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Sterling Gates plans deep-space epic with “Captain Victory”

by Matthew Price Published: October 18, 2011

Tulsa-born comic-book writer Sterling Gates is headed to deep space in his next assignment, a revamp of the Jack Kirby character Captain Victory for Dynamite Entertainment.

Captain Victory, created by Kirby, was one of the first hits in the direct-market comic-shop environment of the early 1980s, and of course Kirby is perhaps comics’ most prolific creator, responsible for creating or co-creating concepts including the Fourth World, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Captain America.

Gates plans to stay true to the core of the original concept while updating it for modern audiences.

“I went back and found Jack Kirby’s original issues and pored over them, taking extensive notes,” Gates said. “Kirby was in the military for a while, but he didn’t follow any traditional structure for the Rangers or their hierarchy. Deciphering who outranked who and how took a little bit of work, but I think I’ve put most of the pieces together.”

Gates says fans can expect “big, space-opera action with well-defined characters leading the charge.”

Gates said he has an overarching plan in mind for Victory and his crew.

“Victory is the grandson of Blackmass, a malevolent force that was banished outside our universe a long time ago,” Gates said. “Victory was being raised to be his successor, but at some point and for some reason, Victory left. He joined the Galactic Rangers when he was a kid and has been quietly training them to fight Blackmass ever since.”

But Victory finds himself questioned.

“Victory’s actions, however, come in direct conflict with his superiors at Galactic Command, so there’s conflict all around him,” Gates said. “Even his own men question what he does from time to time, and we’re going to get into a lot of that kind of thing across the first couple big stories.”

The first issue of “Captain Victory” is set for release at the end of this month.

More big action

Gates is also exploring big action as part of DC Comics’ The New 52, as the writer for “Hawk and Dove.” Two issues of the series are out so far, drawn by “Youngblood” and “X-Force” creator Rob Liefeld.

“I’ve been working on ideas for Hawk & Dove for over a year,” Gates said via Twitter. “Which is nothing compared to Rob, who’s wanted to return to these characters since the ’80s.”

Smiths tribute

Gates, who also is a musician, will indulge his Smiths fandom in a new writing project. He’s the writer of a story in an upcoming Smiths tribute comic-book anthology, “Unite and Take Over.”

“I read about the project and found the editor, Shawn Demumbrum, on Twitter,” Gates said. “I told him I’d love to take a crack at a story, so we started emailing back and forth. By the end of that chat, I’d pitched him a story inspired by the song ‘William, It Was Really Nothing.’ He loved the idea, I wrote it, and it’s being drawn right now.”

“Unite and Take Over,” which is set for a November release, takes lyrics of songs by the Smiths and interprets them in a new way in comic-book story form. Gates’ story imagines the Smiths’ song as an interpretation of a crime noir-type story.

“It’s a noir-ish story about a detective named William Black,” Gates said. “He’s on the hunt for a man who was responsible for a wedding day massacre in New York City, but he can’t find him. William’s been on the hunt for a couple years, and our story happens just as he’s deciding it’s time to stop looking. And that’s about all I can tell you about it without spoiling it entirely!”

- By Matthew Price
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From Friday’s The Oklahoman

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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