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In the spirit of Edward Stratemeyer’s 1930 creation Nancy Drew and more recent incarnations like Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, J.J. Abrams’ Sydney Bristow and Rob Thomas’ Veronica Mars, grown men writing about teenage wonder girls (super-powered or otherwise) righting the wrong-doers of justice has become an entertainment industry norm. That’s why B. Clay Moore (“Hawaiian Dick”) says writing the titular character in Wildstorm’s upcoming “Casey Blue: Beyond Tomorrow” miniseries is “no big deal.”
Illustrated by Carlo Barberi (“Gen 13”), Casey Blue – in case you missed the May solicitations – is an average high school senior except, of course, until she suddenly kills a stranger with her bare hands and learns that she will play a pivotal role in preventing a full-scale invasion of Earth.
“I suppose I’m stretching back to my high school years to some degree,” B. Clay Moore told CBR News. “I hung out with girls like Casey in high school, and when you get right down to it, the gulf between guys and girls isn’t as great as people want to make it. People are always trying to figure out the opposite sex, but there are more similarities than differences. I think most of the differences are related to circumstance, so you put yourself into the head of a high school girl, just as you’d put yourself into the head of a man flying around in his underwear punching holes in mountains.
“And if you’re a method writer, you put yourself into her clothes and prance around in front of a mirror. I’ve never done that, but J. Torres tells me it works, and he’s written Wonder Girl, so....”
Moore was actually pitched the story concept by Wildstorm editor Ben Abernathy, who in turn asked the writer to pitch it back to the DC Comics imprint. “Ben called and gave me a few loose ideas and asked if I’d be interested in pitching a book along those lines,” explained Moore. “I’d never really written anything starring a female protagonist before, aside from a three-issue ‘Vampi’ mini I did a few years ago, and certainly nothing with a teenage girl in the lead, so that was a draw.
“I decided to start from the perspective of a normal kid who gets thrown into a completely unbelievable situation, and build a fairly complex, time-bending mystery around her. Ben and I bounced things around for a while, but this was one of the quickest pitch to writing experiences I’ve ever had.”
And while he didn’t want to reveal too much of the “fairly complex, time-bending mystery,” Moore did deliver on a few spoilers. “Casey is going about her normal business when she virtually blanks out, and ends up attacking and murdering a complete stranger. Once she realizes what she’s done, she, you know, becomes concerned. This is definitely not behavior her parents would approve of,” teased Moore. “As similar incidents occur, she begins to realize there are people out there who are more aware of what’s happening than she is, and she tries to piece things together as she deals with them. Now and then we see glimpses of events around the world that might indicate she’s not entirely alone with her problems.”
As for his leading lady, Moore says outside of the killing and the whole humanity’s only salvation thing, she perfectly normal. “She’s a decent student, with a best friend she hangs with now and then,” explained Moore. “She plays volleyball, but has never been more than an average player. And she lives at home with mom and dad in the suburbs. Her older brother lives in his own apartment in the city. She’s perhaps a little brighter than average, with a decent sense of humor.
“But once she’s thrust into this situation, she has no choice but to pursue it. Sure, what’s happening seems unreal, but since it’s actually happening, she learns quickly to accept the unacceptable and just deal.”
Moore confirmed that plans are that the “Beyond Tomorrow” six-issue miniseries is the first of many for our young Miss Blue. “This is very much the first step in a much larger story,” said Moore. “This is the series in which Casey gets her bearings and sets the course for her own future. This is the prelude, more than anything.”
That being said, Moore added that “Casey Blue: Beyond Tomorrow” ends as a new beginning of sorts. “Casey’s changed over the course of this first book, and she realizes she has a very important quest to follow,” said Moore.
Moore continues to work on his two Image Comics books “Hawaiian Dick” and “’76” and an upcoming creator-owned project with artist Tony Harris (“Ex Machina”). “I also just wrapped up ‘Superman Confidential’ and ‘JSA Classified,’ and I’m talking about more stuff at DC. And I just dug into a graphic novel that artist Eric Kim and I are doing at Oni called ‘Billy Smoke.’ I’m always busy,” said Moore, who also mentioned that while the option expired with New Line Cinema for a “Hawaiian Dick” movie, there are things happening with the project. “But more on that down the road,” he said.
“Casey Blue: Beyond Tomorrow” #1, with art by Carlo Barberi is scheduled to arrive in stores on May 21.