Interview - Michael Dolce (The Descendant)

Michael Dolce is a writing star on the rise. His book The Sire was released to critical acclaim, and he's had a stint with Zenescope and Grimm Fairy Tales. His latest work is with Image Comics and is called The Descendant, set to debut this July.

Omnicomic: Donald Wright seems to compare favorably with Clark Kent, and once he transforms he has the obvious comparison with Superman. Is that what you were going for in this book? Was Kent/Superman the inspiration for Wright/Sire?

Michael Dolce: Actually the only reference to Superman I had was that JJ is way smarter than Lois Lane. It takes her within the first issue to realize this guy is the exact same dude that works for her. The rest I really just approached with the notion that people would like to THINK they’d want super powers but if they had 'em it would be more of a burden than anything else. We all wouldn’t want to be Superman.

Omnicomic: The Descendant is based on Chiquita bananas; more specifically, the financial implications of them. Is it necessary in your minds that the book be relatable to today’s society?

Dolce: I think it’s got to be relatable in the sense that its got to be believable first off. You have to buy into the catalysts for the plot. In this case greed, which is pretty basic, is the catalyst for our villain. Acceptance meanwhile is the driving force behind our protagonist.

Omnicomic: From a broader perspective, can a comic book really be this poignant treatise on society and still be successful?

Dolce: Again, it all goes back to making the characters relatable to you and I. Because then it’s not so much a storyline about what’s wrong with society. It’s about characters with everyday needs and wants stuck in some kind of conflict or situation and it would make you say, yeah, I could see myself there too. Omnicomic: Will Rayne ever just lose it and go off the deep end one day? Or will her military training allow her to be a relatively consistent character? Dolce: Oh, only time will tell. There are some flashbacks in the first issue that suggest this has already happened. So the possibility is always there. Makes her military training that much more important and overall a more interesting character.

Omnicomic: Any chance of a Sire/Descendant crossover?

Dolce: Heh, if I become big enough to pull that off? Sure. Though they do live in separate universes from each other. But hey. I’d pull it off somehow (laughs).

Omnicomic: The Sire has been described as “Spider-Man meets The Bourne Ultimatum,” and CBR described The Descendant as “Dark Phoenix meets 24.” That being said and sheer combat skills aside, do you think Jack Bauer could actually catch and apprehend Jason Bourne? Would Bauer be able to extract the information he needs from Bourne?

Dolce: Don’t mess with Jack Bauer. Period. The bogeyman checks under his bed at night for Jack Bauer.

Omnicomic: How did you like writing for Zenescope and the ever popular Grimm Fairy Tales?

Dolce: Total blast. Those guys are great to work with and I had a great time in general.

Omnicomic: Ralph Tedesco over at Zenescope is a really good guy, and he seems to give writers great flexibility. Do you like writing with that much flexibility, or do you prefer to have a narrower story focus when writing?

Dolce: Both are kind of neat experiences. Obviously its way easier to work with a focus that’s been handed to you. It’s all delivery with no attention needed for concept. But while there’s more work developing concept the personal reward is greater when you own it start to finish.

Omnicomic: You’ve written for Image and Zenescope at this point. Is there another studio you’d love to write for?

Dolce: Make mine Marvel. I’d love to be writing the big guns, Spidey, X-Men. I feel like X-Men lost that adventure quality to it, it had during the 90s. It’s way too socially metaphoric these days. (Which I guess answers one of your previous questions)

Omnicomic: You’ve written for Wizard about indy publishing. How do you view your being a semi-spokesman for the world of indy publishing?

Dolce: My friends will tell you I talk too much as it is, so I’m pretty comfortable being outspoken.

Omnicomic: Any future works you can tell us about that you’re working on?

Dolce: A vacation for one! (laughs) I’m actually developing a website called Comic Capital right now that we hope will provide industry peeps a one stop spot for all things comic related. It’s in its initial beta launch as we speak. I’m also prepping together a new Sire for October release. And then just putting together some pitches from there. I’d love to do more Descendant so we’ll see how that goes.

Omnicomic: Anything you want to plug while you have the floor?

Dolce: Go buy Descendant! You can order it online at: Descendant #2 (JUN090378): Written by Michael Dolce & Marcus Perry. Art by Mariano Navarro. Cover by Tyler Kirkham. Order online at: Issue #2: AND finally, for Descendant #3 Check out some interiors from The Descendant #1 below. The book is due in store July 15 from Image Comics.