Do any of you dance music lovers read comic books? We imagine some of you grew up checking out Wolverine or the Amazing Spider-man, but are any of you still reveling in the world of comics? We (read: I) do, and have been a fan of many Marvel franchises over the years, especially the mutant world. One of the characters in Marvel’s X-Universe (although technically not a mutant) is Longshot, who has an intriguing power over luck, and his new mini-series, Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe, plays upon the idea of what happens when you push your luck, especially when it depends on your intentions. The writer for this series, Christopher Hastings, is not entirely new to this Marvel Universe; he wrote the Deadpool: Fear Itself miniseries back in 2011. Fans of web comics might also know him as the man behind the awesome Dr. McNinja world.
The first issue of Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe pulled off an interesting feat: it properly incorporated the hook from Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” into the story. It’s an innovative way to play the “real world” entertainment scene into this “comic book world,” and we figured we’d talk to Hastings and get an idea on how this awesome use of the song of the summer came to be.
Most people knew you for being the man behind the web comic Dr. McNinja, although you did write Marvel’s Deadpool: Fear Itself series. Is the transition from working on webcomics to creating for one of the comic book powerhouses difficult? Do you prefer one to the other?
I’d say it’s a bit more challenging writing comics for Marvel if just for the deadlines. You have to be creative on a pretty tight schedule. But I also find it really rewarding! Besides being fun to “play with those toys,” it’s a different muscle, and that keeps things interesting.
This week, the first issue of your latest Marvel work, Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe hit the stands. Talk to us about how you got this gig. Was Longshot a character you’d been interested in writing?
Longshot was editor Jordan D. White’s idea, and we’d worked together in the past on Deadpool. He called me up and asked if I wanted to write it, and of course I said yes! I truthfully didn’t know who Longshot was up until that phone call, but Jordan had a cool idea for what he wanted to see out of this series, so I wanted in. Immediately after, I read every single Longshot comic I could find, so I got to know who the guy was pretty quickly and thoroughly.
Now, being an avid comic book reader and a fan of dance music, I was immediately drawn to the way you weaved in Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” into this story about a character who’s superpower has so much to do with luck. How did the plan for utilizing “Get Lucky” in this issue come to be? Was this a song you were a fan of, or did it just fit so well with Longshot that you decided to throw it into the story?
Yeah, I love Daft Punk, and have listened to that new album a million times by this point. I thought it would be cool to have the song coming on the radio signaling the oncoming “luck storm” that was about to happen, with the three different stories all coming together.
Did you have to obtain any permission to incorporate the lyrics of the song into the story from Daft Punk or Columbia Records, or is that not a factor in the comic book writing medium?
I don’t know how that plays out with Marvel’s legal department. I figured if there was a problem, someone would tell me. It’s happened before!
Can we expect any more interesting entertainment parallels with this Longshot series in subsequent issues?
Other songs about luck pop up in each issue, yeah. It’s just sort of a signal that there’s some sort of force in the universe steering things.
This is a four-issue series, right? What can we expect from you post-Longshot? Do you have any other Marvel books you’re working on?
Yep, four issues! I’m not working on any other Marvel books right now, no. The current Dr. McNinja story arc is just about wrapped up, so we’ll probably get started on turning that into a new trade collection very soon.
I’m also in the middle of a Kickstarter for a Dr. McNinja card game, Legendary Showdown, and if it reaches a certain stretch goal, I’m going to make a stand alone 20-ish page Dr. McNinja comic e-book that’ll go out free to all the backers.
In your opinion, do androids dance?
I think there are many hypothetical situations which could lead to androids dancing, certainly.