Tag Archives: larry stroman

Review: Ninja-K #10

NINJA-K_010_COVER-A_CAMUNCOLIFrom the encrypted files of The Ninja Programme, another secret chapter revealed! The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Ninja-K #10 serves both as a bridge between the last arc and the one that kicks off next issue, and as a fantastic jumping on point for new readers. Christos Gage has penned a fantastic one-shot story that focuses as much on Ninja-H as it does Ninja-K; and by doing this we get a deeper understanding of where Colin King stands after all he has uncovered about MI6’s Ninja Programme. It’s a clever way of advancing the long game in the background as we’re placated with one of the more interesting agents of the Ninja Programme we’ve seen so far.

As far as superhero comics go, this is a remarkably complete offering. We’ve got the tragic story, the brilliant choreography, and a story that holds more emotional revelations than you’d expect given the ninja verses ninja set up.

Larry StromanRyan Winn and Andrew Dalhouse deliver a near flawless offering on art duties (pencils, inks and colours respectively), with only a panel or two containing slightly unnaturally posed or shaped figures. Those figures aside, each page is a masterfully composed piece of art that brings Gage’s script to a vividly brutal life. Oddly enough, the single issue story in Ninja-K #10 really is the best jumping on point you’re likely to find unless you start from the first issue (and really, I’d suggest you do if you have the means and are even a little curious).

Christos Gage has been writing some of the bet Ninjak I have ever read – this issue is a great example of that, and a great gateway to character for new readers.

Writer: Christos Gage Pencils: Larry Stroman
Inks: Ryan Winn Colours: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 9 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Ninja-K #10

NINJA-K #10

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by LARRY STROMAN
Inks by RYAN WINN
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by A LARGER WORLD STUDIOS
Cover A by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Cover B by LARRY STROMAN
Ninja Programme Variant by DARICK ROBERTSON
Pre-Order Edition by PHILIP TAN
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale AUGUST 15th

A BLOCKBUSTER NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! In Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, meet the future of espionage: the hard-hitting, brutalizing super-spy codenamed NINJA-H!

From the encrypted files of The Ninja Programme, another secret chapter revealed! The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Now, for the first time, the metal-crunching saga of MI6’s one-man, super-powered strike force – and his tragic fall from grace – can finally be told as renowned writer Christos Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil) teams with comics legend Larry Stroman (X-Factor) to declassify the next standalone shadow-laden chapter in the history of Ninjak’s fellow Ninja Programme agents!

Arantza Sestayo, Todd Johnson, Shawn Martinbrough, Ed Piskor, and Larry Stroman are Coming to Baltimore Comic Con

September 28-30, 2018 sees the return of the Baltimore Comic-Con at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center. Tickets to the show now can be purchased online with debit/credit card. The Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to announce first-time guests Arantza SestayoTodd JohnsonShawn MartinbroughEd Piskor, and Larry Stroman to the show in 2018.

Arantza Sestayo was born in San Sebastian, Basque Country Spain. Her artistic process is self-taught and she developed professionally through portraiture, in ceramic design, and in the production of cartoons in Camelot Studios of Castellon. Her journey in illustration began with publications such as Red Ears of erotic and humorous comics, the Swedish children’s magazine Psago Prinsessan, and the American publishing house S.Q.P. In Spain, she has contributed to Wicked Kisseswith Norma Comics and participated in the book Vampires from Heavy Metal. Her art has been featured on merchandise from Schmidt, Bioworld, and Heavy Metal. The municipality of Castellon commissioned an illustration for a facade of the Ateneo Assembly Hall, and published Duende as a compilation of her work. She exhibits at events related to comics and movies, such as Expomanga, Salon del Comic de Irun, Cavacon in Italy, and the Terror Film Festival of San Sebastian. Currently, some of her work has can be seen on products at Penguin Random House, and in the special edition Game of Thrones 20th Anniversary by HarperCollins Publisher. This year, her piece Ophelia has been awarded third place at the Imaginative Realism of Art Renewal Center.

