Dan Slott

Dan Slott loves his She Hulk. Imagine his excitement when he was offered the chance to work on an episode of Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes featuring the single female lawyer! The Marvel Animation Age managed to pull Dan away from the ridiculous amount of work he probably has to do to talk about The Cure.

And those comic book things he writes too of course…

MAA: How did you get the job to write a story for the new Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes show

Slott: Chris Yost called me up, out of the blue, and wanted to know if I was interested. They had a place on the schedule specifically for a "Ben Grimm gets cured and is replaced by She-Hulk" story. And he thought I was the right guy for that one. I wonder why?...

MAA: Are you going to do any more?

Slott: Probably not. :( Right now my plate is too full for any extra projects. I recently finished up a DEADPOOL/GREAT LAKES INITIATIVE special with Fabian Nicieza. I'm wrapping up my run on SHE-HULK, knee-deep in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, and happy-as-a-clam with my new "Top Secret" project for Marvel.

MAA: You're credited as "Story by" with a script by Christopher Yost. How much did you get to work with Yost/how did you collaborate with the show?

Slott: It was my first time working in TV, so Chris held my hand a LOT. Basically, I wrote up the story spring, the treatment, and then a number of passes at the outline. After the outline was approved, Chris worked it up into a script. He did a great job, and I'm really pleased with the final result.

MAA: A lot of animation writers say their stuff gets changed pretty drastically between script and screen. How much of your original story for "The Cure" made it to the screen?

Slott: The biggest change was the length. If they'd stuck religiously to my final outline, the episode would've run... oh... about an hour extra. I'm AMAZED that Chris was able to cut it down. All the key beats, favorite bits, and favorite bits of dialogue are in there. Like I said before, I'm very happy with the final version. The only thing I was sad that didn't make the cut was Squirrel Girl having her squirrels form a human pyramid. Or would that be a "squirrel pyramid"?

MAA: Did the series bible or other constraints make you change something you had in mind originally?

Slott: Yes. I had some really nice romantic moments in there for Ben and Alicia. But since these cartoons are for "kids", those got watered down a little into "friend" moments for Ben and Alicia. But I've got to give a LOT of credit to both Chris, the animators, and the voice actors-- because it still FEELS right. There's that extra shot of them, a close up that's held for a moment, something in their voice, which HINTS at it. So I was happy with that too.

MAA: There are lots of cameos in the FF's "audition" scene, including the Fabulous Frog-Man and the Texas Twister...

Slott: And Captain Ultra! Don't forget Captain Ultra! What a kick, right? I can't believe that I had a hand in bringing Texas Twister to the small screen. Now I can die happy.

MAA: ... but more importantly we also saw Flatman and Squirrel Girl. When can we expect to see the GLAnimated Series?

Slott: Ha! Oh dear God, no! I think the Great Lakes Heroes are a fun spice to the Marvel U. But a little of 'em goes a lonnnng way.

MAA: Any reason you used The Mole Man as the episodes’ nemesis?

Slott: There's so much coming at you in "The Cure"-- a human Ben, a new member for the team, and whatnot-- that I really needed a you-see-him-you-get-him baddie. Mole Man fit that bill nicely. His plan's really simple: "I'll blow up all the Earth's volcanos, cover the sky with ash, and then the surface dwellers will see how I live!" A couple lines of dialogue and we're good to go.

MAA: You’re a proven fan of the previous DC cartoons. What did you think to the various Marvel cartoons over the years?

Slott: Hit and miss. Liked the HB FANTASTIC FOUR (the one BEFORE the Herbie the Robot series). Liked Season 2 of the previous FF series, some episodes of the UPN INCREDIBLE HULK, The MTV SPIDER-MAN, and a lot of the later episodes of this current FF series. But, push comes to shove, my all-time favorite super hero cartoon is going to be the '67 SPIDER-MAN. You just can't beat that.

MAA: Can we hope to see a repeat on FF of the Squirrel Girl debut when she defeats Dr. Doom?

Slott: No. But you CAN see an all NEW Squirrel Girl/Doctor Doom showdown in the pages of next week's DEADPOOL/GLI SUMMER FUN SPECTACULAR!

