“Joe Keatinge has established himself as the latest new writer I want to undermine and destroy. It’s just top class stuff.”
- Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Civil War, Wanted, Ultimates)

"I think Joe is definitely one to watch."
- Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible)

e-mail: joe@keatinge.com

IN EXISTENCE NOW: Glory, Vol. 2 TPB + Morbius #7 feat. Superior Spider-Man!

It’s the first day of San Diego Comic Con (c’mon, Preview Night’s a full day, let’s just admit it) and to coincide I’ve got two brand-new releases coming.

First up, the long-anticipated…

GLORY, VOL. 2: WAR TORN completes the GLORY storyline featuring Ross Campbell and guest artists Ulises Farinas, Roman Muradov, Emi Lenox, Greg Hinkle, Sloane Leong, Jed Dougherty and the covers by Ricken, Ulises again, Nate Bellegarde and Kris Anka. Ernest Hemingway shows up. NOTE: the cover connects with the first trade by Nanaja’s tail! 144 pages of bad ass bad assery all for a measly $14.99.

There’s a preview online, but it’s from the penultimate chapter, which seems like a really odd choice for a preview since it’s basically at the ending. So, yeah, I’m going to avoid posting that on here, but if you really want it, you can seek it out.

ALSO

The conclusion of our Superior Spider-Man crossover is here. Lots of punching. Morbius gets a new costume. The set up for our final arc, The World Breaks Everyone, is here! 

Check out this preview

THE END. SEE YOU AT COMIC CON.

"My Grandmother Could Beat The Shit Out Of Wonder Woman": The Complete Slate Interview

Like I linked to earlier, Slate did a pretty in-depth profile on all things Extreme with Rob Liefeld, Brandon Graham and myself. However, the interviews with us were individually much, much longer. Inspired by Rob posting his third, I’m posting mine, complete and uncut.

Huge thanks to David Weigel for conducting the interview. Easily one of the best interviewers I’ve ever dealt with.

SLATE: My bias: I’m one of those people sad that the arc is ending so soon. I wanted 70 issues!
JOE KEATINGE: A lot of people seem to be hung up on that 70 issues comment, but I can’t stress enough, it was pretty early stages that we nixed the idea, specifically on #25. There were a few things. First, I’ll admit, GLORY was my first big work-for-hire ongoing series, so the initial instinct I found was to hold on for dear life because oh-my-god-this-might-be-it. Second, while I had a lot of ideas for where it could go, it quickly became obvious I was making outlines for what essentially were different comics. Each arc idea was a radically different take than the last. It was pretty obvious from the get go I would probably scrap a lot of those and, if anything, turn them into different comics. The last thing was in the process of writing #25, it became clear what this book was. It wasn’t this massive epic that went on for years. At its core, it’s the story about two drastically different people — Gloriana Demeter, a warrior so powerful some think she’s a deity and Riley Barnes, someone who doesn’t really even know what she’s doing with her life at first. They’re both thrust into a situation by circumstances beyond their control they have to get through and deal with. It’s their story. The story about Glory and Riley. This comes to a pretty definitive conclusion in #34, so it seemed best to stop there and not wear out our welcome with a wildly different direction.

So, I’m fascinated, as it seems a lot of other people are, by the reinvention of these old Liefeld characters. How did you get the book, and what research did you do on the Extreme/Liefeldverse before starting to write? How were you approached, what was the pitch, what was the reaction?
If you really dig in and look back, the seeds for this were planted almost a decade ago now, back when I first started working professionally. Both Rob Liefeld and Eric Stephenson have been supporters from the get-go and I got to know Eric in particular fairly well over the years. When I went freelance, it happened to coincide with their early development of the line. Eric gave me the opportunity to pitch for Glory, so I did. He liked it, so I pitched something more extensive, which Rob liked and then we went about finding Ross.
People have a really skewed perspective of Rob. A lot of them act relieved that he seemingly stayed hands off from the books, but the truth is he’s been our biggest champions when it comes to doing wildly different stuff with the characters. For instance, when the books were announced at New York Comic Con, Ross, Rob and I were doing a signing and Ross showed Rob he’s ‘out there’ sketches for the future Glory shown in #25. Rob enthusiastically encouraged Ross to go all the way with it — to do what he wanted to do. Brandon Graham will tell you the same thing with Prophet. 

