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Frank Barbiere talks with Ian Parker about Cage Hero #3

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  • Frank Barbiere talks with Ian Parker about Cage Hero #3

    Frank Barbiere, writer of The Precinct #2, talks with Ian Parker, co-creator/co-plotter of Cage Hero #3, about the book, both of which are in stores now from Dynamite.

    FRANK BARBIERE: What was the inspiration for Cage Hero? How is the experience of collaborating with several creators, including the influential Kevin Eastman?

    IAN PARKER: My inspiration for Cage Hero … very good and tricky question. As an aspiring MMA fighter, I constantly saw brands that defined the sport, but only touched upon the violent aspect. It just didn't give the fighters the credit they deserved as professional athletes. As a big superhero fan and MMA fan as well, I figured … Why not put the two together and create a positive image for these fighters? I want young athletes to look up to MMA fighters the way they look up to other professional athletes.

    The experience of collaborating with all of the creators involved was incredible. It is not everyday you get to work with people of their experience and success. Working with Kevin Eastman was an incredible learning experience for me. The knowledge he shed on me through this project was absolutely priceless. I am very grateful for the time and energy he put into this project.

    FB: What do you think it is about the setting of MMA fighting/competitive sports that creates a natural backdrop for superhero comics? Do you see a lot of similarities?

    IP: I think that MMA/competitive sports is easily a natural backdrop for superhero comics. If you watch all superheroes, from popular to not as well known, they all have a style of fighting. They might not specifically state what that type of style it is, but clearly the writers of all those characters had to do some sort of research in order to make the fight scenes look realistic. The only difference with what I did with Cage Hero compared to other stories and characters, I specified where my characters’ fighting styles came from.

    FB: Is there a particular character (be it hero or villain) you find yourself invested in?

    IP: Is there a particular character that I find myself invested in? Another tough question. I would like to think that there is a little piece of me in each one of my Cage Hero characters. But if I had to pick one of the characters, it would probably be Ryder Stone aka Legend. Growing up playing sports (including wrestling) I always chose the route of leader and not follower. The best quality of Legend that I see in myself is never wanting to back down from any challenge, regardless of the difficulty level of the obstacle in front of me.

    FB: How would you describe Cage Hero to a new reader right now to get them interested in the book?

    IP: I would describe Cage Hero as the next generational hero for our young readers. Cage Hero is a story about a group of young mixed martial artists who learn their true identity and have to find the hero within themselves in order to save the world. If you like MMA and you like superheroes, look no further as Cage Hero will give you all of that ... and then some.

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