Todd Johnson is a writer based in Detroit, Michigan. Johnson previously operated a successful chain of comic book retail stores, the Comics Cafe. In 1993, along with artist Larry Stroman, he published a creator-owned series called Tribe with Image Comics. With over one million copies sold, Tribe still holds the title of the largest selling African American comic of all time. In 2018, the creative partnership is relaunching Tribe to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Shawn Martinbrough is the author of How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling, published by Random House and reprinted in several languages. He is a critically acclaimed creator/artist whose DC Comics, Marvel, and Dark Horse Comics projects include Batman: Detective ComicsLuke Cage NoirCaptain AmericaThe Black Panther, and Hellboy. Shawn has co-created characters featured in the feature film Deadpool, the animated Batman: Gotham Knights, the FOX television series GothamThe Gifted, and the Justice League feature film. Shawn is the artist of Thief of Thieves, published by Skybound/Image Comics, written by Robert Kirkman. Shawn’s work has been covered by Vanity Fair, USA Today, BBC World America, ABC News, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, BET, Essence, Ebony, The New York Daily News, AOL, Publisher’s Weekly, SIRIUS/XM Radio, and others. Shawn is a Native New Yorker and an alum of both the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art/Performing Arts and The School of Visual Arts.

Ed Piskor has been cartooning professionally in print form since 2005, starting off drawing American Splendor comics written by Harvey Pekar. The duo continued working together on two graphic novels, Macedonia and The Beats. Ed began self-publishing Wizzywig after developing a huge interest in the history of hacking and phone phreaking. His New York Times Best-Selling series Hip Hop Family Tree, which was originally serialized on Boing Boing, has gone back to print numerous times, and won the 2015 Eisner Award for “Best Reality-Based Work.” His series for Marvel, X-Men Grand Design, was released in 2017 to wide acclaim. He is currently working with Marvel on the follow-up series, X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis.

Larry Stroman is a Boston-born artist who has honed his craft in New York City, Berkeley, Chicago, and Detroit. After gaining attention illustrating Epic’s Alien Legion, he went on to illustrate various Marvel comics such as the Uncanny X-MenGhost RiderPunisherWolverineBishopBlack Panther, and the most popular run of X-Factor. He worked on Dark Horse’s The Markand co-created DC’s Darkstars. In 1993, along with writer Todd Johnson, he published a creator-owned series called Tribe with Image Comics. With over one million sold, Tribe still holds the title of the largest selling African American comic of all time. In 2018, the creative partnership is relaunching Tribe to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Stroman’s career has spanned three decades and he still remains a sought after artist.

