Under the cut you can read my interview with Pat Shand talking about the events of #13!
The interview contains spoilers.
Click "Read More" below to continue.
CHARMED COMIC FAN: This issue is very much focused on the love
lives of the Charmed Ones. How did the idea of having an issue heavily focused on love start?
PAT SHAND: #6 was originally going to be a Phoebe one-shot, #7 a Paige story, and #13 a Piper/Leo story. #7 ended up with more of a Piper/Leo focus, so for a while #13 became a Paige/Piper story. By the time I sat down to write it, though, it felt like a good opportunity to catch up with each main character before we start heading toward the climax of the season.
CCF: Piper and Leo went through so much and it is great to see them having such an unbreakable love in #13. On the other side there are Phoebe’s and Paige’s marriages that are falling apart. A big part of the fandom thinks that these marriages were rushed. Is this something you thought too while watching?
PS: Yeah, definitely. A major motif of the last TV season of Charmed was finding true love… and now that we’re telling more stories set in their “happy ending,” the theme is becoming Once someone has found their ‘true happiness,’ what is next? There’s a comic called Ex Machina that has this great quote: “Happy endings are bullshit. There are only happy pauses.” And that’s true. When we left Charmed, we’d come to a point where the narrative is tied up and the characters were sent off to live their happy ever after… and I’m left to explore the flaws inherent in applying that idea of a fairy tale ending to real people in real life.
CCF: At the court, the Judge accuses Coop of living as a mortal for too long but that was expected since he married Phoebe. Why would the Cupids allow Coop to marry in the first place?
PS: More on that in #14. What you’re told isn’t always the core of it.
CCF: The splash page, with all the resurfaced demons revealed, was a big shock. Are we going to see these demons individually in the next issues? We have a pregnant Phoebe and The Seer around. That can’t be good.
PS: No, that’s not meant to be a promise of who you’ll see come up this season. That was all we’ll see of the Seer. We have a very familiar face showing up next, and then after him, our next major Tyler/Heremus-Demon will be a really great foe that never got the chance to shine.
CCF: Piper taking a stand against the Elders is something she has had to do a lot over the years. Why aren’t the Elders willing to help with the Prue situation? They made her the caretaker of the Nexus in the first place, isn’t she their responsibility in some way?
PS: I wouldn’t say they weren’t willing to help. They do, however, have a habit of using others as their weapons – namely the Charmed Ones. Piper is taking that power back now and giving them a task. Let’s see how they do.
CCF: Paige and Henry’s conversations lead nowhere. At this point a middle ground solution is out of the question, right?
PS: Can’t say.
CCF: A big revelation about the Wasteland in this issue. It’s an It. Weird question but is he as big as a planet? Also, did Prue just found our Big Bad?
PS: He’s just about as big as a planet, yeah! And Heremus is the Big Bad of the season. In a way. You’ll see..
CCF: Ben doesn’t have the best opinion about Kyra. On the other hand he asks for her help. Why is he asking her of all people?
PS: It’s his musing about her nature that makes him pursue her. Two reasons. One, the Charmed Ones won’t help him and he knows that’s because they’re good – they know better. He trusts that he’s right about Kyra, that her morality isn’t as stringent as theirs, and banks on it. The other reason is the same reason that drew him to Elizabeth in the first place.
CCF: Ben says he wants to go back. Back to when? Will he try (emphasis on try) to somehow save his son?
CCF: In a panel, we see Ben caring about Phoebe. What effect are his visions/memories of Cole’s past and Phoebe having on him? Is he picking up on his son’s feelings as they were?
PS: A lot more on that to come.
CCF: Phoebe’s relationship with Coop is being forced to end by higher powers in a situation similar to how Leo and Piper’s relationship was forced to end during the show. How similarly or how differently to Piper and Leo are Phoebe and Coop going to deal with it?
PS: The similarity of the idea made me want to treat their courses of action – and Piper’s reaction – very differently. In the next issue, you’ll see the Charmed Ones do something they’ve never done before. The familiarity of the situation here made me take the chance to pay off some of their development since the Elders have done something that we’re meant to perceive as similar to Piper.
CCF: Changes in the future we saw in Forever Charmed were mentioned in an earlier issue but Phoebe’s third daughter coming earlier than expected is the first plot point in the season we see contradict the flash-forward of Forever Charmed. For fans concerned about these changes, can you talk to us about this decision?
PS: I don’t think there’s much of anything to add, so I’ll just repeat what I’ve already said. If we see that these characters – as we saw in Forever Charmed – are together, happy, and living their continued happy ending, then that’s what is is. A happy ending. And the stories I’m telling here will have no tension, no threat of consequence. There would be no danger, no drama. Paul played around with what we didn’t see in those scenes really, really well – he brought back Prue and Cole, the two biggest losses in the Charmedverse. So the place I was in as a writer was difficult, in that Paul introduced these great elements that weren’t in the flash-forwards, so I either had to choose to keep playing in that in-between ground that Paul already juiced for some of the best Charmed stories ever in my opinion, or come up with a way to do whatever is best for the story I wanted to tell. It had to be whatever was best for the story. Also, considering #8 also revealed that Piper saw the flashes of the future we saw in Forever Charmed as they were being destroyed, it becomes a shared loss: not only did we, the audience, feel the loss of the guaranteed happy ending, so did Piper.
CCF: Bonus question: Phoebe mentions her baby is a girl and according to Forever Charmed, it is. But with things changing, is it even in the realm of possibility that Phoebe could be having a boy?
PS: Sure, but Phoebe would know. She’s definitely a girl. I already have a name for her and everything.
CCF: Thank you so much, Pat!