Interview With Steve Bryant About His Upcoming Athena Voltaire Series
Rip: First off I have to ask what the new Athena Voltaire series is called and when we can expect the first issue?
Steve Bryant: It's called Athena Voltaire and the Volcano Goddess. Since it's the first series after the Athena Voltaire Compendium that Dark Horse collected (re-releasing from Action Lab this October), this miniseries shows us where the status quo is for Athena. We finally get to meet her father, a stage magician who's figured prominently in her backstory, plus there's a mystical artifact, a movie star, supernatural creatures, martial arts assassins, a power-crazed warlord, Nazis—y'know, the usual first-issue stuff!
Rip: Where does this new volume of Athena Voltaire fall in the established timeline of previous events?
Steve: It takes up shortly after the events of The Immortal Power, the last story in the Compendium.
Rip: How would you describe the villains and troubles of this volume, and what sources were used in creating them?
Steve: We get to see Athena's longtime rival, Ada Klimt, again. Ada's a Thule Society zealot, so it's fun to contrast her with Athena, who wants nothing to do with this supernatural mumbo jumbo that keeps intruding on her life. I've had a few folks refer to Ada as "Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S." but she's based, in part, on Hannah Reitsch, a Nazi aviatrix. Reitsch was also a test pilot for Hitler and pitched him on a Nazi "suicide squad" of pilots, similar to the Japanese kamikaze pilots. I haven't put Ada in a cockpit yet, but she shares Reitsch's zealotry.
That's the overt threat. There are some seeds of trouble that get planted in this series, as well, but it will take some time before they bear fruit.
Rip: Do you think this will lead to further adventures of Voltaire or will this be your final say on your creation?
Steve: I have so many stories I want to tell—the next miniseries is already written! So there will be more. But the reality is that I draw slowly. I'm seriously considering bringing another artist in for an arc or two, so I can work ahead. I'd still write them all, but alternate the arcs that I handle the art chores, as well.
Rip: Do you feel that your style has grown or changed from the previous volumes of Athena Voltaire to now?
Steve: Absolutely. As an artist, some of the stuff in the Compendium—especially some of the really early stuff—makes me cringe. And, as a writer, I'm looking at planting some long-range seeds for the series, and some personal obstacles for Athena (instead of just the ones that come up in the course of an adventure). I'm excited to be improving both of my skill sets.