Interview with Mark Poulton, ‘Hawkman’ co-scripter

Credits: Rob Liefeld; DC Comics

Interview with Mark Poulton, ‘Hawkman’ co-scripter

In May, DC Comics launched The Second Wave of their New 52 event; launching new series and bringing on new creative teams to existing titles. The Savage Hawkman received the latter treatment bringing on Rob Liefeld on plots and co-scripting, Mark Poulton co-scripting, Joe Bennett on pencils and Art Thibert on inks. Their first issue was in #9, released earlier this week. Co-scriptor Mark Poulton took some time to tell readers what they can expect from this exciting new launching point.

1. Starting with The Savage Hawkman #9, you’ll be co-scripting the series with Rob Liefeld. What is your history with Hawkman? Are you a fan of the character?

View slideshow:Savage Hawkman Preview

I was definitely a fan. My first exposure to him was during the “Super Friends,” but from a comics view, I was a big fan of the 90s series by John Ostrander. In fact, my very first sketch at a comic con was of Hawkman from Steve Lieber at 1993’s Philadelphia Comic Fest. Hawkman has always held a special spot in my comic fandom.

2. You and Rob also collaborate on the Image Comics series Avengelyne, as part of Liefeld’s Extreme Universe of titles, how does the process on Hawkman differ?

After the initial story arc, Rob handed over sole writing duties to me on Avengelyne. Since issue 4, I’ve been plotting and scripting the book myself. With Hawkman, I’m co-scripting with Rob with Rob also handling all the plotting duties.

Rob’s plots are great to work from. Lots of great action and highly detailed with dialog suggestions. Once he sends over a plot, I’ll do a draft of the script and tweak it on and off until the layouts come in. From there, I’ll match up the script with the layouts and continue to tweak until Rob is ready for it. Rob does a final pass and adds his details that really make it sing.

I’ve probably learned the most about writing from Rob than anyone else. He really paces his stories well and knows how to set up great visual shots.

3. Joe Bennett is the new artist on the book, but he’s worked on Hawkman before and his work is amazing. How has his art influenced your storytelling approach?

I can’t say enough nice things about Joe’s artwork. He is amazing. I always thought he was a great artist, but his work on Savage Hawkman has been on another level. As far as I’m concerned, he’s up there with DC’s heavy hitters like Jim Lee and Ivan Reis.

To be honest, it’s not just Joe. The whole team: Rob, Joe, and Art, are bringing their A game on this series. Their biggest influence on me is just pushing me to that next level. You really give your best effort, because you don’t want to be considered the weak link.

4. Hawkman had one of the most convoluted pasts in comics, but all of that is gone with “The New 52” launch last year. What, if anything, do readers need to know before jumping into your run with the character?

Issue 9 is a great jumping on point. I think a reader with no previous knowledge of Hawkman can pick up our first issue and not be lost. The reader will be on the same journey as Hawkman. In the series, Carter is learning the mysteries surrounding his powers and the Nth Metal.

5. At the launch of the series, Hawkman was based in New York City, but you will be relocating him. What can you tell us about where he is going and the reasons for the move? Considering the overabundance of characters set in NYC, any change is a welcome one.

I think that’s a main reason for getting Carter out of NYC. Also, he was presented as this Indiana Jones type character with him being a professor/archeologist/linguist, but he wasn’t doing any of the globe trotting you would expect from that type of character. That all changes with our run. He’s going to be out of the city, out of the country, and beyond.

6. With the change of setting, what supporting characters can readers expect to see in the series? Rob Liefeld has hinted on Twitter (@robertliefeld) that the Omega Men, currently appearing in Deathstroke, may appear in Hawkman, for example.

His female friend, Emma, plays an important role in the cast. Also, expect to see plenty of new characters. Rob is firing on all cylinders creatively and has a ton of new characters up his sleeve. It’s really an exciting time to be working on the book.

7. Hawkman will be facing some new villains during your first story arc. What can you tell us about St. Bastion and Pike, a former Wildstorm character?

Carter is close to unlocking the secrets of the Nth Metal. However, his findings put him at odds with St. Bastion. Let’s just say they have a difference of opinion. He’s a character that definitely falls into my wheel house with my experience working on Avengelyne.

As for Pike, he is an all out blast to write. Hawkman has people coming at him at all angles; all wanting the Nth Metal. Pike has been hired by one of the parties to bring him in. He’s a little off the wall, not to mention a little obsessed with Hawkman. Scripting him lets me show off my love for the Wildstorm Universe.

I love how they have been peppering in the Wildstorm characters throughout the New 52. I think it’s been a long time coming.

8. Who are some of your favorite Hawkman villains and can readers expect any of them or will the focus be mainly on new villains for the foreseeable future?

We’re mostly concentrating on new villains at the moment. But a personal favorite of mine was Hath Set. I found his storyline with Carter and Shiera in Brightest Day to be one of the highlights of the series. I also loved Tim Truman’s original Hawkworld prestige series. The powerful upper class could be considered a villain in that book, as they oppressed the weak. It was a great social commentary.

9. Prior to “The New 52” event, Hawkman had significant relationships with several other heroes, whether it be his lover, Hawkgirl, the philosophical differences with Green Arrow or the close friendship with The Atom. Do you have plans to explore any of these during your run?

We’ll be exploring one of the three for sure.

10. Hawkman was seen briefly in The New 52, DC’s Free Comic Book Day issue. Will The Savage Hawkman be a part of “Trinity War” coming next year? If so, what can you tell us about the involvement?

All I can say is there are big plans in the works for Hawkman.

11. Lastly, do you have any plans for Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia, May 31st-June 3rd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center?

I don’t have any plans on exhibiting there, but I’m sure I’ll at least go for a day. I have to support my local con. Later in the summer though, fans can find me at the San Diego Comic Con and Baltimore Comic Con.

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Thank you, Mark, for taking the time out of your schedule to speak with Examiner.com. Best of luck with the new series

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