Interview - Vince Hernandez

Whenever Vince Hernandez isn't writing Charismagic, he's busy as the Editor-in-Chief at Aspen Comics. He's bringing back a grand old classic in Kiani Vol. 2. Mr. Hernandez was kind enough to have a few words with us here at Omnicomic about the return of Fathom's nemesis.

Omnicomic: What prompted bringing Kiani back? It seems at the end of Fathom Volume 3 #10 that Aspen Matthews did quite a number on her!

Vince Hernandez: We’ve always had this very large plan for Kiani’s character, so this is part of that ongoing arch we’ve given her. You’re right, at the conclusion of Fathom Volume 3, Aspen did put a giant hurt on Kiani and we haven’t seen or heard from her since that point.

This second volume picks up her continuity and in the zero issue, readers will come to find out exactly how, and even more importantly—why she is back and what her intentions are. Fans will remember just before Aspen in effect killed her, Kiani had just taken the life of her former friend and cherished Fathom character Cannon Hawke. Cannon was a major force in all three volumes of Fathom and subsequent miniseries, so this was a pivotal moment for the Fathom universe.

Aside from the death of a major Fathom character, Cannon’s death incredibly affected the underwater race known as the Blue. In many ways, he was the people’s champion. So, now, his death has left a vacuum under the surface where many of his allies are unsure of what to do next. And this uncertainty will lead to some drastic action.

Omnicomic: What's it like writing Kiani again? Are you approaching it any differently than before?

Hernandez: It’s great. I feel like I’ve never left her world and was only taking a short break in-between.

I’m trying not to approach this particular story any differently in terms of technique or style, since I feel very comfortable with my writing process at this point, and what I can accomplish. However, at the same time, I’m aware that this is an all new series with an entirely new art team, and this character has changed very much from the mostly-innocent woman we met in the first volume of Kiani, so there will be some noticeable differences between the two volumes.

I would say this second volume is much darker in tone than the first because of where she’s at in her life, and the themes we’ll be touching on are much more psychological.

Omnicomic: In what ways are Aspen and Kiani alike? In what ways are they different?

Hernandez: They’re alike in that they both have outside forces driving their paths at certain points, as well as the fact they’ve both encountered their powerful abilities at a later point in their lives—they weren’t born knowing what they could do.

However, they’re much different in their approach and thought process. Aspen is a bit more mild-tempered when it comes to her decision-making both above and under the surface, while Kiani is easily more driven by her emotions. Obviously, this has caused much strife for her throughout her life and has really driven her to make some difficult decisions such as abandoning her father, Killian.

Omnicomic: The universe that Aspen and Kiani inhabit is quite dense and rife with backstory. Can a new reader just jump right in with the Kiani: Volume 2 and know what's going on?

Hernandez: New readers can rest assured this series will be a jumping-on point for them with fresh characters and easy-to-follow story arcs for past figures. Much of the Fathom back-story that they’ve missed up to this point will be made clear to them right off the bat, so that we can push forward with her narrative and new fans won’t feel lost.

Omnicomic: Will Kiani: Volume 2 be an ongoing series?

Hernandez: No, it will be a zero issue introduction followed by four issues, but I do have plans for a third volume of Kiani that will ultimately lead back into the main Fathom series, so fans can expect some implications from this volume that will have a ripple effect throughout the Fathom universe.

Omnicomic: A Fathom movie has long been rumored (even to the point of Megan Fox supposedly playing Aspen Matthews). Can you comment on the state of the film--if there even is one?

Hernandez: There are still plans in the works, yes, but I’m probably not the best person to discuss them. But, I can say the plans for the property in other forms of media are very exciting, and Fathom and Michael Turner fans can rest assured that the property will be true to its original source material no matter what.

Omnicomic: What are some of the upcoming shows that Aspen Comics plans to have a presence at?

Hernandez: Aspen will be kicking off the new year with a presence at The Amazing Arizona Con, WonderCon, the Long Beach Comic Con, New York Comic Con and of course the San Diego Comic Con. Plus, a few regional appearances will also be announced soon after the new year.

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

Hernandez: Absolutely, Aspen has several exciting titles we’ll be releasing right out of the gates in 2012 including Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Pak and Tony Parker’s prison break from Hell series, Dead Man’s Run, the action-adventure comedy Shrugged Volume Two by Frank Mastromauro, the superhero action-adventure series, Idolized, by David Schwartz and Micah Gunnell, Homecoming by David Wohl, Brad Foxhoven, and Scott Lobdell, and an all new ongoing series, Executive Assistant: Assassins written by myself.

Plus, we hinted at a huge Soulfire event taking place next summer which will bring together a huge assortment of creators and talent for one giant Soulfire storyline, so Aspen fans will have plenty to look forward to in 2012!

Omnicomic: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us!