In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Arthur Adams (Guardians of the Galaxy), Joel Adams (Bucky O’Hare Graphic Novel Coloring Book), Neal Adams (Deadman), Zeea Adams (Neal Adams Monsters), Ethan Scott Ambruson (Azteca: Ciudad Paradiso), Marc Andreyko (Jeepers Creepers), Arantza (fantasy artist), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Mike W. Barr (The Outsiders), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), Marty Baumann (Big Hero 6), John Beatty (Batman), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Simon Bisley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bodycount), Ziggy Blumenthal (Operation Pajama Pants), June Brigman (Power Pack), Pat Broderick (Micronauts), Harold Buchholz (Mystery Science Theatre 3000), Mark Buckingham (Scooby Apocalypse), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Buzz (Superman: The Coming of the Supermen), Jim Calafiore (Leaving Megalopolis), Frank Cammuso (Wrong Earth), Chris Campana (Pathfinder: Worldscape – Vampirella), Greg Capullo (Dark Knights: Metal), Joe Carabeo (Black Magic Tales), Christa Cassano (Ghetto Klown), Howard Chaykin (Captain America), Joyce Chin (All-New Wolverine), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Michael Cho (Batwoman), Amy Chu (Red Sonja), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Steve Conte (Action Figure Kingdom), Katie Cook (Thanos Annual), Denys Cowan (The Question), Paris Cullins (WWE Superstars), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), J. Robert Deans (The Bear from A.U.N.T.), Tom DeFalco (Spider-Girl, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jose Delbo (Spongebob Comics), Vito Delsante (Midnight Tiger Stronger), Todd Dezago (Tellos), Dave Dorman (Black Hops: U.S.A.-*-G.I.), Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark), Emily Drouin (Eplis), Anne and Jerzy Drozd (Science Comics: Rockets), Todd Emko & Piggy (A Piggy’s Tale), Garth Ennis (Jimmy’s BastardsFriday and Saturdayonly), G.D. Falksen (The Ouroboros Cycle), David Finch (Trinity), Meredith Finch (Rose), Ramona Fradon (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Franco (Encounter), Jenny Frison (Wonder Woman), John Gallagher (Captain Canuck Season 4), Will Gallagher (EPIC Bros.), S.L. Gallant (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. the Six Million Dollar Man), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Nation), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man), Joe Giella (The Flash), Mike Gold (The Pilgrim), Michael Golden (Micronauts: Wrath of Karza), Daniel Govar (Thanos: A God Up There Listening), Jimmy Gownley (Zootopia), John Patrick Green (Mickey Mouse Shorts: Season One), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Tom Grummett (The New Titans, courtesy of Hero Initiatiive), Laura Lee Gulledge (Will & Whit), Bob Hall (Squadron Supreme), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Glenn Hauman (The Whisper Campaign), Marc Hempel (Sandman), Clinton Hobart (Disney fine artist), Ken Hunt (Lady Death: Devotions), Jamal Igle (Molly Danger), Tony Isabella (Black Lightning), Klaus Janson (NightwingSaturday and Sunday only), Todd Johnson (Tribe), Justin Jordan (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), Chris Kemple (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Karl Kesel (Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77), Tom King (Batman), Barry Kitson (The Flash), Todd Klein (Black Hammer: Age of Doom), Evelyn Kriete (Weird Tales), Alisa Kwitney (Mystik U), Jade F. Lee (Rolled & Told), Leo Leibelman (Heavy Metal), Paul Levitz (Brooklyn Blood), Mike Lilly (The Tick), Joseph Michael Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Kevin Maguire (Man of Steel), Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space), Mike Manley (Judge Parker), Chris Mariano (Claire Lost her Bear at the World’s Fair), Mark Mariano (Adventure Time), Billy Martin (Star Wars Adventures), Shawn Martinbrough (Shadowman), Ron Marz (Fathom Vol. 7), Ed McGuinness (Avengers), Bob McLeod (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero), Carla Speed McNeil (Empowered & Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Dawn McTeigue (Divinica), Adriana Melo (Plastic Man, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Frank Miller (Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of AlexanderSaturday and Sunday only), Stuart Moore (Deadpool the Duck), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Mark Morales (Justice League), Michael Moreci (Nightwing), Tony Moy (Mainstream), Trevor Mueller (Albert the Alien), Adriane Nash (The Whisper Campaign), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Denny O’Neil (DC Universe Holiday Special, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jerry Ordway (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs The Six Million Dollar Man), Rachel Ordway (The Elvis Adventures), John Ostrander (Suicide Squad, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Tom Palmer (Avengers), Dan Parent (Betty & Veronica Friends Forever), Jeff Parker (Future Quest Presents), Paul Pelletier (Titans Special), Andrew Pepoy (Mighty Moe Szyslak), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Green Lanterns), Tom Peyer (Captain Kid), Richard and Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Ed Piskor (X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis), Chase and Mark Poulton (Pizza Tree), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), David Proch (Quarter Moon), Tom Raney (Giantkillers), Mark Redfield (Hunted), Frank Reynoso (Garbage Pail Kids: Fables, Fantasies and Farts), Roy Richardson (The Flash), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Startup), Stephane Roux (Faith: Dreamside), Jim Rugg (Street Angel), Andy Runton (Owly), P. Craig Russell (Salome and Other Stories), Stuart Sayger (GI Joe: A Real American Hero vs. The Six-Million Dollar Man), Brian Shearer (William the Last), Jeff Shultz (Archie Jumbo Comics Digest), Mimi Simon (Judge Parker), Louise Simonson (Action Comics#1000), Walter Simonson (Thor), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), Dan Slott (Tony Stark: Iron Man), Andy Smith (Demi-God), John K. Snyder (Fashion in Action), Scott Snyder (Justice LeagueSaturday only), Mark Sparacio (Chelsea Dagger), Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity SiblingsSaturday and Sunday only), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Jim Steranko (Action Comics), Paul Storrie (The Viking Queen), Larry Stroman (Tribe), Rob Stull (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Peter Tomasi (Superman), Tim Truman (Grimjack), David Trustman (God Slap), Sarah Trustman (The Memory Arts), Billy Tucci (Shi), Ted Tucker (Disney World caricature artist), Gus Vazquez (Sunfire and Big Hero Six), Emilio Velez Jr. (Dodgeball Teens), Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl), Mark Waid (Captain America), Adam Wallenta (Punk Taco), Adam Warren (Empowered & Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Michael Watkins (Pantha), Larry Watts (Evil Dead 2: Cradle of the Damned); Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics), Dexter Weeks (Savage Eve), Lee Weeks (Batman), Mark Wheatley (Stargate Atlantis Singularity), Bob Wiacek (All New Wolverine), Matt Wieringo (Stargate Atlantis Gateways), Marcus Williams (Hero Cats of Stellar City: Year One), Javier Cruz Winnik (A Reason to Smile), Renee Witterstaetter (X-Force Epic Collection), Rich Woodall (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), John Workman (Kick-Ass), Thom Zahler (Time & Vine), Mike Zeck (The Punisher), and Liang Zhao (The Phantom).