What advice/rules were you given when you took over? (Liefeld had said that “the Extreme catalogue of characters has been patiently standing on the sidelines waiting for creators of this caliber to emerge and make great comics with them,” which seems awfully nice, and true.) Is there any kind of series bible?
Not so much a bible, but the edict I was given was to essentially do what Walt Simonson did on Thor or Frank Miller did on Daredevil (no pressure) — don’t negate past continuity, just take it into a completely new direction. Other than that, Rob and Eric were pretty clear they wanted us to do whatever. So, once the pitches were approved, we were free to do just that. Rob and Eric still see everything and if I do something drastic, I run it by Rob, but he’s never turned anything down. 

Were you reading these original comics when they arrived in the 1990s?
Yeah, absolutely. I was ten years old when Image started, so I was pretty much the exact right age to lose my shit over Violator tearing Spawn’s heart out his chest, Savage Dragon getting his arm cut off or Shaft throwing a pen in a dude’s eye. I was loving what those guys were doing over at Marvel in New Mutants, Spider-Man and so on, but Image is where I completely lost my shit. 
I gained an even greater love for Extreme (which I think quickly turned into Maximum, then Awesome) once Alan Moore came on board with Supreme and reinvented everything. Those Supreme comics of his are pretty much some of the best Superman comics of the last thirty years or so. 

Do you talk much with Liefeld about the character? I ask because you take Glory into these eras (like 1920s France) that are terrific, but were never suggested in the original book.
I talk to Rob a lot, but again, he’s encouraged us to do new things with them. Like, with the 1920s France sequence, I wanted to suggest Glory had been around a bit longer than people thought and linking her with the Lost Generation in particular seemed like an apt way of conveying just what she’s going through. That particular mentality in Europe — having just survived World War I, the tension building up to World War II — I feel is reflected in Glory. I get more into this with #34, our final issue, which also shows one last look at her in 1920s France, with guest appearances by Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Zelda & F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The original character was always portrayed as a classic, 90s, pose-striking supermodel. (I don’t know if you’ve seen that site at which artists draw Hawkeye in the poses of various 90s sexy-superhero-ladies, but it’s very funny.) Your Glory looks that way, a bit, in the flashbacks, but in the contemporary and future portrayals she’s increasingly massive and monstrous. Is that Ross Campbell’s doing, or are you also trying to do something different with the look of the superhero female?
Ross and I see very much in line and eye-to-eye when it comes to our opinion on how women are portrayed in comics. In my original proposal, even before he was on board, a big thing was to portray Glory visually even more than a superhero — this is a warrior, born and bred. Perhaps the greatest to ever exist. She’s built to lead in times of peace and devastate in times of war. With Ross on board, we took this vision even further. I don’t give a crap about what someone pees with, who they sleep with, where their ancestors are from and so on. I don’t see why Mainstream American comics historically has — and I’m a fan of those comics. I think portraying women the way we portray Glory shouldn’t be some weird exception. The props we get for doing are kind of stinging — yeah, it’s cool people dig what we’re doing there, but it seems messed up to me that it’s 2012 AD and we’re still hung up on this. Yeah, things have gotten better, but it won’t be where I want it until people are judging characters just on that, their character, not their gentials, sexual orientation, race or whatever other qualifiers there are. 

What other sort of books/stories/comics/material have you read that informed Glory?
Only a few comics consciously inspired Glory. Cosey’s In Search of Peter Pan was a massive influence on the first issue. Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese is basically my bible when it comes to world-spanning adventure comics. Moebius’ entire oeuvre, but specifically the Aednea books, influence how I worked in sci-fi. Those first few Beta Ray Bill Thor issues Walt Simonson did are certainly floating around in there. Filter the old Extreme comics through those and you get a lot of Glory. As I mentioned before, world history from 1900-1945 was a massive influence on the entire thing, which I think will be even clearer when people read the last issue. Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms and A Moveable Feast was up there, book wise. 
I think the biggest influence more than any book, comic or historical event have been the women in my life. I was raised by a mom, stepmom and grandmother who were all amazing examples of what it means to be a human being, period. Said grandmother was (and still is) such a bad ass that during the 1940s she won first place in a shooting contest at the police station she worked at — and she worked as a dispatcher. Women I’ve known like them are a much larger influence on this book than, say, Wonder Woman. My grandmother could beat the shit out of Wonder Woman.

STUFF I WROTE: March 2013

Look like we’re hat tricking it up once more, with comics coming out from Image, Marvel and DC!

