Lono was one of the most memorable, and terrifying, characters in 100 Bullets. But his fate at the end of the series was an open question. Now the entire 100 Bullets team is coming back to answer the question with Brother Lono. Azzarello sat down with us to discuss where Lono is as a character, and why this isn’t a sequel to 100 Bullets, but its own story.
Gamma Squad: What made you decide to return to the world of 100 Bullets after four years away?
Brian Azzarello: When we wrapped it up, we wrapped up the 100 Bullets storyline that we were going to tell. But Eduardo [Risso, the book’s artist] and I had talked about revisiting some of the characters later on, so it’s not like it came out of the blue for us.
Gamma Squad: Lono is an interesting choice, the closest thing to a supervillain the book has. Has he softened at all, or is he still the same?
Azzarello: (laughs) No, he’s different! It’s been four years, a lot can happen. There’s been a transformation of sorts.
Gamma Squad: From what I understand he wound up in Mexico after 100 Bullets ended. What drove that choice?
Azzarello: Actually, Eduardo and I were discussing this, the direction that we want to take the story. Mexico is a very violent place right now, and it seemed a good place to drop this guy. (laughter) He’s a violent character, so we sent him to a very violent place. Drugs, money and death!
Gamma Squad: Do you ever find yourself trying to put the brakes on Lono’s behavior?
Azzarello: Well, I think that’s what we’re dealing with in this particular miniseries, Lono trying to put the brakes on himself, and is it possible? In the original series, he was extremely popular, and we couldn’t do anything, I thought, to make readers not like him. There were things he did that were absolutely despicable, and he still ended up being one of the most popular characters in the book. It surprised the both of us! We introduced him with really big moments, and it was later on when we put a little bit of nuance into his personality, and that’s what we’re doing with this miniseries. What makes him tick?
We’re taking a very different approach to this, and a different approach to the storytelling as well. This is not 100 Bullets. It’s a whole different animal.
Gamma Squad: What did you feel you had to do to have the other characters in the book stand up to such a huge “personality”?
Azzarello: In a lot of cases it’s about creating characters that can’t stand up to him. Maybe he’s not the worst character in this new series. Maybe there’s characters that are even more monstrous.
Gamma Squad: That seems pretty hard to top!
Azzarello: We’re doing our best! I was just going over some corrections for the book, and said “Wow, we’ve turned this thing up to eleven!