Exclusive Interview: Denton puts polish on new Man of Bronze annual



The Man of Bronze is busting loose monthly in his own ongoing from Dynamite, but apparently that is not enough to contain the first superhero. So the King of Pulp will be coming out in an all-new annual in May by Shannon Eric Denton with art and cover by Roberto Castro.

Following the loss of a squad mate, Doc is on the way to South America to connect with an old flame and, although he does not know it, do a major reassessment of his life, his place in the scheme of things. No relaxing here as adventure is around every curve.

To get more details on this annual, Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer met exclusively with Shannon Eric Denton to discuss Doc’s strange place in the hearts of comic book fans.

Cosmic Book News: Doc Savage barely has its ear wet as a book. How did an annual crop up so soon?

Shannon Eric Denton: Well, after 80-plus years in existence we felt like the time was right! Chris and Bilquis are doing such an awesome job with the regular series. That excitement they generated for the character led the fine folks at Dynamite to make it happen now which I am extremely grateful for!

CBN: How did you happen to become attached to the project? Is it something you pitched?

Shannon Eric Denton: I’ve worked with Dynamite a lot from projects like the Spider to Green Hornet to the Lone Ranger, etc.  Dynamite has some awesome characters in their arsenal of books. Many of these characters I spent my childhood learning about so it’s rewarding when you can mix your fandom with your professional career as a writer. Molly Mahan, Joseph Rybandt and Nick Barrucci had been told many times (by myself) how much I loved Doc Savage so when the opportunity arose they were kind enough to ask me to be involved.

CBN: Is this in regular Dynamite Doc continuity?

Shannon Eric Denton: I didn’t want to get it in the way of anything Chris was doing so it’s set right before the first Doc Savage novel, The Man of Bronze.  So it’s in the continuity but pre-dating it. My Doc Savage is a little more unsure of his destiny and preparing to step into the role that we all know and love.

CBN: Any particular work of fiction that may be the inspiration for this annual’s tale?

Shannon Eric Denton: There’s a lot of stuff thrown in.  From my own real-world experiences living in New Mexico to travels down into Mexico to my love of the pulps, comic books, and movies of this era. It’s really tough to lock down any one element as I tried to fit so much into this story to truly make it worthy of being a Doc Savage adventure.

CBN: This tale is very soul-searching for Doc, isn’t it? What will we as readers discover about Doc, and what might he discover about himself (non-spoiler answer, of course)?

Shannon Eric Denton: Really it’s about the discovery of who he is.  He knows who he’s supposed to be from his isolated upbringing. His childhood was spent training to be the best of the best in all fields but what we’ll see in this story is a guy who isn’t really sure that’s who he wants to be.  Many of us have expectations put on us in our lives. It’s sometimes hard to sort out your expectations of yourself versus the expectations of others upon you. Sometimes those turn out to be the same thing but getting to that point of acceptance isn’t always easy. So basically what we’ll discover is that despite being superhuman in so many ways, really he’s just a human like any of us …who happens to be able to do advanced surgery, a zillion push-ups, and achieve scientific breakthroughs in his spare time!

CBN: Any new big-bads?

Shannon Eric Denton: Yes! We’ve got several and I’m really looking forward to revisiting a few of them! Doc is really going to have his hands full in this issue!

CBN: Will the effects of this annual be seen on the Doc Savage we know going forward?

Shannon Eric Denton: I hope so.  I set it up in a way that works with what Chris is doing but could spin off in a number of ways.  I know the first annual isn’t out yet but there are still stories to be told!

CBN: What do you hope readers derive from this work?

Shannon Eric Denton: Fun! Doc Savage (and that whole era of the pulps) was meant to be fun. They were an adventure-filled escape so I’m hoping the fans are able to experience that sense of fun and adventure with my story.

CBN: What was it like working with Roberto Castro?

Shannon Eric Denton: Roberto is amazing.  It’s nice working with someone whose draftsmanship is so good.  The pages coming in are truly phenomenal.

CBN: Any projects you would like to discuss?

Shannon Eric Denton: Yes! So much fun stuff out there soon! I’ve got Ash & the Army of Darkness Annual (also from Dynamite), the X-Files Annual from IDW, and tons of fun stuff I’m editing for Lion Forge like Miami Vice, Knight Rider, Airwolf and Rampage Jackson.  You should also be watching the show I storyboarded on called Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD! For more info, go to www.shannondenton.com! Thanks!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Shannon Eric Denton for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen for helping make this interview possible.

“Doc Savage” Annual 2014 hits stores in May!