Exclusive Preview: Ninja-K #10

NINJA-K #10

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by LARRY STROMAN
Cover A by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Cover B by LARRY STROMAN
Ninja Programme Variant by DARICK ROBERTSON

A BLOCKBUSTER NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! In Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, meet the future of espionage: the hard-hitting, brutalizing super-spy codenamed NINJA-H!

From the encrypted files of The Ninja Programme, another secret chapter revealed! The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Now, for the first time, the metal-crunching saga of MI6’s one-man, super-powered strike force – and his tragic fall from grace – can finally be told as renowned writer Christos Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil) teams with comics legend Larry Stroman (X-Factor) to declassify the next standalone shadow-laden chapter in the history of Ninjak’s fellow Ninja Programme agents!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale AUGUST 15th (FOC – 7/23/18)

Christos Gage & Larry Stroman Unearth New Secrets in Ninja-K #10 – In Stores August!

Valiant has released a first look within the pages of Ninja-K #10, a striking one-shot and sensational new jumping-on point for the year’s most uncontrollable ongoing series! On August 15, acclaimed writer Christos Gage joins forces with legendary comic artist Larry Stroman to unravel yet another knot in the tapestry that is MI6’s most confidential files – the secret history of the cybernetically enhanced super-spy known as Ninja-H!

From the encrypted files of The Ninja Programme, another secret chapter is revealed! The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Featuring covers by Giuseppe CamuncoliLarry Stroman, and Darick Robertson!

Ninja-K #10-14 Pre-Order Bundle Edition Deals With “Fallout” – Beginning In August!

aliant is proud to present the Ninja-K #10-14 Pre-Order Bundle Edition – available only as a pre-order set to fans who reserve the next thrilling jumping-on point, “Fallout,” with their local comic shop by the final order cut-off date (FOC) of July 23rd, 2018! The next five issues are from writer Christos Gage and dazzling interior artists Larry Stoman and Roberto de la Torre.

Released monthly from August 2018 through December 2018, each Pre-Order Edition comes packed with trade paperback-style extras and bonus content, including creator commentary, behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of the comics, process character designs and artwork, and first looks at upcoming issues – plus exclusive covers by Philip Tan that can’t be found anywhere else!

The only way to obtain these exclusive items is to pre-order all five issues with your local comic shop by the final order cut-off date of July 23rd, 2018! No more copies will be made available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations!

The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Ninja-K #10 – Christos Gage & Larry Stroman Uncover the Secrets of Ninja-H This August!

Valiant is proud to announce Ninja-K #10 – a BLOCKBUSTER NEW JUMPING-ON POINT for the EXPLOSIVE ONGOING SERIES from acclaimed writer Christos Gage and legendary artist Larry Stroman! On August 15th, prepare for another incredible one-shot special issue exploring the hidden history behind one of MI6’s former secret agents… In Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, meet the future of espionage: the hard-hitting, brutalizing super-spy codenamed NINJA-H!

The Cold War is in full swing and the United Kingdom’s top-secret intelligence unit has come to a crossroads. As their once-elite collection of secret agents finds itself outmatched by the escalation of the United States’ H.A.R.D. Corps division, the spymasters of MI6 are about to develop a new kind of soldier for their never-ending war of global gamesmanship and international intrigue. Part man, part machine, and bound together with the most extreme technological enhancements that the 1980s have to offer, NINJA-H is faster, stronger, and deadlier than any who have come before…

Featuring an incendiary assortment of covers by Giuseppe CamuncoliLarry Stroman, and Darick Robertson!

