So Let It Be Written. So Let It Be... A Conversation With Robert Venditti

Valiant owns the summer. Oh, you didn't know? Well now you do. This summer they're launching the event Book of Death with X-O Manowar writer Robert Venditti at the helm once again. Venditti's no stranger to Valiant events and I had the chance to talk to him about the summer event and maybe even some teases about his pending nuptials.

DUSTIN CABEAL: Obviously you can’t tell us too much about Book of Death because you want people to read it, but can you tell us what the biggest challenge has been writing it?

ROBERT VENDITTI: The tone of the story is more horror oriented, which is completely different from anything I’ve written before. With each project I take on, I try to test myself by doing something I haven’t done in the past. This is an opportunity to write within a genre I’ve always been a bit intimidated by. I’m diving in with both feet, though. There’s some pretty unnerving stuff right from the get-go.

BOOK-OF-DEATH_004_X-O MANOWARCB: Speaking of X-O he’s getting married… should I return the blender I got him or will he have time to enjoy it before death takes him?

VENDITTI: Go ahead and give him the blender. Just make sure you pass along the gift receipt, so he can exchange it for something good.

CB: I also noticed in the release that the “Book of the Geomancer” was mentioned and yet the event is called the “Book of Death”, are they two different things or is it too soon to say?

VENDITTI: The Book of Geomancer is an existing artifact in the Valiant Universe. It goes back to the original continuity, and we’ve seen it in the new Valiant Universe as well, mostly recently in Archer & Armstrong. What the book is, and its significance to the Valiant Universe, is something we’ll be expanding on in the event story. “Book of Death” is the title of the story, and it hints at some of what readers can expect. Make no mistake: people will die.

CB: You’re written a previous Valiant event, what’s the scope of this event compared to something like Armor Hunters?

VENDITTI: Armor Hunters is a cosmic story involving a spacefaring hunter-killer squad, a giant robot, and X-O Manowar’s sentient alien armor. Book of Death is much more grounded. The opening of the story literally has boots on the ground. But in terms of scope and scale, and more importantly impact on the Valiant Universe, it’s every bit equal in size to Armor Hunters. Possibly even bigger.

BOD_001_COVER-A_GILLCB: Are there any characters you’ve been looking forward to writing that you finally got the chance to with this event?

VENDITTI: I always love writing Ninjak—he’s just such a pompous jerk—so it’s fun to have scenes with him again. And I absolutely love Eternal Warrior. Back when I was first pitching for a book at Valiant, it was between X-O Manowar and Eternal Warrior, as far as which character I was going to take a shot at. So this is my chance to write him as a main character, which I’ve been wanting to do.

CB: You’re working with not one, but two different artists. Can you tell us what role each is playing in the story?

VENDITTI: That’s actually something I can’t discuss, but I can say that the artists I’m working with are all at the absolute top of their games. Robert Gill just turned in a spread from the opening of the first issue, and every time I look at it, I discover something new. And Doug I worked with on Armor Hunters, so it’s great to be with him again.

CB: Last question… what are the odds that Goat makes it out of this event alive?

VENDITTI: The Goat is a survivor. When the end of the Valiant Universe comes, it’ll be just cockroaches and the Goat remaining. That’s actually Valiant’s big Summer 2016 event—Planet of the Goat. So keep an eye out for that one.

Okay I know Robert was just joking, but I think I speak for most Valiant fans when I say I would totally read Planet of the GoatThank you to Robert for taking the time to answer some questions and Valiant for putting us in touch. Be sure to check out Book of Death and the tie-ins which are on the checklist below.