EXCLUSIVE: B. Clay Moore On Valiant’s “Savage”

This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on May 17, 2016.

Savage B Clay Moore Interview

A brand new character was announced at the Valiant Summit in New York City today. This fall writer B. Clay Moore and artists Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa will be introduce the world to Savage, a boy raised on a mysterious island of dinosaurs, in a prestige-format 4-issue mini-series. It’s an exciting new project that will expand both the world and cast of the Valiant universe.

ComicBook.Com writer Chase Magnett was able to speak with Moore before the official announcement about his inspirations and goals for the series, his experience working with Valiant, and the dual stories being drawn by Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa. Check out the official solicitation for Savage #1 and the full interview with B. Clay Moore below.

SAVAGE #1 (of 4)

Written by B. CLAY MOORE

Art by CLAYTON HENRY and LEWIS LAROSA

Cover by LEWIS LAROSA

A VALIANT PRESTIGE FORMAT LIMITED SERIES

COMING IN NOVEMBER

Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife –pregnant with their unborn child – disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by by prehistoric creatures from another time…

This is the story of how they lost their humanity.

This fall, acclaimed writer B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick) and explosive artists Clayton Henry (HARBINGER WARS) and Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN) present a relentless epic of survival in a cold-blooded land ruled by instinct alone as SAVAGE makes his brutal entrance into the Valiant Universe!

This is your first big project with Valiant and you have the opportunity to introduce a new character to the growing universe. How did this opportunity come about after getting to work on Bloodshot for one issue a few years ago?

B. Clay Moore: I’ve known [Valiant Editor-in-Chief] Warren Simons since we worked together on something at Marvel years ago. We’ve stayed in touch and now and then discussed the possibility of doing something more at Valiant. Warren is well aware that I’d initially made my mark doing creator-owned work, and approached me with the idea of creating something brand new for the Valiant Universe.

My favorite part of developing new comics is the character creation and world-building, so the opportunity to introduce a new element to an existing (and ever evolving) comic book universe was right up my alley.

There are a lot of interesting hooks to Savage, from his parentage to his separation from the modern world to his relative youth. What attracted you to the character of Savage initially?

Moore: As a writer, I always try to approach a character by assessing how his or her environment shapes his or her story. This story is sort of the ultimate example of that. What would happen if a child of privilege had that privilege stripped away at an early age, and his character was forged by the combination of the character of his parents, and the harshest environment imaginable? And, ultimately, what happens when that character is introduced to new environments?

Savage plays on some familiar tropes dating back to pulp heroes like Tarzan. What sets your story apart from what has come before?

Moore: Well, there are really only a handful or archetypes in comics or any genre-oriented entertainment, so the key is finding original beats within the familiar. Even Tarzan had his antecedents, after all.

For me, focusing on what makes this particular character tick, in a fairly unique environment, and just letting the story push his development forward, has resulted in what I think is a brand new take on those familiar tropes. I rarely think about what’s gone on before, to be honest. I just trust that this character is leading us in new and interesting directions.

Savage B Clay Moore Sketch

In addition to creating this brand new character, you’re also going to be exploring a new setting in the Valiant Universe: an island populated by dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. How would you characterize this setting and its place in the Valiant universe moving forward?

Moore: The island is a fantastic playground. It opens the door to so many options that the challenge becomes how to restrict your imagination to the elements most important to the story. There’s also something inherently frightening about a place where literally anything can happen. In a sense, simply knowing that the island exists within the Valiant Universe means there’s an unpredictable x-factor lurking out there somewhere, always capable of impacting that universe in completely unexpected ways.

Now imagine growing up inside that x-factor.

This first story will be focused on introducing Savage… Are there any plans to incorporate him – or other elements of his realm – into the Valiant universe at large eventually?

Moore: I like to think the idea was to create a character that would add a new wrinkle to the existing universe. I definitely hope to see him incorporated sooner than later. And, obviously, I’d love to help guide his development from here.

What can readers expect from Clayton Henry and Lewis LaRosa’s depiction of the Faraway’s prehistoric inhabitants? What do you most look forward to seeing once you have finished pages of Savage in hand?

Moore: It means a lot to me that Valiant has included these guys in the creation of SAVAGE. Lewis is a huge fan of the elements we’re using to tell this story, and when an artist as talented as he is is enthusiastic about a story, the results can be stunning. Clayton seems to be growing by leaps and bounds with each story he tells, and I can see why he’s become such a vital part of the Valiant creative pool. There’s nothing more exciting than working with talented, invested collaborators, and that will definitely show in the finished product.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell potential readers and Valiant fans about Savage and this new piece of Valiant’s mythology?

Moore: Just that I feel honored to have been entrusted with the task of adding a new character to such a vibrant existing universe. My hope is that the ripples of his creation extend beyond this book and into the larger Valiant Universe.

Beyond that, I’ve never seen fans with as much devotion to a company and positive energy as the Valiant fans I’ve met over the past couple of years. I can’t wait to see their reaction to what we’re doing once the book hits shelves.

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About chasemagnett

Chase is a mild-mannered finance guy by day and a raving comics fan by night. He has been reading comics for more than half of his life (all 23 years of it). After graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with degrees in Economics and English, he has continued to research comics while writing articles and reviews online. His favorite superhero is Superman and he'll accept no other answers. Don't ask about his favorite comic unless you're ready to spend a day discussing dozens of different titles.
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