At Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, IDW Publishing laid out its full plans for this summer's Cartoon Network comic cross-over "Super Secret Crisis War," including five tie-in one-shots featuring two-page back-up stories each by the event's main series creators, writer Louise Simonson and artist Derek Charm. The crossover brings together characters from "Samurai Jack," "Ben 10," "Powerpuff Girls," and "Dexter's Laboratory" to defeat the combined might of their greatest enemies, led by the villainous Aku from "Samurai Jack."
Supporting the main series are five one-shots featuring characters not yet seen in IDW comics, including "Johnny Bravo" by Erik Burnham with art by Erica Henderson, "Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy" by Kate Leth with art by Troy Little, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" by Ivan Cohen and Paulina Ganucheau, "Cow and Chicken" by Jim Zub with art by Jorge Monlongo, and "Codename: Kids Next Door" by Scott Peterson with art by Ryan Jampole.
IDW editor Sarah Gaydos spoke with CBR News about the "Super Secret Crisis War" one-shots, revealing the robotic menace invading the Cartoon Network universes, IDW's hopes for the future of these five properties and more.
CBR News: What, exactly, is the main "Super Secret Crisis War" about? And how do the five one-shots tie into it?
Sarah Gaydos: We open in a giant space station built by the League of Extraordinary Villains, lead by Aku from "Samurai Jack" and Vilgax from "Ben 10," with "assistance" from Mojo Jojo from "Powerpuff Girls" and Mandark from "Dexter's Laboratory." These evildoers have gathered together with one mission: to conquer as many "universes" as possible, by challenging and then capturing each planet's most courageous hero.
The League starts their attacks on their own sworn enemies -- Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Powerpuff Girls and Dexter. Each villain knows their enemy is formidable and worthy of capture, but to prove it to their fellow League members, they send a robot challenger down to attack them. If the robot wins, maybe that planet's not even worth conquering. If the hero does win, they've proven themselves worthy -- but worthy for what? How will the League use these heroes to conquer planets? Will all of these heroes foil their robot attackers, and then the League? You'll have to read and find out!
We're playing off the big event crossover titles at the Big 2 companies, but doing so in a hugely over the top, fun, all ages way.
All the other tie-in books -- "Johnny Bravo," "Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy," "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends," "Cow and Chicken" and "Codename: Kids Next Door" -- this is how they fall into play. One of the League's robots also visit their worlds, bent on finding a worthy hero to bring back to their masters, but something goes wrong in each case --
How did you find and select the creative teams for each book?
For the one-shots, we reached out to creators that we love working with, or have wanted to work with, and talked to them about if they had any specific knowledge or interest in any of the properties. They gave us pitches and art samples, which all go to the licensors, Cartoon Network, who we work with to gain their approval to move forward.
For the main series, we've been looking for a fun way to energize our Cartoon Network line, as well as work with Louise Simonson. I mean, who wouldn't want to work with her? So it was just a nice bit of serendipity that she was excited about this possible project.
Derek Charm was a natural choice for us, because his work on issues #7 and #8 of "Powerpuff Girls," as well as all the great covers he's done for the line lately, have just been stellar. Not only does he capture the spirit of each character, his pages are all action packed and energetic.
What can you tell us about Louise and Derek's two-page back-up stories?
The back-up stories in each of the five tie-in issues are to be read in order, and tell the story of just how this League came to be formed in the first place.
Are there hopes of any of these one-shots returning in either miniseries or even as ongoing titles?
I'm absolutely hoping that these storylines can be continued in a spin off, and/or revisit these characters in their own titles --if they don't already have one.
After the smoke clears in the wake of "Super Secret Crisis War," what does the future hold for IDW's Cartoon Network line?
We'll be focusing on "Crisis War" until the fall, and see where fan demand takes us! There's also collected editions of "Powerpuff Girls" and "Samurai Jack" material coming out soon, collecting the material that's come out so far this year. And don't forget our "Dexter's Laboratory" four-issue miniseries, starting in April!
Look for "Super Secret Crisis War" and its tie-in titles all summer long starting in June.