Preview: The Wildstorm: Michael Cray #6

The Wildstorm: Michael Cray #6

Story: Bryan Hill Breakdowns: Larry Hama
Art: N. Steven Harris Ink: Dexter Vines Color: Dearbhla Kelly Letterer: Simon Bowland
Cover: Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Steve Buccellato
Variant Cover: Larry Stroman, Mark Morales, Hi-Fi
Group Editor: Marie Javins, Group Editor: Rob Levin Assistant Editor: Diego Lopez
In Shops: Mar 14, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The hunt for Arthur Curry continues, but Cray’s decisions and plans are beginning to push his teammates to the brink of abandoning him. And when Cray’s tumor begins to act in ways that it hasn’t before, his underwater brawl may end with Cray floating up to the surface as a dead man.

Review: Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin The Complete Collection Vol. 2

It’s Tuesday which means it’s new comic book day at book stores! This week we’ve got Black Panther!

Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin The Complete Collection Vol. 2 collects Black Panther (2005) #19-34 and Annual #1 by Reginald Hudlin, Scot Eaton, Manuel Garcia, Koi Turnbull, Marcus To, Francis Portela, Andrea Di Vito, CAFU, Ken Lashley, Larry Stroman, and Billy Tan.

Get your copy. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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NYCC 2016: Talking Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime with Joe Illidge

cp-logo-black-on-white-orange-bg

Ever since Lion Forge announced a new line-up of hires, it’s been a company to watch. You don’t bring on that sort of talent without having a bigger plan and something up your sleeve.

I’ve watched intently parsing every word said by staff and every hint dropped to try and figure out what exactly what was being worked on.

At New York Comic Con, we found out what that was.

At their panel Sunday, Lion Forge announced “Catalyst Prime,” a new superhero universe with a killer amount of talent writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering, and diversity on the page and behind the scenes. But, impressively it’s also established and new talent alike working together to create this new world. That’s something that’s important for the company, to bring together old and new voices.

Along with the creative talent it was announced that Desiree Rodriguez is joining the company as an editorial assistant for the new line. Rodriguez is a freelancer for Nerds of Color who wrote this fantastic piece about being Latinx in comics.

Before the panel, I got to speak with Senior Editorial Manager Joe Illidge and got the details as to what we can expect.

Graphic Policy: It’s been months of teasing and hints and I know I’m excited to hear the details. What’s the scoop as to what Lion Forge has announced at New York Comic Con 2016?

Joe Illidge: We’re announcing the creation of a new superhero universe which will be under the title of “Catalyst Prime.” There will be seven monthly books and the line will launch in May of 2017.

GP: Who’s the talent that’ll be involved that you can announce?

JI: For the kick off book it’s going to be mainly written by Christopher Priest, co-written by myself with the art by Marco Turini, letterer Deron Bennett, and colorist Jessica Kholine. For the first ongoing series with a Black male lead, the writer is Brandon Thomas, artist Ken Lashley, letters by Saida Temofonte, and colorist Juan Fernandez. The second main book about an interracial duo, it’s co-written by David Walker and Dr. Sheena Howard, illustrated by Chuck Collins, and colored by Veronica Gandini. The third book is written by Joe Casey, illustrated by Damion Scott, lettered by Janice Chiang, and will be colored by John Rauch. The fourth book will be a team book written by Joe Casey with story consultation by Ramon Govea who created the concept, illustrated by Larry Stroman and Rob Stull, and colored by Snakebite Cortez. For the fifth title with a British male lead which is a science fiction thriller, it’ll be written by Joe Casey, illustrated by Jefte Palo who is well known for illustrating the Black Panther Secret Invasion storyline in which the Wakandans held back the Skrull invasion, it’ll be colored by Chris Sotomayor, and lettered by a legendary letterer. The letterer of the Hugo award winning Sandman Overture graphic novel, Todd Klein. The sixth title with a White male lead will be written by Alex De Campi, illustrated by Pop Mhan, and lettered by Deron Bennett. Deron Bennett is doing a bunch of DC “Rebirth” books. One prominent one is Batgirl. The seventh title with a lesbian lead character will be written by Amy Chu, illustrated by Jan Duursema, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and lettered by Deron Bennett.

