Baltimore Comic Con 2013: Bryan Glass Gets Furious

PIC_4844Really this title should be Bryan J.L. Glass gets really animated, but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Bucking the trend of so many panels and sitting behind a table while he pitches things we’ve already seen, an audience of comic fans at Baltimore Comic Con 2013 spent an hour with comic writer Bryan J.L. Glass as he talked about his career and upcoming comic book series with Dark Horse, Furious a comic he’s been working on since 1988. The comic was originally scheduled for the summer of 2014, but Dark Horse was so excited for it, its been pushed up to January 2014 with a teaser story in Dark Horse Presents #31 in December.

To say Bryan was animated and excited was an understatement. At one point he actually tumbled down the center aisle of the room, and sadly I was not quick enough with my camera. He clearly loves what he does and meeting folks at conventions, as he kept up the excitement after the panel at this table in the convention hall. Taking questions from the audience for the vast majority of the hour, Glass went into his new series, how it came about and what we can expect among other topics.

The concept behind Furious is placing a super hero in our real world, well as real as it gets with super heroes. This is the world’s first super hero, and the series deals with how culture, and the media, would respond to this super being among them. Can a hero control their own media and be a beacon of hope and justice? Well, the teasers have shown us that’s probably not going to be the case, as in promotional material we see the character, dubbed Furious by the media, with a bit of blood on her. Glass revealed to the audience that she gets caught red-handed beating the crap out of child molesters, leaving them bloody and bruised. While she wants to be called “Beacon,” the media has different plans after the incident.

FURIO-BALTIMORE-TEASERS-5But, this isn’t just a comic about celebrity culture and the mainstream media. Glass intelligently pits the old versus the new as the blogosphere embraces the hero as bucking the system, something we’ve seen with modern-day “heroes” like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.

The story is also a struggle with redemption as Beacon/Furious deals with her own past as well as moving forward with her own super powers. Glass promises a twist, one we talked about in private, and it’s a doozy. This is a multilayered comic that’ll have you going back to the beginning when the twists come forth.

Glass sees the main character as a positive “female affirming” character and he plans on taking on the comic industry’s issues when it comes to women characters, especially main characters. While he promises she will be “strong” that doesn’t mean she’ll be “perfect.” Sounds like a nice rounded character to me.

Joining Glass on art duties is Spanish superstar artist Victor Santos. This hopefully will be Santos’ break-through “American comic” as the artist is already a rockstar in Europe. I got a chance to check out unlettered art and Santos’ work is fantastic with a great vibe for the comic. It’ll be interesting to see how it really matches up once the dialogue is placed and I get a better feel for the story.

At the panel, I asked the writer, why a super hero comic? As he put it, he doesn’t want to be labelled as the “mice with swords” guy for his work on The Mice Templar.

No More Mr. Mice Guy – Bryan J.L. Glass

While he ramps up this new series he’s also ramping down The Mice Templar, which finishes up its initial tale after 7 years. But Glass says, that might not be the end of the series and he has ideas on how to continue it, just maybe not with the same main characters. There’s also been talk of collecting the series into a multi-volume set to celebrate its 10th anniversary which hits in three years.

But, just like Mice Templar, Glass has long-term plans for Furious, hinting the title could refer to more than just the main character we’re introduced to in the first issue. Powered by creators, the series is planned as a multi-volume arc series with story arcs making of 5 to 10 issues each. He doesn’t want to necessarily be chained into an ongoing series as he stated he felt that would lead to weaker issues as he’d have to hit deadlines every month. After the first five issues, he’ll see if the public wants more, and after talking to Bryan for a bit at his booth, my guess is the answer will be yes.

On top of his exciting series he has a Thor comic book coming out. Timed to coincide with the new Thor movie, he was originally hired to do a Thor story by Disney, not Marvel, which would have been a Disney Adventures Magazine. The story went over so well, it’s  being released as a one-shot, so look for Thor: Crown of Fools when it hits shelves in the near future.