Interview: Swinging the SWORDS OF SORROW with Mairghread Scott

In less than a month, Gail Simone’s big Dynamite crossover special, Swords of Sorrows kicks off. She has gathered together a vast array of female writers from seasoned, to new, to tell the stories of the women of the Dynamite universe as they never have before. Besides focusing on the female heroes and villains Dynamite has published, there has been a conscious effort to bring in female writers for characters who have only ever been written by male characters. Over the next few weeks Comicosity is going to explore these books by talking to the writers from this headline making event.

The book being called the prequel to the whole Swords of Sorrow series is the Chaos! special by renowned Transformers television and comic writer Mairghread Scott.  Mairghread is known for creating the dynamic personality of Transformer‘s main female character Windblade. She is also known for co-writing the all-ages Marvel Universe: Guardians of the Galaxy series. Now, she is taking on her darker side by weaving a story about Dynamite’s bad girls and how they get tangled up with the big bad that is threatening to tear the heroes world apart in the main series.

So, just who are these blood-hungry characters taking center stage?

Bad Kitty One Shot (2014)

Bad Kitty: Katherine Bell is a detective who went rogue. She takes out her anger at the corruption in law enforcement and with the supernatural using many many guns. [From Bad Kitty One Shot, 2014]

lady+hel

Mistress Hel: Spinning out of the pages of Evil Ernie and into the Chaos! series, she is death itself come to life in the Dynamite universe. Waging wars on Hell, she uses fear as a weapon and does not care who stands in the way of her goals. She will be anyone’s puppet. [As seen in the Chaos! 2014 series]

From Purgatori #1 (2014)

Purgatori: Egyptian slave turned vampire who has flown to Hell and back. She uses all her resources to get what she wants, including those who foolishly think she would  give up herself. [From Purgatori #1, 2014]

chasity1

Chastity: A vampire, she is of use to many, including Purgatori, because of her training as an assassin as well as an ability to be undetectable to other vampires. [From Chastity #1, 2014]

 

The story that brings all of them together hits shelves on May 6, 2015; promising to be a blood-soaked, wild ride. I got a chance to ask Mairghread about tackling such a fiesty bunch of supernatural viragos.

Jessica Boyd: What’s it like getting to get your hands bloody with a story made up entirely of villainesses? 

Mairghread Scott: So much fun! Okay, that sounds bad, but writing a comic made entirely of villains (and anti-heroes) has been a real chance to cut loose for me. Swords of Sorrow: Chaos is definitely a “sex, drugs and rock and roll” kind of book. I wanted to make very clear that these ladies are villains with a capital V and show you why the heroines in our series should definitely be afraid.

TNSoSChaosCovAChin[1]JB: For those who are not familiar with the Chaos series from Dynamite, how much previous knowledge will be necessary to jump into this issue?

MS: Absolutely none. This book is designed to be not only a good starting point for the Swords of Sorrow event but it also aims to give you a taste of all the fun to be had in the Chaos universe. How often do you get to read a single issue that has a demon, a goddess, a half-dozen vampire showgirls, a drug-dealing werewolf and a dude wearing nothing but grapes? Answer: Not often enough!

JB: A few of these characters have shared book pages before in other Chaos books. Do those previous relationships play a role at all in the story?

MS:  Yes. Many of these ladies have no love lost on each other and they weren’t exactly team players to start off with. It makes for some…interesting dynamics on the page.

JB: Some of these characters, such as Bad Kitty, walk a line between anti-hero and villain, while women like Mistress Hel have no problem embracing their bad side. How do you fully push them over the edge? Do they see themselves as “the bad guys?”

MS: Chastity was probably the hardest to move, but all of these women have pretty clear driving forces in their lives. I don’t think any of them sees themselves as “the bad guy” per say (except Purgatori, who I’m sure has that tattooed somewhere), but many of them just don’t care that much about other people’s opinions. But it will be interesting which lines our more “morally grey” ladies balk at crossing when our more straight-up evil ladies glide right past.SorrowChaos1

JB: Of the group, who is your favorite? Who would you want to tackle a solo series for, if given the opportunity?

MS: It’s got to be a toss-up between Bad Kitty and Purgatori. There aren’t many characters who can literally be their own antagonist, which is an interesting challenge and she’s surprisingly funny on the page. On the other hand, you gotta love Purgatori. Anyone who can wear that much (and that little) black leather un-ironically is someone who doesn’t give a #%&! what you think. I envy that. I could write them both all day.

JB: The group is brought together by a man with a overt motivation. Are they weary of him taking advantage of their powers for his own gain, or do they see it more as playing him for their own benefit down the road? 

SorrowChaos2MS:  Ahh, our mysterious stranger is quite mysterious, isn’t he? Lets just say our ladies may be greedy, but they’re not stupid. He’ll have to offer them more than his gratitude if he wants their abilities. This is a “let’s make a deal” situation more than a seduction of any kind.

JB: While the heroes of the Swords of Sorrow series can be described as modern pulp how would you describe this group of villains? They have a very 1990s vixen “fashion sense.”

MS:  I like to think of them as ladies who like how blood looks on six-inch heels. Obviously, they aren’t all the same character and we’ve tried very hard to make them feel distinct from each other, but this is a wild bunch of hard rock ladies and they don’t apologize for it. I definitely think they’ll lend a slightly more modern edge to some of our more retro heroines.

JB: For readers who may initially be turned off by the overt cheesecake factor, what would you say to get them to dive into the story inside?SorrowChaos3

MS: I completely understand some people being concerned about objectification. But Mirka Andolfo is doing an amazing job of drawing our women as women. They look like they could actually exist. They each have their own sense of style. Bad Kitty is dressed like a cop. Chastity is dressed in dancewear. Yes Purgatori shows a lot of skin, but it’s because she wants to show skin: she’s immortal, vain and wants to make others uncomfortable. Her outfit makes sense for her character. But none of them are walking around in boobs-and-butt poses. They don’t do the splits for no reason or crawl around the floor like a dog. We treat our characters like women who made a choice for themselves rather than people who had a choice imposed on them for the reader. I think that makes all the difference.

JB:  Who are your favorite villains across different media?

MS:  Villains are always fun to write, especially when they don’t care what you think of them: Emma Frost, Agent Smith, Grand Admiral Thrawn. They aren’t trying to “do evil.” They are trying to accomplish very specific goals and anyone who gets in their way is in deep, deep trouble. I like that.

SorrowChaos4JB: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our Comicosity readers?

MS: There are a lot of reasons comic books have events, Swords of Sorrow happened because one of the strongest writers in comics wanted some of the best talent in comics to recapture some freakin’ fun in our books. However wild you think these events are going to get, dial it up another couple notches. ‘Cause we are moving!

JB: Thank you so much for your time Mairghread.

MS: Thanks for having me.

If you’d like to make sure you store is getting copies of Swords of Sorrow: Chaos! you can reference Diamond Code: MAR151183.

 

 

If you’d like to read more about Mairghread’s work you can find her on Twitter @MairghreadScott, on tumblr: MScottWrites as well as her website: MScottWriter.com

 

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