Marksmen, the six-issue mini series from Image Comics, tells the age old tale of Science vs. Religion with a twist. In a very distraught future (80 years from now) the United Sates has completely collapsed due to economic apocalypse. While some survivors clung on to what technology they could and pushed to bring about a new resistance, The Marksmen, others chose a more religious path, or something along those lines. When David Baxter stopped by to talk with Comic Booked, we had quite a few questions to ask the brand new comic writer, who has had an absolutely stunning debut to say the least.
For those of you that don’t know David, he is not just some guy who wrote a comic; the man has achieved so much in his life. He won the SXSW Film festival in 1996, is a member of the WGA, and came closer than anybody else to bringing Iron Fist to the big screen in the 90’s. Did I mention he has befriended numerous celebrities/writers/directors, including Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? David is not only a phenomenal writer, with a keen knack for story and characters, he is also extremely friendly and welcome to conversation. I told him I would only take 30 minutes of his time and we talked for close to 2 hours, and that was before I even got into the interview questions! Enough of my ranting…I’ll let the man talk for himself. Last thing, David sent me some sweet pics of him as Hellboy…so I’m posting those up for sure enjoy them!
COMIC BOOKED: With issues one through five, you have really set up this epic battle for survival between the NSD and Lone Star, what can we expect with the final issue of the mini series?
DAVID: You will find out if Drake is able to save what is left of the city and what happens to the bad guys. Expect more destruction before every comes together to do what is right.
CB: Marksmen is labeled a six issue mini series; any shot we could see Drake McCoy or any of the NSD getting their own series permanently?
DAVID: I have two other big story arcs I would like to do, but after that, yeah I could see it being an on-going series, but only after those two story arcs. I’d like to explore what happened to the rest of the country.
CB: I love the armor in the series, very video game-esque. Were video games an inspiration at all?
DAVID: Absolutely. I figured that the citizens would have grown up on video games. These are the sons and daughters of Navy Seals. I envisioned it that video games is how they would have trained and prepared for real war…hence the video game lingo.
CB: Your art team does an absolutely stellar job visualizing your words. How did it come together so perfectly?
DAVID: All thanks to Dave Elliot. Even though we are all on separate sides of the map, Dave was able to pull together the right group of people. Javier in Spain, Gary in England, and Tom in California Dave Elliot still made it work. They took what I wrote and brought it to an entirely new level, beyond anything I could have imagined. Everyone on the team is a great story teller, Javier, Gary, and Tom just tell it visually.
CB: Fans would kill me for not asking this, man of science or man of faith?
DAVID: Somewhere between. I believe there is room for both. Science can be used to create unbelievable destruction, if you don’t have compassion or heart. They need each other, you need to strike a balance between the two. You either collaborate or parish.
CB: In 1996 “Shooting Lily” won the SXSW Film festival, would you say that was put you on the map?
DAVID: It was a comedy that won the drama award (laughs). To a point I suppose, I had been on blockbuster movie sets already at that time…you know I don’t even think I’m on the map now (laughs). Just being a Dad and doing things that people will (hopefully) enjoy. Not that I would mind being on the map! I would say I’m more on my way to “being on the map” with Marksmen than anything.
CB: You wrote for Star Trek: Voyager, how exactly does one get to write for Star Trek?
DAVID: I was a huge Star Trek fan! I worked in the office as an assistant on Next Generation, I got to go on the Enterprise man! I got to meet so many cool people from Nimoy to Shatner. They told me they were working on a new series called Voyager they knew I was interested and let me pitch.
CB: You have done two projects about racing; Big fan or just coincidence?
DAVID: I respect drivers a lot! I like it, but I’m not obsessive. I got the second job because of the first. I mean to me it’s all about story. I could be writing about a brick layer as long as the story is challenging and exciting, as long as I can see who they are, and how they handle themselves under pressure. Racing projects make it simple since it is so fast paced when it comes to the car and delivering that expression of excitement.
CB: If you could write for any current title, what would you choose?
DAVID: Mr. Fantastic a solo series. Trapped in an alternate universe, using his brains to get back to his family. Really push his character to the limit, explore what makes him tick. I’m a big Fantastic Four fan, especially of Reed Richards.
CB: You almost brought Iron Fist to the big screen back in the 90s. Can you tell me about it?
DAVID: It was a pretty straight adaption of the first six issues drawn by John Bryne. It was about Danny Rand finding out that his parents had been set-up to be murdered. It was this big ploy to take over the Rand Corporation. There was no Luke Cage as he was left out specifically for a sequel introduction. If I was to do it today I would definitely incorporate Luke Cage and have it take place in the 70’s. With the success of Mad Men, we have the capability to show case different time frames and I think people enjoy it. I mean if I could do a Fantastic Four movie I would have it take place in the 60’s and I would have them take on Galactus. The real Galactus, not a storm cloud.
Big thanks to Image, Dave Elliot, and David Baxter for taking the time to talk with us, look for the final issue of Marksmen to hit shelves next month.
Keep checking back frequently, if Image decides to keep going with the twisted future tale, you’ll hear it here first.