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Exclusive interview: Andy Diggle unveils secrets to come in Uncanny

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Posted by: Byron Brewer
created 12/09/2013 - 3:03pm, updated 12/09/2013 - 3:55pm

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Writer Andy Diggle has been having a ball with his book, Uncanny, about a grifter with Rogue-like powers who cheats and steals his way from Singapore to Manhattan.

But apparently that ID isn’t all there is to our Mr. Weaver and starting with issue #5, we should be finding out more about him, his boss Deacon Styles and the mysterious organization known only as CADRE.

To get to the noir heart of the matter, our M.E. Byron Brewer met exclusively with Diggle in a dive bar somewhere near the alleyway behind the CBN offices. Here is his report.

Cosmic Book News: Andy, are you having fun writing Uncanny, because I and a bunch of others are sure having fun reading it?

Andy Diggle: That's great to hear! Yeah, it's a lot of fun to write, and hopefully it shows. Even though it's a work-for-hire book, Dynamite have given me a huge amount of creative freedom, so I'm just like a kid on a candy store. Obviously I like doing tough-guy action thrillers, but with Uncanny I'm having fun undermining my own clichés a little bit. Weaver isn't as cool as he pretends to be --- he's actually kind of damaged -- and I'm having fun peeling away those layers of bullshit he's built up around himself.

CBN: What is up with the swami in Deacon Styles' basement?

Andy Diggle: What indeed? Yeah, Holly is Styles' "remote viewer" and she's kind of pivotal, although you won't find out exactly why until issue #5. All I'll say for now is, pay attention to the wolf ...

CBN: From the looks of things, Styles is one of the Actives. Is he a telepath like Professor X?

Andy Diggle: Not quite. He is indeed an Active, but his power is a little odder and more specific than good ol' fashioned telepathy. I'm not going to spell it out; I think it's more interesting to let the readers figure it out for themselves. You'll really get to see him strut his stuff in issue #6, which is pretty much a bloodbath. You don't want to mess with Deacon Styles.

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CBN: What can you tell us about the group CADRE that won't be a spoiler?

Andy Diggle: Much of what Styles told us about them is true -- they are indeed a global network of defense intelligence think-tanks. And they are indeed studying Actives, trying to figure out how to replicate and weaponize their talents. But this being a noir-tinged story, it doesn't break down into traditional "good guys and bad guys." I'm not sure there actually are any good guys in this story. At least, not yet ...

CBN: Will we be learning more about Robert Howell Lowe as the series progresses?

Andy Diggle: Yes. That was Weaver's original name, and you'll be meeting little 4-year old Bobby Lowe in issue #7, giving us a glimpse at his place in the wider conspiracy. Weaver doesn't know how connected he really is.

CBN: Will we be seeing other Actives soon?

Andy Diggle: You'll meet a new Active in issue #6, and Holly will have a much bigger role in the second arc.

CBN: Can you tell us anything about the relationship between Styles and those running CADRE?

Andy Diggle: Let's just say they're not on each other's Christmas lists. You'll find out more about the connection between Styles and CADRE at the end of the first arc, including Styles' true motivation in hiring Weaver and Maggie in the first place.

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CBN: Hopefully with CADRE and Actives, we are not headed for an Avengers vs. X-Men remix, losing the series' noir atmosphere?

Andy Diggle: It's not a superhero book. For one thing, these people may have powers, but that doesn't make them heroes. For another, I'm keen to keep the powers fairly low-key. You won't see Actives flying or shooting lasers out of their eyeballs. It's more about what's going on inside their heads -- and what they're putting into, and taking out of, other people's heads. Shady people f***ing with each other, basically, like all noir, but on a grander scale.

CBN: Any comments on Aaron Campbell?

Andy Diggle: Aaron's an absolute pleasure to work with. His characters live and breathe on the page and his storytelling is always rock solid, with the grit to give it that noir vibe and the dynamism to make the action sequences really fly. I couldn't be happier.

CBN: Andy, any projects current or future you'd like to tell us about?

Andy Diggle: I'm having a blast working on Uncanny for Dynamite, Thief of Thieves with Robert Kirkman and Shawn Martinbrough at Skybound, and the forthcoming crime saga CONTROL, which is illustrated by the amazing Ben Oliver and which I'm co-writing with my wife Angela. I also have two new work-for-hire books in development which I can't talk about just yet, as well as two new creator-owned books which I'm planning for 2014. I'm busier than I've ever been -- and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Andy Diggle for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Also thanks to Nick Barrucci and Josh Green of Dynamite who helped make this interview possible.

“Uncanny” #5 hits stores Wednesday!

 
 

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