First up…

DC

DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #18
Written by JOE KEATINGE
Art by FEDERICO DALLOCCHIO
Cover by RYAN SOOK
On sale MARCH 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• Writer Joe Keatinge and artist Tyler Kirkham turn the spotlight on STARFIRE!

—-

The artist is Federico Dallocchio.

Anyway, yeah, this companion piece to last issue’s Arsenal story is happening. Starfire blows stuff up. Things ensue.

AND THEN…

IMAGE

GLORY #34
story JOE KEATINGE
art / cover ROSS CAMPBELL
MARCH 27
32 PAGES / FC / T+
$3.99

“THE END”
100 Years Later. Goodbye.
FINAL ISSUE

—-

After a solid year, the conclusion’s here. Ross and I talked to Chris Sims all about it in this Comics Alliance exclusive exit interview. 

Man, I’ve had that solicit written in my head since about March.

BUT DON’T WORRY ‘CAUSE…

HELL YEAH #8
story JOE KEATINGE
art ANDRE SZYMANOWICZ & FABIO REDIVO
cover RICKEN
MARCH 13
32 PAGES / FC / T+
$3.50
“THE DEATH OF PLANET EARTH,” Part One
ALL-NEW STORYLINE! ALL-NEW DYING!
Everything has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

—-

Man, that Ricken, am I right? So good.

Also, DEATH OF PLANET EARTH is a Big Deal for this series. Expect a lot of death.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE #3
JOE KEATINGE (W) • RICHARD ELSON (A)
Cover by DAVID LOPEZ
Variant Cover by TOMM COKER
• The hot new new horror book continues!
• Morbius gets closer to two people who don’t know the dark, deadly secret he carries.
• How does a fugitive remain hidden if his face is everywhere?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

—-

Morbius does get close to two people who don’t know the dark, deadly secret he carries and oh, man, it all goes to Hell pretty quick here. 

THAT’S IT FOR MARCH. BYE.

STUFF I WROTE (Special Hat Trick Edition): February 2013

Holy hot damn it’s a big month for me in February. I’m hitting a Comics Hat Trick by having at least one book at each of the Big Three.

First up…

DC

DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #17

Written by JOE KEATINGE
Art by RICKEN
Cover by RYAN SOOK
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS fans take note as ARSENAL takes the stage in this special issue!
• Roy Harper is all too familiar with the road to hell being paved with good intentions, so he’s not totally surprised when an attempt to help Killer Croc leaves him running for his life on the streets of Japan.
• Guest-starring Red Hood and Starfire!

—-

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m making my DC Comics debut this month. Pretty darn stoked about this one, in big part because I’m making it with HELL YEAH cover artist RICKEN, who’s in turn making her American interiors debut. And guess what? Her art is just as amazing on the inside of a comic as it is on the outside. Speaking of covers — RYAN SOOK WHAT.

IMAGE

GLORY #33
story JOE KEATINGE
art / cover  ROSS CAMPBELL

FEBRUARY 27
32 PAGES / FC / T+ 
$3.99
"WAR TORN," Part Three 
In final battle.
The penultimate issue of Ross Campbell and Joe Keatinge’s GLORY saga ties threads together from its very beginning amidst the most brutal war Glory has ever fought. 

Destines will be realized. Lives will be destroyed. The end begins here.
—-
This is The Big One.
50% more comic book pages than usual, all drawn by Ross. No price increase. Threads started in our first issue finally wrap up. See what all of Riley’s dreams have been leading up to.
And yeah, “penultimate.” More info on what we mean by that coming from Image Comics soon.

HELL YEAH #7
story JOE KEATINGE
art ANDRE SZYMANOWICZ & FABIO REDIVO
cover RICKEN

FEBRUARY 13
32 PAGES / FC / T+
$3.50

"THE LOST SUPER-VILLAINS OF MARS," Part Two

Ben Day, the secret assassin for the superheroes of Earth, is on mission to Mars. Everything has come undone. His failure unleashes something far worse than he could have ever comprehended. Humankind will suffer the consequences.
—-
Speaking of tying up threads. The second and final part of “LOST SUPER-VILLAINS OF MARS” comes showing a very different side of what happened in issue #1. This leads into next issue’s big storyline, “THE DEATH OF PLANET EARTH.”

MARVEL

MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE #2
JOE KEATINGE (W) • RICHARD ELSON (P)
Cover by MIKE DEODATO
Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
• The ALL-NEW Michael Morbius?
• Morbius, is back, but on the run and desperate to quell his vampiric tendencies. But has the midnight son really changed?
• As Morbius tries to stay under the radar, a new threat arises, and they want Morbius dead.
• The series fans have been asking for continues its thrilling debut!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

—-

Morbius NOW! More horrible decisions turn into horrible consequences as Morbius’ latest attempt to do right goes as wrong as it possibly can.

