Creator’s Commentary: ’50 Girls 50′ With Writer Doug Murray (Plus: Frank Cho Video Interview!)

The Frank Cho and Doug Murray co-created space adventure 50 Girls 50 hits recently hit shelves from Image. With art by newcomer Alex Medellin and edited by Joe Keatinge, the story pits a crew of super-smart, super capable ladies against the perils of space as they attempt to find resources to salvage an ecologically-endangered Earth.

From the synopsis:

A sexy sci-fi romp set in a far-flung future, 50 GIRLS 50 chronicles the fantastic voyage of the Space Vessel ESS Savannah and her beautiful crew as they fight to escape hostile aliens and exotic worlds, searching for the wormhole that will take them to their ultimate destination: Home.

Murray, who wrote the script based on a story he and Cho co-created, has in the past written for titles as diverse as Marvel’s The ’Nam, What If, and Savage Sword of Conan, and he’s collaborated previously with Cho on Red Sonja and Jungle Girl. Read his creator’s commentary on 50 GIrls 50 #1, and then stick around for a video interview with Frank Cho on the series.

***Super sexy space spoilers after the break.***

Page 1
MTV Geek: What was the thinking behind using a deadly bug planet for the first issue?

Doug Murray: My thinking ran like this: I wanted to use a planet that had a corrosive atmospheric layer so I could crash a shuttle and slowly strip the girls. It seemed best to use a primordial sort of place—and looking at Earth’s prehistory led me from there to big bugs. I also have to say that I love the “Big Bug” films from the ‘50’s. Especially THEM and Tarantula.

Page 3
Geek: What are some of the crises on Earth that led to the Savannah being launched on its mission?

DM: I’m not really envisioning any particular crisis—it’s just the cumulative effect of our use of the planet’s resources. As India and China start to consume more and more, things like rare earths, oil, copper, and silver will become harder and harder to find—and their rarity will cause all kinds of problems in tech industries which will cause trickle-down problems of all kinds.

Geek: How was 50 Girls 50 born as a project?

DM: Frank Cho and I have been good friends for a long time. We finally got to work together on Red Sonja, then did Jungle Girl. He mentioned wanting something for Image and I put together the basics for 50 Girls—we then met and thrashed it out to its present form.

Page 4
Geek: The comment about “intelligent life” on other worlds seems like a big deal but doesn’t really come up again this issue. Will you be touching on this at all in future issues?

DM: Yep—lots of intelligent and semi-intelligent life in issues #’s 2-4 which will be paid off if we go to a second story arc.

Pages 6-7
Geek: Could you tell us a little about the process behind choosing artist Axel Medellin? What did he bring to the project that the other competitors did not?

DM: First, I have to say that the competition drew far more talent than I had anticipated. We got a huge percentage of entries from folks who were fully ready to start doing professional work. Axel finally got the nod because he could do two things really well: 1) he could do characters that looked and moved like real people—each of whom had a distinct and instantly recognizable face and form. Added to that he 2) really did continuity well. I believe that a really good comic artist can tell the story in pictures—the writer just sets it up and adds some detail with the words. Axel did that extremely well—look at issue #1 without the dialogue—it still works.

Page 9
Geek: What were some specific thoughts you had about the look and feel of Earth technology and the suits in the book?

DM: Aside from the Star Drive, most of the tech is either currently available or right on the brink of being available. I didn’t want to go too far beyond current tech—it becomes sort of like magic and lacks realism.

Pages 13-14
Geek: Honestly: to what degree was 50 Girls 50 about foxy ladies in space having uniform-melting adventures?

DM: Well, that was certainly a big part of it—but we also tell a real, honest-to-God Science Fiction adventure—like those in the great EC books and the Sci-Fi pulps of the 50’s and 60’s.

Geek: Why did you feel this was the project for you to work on together? What was the big shared vision?

DM: I’ll do anything with Frank. We’ve spoken of a lot of possible projects—this one just seemed like fun right now.

Page 15
Geek: There’s a commendable amount of effort in laying out the obstacles in the story as problems of science. Who’s the hard science fan between you guys?

DM: I’m a huge science/science fiction nerd—and greatly over-educated. Blame me if the science is too hard to follow.

Page 19
Geek: Oksana jokes that she “seriously can’t wait to never go on another mission with” Janelle. Looking at the structure of future issues, how will you be dividing the focus among the cast and various missions?

DM: Oksana carries a lot of the stories—simply because she started out that way. Brenda is a big part of issue #2 and Judith in issue #3. Everyone gets something to do.

Page 24
Geek: Obviously, something terrible has happened with Oksana in the past. Could you tease our readers a bit about what’s in store for character and the rest of the crew?

DM: I’ll just use one word: ALIENS!

                                         HeroesCon 2011: Frank Cho On ’50 Girls 50′

50 Girls 50 is on shelves now.

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