The original Angels, Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina travel back to the swingin' 70s, and reclaim their title of butt-kicking, crime-fighting, mold-breaking lady detectives in Charlie's Angels! Read this interview with writer John Layman!
Charlie's Angels will be available everywhere April 9, 2019.
Dynamite Entertainment: You created CHEW. You wrote Detective Comics and Batman Eternal. Those are a lot different from Charlie's Angels. What interested you about doing Charlie's Angels?
John Layman: Honestly, I took it because it sounded fun. I like to balance creator-owned work with stuff I don't own, because it keeps me busy, and it occupies a different sort of brain space. With creator-owned, a lot of it is world building, but for something like Charlie's Angels, I'm playing with something that already exists, something that I can have some enthusiasm for. More specifically with Charlie's Angels, it's a property that's fun, that I remember fondly, and it's set in an era that's fun to write.
I've already written two "period" comics set in the '70s/'80s, Bay City Jive and Scarface, and both are personal favorites. This gives me a chance to revisit the era, while tackling characters Ihaven't touched before, which is something I also enjoy ... doing new stuff. And I get to work with Joe Eisma, who is a pal, and somebody I've always wanted to work with.
Dynamite Entertainment: Will you be playing this straight in terms of tone and content?
John Layman: Not really, no. There is something inherently goofy about the '70s, and it's impossible to tackle the era without having a bit of fun with how naturally cornball that decade was. Add to the fact that Charlie's Angels wasn't a dark and gritty show. It was breezy fun set in an era that's inherently silly, so you better believe I'm going to embrace that wholeheartedly. I also plan on doing stuff that could never have been done on the show, given the limitations of a '70s TV budget. Comics aren't constrained like that, so this is going to be a "bigger budget" Charlie's Angels, seeing the Angels in exotic locations, taking on cases that are bigger and more exciting than what we ever saw in the show.
Dynamite Entertainment: How do you keep the flavor of the original source material while making it more for a modern audience?
John Layman: Not really. That's part of the fun. And, at least in this story I'm working on with Joe, well, the first thing I've learned from working on various licensed books like Red Sonja, Thundercats, Godzilla, Tek Jansen, Mars Attacks, is to be respectful of the property, and the audience who loves the property. There's a big difference between making fun of the property and having fun with the property, and I always strive to do the latter. The original source material was lightweight action comedy, which is the sort of stuff I love to do.
But now we can look back at it, and see some of it was cheesy, just because of the era, some of it was sexist, no denying, simply because of the time and place. So the idea is to re-capture the fun, and what worked, but this can be done with 20/20 hindsight of what doesn't work so well with a modern audience. Thing is, Charlie's Angels gets a bit unfairly maligned for being sexy "jiggle TV," though it certainly seems tame by modern standards. It also had a pretty progressive message for its time ... these were three woman who were underestimated either because of their gender or their looks, who would go on to prove themselves every week, every episode, as worthy, capable crimefighters, every bit as smart, tough -and often deadly- as the male TV detectives of that era.