Marvel Universe AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES #11
JOE KEATINGE & FRANK TIERI (W)
KHOI PHAM & TIM LEVINS (A)
Cover by KHOI PHAM
• You won’t need to wait for Sunday Morning – grab the Avengers Adventures today!
• First, Captain America must fight the deadly Nightmare in the one place he can’t have a fair fight – his own dreams!
• Then, it’s a battle of Mythic Proportions as The Mighty Thor takes on Hercules, the Prince of Power!
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

—-

And finally, a one-shot story from me featuring a character I’ve wanted to write for twenty years, teaming up with Captain America! Watch out!

STUFF I WROTE: January 2013

Man. 2013 already.

ANYWAY, CRAZY BIG MONTH! Lots of comics coming out.

First up, over at IMAGE COMICS.

THE RETURN OF HELL YEAH!

HELL YEAH #6 (RES)
story JOE KEATINGE
art ANDRE SZYMANOWICZ & FABIO REDIVO
cover RICKEN
JANUARY 16
32 PAGES / FC / T+ 
$3.50
"THE LOST SUPER-VILLAINS OF MARS," Part One
ALL-NEW STORYLINE! ALL-NEW COVER ARTIST! SAME MULTIVERSE-SHATTERING ACTION!
Twenty-five years ago Earth’s first superheroes appeared, but no one knew about the villains. They’ve been hiding, waiting, planning and all these years later, they’re coming. 
From Mars.
PLUS: HELL YEAH is packed to the brim with even more backup stories than ever before, featuring the most exciting up-and-coming talent today, including another exciting installment of TIGER LAWYER! No interior ads - HELL YEAH is all-comics, all the time!

——

Yeah, it’s one of those “jumping on points” as our second arc starts. This is going to be the format of the book for the foreseeable future - five issue chunks with a break and possibly something extra in between. Really stoked to have Ricken on board.

Speaking of Ricken.

GLORY #32
story JOE KEATINGE
art ROSS CAMPBELL, OWEN GIENI, EMI LENOX, GREG HINKLE, SLOANE LEONG & JED DOUGHERTY
cover RICKEN
JANUARY 23
32 PAGES / FC / T+ 
$3.99
"WAR TORN," Part Two
The dawn before war. Glory and her allies face inevitable death. With only hours left to live, everyone’s final moments are revealed in short stories illustrated by some of the greatest new talents in comics, including OWEN GIENI, GREG HINKLE, SLOANE LEONG, JED DOUGHERTY and a very special crossover with EMI LENOX’s EMITOWN!

—-
Yeah, seriously. GLORY’s having a crossover with EMITOWN.

And yeah, a whole bunch of our favorite up-and-coming artists are joining us to tell a bunch of two-page stories featuring all your favorite character’s preparing to die in February’s GLORY #33.

and finally…

DIAS DE LAS MUERTAS #1 (of 3)
story ALEX LINK, CHRISTOPHER LONG, DIRK MANNING
art / cover RILEY ROSSMO
JANUARY 9
40 PAGES / FC / M
GOLDEN AGE FORMAT
$4.99
Inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, artist extraordinaire, RILEY ROSSMO (DEBRIS, GREEN WAKE, COWBOY NINJA VIKING, REBEL BLOOD) joins forces with nine different writers over three issues to tell tall tales from beyond the grave!
This issue’s writers are ALEX LINK (REBEL BLOOD), CHRISTOPHER LONG (X-Men Unlimited, Hiding In Time, Easy Way) and DIRK MANNING (NIGHTMARE WORLD, Write or Wrong). Future issues will feature stories by ED BRISSON (COMEBACK), ALEX GRECIAN (PROOF), JOE KEATINGE (HELL YEAH), JEFF MARRIOTTE (FADE TO BLACK), KURTIS WIEBE (PETER PANZERFAUST) and JOSHUA WILLIAMSON (XENOHOLICS).
In this issue: A mariachi falls in love with a woman who strongly resembles his lost love, a father is abused by a poltergeist, and a girl who’s mother died when she was born visits the land of the dead in her dreams.

NOTE: Due to the special nature and size of this book and in order to maintain an on-time shipping schedule, this book will be solicited BI-MONTHLY. 

