If you’re someone who appreciates variant covers, then you know that there are some artists whose names instantly spark recognition and admiration. Luciano Vecchio is one of those names for me (and if Wiccan and Hulkling are on the cover then you can bet I’ve preordered it). With Sereno, Vecchio is writing and drawing his own superhero universe, where light must defeat darkness and Nueva Teia is being invaded by monsters every night. The first three issues are currently in the process of being published by CEX Publishing but they’re also going to be released in an exclusive hardcover collection on the crowdfunding platform, Zoop. For more on Vecchio’s take on a rogue’s gallery and why there should be more beard representation in comics, check out this interview with Luciano below:
Rachel Bellwoar: In the course of three issues Sereno has already developed quite the Rogues Gallery of villains. Is there one that you’re especially excited to see how people respond to them?
Luciano Vecchio: Coming up with the rogues gallery was one of the hardest aspects of creating a new hero, because I struggle to connect with the motivations of “Evil”. So my approach was to create different aspects of Anti-Serenos and personify my inner and outer demons. It’s interesting to see which one resonates with each reader, it’s like a psychological chart of sorts For example I can tell I’m currently more often under the overwhelming attacks of Malflash, but I can remember Sereno’s methods to stop him.
And of course the rogue villain/love interest Rufián always steals the show.
Bellwoar: Rather than attack people physically, many of the villains Sereno goes up against target people’s insecurities and repressed fears. What made you want to focus on mental health over physical might?
Vecchio: With Sereno I wanted to question the classic narrative of heroes winning their fights by being stronger and tougher and punching harder, because I’m not like that in real life at all. Every day we’re involved in fights at the intelectual, spiritual or political dimensions, and those require other kinds of inspiration from our heroes. My goal was to explore the core of the superheroic fable and focus on each conflict and alternatives of resolution through creativity, identification and deescalation when possible, while keeping it entertaining and awesome. And throwing punches when needed, too.
Bellwoar: In the same way that Superman is Clark Kent, Sereno is Serafín Sourenian yet, other than that he’s a student, not much has been revealed yet about Sereno’s alter-ego. Is that something you’d like to explore more in future issues?
Vecchio: There’s always the possibility, but I also like the fact that his human side is accessible but mysterious enough to allow easy identification. Sereno is my Fiction Suit that I want to share with anyone willing to try it on.
Bellwoar: I really love how Serafín’s beard reads when he transforms into Sereno. It almost gives the appearance that his face is completely furry and helps separate him from his human form. Were you always keen to give him facial hair?
Vecchio: It was a last minute addition when I started the series, but I totally love beards and believe the superhero world doesn’t reflect the real world beards ratio. More beards representation in superheroes!
Bellwoar: In a series that deals with a lot of black and whites (day and night, light and shadows), Rufián stands out as being an antihero. What has been the best part about pairing him up with Sereno, and seeing their relationship grow?
Vecchio: A queer relationship between the lead hero and one of his villains was something I had never seen before when I started this series, so while Rufián and Sereno’s dynamic is a direct nod to Bruce and Selina or Spidey and Black Cat, context made this unique. Even though romantic love isn’t the focus of the story, they do end up affected and transformed by having met each other. It’s about the impact an intense and sincere connection with someone different can make in your personal reality.
Bellwoar: In issue two, Sereno has a bit of Jekyll and Hyde moment where we meet his shadow self. How easy was it to channel Sereno’s dark side and create a shadow version of him?
Vecchio: Oneres is my take on the “Bizarro” archetype. It was tricky because Oneres is his Shadow Self in Jungian terms, so it’s not an evil persona, which would have been easier to show. Oneres is the parts of Sereno that he rejects or dislikes. Hence everything Oneres does is speaking of Sereno and needs to stay in character, and going through this fight has lasting transforming effects that are shown in future episodes.
Bellwoar: Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Luciano!
Click here to sign up to be notified when the campaign for the exclusive hardcover collection of Sereno starts on Zoop. Also, be sure to check out Tom Smithyman‘s interview with Luciano, where Vecchio talks more about the process of creating Sereno.
If you’re someone who appreciates variant covers, then you know that there are some artists whose names instantly spark recognitionCOMICONRead More