The project, described by Dynamite Publisher Nick Barrucci as "being in development for the last three years," is scheduled for release at the end of 2007 and marks the return of a host of classic Golden Age heroes and villains, all under the creative and artistic direction of Ross and writer Jim Krueger. Many of the featured characters have not been seen in many years, lost to time and obscurity. They have all have been drawn, designed and/or re-imagined by Alex Ross, including Fighting Yank, Green Lama, The Death Defying 'Devil, the Black Terror, Masquerade, The Flame, Mister Face, Samson, The Scarab, The Owl, the Claw, Pyroman, the Arrow, the American Spirit, the Crusaders, the F-Troop and more.
"[Dynamite COO] Juan Collado and I were talking about what could be big, what could be 'dynamite,' what would be something that we could do to take things up a level," Nick Barrucci told CBR News. "Joe [Rybandt, Director of Marketing] then came into the discussion and we continued to give it some shape.We work as a core on developing books and projects, so this was another in the line of Dynamite development. We worked out the name, 'Superpowers,' which has multiple connotations, not the least of which relates to the superpowers of the 1950's fighting for domination; that period of early cold war development between the US and the Soviet Union. As we continued, we all realized we had a big story here and needed a big creative team to make it a reality. To make it dynamite.
"We'd been talking to Alex – we've been friends for years – and started pitching him and Jim Kreuger our ideas... and here we are and that's the short version of what took three years to today!"
Barrucci believes that at its core, "Superpowers" is about redemption. "It's a massive tale that explains to readers who these 'lost' heroes are and why they were forgotten… something that's happened literally with these characters in both the real world and the comic book world. We start with the Second World War (though the seeds go back even further) and the aftermath of the usage of the Atomic Bomb, and from there, things get very complicated.
"Also at its core, this is the story of the Fighting Yank and what happens when a good man does something he thinks is the right thing to do, and finds out much later he's made a horrible, horrible mistake."
Dynamite doesn't see "Superpowers" as a vehicle to undermine or necessarily re-invent these classic characters. "In our humble opinion, it's a new Golden Age," Barrucci said. "It's not about breaking the rules or making the rules, it's about having fun and bringing our own take to it. This is going to be interesting, when you look at the great job Alex and Jim did on 'Justice;' when you look at the mythology of Alex's work in 'Kingdom Come' and 'Marvels,' you can see the raw power of his work. I think that his involvement in particular in these characters with the design and story you will see the power flow off the pages.
I'm excited to work with so many classic comic icons," said Alex Ross in a Dynamite release. "Dynamite's enthusiasm matches ours, and it's great working with them."
"'Superpowers,' for me, is a chance to do things with characters that don't have to live by the end of the series," said writer Jim Krueger. "To a degree, this project is the best of two worlds -- the characters here are vital parts and icons in the history of heroes and comics. But at the same time, they can bleed, they can die, they don't have to remain the good guys."
The details of "Superpowers'" release are still being finalized while Dynamite brings a series artist on board, although the publisher has indicated to CBR that they are considering launching the project with "an event book or series that then takes us into an ongoing."
The featured Ross artwork is the first painted for "Superpowers" and will be available through the AlexRossArt.com booth #2419 at this month's Comic-Con International in San Diego. A special preview comic of "Superpowers" will also be available at the booth.
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