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    BYRON BREWER: Kyle and Joe, you are collaborating on the writing of the new Justice Inc.: The Avenger title for Dynamite, out in July. I hear you guys have a little bit of history involving Joe’s company, Moonstone Books?

    JOE GENTILE: Kyle and I have known each other for a very long time. He has been a long time customer in one of my stores. He has shown a crazy amount of drive and determination from early on!

    KYLE HIGGINS: Oh man, yeah. We’ve probably known each other at this point for… seventeen years? Maybe eighteen? Joe owns a couple of comic book stores in Illinois, where I shopped back in the day. On top of that, he also runs Moonstone Books, which publishes prose and comics. In fact, it was watching Joe put together books at Moonstone that first introduced me to the way comics are made. I credit it, to this day, for getting me on the path to becoming a writer.

    BB: Can you give me your take on the mysterious Avenger character, to this day not as well known as many of his fellow pulp heroes?

    JOE: I have always seen The Avenger as a bit of a NOIR character. He lost his family in a very cool (and unusual for its time) origin story. That loss, and how it happened because of him, weighs heavy on him every waking moment. He wants what happened to him to not happen to anyone else. He is willing to walk into the lion’s den to bring to justice those who prey on the innocent. It’s not so much a death wish, but he sees it as if something fatal happens to him, he can be with his family sooner, rather than later. On top of THAT angst, he has this quirk. Sometimes, he has worked a situation so well, that he can give the bad guys a choice at story’s end. It’s a bit of a morality play. If they follow the Avenger and do what he says, they will survive. If they don’t, all bets are off. What’s not to like?

    BB: What is the storyline of this new miniseries?

    KYLE: Our story takes place in the early years of The Avenger’s career. He’s formed Justice Inc., with his team of aides, but—as we’re going to explore in the series—they’re still figuring each other out. Also, one of the big things that fascinated me about the way Justice Inc. operates, is its relationship with law enforcement. Both on the local level as well as the Federal level. Often, The Avenger and Justice Inc. are very much viewed as heroes of the people, but that had to start somewhere. When Benson—The Avenger—is brought in on charges, the beginnings of trust that he’s been building with the community are really put under scrutiny.

    JOE: We play with the Avenger’s public image. We play with his idea of justice and trust, and how that’s handled by his aides. The Avenger is brought in on murder charges, and that’s just the beginning.

    BB: With the Avenger in the hoosegow for a brutal murder, I would image there will be some real story opportunity for the Justice Inc. team! Tell us about that.

    JOE: I am a BIG fan of the team members. Each will get some moments, as they try to figure out what’s happening, and how to clear their boss. There’s action scenes, and some personal stuff too! These are very capable people, and we will show that.

    KYLE: Yeah, the aides have been a lot of fun. Joe’s an encyclopedia on these guys and girls, so it’s a lot of fun doing deep dives on what drives each of them, how they relate to and play off each other, and what slots they really look to fill on the team.

    And, while a lot of our story explores the way the FBI looks at Benson and his aides, an equally important part of this story is how the aides look at Benson. What do they learn about him through the course of this case? Will it bring them closer together? Or push them all further apart?

    BB: Will there be one of the team that will operate as the POV character? Which team member(s) in particular will benefit from this larger story spotlight?

    JOE: They all get to take part, but there is a very unusual scene with Nellie that’s far out. Plus, Rosabel gets more than her usual share of attention.

    KYLE: Nellie’s been my favorite so far, yeah. But with this story really being an “early years” look at The Avenger and Justice Inc., Joe’s exactly right—we’re spending a good amount of time with each aide, and getting into their views on Benson and what they’re all doing.

    BB: Will there be other characters of interest herein? Perhaps members of the FBI investigations team?

    JOE: We have some FBI guys of course, District Attorney, plus some (up until now) unknown characters from the Avenger’s past…

    KYLE: Right. Our main FBI agents—Bellamy and Roberts—provide a lot of our POV, especially as we get deeper into this murder case and threads from The Avenger’s origin begin to come into play.

    BB: What can you say about the work of Alexandre Shibao? Is the artist capturing the atmosphere desired for your iteration of the Avenger?

    KYLE: Alexandre’s a dream. I’ve followed his work for a bit now, through his agent—Joe Prado—and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do something with him. He reminds me a bit of John Cassaday, in his faces… which, let me tell you, is not a bad thing at all (laughs). Alexandre’s a great storyteller, and the feel of his 1930’s is awesome. I’m really excited for more people to see his work!

    BB: Joe and Kyle, what other projects are you involved with which you can tell readers about?

    JOE: Interestingly enough, at this time, I am writing an Avenger novella! It’s an end of WW2 drama that moves in and out of real history.

    KYLE: I’ve got a couple of books on my plate at the moment. Magnus—for Dynamite—as well as Power Rangers, the end of Hadrian’s Wall, and a few other creator-owned projects that haven’t been announced yet. It’s a busy time, but this opportunity was too fun to pass up!