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Interview: Sterling Gates Takes On Jack Kirby's 'Captain Victory'

The writer takes 'Captain Victory' and gives us an exclusive look at the upcoming comic book from Dynamite Entertainment.

There's no questions that Jack Kirby is by far one of the most influential comic book creators to have graced the medium, so when we found out that writer Sterling Gates had planned to write Kirby's 'Captain Victory' for Dynamite Entertainment, we had to ask him about it. So what's it like being one of the few people to take over the writing duties of one of Kirby's seemingly untouched inter-galactic heroes?

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You'll have to read more to find out. This October Dynamite Entertainment will release Kirby: Genesis Captain Victory by Sterling Gates with covers by Alex Ross, Michael Avon Oeming, Wagner Reis and Sean Chen. Check out the full interview with Gates as well as exclusive unfinished pages from issue #1 below!

Comic Vine: How did you get involved in writing Captain Victory? What has the experience been like for you?

Sterling Gates: I had a conversation with Nick Barrucci, and he said he thought I’d be a good fit for this project. It was just that simple! [laughs] Once I learned what Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Jack Herbert were doing for Kirby: Genesis, though, I was even more on board.

So far, the experience has been an incredibly positive one. Kurt, Alex, and everyone at Dynamite have been extremely supportive and patient, answering all of my questions about this new comic universe...which I think everyone is now calling the “Kirbyverse.”

== TEASER ==
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CV: Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers was first created by Jack Kirby back in 1981. Were you a fan of the series growing up?

SG: I read a random issue when I was a kid, but no, I wasn’t super familiar with the characters until I started researching them. What I found once I started reading back issues this year, however, was this crazy, sprawling, Kirby space epic. If you haven’t read the old back issues, I encourage you to seek them out at your LCS, because they’re a hell of a lot of fun. Pure Kirby goodness on all levels.

One character in the book is a hyper-intelligent floating head with retractable arms and a wicked sense of humor, and another is a hulking lion-man with a heart of gold. If you cross him, however, he will shred your face. Leading this band of strange xenomorphic misfits is the grandson of the greatest evil the galaxy’s ever known, Captain Victory!

“When they arrive, a saga begins” was Kirby’s tagline for the Galactic Rangers, and I’m trying hard to live up to that in the new book.

CV: What is it like to write a character that has been virtually untouched by any other creator?

SG: Challenging! What it means is that these characters came to me pure. The creator’s vision was right there on the page, and it’s up to me to continue those ideas and characterizations even as I’m expanding on the universe and its populace. For example, I wrote something in issue two I’m not sure Kirby would’ve written in an effort to update one of the supporting cast characters and make them more interesting to a modern comic reader. Whether it works or not remains to be seen.

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CV: You've written other superhero comics for other publishers (i.e. Supergirl and Superman for DC Comics), and I would image that you were heavily restricted in what you could do with the characters (respectively). How much creative liberty do you have with Captain Victory? Is the publisher giving you a strict outline to follow, or do you have the creative liberty to explore various areas of his history, environment and surroundings?

SG: I’ve had a LOT of freedom so far. I did a loose character outline at the start of the process, just to make sure I understood all of the main cast of the book and what made them tick. Kurt and Alex -- who are acting as sort of “Keepers of the Kirby Flame” along with my editor Joe Rybandt -- looked it over and approved it. From there, I did a 11-page series outline that was more plot-focused and laid out the first 9 issues in detail. Again, I got the thumbs up from the Kirby Trust. I’m writing issues as we speak, and everyone seems to like what I’m doing.

I want to present a really interesting vision of Kirby’s characters and environments, as well as dig way, way deeper into the history of the Galactic Rangers. Kirby touched on a couple of the bigger origin points of Victory and the Rangers, but I want to flesh ‘em all out. Make these characters and this Rangers unit cohesive and interesting and cool, so that even if you’ve never heard of them before -- and a lot of comic readers haven’t -- you can pick up the first few issues and get an idea of what they’re all about.

I’m also planning on picking up a lot of threads from Kirby: Genesis when that miniseries is over, so it helps to know what I should plot towards and what I’m dealing with after that series wraps.

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CV: What is, in your opinion, the most interesting thing about this character?

SG: Well, I’ve been using easy-to-understand DC Comics-surrogates to describe him: imagine if Darkseid’s son, Orion, joined the Green Lantern Corps to train them to stop Darkseid. That’s essentially what Victory is doing in the Galactic Rangers.

He’s the grandson of the greatest evil the galaxy has ever known, and he’s determined to stop him, so he’s preparing a force to do that. He’s a very determined guy, Victory.

When you find out what happened to earlier Rangers -- as well as what happened to Victory’s father -- you’ll see just how evil his grandfather is, and understand why Victory will go to such lengths to stop him.

CV: If Captain Victory had a motto or catch phrase that would define him, what would it be?

SG: “Victory is Sacrifice” is part of the Galactic Rangers’ motto, something I think Captain Victory took to heart when he was younger. I mean, why else would he rename himself “Captain Victory”?

And the first issue deals with that phrase a LOT, and you’ll see just how much sacrifice Victory is willing to make…

Kirby: Genesis- Captain Victory is due to hit store shelves this October and is set to follow the stories Captain Victory fans may have read while the character was being written at Pacific Comics. The series, which plans to give a whole new and refreshing take on Captain Victory and his team of inter-galactic Rangers will introduce old and new fans alike brand new stories which will delve deeper into the character's universe. Will you be picking up 'Captain Victory' this fall?

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