At FanExpo Boston, I had the chance to speak with comic writer Dan Slott about his current runs on Iron-Man and The Fantastic Four.
Tito W. James: In a previous arc you brought back Arno Stark in a really unexpected way. How do you go about designing cool antagonists for Iron Man?
Dan Slott: The thing we’re playing around with in Iron Man right now is whether Tony Stark is an AI. We’re playing with the basic concept of the philosopher’s axe. In Matt Fraction’s run, Tony downloaded his brain and then re-uploaded it. And in Brian Bendis’ run, Iron Man’s body got destroyed and he rebuilt it.
So it’s the old question of if you have an axe and then replace the handle and then replace the blade, is it the same axe?
TWJ: Do you have a philosophical perspective on that?
DS: You’ll find out by the end of my run on Iron Man.
TWJ: You’re also writing the Fantastic Four. Were you always attracted to these characters or did you just want to write Dr. Doom?
DS: I’ve been attracted to FF my whole life. When I started reading comics I was around seven. My cousin thought I’d like superhero comics and he lent me his copies of FF. The first superhero comics I ever read were because he let me read copies of the Galactus Trilogy.
So I was introduced to the FF, who were freaking out, The Watcher who was also freaking out, Galactus, and the Silver Surfer–all in one shot. There was no transition drug, it was like starting on crack.
I knew Spider-Man from the cartoon. Eventually when I got my own allowance, and I could afford to buy comics, I was buying Spidey and Batman.
My one non-“Spidey and Batman” purchase was usually Marvel Two-In-One with the Thing. When I could afford more comics, FF went right onto the stack. FF has always been near and dear to me. When I was asked what I wanted to do after Spidey, it’s always been FF.
TWJ: I’ve also heard that you want to do Indiana Jones.
DS: Yeah, when I was leaving Spidey, Marvel kept asking “What do you want to do next?” And I kept saying “Fantastic Four and Indiana Jones.” And they were like, “We’re not doing Fantastic Four and Indiana Jones. Fantastic Four is currently in limbo and we don’t know if we’re going to do an Indiana Jones comic.” Even though Marvel has the Lucas deal with Star Wars.
Every couple weeks they’d ask “What do you want to do?” And I’d say Fantastic Four and Indiana Jones.
TWJ: What would you do with Indiana Jones? Would you keep it period- centric or would you try to modernize it?
DS: I’m not giving away stuff now! I still have hopes that it could happen.
TWJ: The Adventure genre is something I’d like to see a resurgence of in comics and Indiana Jones is the poster-child. Sorry, Doc Savage.
DS: Raiders of the Lost Arc is my favorite movie of all time. I’m so sad Brian Bendis has left Marvel. He was a force in the room and contributed so much to the Marvel Universe. But whenever we talk about Indiana Jones, I felt like, “Oh my God–Marvel is going to put Brian, me, and Charles Soule in a pit. And we’re just going to have to fight over who gets to do Indiana Jones.” I know I could take Charles, I don’t know if I could take Brian. He’s squirrely. He’s lost a lot of weight too, he’s in great shape.
I’d like to thank Dan Slott for taking the time to do this interview. You can pick up his work on Iron-Man and Fantastic Four at your local comic shop.