The Ninjabot

Interview: Talking “Ivar, Timewalker” with Fred Van Lente

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 8:23 am by Tyler Waterman

The Valiant Next initiative brings with it several new titles to the Valiant Universe, and all of them will have a huge impact. Divinity introduces a brand-new character with godlike power, Ninjak brings the ninja super spy into the spotlight for the first time, Imperium will alter the status quo of the whole planet… all that, and we haven’t even touched on The Valiant or Bloodshot Reborn. But despite the heavy significance of all these new books, the upcoming Ivar, Timewalker from comics super-scribe Fred Van Lente (Archer and Armstrong, Magnus Robot Fighter) and  artist extraordinaire Clayton Henry (Archer and Armstrong, Harbinger Wars) may have the greatest potential impact of all. After all, the entirety of the Valiant Universe’s past, present and future are Ivar’s playground!

Fred Van Lente was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our questions about the upcoming series, as well as the characters who’ll define it, whether they’re familiar faces or brand new to this series. We also have a preview of the book below; between the two, I guarantee by the end of this page you’ll be adding Ivar, Timewalker to your pull list! Ivar, Timewalker hits shelves January 21st, and don’t forget, it’s part of the outstanding Valiant Prestige format too!

Geek Legacy: Ivar has already had an impact on the Valiant Universe, most notably in the pages of your outstanding Archer and Armstrong run, but this is his first time in the spotlight. Did you know then that he’d eventually get a solo book down the line with you at the helm, or is this just a happy coincidence?

Fred Van Lente: Warren Simons and I were kicking around what eventually became this story around the time Ivar showed up for good around Vol. 3 of Archer & Armstrong, but what ended up happening, really, was my schedule was a bit crazy for a while and it took over a year for us to get around to telling this story. And I’m glad we did, because it meant we had Clayton available on art.

GL: Your Archer and Armstrong partner-in-crime Clayton Henry is also on board to provide art for Ivar, Timewalker. Did you specifically want to work with Clayton on this book, or does this stem from Valiant editorial realizing the two of you working together is as great a combo as peanut butter and chocolate?

FVL: I was thrilled when Warren said Clayton was available. He’s been one of my favorite collaborators from when we were doing Wolverine First Class and Incredible Hercules at Marvel. We chat together about the scripts all the time together on the phone — particularly when they’re as trippy as this one. Timewalker is definitely the most innovative thing I’ve tried to date, again, encouraged by Warren, at least in terms of storytelling and layout. So Clayton has to call me up and be like “Uh, is this what you meant?”

GL: One thing that separates Ivar from the “standard” time-traveling character is that being trapped in the Timestream has left him with the knowledge of essentially every possible timeline. Is it a particular challenge writing a character who basically knows how everything ends?

FVL: It is, but then you counteract that by pairing him with someone who doesn’t know anything. Well, our other main character — well, our real main character — doesn’t know “anything,” she is a theoretical physicist, after all. But Ivar first rescues Dr. Neela Sethi from the forces of Oblivi-1 because she’s about to invent a new and deadly form of time travel. Then it becomes increasingly obvious Ivar isn’t entirely telling the truth about that…

GL: The only thing better than an Anni-Padda brother is two or three put together. In particular, Ivar’s interactions with Armstrong are always a great read; their time-hopping bar crawl was somehow both hilarious and touching at the same time, and one of my favorite Valiant moments. I know you can’t give us details, but can we safely anticipate some Anni-Padda team-ups in this book?

FVL: Yes! In fact, one of the other Anni-Padda brothers features rather significantly in our first arc…

GL: I’ve already seen speculation online that Ivar will fill a sort of “Dr. Who” role in the Valiant Universe, gallivanting semi-heroically through time to save us from threats we didn’t even know were coming. How fair is that comparison?

FVL: It’s hard for me to say, since I have seen exactly two episodes of Doctor Who from beginning to end credits in my whole life. I don’t think it’s a huge mystery that Barry Windsor-Smith created Ivar to be something of a Who analogue in the first place. Personally, if we wanted to compare Timewalker to anything in British pop culture, I’d say it’s a way more violent Douglas Adams? That’s sort of what I’m going for.

GL: Along with Ivar, this book will also introduce us to Neela Sethi, and just from the previews I can already tell she’s going to be a great addition to a world already filled with compelling characters. Is it safe to assume she’s destined to have a major impact on the Valiant Universe?

FVL: Indeed. Though whether it’s a good or bad impact, you’ll have to read and see…

GL: Finally, if you had to describe Ivar, Timewalker in five words, what would they be?

FVL: Love and adventure without limits.

Cover A by RAUL ALLEN (NOV141680)
Cover B by JORGE MOLINA (NOV141681)
Character Design Variant by DAVID AJA (NOV141682)
Variant Cover by BARRY KITSON (NOV141683)
$3.99 | 32 pages. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 21

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