On The Run & All Alone: Talking Livewire With Vita Ayala
by Gary Catig
During the summer, Valiant announced four projects that would be part of their new wave called Valiant Beyond. Titles would begin to be released in the Fall of 2018 and continue into the following year. One series in the wave is Livewire from Vita Ayala, Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín. At this year’s NYCC, Comicon.com spoke with Ayala about their take on the character and what fans can expect from the comic.
Gary Catig: You’ve created comics for different companies. As mentioned you have your new series, Livewire, coming from Valiant this December. What do you think Valiant does that distinguishes themselves from other publishers?
Vita Ayala: That’s a really good question. I don’t think anyone has asked me that. I think they have a very focused view of the characters that they want to highlight. I think that’s really cool. They have a lot of books coming out, but it’s not nearly as wide as some of the other publishers like Marvel or DC. You know what I mean? I think they really like to concentrate and build up certain characters for people to get to know them.
GC: You’re writing Amanda McKee, aka Livewire. What about this particular character interested you?
VA: I don’t know if I can curse so I won’t, but she’s kind of a bad ass. You know what I mean? She’s very intelligent which I think is really important to me. Seeing a black woman who is, she’s the one people go to for answers. She’s very strong but she’s also very vulnerable and caring and compassionate and empathetic. That is something that really attracts me to a character. You can be strong but you should be able to care as well.
GC: She has a history at Valiant for over 20 years. How much research did you do reading her prior stuff before your run? What new directions do you want to explore with her?
VA: I read everything that she was in since 2012. Since the relaunch. Anywhere that she appeared, I read it. When I was younger, I read the older stuff. It all came rushing back to me, which was awesome. For me, she is really awesome when you see her in a team and that is really, really cool and that’s what we’ve seen so far. But for me, I really wanted to explore who she was when she was with herself, and having to deal with herself and what she’s done. I think our goal for this series, at least for the first storyline, is to really get people to know who she is and how she moves through the world on her own.
GC: You pick right up following the events of Harbinger Wars 2, where she’s on the run after causing a large blackout. I know you want to explore her as an individual, but can you shed any light on who might be helping her out, as well or who’s pursuing her, whether they are new or old to the Valiant Universe?
VA: There are characters that are established in the universe that do show up in the series, so it’s not just her in a white room by herself. But the driving drama comes from her dealing with what she did in Harbinger Wars 2 so it is literally picking up right after. The antagonist that she’s facing is not new to her in particular. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say whether it’s new to everyone else in the Valiant Universe, but she knows better.
GC: Lastly, I’ve seen preview pages. There’s some terrific artwork from Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín. What do you feel they bring to the series as well?
VA: They bring the legacy. They did Secret Weapons before this and they’ve done other stuff in the universe. They know the character way better than I can know her. Even having done all the research that I did, they know how she moves. They know how she thinks. They know who she is as a physical person. They bring all of that, but they also bring this enthusiasm for the character. They love her. We talk about her all the time. We email back and forth with each other. We have a really good relationship because we all care about Amanda so much. They are just really good. They’re an incredible team.
We’d like to thank Vita for talking about their upcoming series with us and to Valiant for their part in setting up the interview.
Livewire will be released on December 19, 2018 and the FOC isn’t until November 26th, so you still have time to get your preorders in.