridiculous shit – if they didn’t, Marcus wouldn’t have a job!  There’s treason, drug smuggling, and just a little bit of murder to start off with.

Daniel: Sure, This is a world where the superheroes have the power and they are not afraid to use it, and not just in “conquer the world” way, more in the “I do what I pleased me” way. I used to refer them as a mix of a twisted JLA with a “sinister squadron” way of thinking.

What kind of research was put into developing a world where Super Heroes needed a “Consultant?”

Jason: The research for this book was conducted via drunken hypothetical conversations with some of the guys in my unit.  Throwing out the idea that people are essentially bastards, then applying superpowers, the outline/hijinks pretty much just unfolded from there.

Are we looking at more of a hero becomes the villain story or something brand new?

Jason: It’s new in the fact that there are no heroes in this story.  Everyone has an angle and an agenda that is so skewed that no one could be considered virtuous or ethical.  That’s the fun of it.  Russell, Marcus’s assistant, is the closest thing to a Jiminy Cricket as we get in this story; but the only character showing any sort of morality is the same guy who begins the story with a water-boarding.

What was the challenge of balancing out the dark side and the lighter side of the heroes? Or do they even have good in them?

Jason: There’s not a lot of good in anyone in this story – may be a faint trace here or there, but even then it’s more of a reluctance/fear of getting caught than it is fear of crossing “the line”.  The challenge was looking at each of the character’s power sets and finding the appropriate way to exploit them.  Basically, what would I do if I had each of these characters’ powers?

Daniel: I think they are more grey, the good guys are not as good as we can expect and also the bad guys are not always the bad itself, the balance depends of the situation, the weight of the secrets they hide or their own interest, but at the end they are all just like dolls in the hands of Greenberg.

Why create Marcus Greenburg? Why a Consultant?

Jason: Because superheroes are celebrities nowadays and celebrities have cleaners.  It was the most logical step moving forward.  As long as we put people on a pedestal, as long as we worship other people, there’s going to be a need for people like Marcus.

How will The Guardians develop themselves as characters? How will Marcus grow?

Jason: We start the story with The Guardians have long ago established themselves as the world’s foremost super-team.  They’ve been pulling their shit for years and no one has called them on it or lived to talk about it, largely because of Marcus.  Their development stems from their fear of being caught, while Marcus’s motivation is the fear of his business model collapsing.

As far as Marcus’s growth is concerned, I look at him like I look at Frank (Castle) or Dexter (Morgan).  He doesn’t grow as an individual so much as he learns new tricks of the trade or better ways to keep out of the limelight.

When working on the art, you went with (what I feel) a more modern style, why this style instead of more of a classic style?

Daniel: Yes, When I started with “the consultant” pages I was developing a more realistic anatomic style than my previous artwork which was more cartoony. I am a big fan of superhero comics since my early years so I wanted to make something in this line of work. I really hope people enjoy the art as much as they will enjoy the story.

When developing the costumes, where did you pull your inspiration from?

Jason: Giovanni Valletta was the artist that I hired to originally design the characters.  I met him through Dare2Draw, a graphic novel networking/mentoring organization in Harlem, and he’s since been featured in works by Dynamite (John Wick)  and BOOM (Eternal).  I outlined what I was looking for as far as each character goes and their obvious inspirations and Gio absolutely knocked it out of the park.  Then Daniel came in and completely owned each and every page, every action scene, every panel.  I was beyond amazed with the talent that had a hand in creating this book, artistically.

Daniel: Truth is that almost all heroes were already designed when I join the team, just changed a little bit the look for I work more in the sidekicks, villains and other characters, and about them and some other things as a character armor which appears later in the series I decided to make a mix within references of different editorials creating a mix of something new and attractive for the new characters. It’s always a funny part of the work and of course, Francesca (the colorist) did a great teamwork giving they the colors to bring them alive.

The Consultant corrupts comic book shops, December 6th, 2017!

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