Joshua Fialkov Talks Pacific Rim Comic and the Epic Bible of the Series

Pacific Rim comic takes you to the early days of the Kaiju conflict

Though Pacific Rim 2 has been plucked from the release calendar, the series still lives in the pages of Legendary’s new comic series, Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift. Set in the early days of the conflict with the Kaiju, the Pacific Rim comic series is written by Joshua Fialkov (The Bunker, Ultimate FF) and tells the story of one of the film’s many Jaegers (Tacit Ronin, who appears on screen for mere seconds). We spoke with Fialkov about working on the project, which was guided by the hands of Guillermo del Toro.

“I’m writing from a story that Travis Beacham wrote, who is the original writer for the first movie, and that Guillermo approved and worked with him on. Once I was brought in I wrote my version of that story and focusing on the parts I thought were most interesting and what works best in the comic medium. Then I got to actually sit down with Guillermo and actually talk through what he wants out of the comic and what he wanted from Marcos Marz and I in terms of delivering a book that’s true to the franchise. Guillermo picked Marcos to draw the book, he sees every page that comes in, approves every script, he’s been hands on in the very best way. I’ve done lots of licensed books in my life and generally the person in charge of that licensed book, the person that you’re reporting to is like a licensing excuetive at the production company or studio. For us that person is Guillermo. So while everybody at Legendary is looking at everything we’re doing, it really comes to Guillermo’s opinions and Guillermo’s tastes to decide what goes, what stays, what works, and what’s true to his vision. To be honest, it was incredibly easy, it was a super easy process. Once we got to a place where he was comfortable with the story, it was full steam ahead.”

Fialkov went on to reveal the existence of an extensive series bible for Pacific Rim, featuring material that fans still haven’t seen in the expanded media of the series.

“There’s actually a design document that they have at Legendary that is everything, everything you didn’t see in the movie. Dozens of Jaegers that aren’t in the movie. All the stuff that they designed, worked out, and fleshed out. It’s like a 400-page book, it’s amazing. In the middle of it, the stuff about Tacit Ronin for me is by far the coolest. Tacit Ronin is so awesome looking. The reason it’s called Tacit Ronin is it has this samurai look to it, so its natural body movement are to follow in the style of when two samurai are dueling with each other and they have their hands on the hilt of their sword. It has that look to it. It’s so much fun, especially when you see how it looks on the inside and how fleshed out it is.”

The new Pacific Rim comic will show off a point in the Kaiju war where the Jaegers are working, revealing monsters that aren’t quite as developed as their big brothers in the movie.

“This is at the beginning of the Category 3s. So we’re getting to see things, because it’s set before the movie, we haven’t gotten to the category 4s or 5s of the movie, but we’re very much at a point where they think they’re winning. They have been winning, the Jaegers have been working, but now suddenly the Kaiju are coming fast and furious, and bigger than they have before. In the movie is where they learn they’re adapting, but for us they don’t understand that every Kaiju that comes through is altered slightly. A little bit different, a little bit stronger, a little bit smarter. So they’re learning on the fly that every battle they’ve won is sort of meaningless, because every fight is a new fight with a new monster.”

We asked Fialkov about the challenges of surprising the readers for the series, who have already seen the film and read the other Pacific Rim comics, where he revealed the core of the series stems from what happens between Jaeger pilots while in The Drift.

“I think doing anything in an expanding universe creates a challenge. What we have and what makes this special for me is the thing they were really interested in and the thing they were really interested in and what excites me about everything I write is finding the humanity. So in our story in particular it’s about The Drift and what does The Drift say about us as a species. The fact is that there’s nobody on Earth that has access to your inner most thoughts the way that your Drift partner does in a Jaeger. So who that person is and how they feel about you and how they can accept you despite all of your actual flaws, I think that’s an especially compelling thing. To me the book is a love story. It’s a story about this couple that as we meet them are the best of the best, they’re so in-sync with each other, they are literally each other’s left and right arms. So we see also get to see that before all that they were essentially mortal enemies, they hated each other. Everything that they did irritated the other one, they didn’t even speak the same language, but over the course of time they realize giving someone a chance to be who they really are is the key to finding happiness and love. When you think about it like that, what it is is a romantic drama told through the prism of giant robots finding giant monsters.”

Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift #1 debuts in stores today.