MAA: Is there any temptation to return to TV writing?

Slott: Yep! Once SHE-HULK is wrapped, I'm going to work on my own thing. It's this weird live action, Sci Fi/Fantasy show that a new network is letting me develop. The first script's due in October, so you probably won't get a chance to see it until late '08. But that doesn't mean I'm not super-excited about it! I really can't wait to get this going!

MAA: What’s your overall opinion of both The Cure and the show itself?

Slott: Like I said before, I'm really happy how The Cure came out. There's a lot of fun in there! And not just the cameos. The animations great! And the voice actors really hit it out of the park-- especially the guy doing Johnny Storm! He's a hoot! And I'm really digging these later episodes of the show. For example, I thought the Impossible Man episode was just great!

MAA: Your run on She Hulk comes to its conclusion shortly. You managed to turn a C list character into one of the best comics on the racks and created almost an entire world of characters for her world. Do you feel you’ve done all you can with the character at this point or could you ever see yourself returning?

Slott: She-Hulk is one of my favorite Marvels. And, yeah, I'm gonna miss her. But right now? As a She-Hulk Fan, I'm really excited to see Peter David come on board and tell some great Shulkie stories!

MAA: The majority of Marvel’s books/characters are currently reeling from post-Cival War syndrome. Do you enjoy the shake up or do you think that a lot of the heroes are simply acting out of character in order to be placed on the Secret Avengers or Pro-Registration teams?

Slott: As the guy writing AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, I couldn't be happier. The fall out from the Civil War has really shaken up the entire Marvel U. And I'm the guy who gets to play in the middle of all that chaos!

MAA: “My name is Peter Parker and I’ve been Spider-Man since I was 15 years old”. Dumbest move in recent comic history or a bold new direction for the character?

Slott: Smartest marketing move in years. Whether you agree with it or not, that ONE moment brought a LOT of readers back to comics - and back to Marvel. Same goes with the death of Captain America. I hear where you're coming from though. When I read that plot to CW#2, you wouldn't believe how red my face got! I was screaming, "What?! Peter Parker did WHAT?!" But then, once MY fanboy ire calmed, and I started playing around with the pieces (like in SHE-HULK 2 #9) they took me to some interesting stories. You have to admit, it's been one hell of a ride! And THAT is what comics is all about

MAA: You're known for your humour material in your comic books, (such as She-Hulk, Great Lakes Avengers, "Spider-Man/Human Torch: I'm With Stupid"). People expect comedy from your works. Do you ever fear being type-cast as the "Funny guy"?

Slott: All the time. But hopefully with titles like AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE... and my new "Secret Project"... I can break some of those expectations.

MAA: So who was the Red Hood in Batman Adventures? The world and Ed really want to know!

Slott: I'm still not telling. But I will say this... In upcoming issues we were going to lay the foundation for 3 big secret-filled threads:

Lucius Fox's secret history with the Waynes.

More secrets about the Vellestra crime family (Who Joker used to work for, back BEFORE he was the Joker. The same crime family that killed Phantasms father. And the same crime family that Eel O'Brian and Matches Malone were going to wind up working for).

And a new secretive business mogul was going to come to Gotham City to set up his new headquarters...

Preston Powers (who would've JUST become the new father to li'l baby Derek Powers-- who would grow up to become the head of Wayne/Powers in BATMAN BEYOND).

Seriously, we were going to have a scene where Mrs. Powers hands baby Derek over to Bruce... and Derek spits up all over him. It would've been priceless.

How Lucius, the Vellestra-related characters, and the Powers family would have played out their subplots... all of THAT would have built up to the surprise reveal that the Red Hood was actually...

...someone really cool. ;)

MAA: What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

Slott: That's tough. There are a LOT of comics that I am really proud of: REN & STIMPY SPECIAL #3, SHE-HULK #4, SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH #3, ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL #3, THING #7... But honestly, I'm most excited about the future!

The Marvel Animation Age would like to thank Mr. Slott for agreeing to do this interview. Cheers Dan!

The Red Hood image appears courtesy of The World's Finest