Heavy Metal has announced that it is teaming up with acclaimed comics and animation company Herø Projects to publish a slate of sci-fi graphic novels and to develop Herø’s original IP for screen adaptations to be produced through Heavy Metal Studio.
Herø Projects’ “Ønyx” lineup of sci-fi graphic novels will be published through Heavy Metal and distributed by Simon and Schuster in 2022-2023. The titles featured in the lineup are post-apocalyptic space opera Stable, dystopian thriller The Red, historical sci-fi Dogma Resistance, action-adventureThe Awakening, and decopunk crime noirRemnant.
All five of the “Onyx” line of books being announced were created by Matthew Medney, Morgan Rosenblum, Jonny Handler, and Pete “Voodoo Bownz” Russo, and written by Medney and Rosenblum. Notable artists featured in the series of OGNs include Francesco Pisa, Jon Lam, Giuseppe Peppe, Santa Fung, Andrea Adiletto, Fabrizio Ugolini, and many more.
Stable will be on sale in winter of 2022, followed by Remnant coming out summer of 2022, both of which are collaborations with Tomato Farm Agency, then The Awakening in fall of 2022, Dogma Resistance in winter of 2023, and The Red in spring of 2023.
Along with the slate of graphic novels hitting shelves soon, Heavy Metal’s President and Head of Studio Tommy Coriale is in the process of developing screen adaptations of Herø Projects’ graphic novel collection, based on the original IP. Heavy Metal plans to produce the television and film projects with additional partners. Stable and The Red are the first two of the titles being developed, with the others in the pipeline.
The Dark Wing, a planet turned into a spaceship by human-like people known as the Quails, searches the cosmos for a solar system to call home. Piloted by the legendary Benedict Gunn, the exploration of this gargantuan planet ship is an adventure like no other. But when Captain Gunn pulls a daring interstellar maneuver, the price he and his crew must pay is deadly.
Dark Wing debuted in Heavy Metal #300 and runs as a serialization within the magazine from Issue #300-309
Dark Wing is written by Matthew Medney with art by German Ponce, color by Protobunker Studio, and the creative team of Bruce Edwards and Pete “Voodoo Bownz” Russo.
In Dark Wing #3, we learn about CELL- Collective Experiential Living Life-form is the planetary collective intelligence; basically, like a touch less internet that you can constantly access in your head just by thinking about something, connecting you to the entire world’s knowledge whenever you need it. It’s also used to help everyone make the most logical decisions possible, for the best outcome for the most amount of people, while being guided by your heart is also encouraged and actually assisted by not having to second-guess if your heart is affecting your thinking).
The issue comes to shops on February 17 and we have an exclusive look and commentary from writer Matthew Medney.
MATTHEW MEDNEY, writer: This page is so incredible for me. The incredible team I worked with to create the CELL (Collective Experiential Living Life) form is the planetary collective intelligence; basically, like a touch less internet that you can constantly access in your head just by thinking about something, connecting you to the entire world’s knowledge whenever you need it. It’s also used to help everyone make the most logical decisions possible, for the best outcome for the most amount of people, while being guided by your heart is also encouraged and actually assisted by not having to second-guess if your heart is affecting your thinking) CELL which was created after the first uprising of the sentient A.I. as a way to fuse the best parts of the Quails technology while mitigating any risks that could arise from sentient robotics, CELL was created and implemented.
MEDNEY: I mean come on, its Heavy Metal! We need at least one sex scene. The best part about Dark Wing, to me, is that we created an amazing universe that allows for high octane action weaved in between a love triangle and some interpersonal dilemmas. Pon and Ben are in this on again off again emotional pull and off in the corner is Ben and Phoebe, former lovers, and akin to each other. But the passion between Pon and Ben is as fiery as it gets!
MEDNEY: This spread is one of the best pages I have ever seen in comics. German and the coloring team at Protobunker Studios have dazzled our eyes with this montage that perfectly sums up the ethos of issue #3. We have the Dark Wing, CELL, Ben and Pon and the city of Tiberius all beautifully put together in this smorgasbord of color and wonder.
MEDNEY: What’s Next in Dark Wing? Well, I can assure you it is a dashing cosmic adventure where the twists and turns will surprise you and keep you at the edge of your seats. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say, you haven’t met all the players yet, and what you think will happen, most certainly not. Bruce, Pete, German, Protobunker, Ricardo (editor) and all of the brilliant minds that have come together to help construct Dark Wing into this cosmic adventure all have the guiding light of a true space odyssey that pays homage to stories like Star Trek, but pushes the envelope with what matters today in science, fiction, culture and genre.
Dark Wing #3 is in comic shops nationwide on February 17, 2021.
Dark Wing #1 is a fascinating sci-fi epic full of action and a world we’re dumped into the deep end to explore. It’s an unknown time and a human-like race is mining material they desperately need to survive. It’s a dangerous mission full of risk. It’s also full of visuals that challenge you to linger on the page to figure out everything going on.
Written by Matthew Medney, Dark Wing #1 is a solid sci-fi concept and comic with a lot of tension throughout. That tension and a wondering of “will the mission succeed” is the draw as we get little on the actual characters. This is a debut that drops the reader in the deep end as the action is underway with no build-up and no set-up. You’re challenged to piece together what’s going on in the thick of the action.
There’s some crazy concepts presented and I found much of my reading of the issue was just trying to piece together exactly what was going on. The mining of the material, the design of the ships, and how it all connects together, it’s a take that’s original. That originality also forces you to focus a bit more and just go with the flow. It’s a different sort of world and sci-fi adventure with a DNA that’s very familiar.
That unfamiliarity is primarily in the art. German Ponce handles that with color by Protobunker Studios. The design of the ships and where people are in relation to each other is a bit hard to piece together in my review copy. It’s possible the physical copy of the series is a bit easier to understand with the ability to get the literal full picture but as I read it, I found myself jumping between pages. And even then, I was a bit confused as to what was going on visually. It’s definitely a different thought on page layout and design of the ships. It took me much of the comic to get used to it. That’s not necessarily bad as further issues shouldn’t have this problem and I can focus more on the story itself.
That focus is needed. Dark Wing #1 doesn’t explain a lot about its characters and world. You’re really forced to figure out who people are and what’s going on by a sentence or two. The set-up is built into the story which is itself focused on the action. This feels like a bit more dense of a comic debut and should be interesting to see where it goes but as it stands this is one that might be for those really into space focused science fiction.
Story: Matthew Medney Art: German Ponce Color: Protobunker Studios Creative Team: Brice Edwards, Pete Russo Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Heavy Metal Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review