——

Also NOTE I DO NOT have a story in this issue, but I WILL be contributing a story to either #2 or 3. Not sure how that plays out just yet. Really stoked to be part of this. Riley’s someone I’ve wanted to work with for a while.

That does it for Image.

Over at Marvel Comics…

MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE #1
JOE KEATINGE (W) • RICHARD ELSON (A)
Cover by Gabrielle Dell’otto
Variant Cover by Ed McGuinness
Young Baby Variant by SKOTTIE YOUNG
Blank Cover Also Available
Morbius….the hunted, haunted fugitive.
Morbius…the dead souled scientist.
Morbius…the Living Vampire.
Somewhere inside Doctor Michael Morbius is a good man who just needs a second chance. After escaping from The Raft in Amazing Spider-Man 699.1, Morbius is scraping desperately through each day trying to carve out a life in a world that has turned its back on him. However his redemption…may be worse than his sin.
NOW Morbius returns in this long-awaited ongoing series, where the line between hero and villain becomes brutally and bloodily blurred.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

——————-

So, holy crap. The first issue of my first Marvel ongoing series, spinning out of last month’s Amazing Spider-Man #699.1 (which I also wrote). Pretty damn stoked.

Hey, check out this Skottie Young variant cover.

THE LAST CON: My NYCC 2012 Details

New York Comic Con is finally here and it’s my absolute last convention of the year! So, we’re doing it up big.

Not only am I rolling the whole con in Artist’s Alley, I’m sporting two tables (R7 & R8) with a tight crew of dudes I collaborate with.

INCLUDING:

ROSS CAMPBELL (Glory)

ANDRE SZYMANOWICZ (Hell Yeah)

KEN GARING (Intergalactic)

+ Surprises??? (Maybe!) 

This will be the very first convention I’ll be slinging both GLORY Vol. 1 AND HELL YEAH Vol. 1. In addition, it will be the WORLD PREMIERE of the return of GLORY, as we’ll be debuting GLORY #29. It’s the origin of her little sister. If you’ve read 28, you know that means it’ll be really violent.

Here’s a preview page I haven’t shown anywhere else:

(UPDATE! 10/09)

I will also be on TWO THREE panels! 

The first one’s not actually at NYCC, but rather at the world famous Jim Hanley’s comic shop. 

On Wednesday, October 10th, at 7pm, Depth Of Field Magazine is presenting A Celebration of Pop Music Comics at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Manhattan. I guess I’ll be talking about pop music in comics. There will be a bunch of rad folks there, including moderator Patrick Reed (editor of Depth Of Field Magazine), High Moon’s David Gallaher, Phonogram & Uncanny X-Men’s Kieron Gillen, PUNK Magazine’s John Holmstrom, Molly Danger’s Jamal Igle, ethnomusicologist Elizabeth Keenan, The Fifth Beatle & Dusty Star’s Andrew Robinson (holy shit i love Dusty Star), 27’s Charles Soule, Human Being Lawnmower’s Avi Spivak, Fifth Beatles’ Vivek J. Tiwardy and Prince of Cats’ Ronald Wimberly. Hot damn that’s a ridiculous line up. Very stoked to be part of the proceedings.

AND NOW A NEW PANEL.

On Thursday, I’ll be on the Image Revolution Documentary Panel in  ROOM 1A04 at 6:30 PM. It’s a panel on the upcoming Image Comics documentary and I guess I’l talking about Image Comics. I used to work there doing PR. Now I write comics for them. WHAT’S NEXT? (probably more writing comics)

ALSO, on Sunday…!

Marvel NOW!: Amazing Spider-Man and Beyond, 10:45 AM in room 1E07. Here’s Marvel’s official description: Marvel NOW! is on the horizon and Spidey & Co. are in the spotlight. Find out what to expect from the Spider-Man Office when Senior Editor Steve Wacker, Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man), Mark Waid (Daredevil), Joe Keatinge (Morbius), Kevin Shinick (Avenging Spider-Man), Ryan Stegman (Scarlet Spider), Declan Shalvey (Venom) and Arune Singh (Director of Communications) come to town! And Spider-Man won’t be the only topic of discussion here! Get the details on Daredevil, Punisher, and more!

Yeah, so if you wanna here me yammer on about Morbius, this is your golden opportunity!

And finally, if you’re looking for me, my banner stand is currently locked in Emi Lenox’s car while she’s in Japan, so just look out for this face at R7 and R8.