GP: That’s impressive you can remember and name all of them. So what can you tell us specifically about the series?

JI: Well basically the whole universe is started from an asteroid heading to Earth and a private corporation called the Foresight Corporation, which produced our teaser memo, they send four astronauts on a suicide mission to stop the asteroid. What happens leads to the emergence of super humans on our world. After that, most of the books will take place one year after that.

GP: As far as the comics, how are they kicking off, a mini-series and then everything launches from there?

JI: It’s going to start with a one-shot co-written by Christopher Priest and myself, coming out the first week of May 2017. And then we’ll be rolling out the books from there, from May through December.

GP: That’s an amazing group of talent working on the comic that’s very diverse, what about the characters?

JI: The characters are diverse. Of the four astronauts, you have two women, one of whom is lesbian, one of whom is Black. The two men, one is Black and one is British. The other three are American. Then there’s also a Chinese woman who is part of mission control who is supervising the mission in space, but was not one of the four astronauts.

GP: That certainly is diverse. When putting the series together, was this a priority and thought through?

JI: It was thought through in the sense that the owner David Steward II, the President Geoff Gerber, and I are really committed to creating a universe that invites everyone. Diversity is a buzzword that has become obsolete because it’s been used for a lot of PR. Diversity should be intrinsic if you have an expanded mindset and worldview so when you’re going to creators they’re not all heterosexual, they’re not all Caucasian males. They might not all be from the United States. They’re from different industries. They have different political backgrounds. Diversity is automatic. But we want to create something new and exciting that doesn’t have a burden of decades of continuity. We want everyone to feel invited to this world and this world will evolve into a world that will more accurately reflect the demographics of the one that we live more than a lot of other fictional superhero comic universes.

GP: When it comes to the writers… there’s a habit lately that writers are pigeonholed into what they write based on the color of their skin or their gender, in November out of 13 female writers for the big two only one was writing a comic with a male lead as an example, are you breaking that mold?

JI: I am breaking that mold. The book that is going to have the latino teenager lead is going to be written by Joe Casey whom is neither Latino nor a teenager. But, Joe Casey has clearly been an advocate for variety in superhero comic books, in creator owned comic books. And frankly he’s the co-creator of America Chavez. To me, that right there, America Chavez is one of the most beloved Latinx characters of our time. So I’m comfortable with him writing a Latinx character considering he created one of the most popular ones right now.

GP: He’s shown he can do it.

JI: Exactly.

GP: One of the things that caught my eye in your teases was a woman writing a male character, so it’s either Dr. Sheena Howard, Amy Chu, or Alex De Campi.

JI: What it is, the book that will be co-written by David Walker and Dr. Sheena Howard is an interracial team book written by a man and a woman featuring a man and a woman. That really came down to whom I feel David and Sheena are as people. Due to their academic backgrounds. Due to their vast social and cultural knowledge. Due to the fact they are both social crusaders, they are expertly qualified to tell this story.

Amy Chu is going to be writing a story about a Caucasian lesbian. Alex De Campi will be writing a story with a white American male lead. So you don’t have to keep these straight lines. Some of them won’t be straight for the sake of being straight. I really tried to see who were the best creators to tell these stories book by book.

GP: With the baggage that comes with continuity and years of stories, are you thinking through that as you put together this universe and series? A perfect example is Valiant that has continuity but you can read just one series, step into a new story arc, there’s clear starting points, or you can enjoy it all.

JI: Absolutely. No two books will be alike aesthetically. We want readers to be able to read a book and not feel like they are trapped or tricked into reading other books. If you read other books and you keep moving forward, you start seeing connected threads, and you get the benefit of the worldview of this entire thing. If you choose just one book, or two books, or four books, you can have individual experiences and as we look forward to the first crossover event, which will probably take place in 2018, that will be a story in of itself. If you choose to keep reading your book, you can do that. It’s very important for us that the reader not feel interrupted in the book, or books, that they like. It’s also important that when we collect these books we really want to engage the book market. We want to create volumes where a new reader can pick up any volume and get into that world. Whether it’s across titles or whether they pick up volume two of any series and we hope that they don’t feel like that have to pick up volume one but instead that they’ll want to pick up and read volume one.

