You’d be forgiven for not knowing what Crossgen’s title Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is, mainly because it was the last published comic from the flailing publisher. Taking a riff on James Bond, the idea was that the title Charlie Kiss was transferred from agent to agent, after the previous Kiss died.
Now, as part of their Crossgen reboot program, Marvel is bringing Charlie Kiss and company back to life, with writer Peter Milligan and artist Roman Rosanas, for a new, four issue mini-series. This time – as announced at Marvel’s Next Big Thing panel at FanExpo – the new agent is Alan McGrath, and he may find that his status as top agent Charlie Kiss will be very short lived. To find out more, we chatted with Milligan, and of course, started off with the obvious question:
MTV Geek: What’s the idea of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang… I know Robert Downey Jr. was great in it, but that’s all I’ve got so far.
Peter Milligan: We’re taking the basic concept of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and then running with it. It’s all the action and glamour – the death and sex and good stuff – of a James Bond style spy caper but with a dark heart and some modern twists.
Geek: Seriously though! This was the last Crossgen series, and only had five issues released. Do you feel like you have more carte blanche to reinvent the property from the ground up because of that? Or do you feel a need to continue the previous story?
PM: This is pretty much a reinvention and is not a continuation of the previous story. It operates in the same world though and is if you like an homage to the earlier incarnations.
Geek: We’re dealing with a new Charlie Kiss here, Alan McGrath. Who is he? And what brings him to the point we find him in at the start of the story?
PM: Charles Kiss is a legendary James Bond-style British spy. And McGrath is the young idealist who is given the task of following in his footsteps. It’s a mission that forces McGrath to question everything he thought he believed in.
Geek: The old title had two main features: set in the ‘60s, and played with James Bond archetypes. Are we going to see those at play here again?
PM: It’s set in the modern day, but there are certainly some James Bond style archetypes running around.
Geek: This is getting real nerdy, but will we see any hint as to where Stephanie Shelly is in the series?
PM: You’re right. That’s amazingly nerdy, but don’t hate yourself for it. Stephanie won’t be in this mini series, though there will be new female characters.
Geek: What about Lazarus Bale?
PM: Unlike his namesake, Lazarus has not risen from the dead, at least not this time.
Geek: Okay, enough on those musty old books. What’s Roman Rosanas art like on the book? What sort of look are you two going for?
PM: Roman’s work is incredible on this. Great characterization – and though there’s a lot of action this book is really about character. The book we’re looking to produce is fast, sexy, smart and saying something about our present world.
Geek: And what can we look forward to seeing Agent McGrath face over the course of this new series?
PM: He faces the difficulties of killing and mutilating men for the first time. He struggles with the double-edged sword that is love. And he is thrown into the unenviable role of having to fill a hero’s larger than life shoes. He also has to shoot a lot of people, and look stylish while going about it
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #1 hits stands in December, courtesy of Marvel and Crossgen.
Check out some preview art for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang below!