Geiger Webskin

Eden's Fall: Nothing Lasts Forever [Interview]

IMAGE COMICS: Give us the pitch for EDEN'S FALL. What's this story about?

BRYAN HILL: A domestic terrorist has evaded the pursuit of law by hiding inside of Eden, off-the-grid town where criminals, fugitives, and the reformed have gathered to start a new life. But FBI AGENT JAMES MILLER refuses to let the man get away with the horror he's caused, so he breaks protocol and goes undercover to find that sociopath and bring him to justice, with both men working outside of the realm of law.

It's a story that combines the worlds of POSTAL, THINK TANK, and THE TITHE into its own mini-series.

MATT HAWKINS: Bryan said it eloquently and succinctly, which I can never do, so let me just add that it's a transformational story. All the characters enter this specific story one way, and they exit it slightly changed, which will have long-lasting effects in their respective series.

IC: Let's add to that. You routinely play with layered stories, and EDEN'S FALL looks to be no different. What kinds of layers are you working with in this story? What's the meat of the story for you?

HILL: Matt knows how my mind works. As much as I'm interested in WHAT happens in a story, I'm interested in WHY things happen. So this is a story about justice teetering on revenge and what the cost of that is for someone who pursues it. For me, the meat of every story is the human cost of action and inaction.

Here, you have an FBI agent who wants to believe that the system works, that the rule of law will keep the scales of justice balanced...until it fails to do that. The bad guy got away. Innocent people are dead and the man who killed them gets new sunrises and that's driving Agent Miller crazy. Miller decides that he has to break free from the "rules" and pursue justice on his own terms.

Stories are about choices and consequence and that's my approach to this. Okay, you're going to choose to work outside of the law to get your justice done, but what are the consequences of that? To the word, and yourself?

IC: Tell me a little about Atilio Rojo. He's a relatively recent addition to the Top Cow stable, and his work here is looking pretty good. What's your favorite thing that he does?

HILL: Atilio has a real style to his work, a way to render people and moments in a stark way. He's also good as pushing intense emotions, so that frees me up to match that intensity in the scripting.

HAWKINS: I worked with Rojo on IXth GENERATION and we got him to do a fill-in short for the POSTAL DOSSIER. When he did that work, we realized how awesome his regular character-based stuff could be as well. It's easy to make a massive battle look interesting, but it's difficult to make people talking interesting. Rojo proved he could do it in that short, so we locked him in for this.

IC: EDEN'S FALL ties together three Top Cow titles—POSTAL, THINK TANK, and THE TITHE. Is this the first salvo in a new shared universe for Top Cow?

HILL: Matt can speak more to that, but it seemed to happen organically. These individual worlds were created and what appeared was a natural way to bring them together, to have these characters interact in a new story.

HAWKINS: We'll share some characters back and forth between the series as it warrants organically, but it won't be forced. All the series are their own things and since they all take place in a world with no super-heroes and nothing supernatural, it has a genuine feeling to it where the stakes are real and lasting. We've yet to resurrect anyone and won't as long as I can control it.

IC: What was the kernel of an idea that led to the series? Did it start with a smaller scale before you realized that you could work all three series in?

HILL: Matt had an idea about telling a story that moved through POSTAL, THINK TANK, and THE TITHE. POSTAL is really the only world I write of the three, but when he wanted that story to take place mostly in Eden (the town at the center of POSTAL) then I saw a way I could contribute to the project while keeping things in tune with what I'm doing with POSTAL.

HAWKINS: THE TITHE is about FBI agents uncovering fraud and hypocrisy and the human toll that takes on everyone involved. THINK TANK is about the military-industrial complex and the people behind making that work. POSTAL is about criminals hiding out and transforming into something new. Transformation is actually a key word here. It's pivotal to all three series. Since these are worlds (military, FBI, CIA, and criminal) that overlap, it makes sense to at least peripherally share the world. It won't become a giant "thing." We just plan on playing with it a little bit, as long as it works organically and is fun.

IC: All three series are based in reality, and EDEN'S FALL follows that pattern, too. At the same time, the three series have distinct tones and approaches. Where does EDEN'S FALL land in terms of tone?

HILL: It's crime/drama. Pretty stark. It's hard to write something like this and not have Ed Brubaker on the mind. Honestly, I'm more of a big action, high-concept thinker natively, so this kind of work isn't really my natural wheelhouse, but I think because I'm not a "grounded thinker" about fiction, when I have to write something that's grounded I find different things to focus on. I find the intensity and the imagination and the undiscovered country in these stories because my perspective is a bit different.

IC: EDEN'S FALL features wanted man is in a safe place, and someone who goes in after him. As creators, how do you see the story in terms of genre?

HILL: It's a character-driven crime fable. It's extreme, but it's still about real things, real people, real dilemmas. I'd say fans of The Punisher or 100 Bullets should be able to find a home in EDEN'S FALL.

EDEN'S FALL #1 is available now.