Fans of Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim know that drifting with another Jaeger pilot is almost as challenging as taking down a colossal Kaiju. Starting with today's first issue release of Legendary's four-part comic book series, Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift, readers will get to explore the massive monster apocalypse of del Toro's world. To give readers an idea of what to expect, we caught up with Tales From the Drift writer Joshua Fialkov and have a look at preview pages from the debut issue.
How did you get involved with Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift and what was your approach to the story?
Joshua Fialkov: I was a big, huge fan of giant monsters—specifically of Pacific Rim. They [Legendary] had this great story by Travis [Beacham] and Guillermo [del Toro]. They wanted to find somebody who could bring it to comics and really hit on some of the more complex themes and stuff there wasn't room for in the movie.
My specialty in all the books I do has always been to take high genre stories but then execute them in a very delicate way. I do a book called The Life After. It's about a guy who wakes up in the afterlife of suicide and has to go on this epic adventure through the afterlife with Ernest Hemingway, which is a huge, ridiculous concept, but my goal is to execute it as a humanist drama. The same thing goes with Pacific Rim. You take this big, giant genre story which is robots versus monsters. Then you find a way to make it about the people inside. The drift is the way to do that because the drift, by definition, is two people mind-melding.
The drifting between Jaeger pilots was one of my favorite elements of the Pacific Rim film. How is drifting portrayed in your comic book series?
Joshua Fialkov: Every thought, everything that goes through your mind, is there on the table with your partner. The type of person you can partner with is very specific. You have to partner with someone who you're comfortable with and who you have a relationship to share that with. In the movie, you see two different versions of that. At the very top, you see Raleigh and his brother—who have been best friends since childhood, have shared every moment of their lives—drift. They drift awesome because they have that. At the end, you see Mako drifting, and when Mako starts drifting with Raleigh, you see two people who desperately want it to work.
For me, it was, "What's the version of this we haven't seen?" That version is two people who hate each other. The real joy is getting to watch how they go from these two completely opposite sides of the world, literally don't speak the same language, hate each other, just want to punch each other in the face to becoming the best of the best. Getting to explore that was really the draw. That's also what makes the book really special because, at the end of the day, it's a love story. It's a love story about two people who meet each other and don't even realize it yet. That's a super-universal story that everyone understands.
What is the time period of Tales From The Drift? Does it take place before or after the film?
Joshua Fialkov: It's set before the movie. What you're seeing is the point where the Jaegers have been working. For the first time, the Kaiju are getting bigger. Now we're starting to see the first of the bigger category twos and category threes coming out. It's actually them [the Jaegers], for the first time, after having all this dominant behavior, getting smacked backwards. The world is slightly less apocalyptic than it is in the movie. We're on the path towards that, though.
Can readers expect to see any characters from the movie appear in Tales From the Drift?
Joshua Fialkov: A little bit. You're going to see characters who pop up who are from the movie. It's very much in the world and it's enhancing it. If you've never seen the movie, you should be able to read the comic and enjoy it. Whilst at the same time, if you have seen the movie and you get a comic, you get the tie-in stuff. There's little bits for everyone to grab onto.
"About Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift
Following the best-selling graphic novel Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, Legendary takes you back to the frontlines of a larger-than-life battleground with Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift, the official new comic series presented by director Guillermo del Toro and Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham.
Prepare to do battle with all-new Kaiju creatures in this thrilling continuation of the Pacific Rim universe.
The series comes from writer Joshua Fialkov (The Bunker, I, Vampire, Doctor Who) and features artwork by Marcos Marz (Batman Confidential, Blackest Night: JSA). Variant covers by fan favorite mech artists Whilce Portacio, Pat Lee, Francis Manapul and Livio Ramondelli.
Release Date: 11/4/15
Presented by: Guillermo del Toro
Story by: Travis Beacham
Writer: Joshua Fialkov
Artist: Marcos Marz
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Format: 4 issue monthly series
Price: $3.99 single-issue cover price"