It really comes down to characters. Characters are the underpinning of all stories. We want to create characters that the readers will care about. We want you to come along on the journey with these characters. So, by defining the characters, making them compelling, and making them relatable, is the ultimate way that we can invite readers, old and new, into the universe.

GP: Is the universe set in our world or slightly off? Do we get fake countries or ones that actually exist?

JI: It’s going to be our world geographically, all the identifications will match up to Earth. I look at this as the love child of Darwyn Cooke’s DC New Frontier and Vertigo Year One and the brilliance of Karen Berger in using Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Shade, the Changing Man, Black Orchid, and Kid Eternity as the foundation for a truly imaginative and impressive body of books. These will be super hero genre books, but they’ll also engage in other genres like science fiction, techno thriller, young adult, action adventure, teen adventure, social drama, so that is how I see it. For that to be the case, it had to take place in a world like ours.

GP: Since it is taking place in a world familiar to ours, there’s the debate as to whether comics should just be entertainment or if it should touch upon social justice issues being waged. Will the comics touch upon real world issues? From the characters and what you’ve described it sounds like social issues will be a natural thing for the series, but is it a goal and point?

JI: You know, we don’t see it as a hard agenda. It’s not something we’re going to beat the audience over the head with as far as the stories. When you’re talking about social justice, art has always been a vehicle for social justice.

GP: Comics always have.

JI: Exactly. We’re at a time where we are vulnerable in so many other areas. Our bodies are vulnerable. We’re being told what bathrooms we can use. We have political icons engaging in reprehensible behavior, xenophobia, and sexism. Art may be one of the last frontiers that is bullet proof. If you’re going to do a universe, and you’re going to engage the super hero and what the super hero can do, how can you not engage in social justice?

GP: How long has this been in the works?

JI: It’s funny, there has been different stages. I started working at Lion Forge in June and I really expanded it. The origins of the “Catalyst Prime” super hero universe starts with the owner of Lion Forge, David Steward II. As someone highly influence by Milestone, we are obviously simpatico on that front, myself being a Milestone alumni, Geoff Gerber the President of Lion Forge being an advocate for social justice, the three of us together really wanted this to be something special that would invite everybody. It started with the owner, but when I came in I took the nucleaus and put together a team of writers. We did a writers retreat where we all sat down in a room and spent a day and basically nurtured this universe to life and that kind of creativity, that imaginative osmosis, the results of that are really going to be seen in the books. You’re going to see us subvert some familiar archetypes. You’re going to see some characters of ethnic backgrounds that you never thought you’d equate with roles of power. We’re really looking to give you the kind of familiar things you want with super hero comic books, but we want to return fun and imagination to super hero comic books.

It feels like right now we’ve hit a critical mass in terms of cynicism, in terms of doubt, in terms of dissapointment, for the faith and investment of time we have given. I want this super hero unvierse be a return to fun and imagination and the consumer being rewarded for their time and love of this genre and this medium.

GP: With starting a comic line now, it feels like it’d be different because it’s no longer just print you’re dealing with. There’s digital, there’s mobile, there’s web, the avenues and distribution is so different. Is that in your thoughts in putting it together, looking at the big picture and how different people will interact differently with the material?

JI: Absolutely. It’s very important for us that anyone who wants to get our books will be able to get our books. Whether it is comic book stories in the direct market. Whether it’s book stores and collections in the trade market. Whether it’s digital. We have been looking at a lot of metrics and data in regards to digital comics. Some of those discoveries will impact how we put together and provide these books. And it’s very important to us that if you’re unfortunately living in a place that’s a comic store desert, you can still get the book. It’s important to us that if you feel there’s a local environment that’s not welcoming to you as a consumer that you can still get our book. It’s important to us that we engage in a discussion with retailers and consumers about pre-ordering so that we expand the vocabulary and help consumers get our books.

GP: Any final thoughts?

JI: It’s exciting for us to start this new thing. I think culturally that we are at a high point of the popularity and the agency of the super hero as a genre and so there’s no better time to start a new universe than right now. I firmly believe, and the creators that I’ve assembled, we all firmly believe that ultimately people want good stories. It’s not about what genre it is. It’s about good stories and good characters.

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