You (Re)Possess My (Cloned) Heart: Rick Spears on "Repo"

Mon, March 26th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Arune Singh, Staff Writer

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"Repo" #1 cover by Rob G and inside front cover.

Nobody likes repo men, especially not clones. I mean, you're a clone and you're just walking around, minding your own business when all of a sudden a legion of repo agents show up and chase you down in their hover cars because you're carrying inside you the beating heart of the old gazillionaire you're actually cloned from and the only people who'll help you are an army of ex-sex clones named Wendy.

If you're reading this and thinking, "that's awesome, " then "Repo" is definitely the comic for you. Created by the authors of the acclaimed "Teenagers From Mars" Rick Spears and Rob G, "Repo" is a new five issue mini-series that ships in June from Image Comics. CBR News hooked up with Spears to talk about the new book.

The story of "Repo" follows the adventures of KD and Emil, two small time repo men living in a futuristic environment called the Sprawl and their mission to repossess the beating heart of an escaped clone. Unfortunately for them, the multi-million dollar price on the clone's head (or heart) is drawing in every hyper-violent repo team around – not to mention the Clone Liberation Army – all of whom KD and Emil will have to fight their way through and hopefully come out both rich and alive.

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"Repo" #1, pages 1 and 2
"Emil is a punk-ass repo kid," Rick Spears told CBR. "It was either that or be a straight up criminal. He's a childish 18-year-old with a big mouth and quick temper." Showing Emil the ropes of the repo business is KD, who Spears admits is inspired heavily by actor Keith David. "KD's bad ass cool with a toothy grin, smart and effective but with a mean streak you don't want to meet." It is KD's fondest desire to buy a boat and retire to Jamaica, and as such wants the clone reward very badly.

Illustrating "Repo" is artist Rob G (whose studio CBR toured earlier this year), known for his work with Brian Wood on the "Couriers" series from AiT/PlanetLar and his "Teenagers From Mars" collaboration with Spears. The pair developed "Repo" while trying to find an idea for an ongoing series. "From looking around it seemed a lot of ongoing stuff, TV or what have you, stemmed from the hero having a job with a recurring story ability," Spears explained. "Such as a cop/private detective on a new case each month, or a lawyer with a new client or a superhero with a new villain. But a lot of these have been done to death and we were looking for something a bit more fresh. That's where repo men came in, where they can work different repossessions and get into all sorts of mayhem."

Although "Repo" features clones, hover cars, ultra-violence and other trappings of the science-fiction action genre, Spears does not actually consider "Repo" to be a sci-fi piece. "It's really just set in a near future where we can be a bit more free with physics for bigger action pieces and have some wild fun," the writer said. "It's the kind of world where they have cured cancer, but not the stink of cigarettes so you still can't smoke anywhere and you can put Las Vegas on the moon. That sort of fun stuff, but this isn't what they call hard sci-fi."

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"Repo" #1, pages 3 and 4
Also populating this, shall we say, "science-fictiony" world are Ming and Ling, a repo team composed of two Chinese brothers. "They are basically a pair Bruce Lees," Spears said. "They're the heavy weights you call for the sticky jobs but their effectiveness usually comes with a high body count." Then there's Lola Belle, the arch enemy of Emil and KD, which is very interesting because Emil has a not-so-secret crush on the repo rival. "Lola is a sexy, strong, force of nature. She's also totally crazy and pure evil. How could Emil not fall for her? She will stop at nothing to get the job done, especially if it means embarrassing KD and Emil in the process?"

Finally, there's Mr. Killian, a "rich old bastard" who's built a "New Las Vegas" on the moon. A sickly Mr. Burns-type character, it is from Killian himself that "Repo's" escaped clone is cloned. Hoping to create a new heart to be transplanted into himself, Killian modified his clone be weak and feeble-minded, fearing that a young and stronger version of himself would become a threat. "[The clone] is basically a drooling moron with a beating heart," Spears said.

What Killian didn't count on was the Clone Liberation Army, formed by a league of sex clones all called Wendy. Helping the Wendys to protect the Killian clone from, er, himself are the Kens, male soldier clones who have also freed themselves and joined the clone underground.

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"Repo" #1, pages 5 and 6
When one invokes the phrase "repo men," one is likely to remember the cult classic film "Repo Man," written and directed by Alex Cox and starring Emilo Estevez. "I'm a huge Alex Cox fan," said Spears, admitting the film was a big influence on his and Rob G's mini-series. "I named Emil after Emilio Estevez and KD is modeled after Keith David from 'Men at Work' (with Emilio) and 'They Live.' And speaking of 'They Live,' there's a big fight scene in issue #4 that's a play on that movie's immortal and probably best fist fight ever! But still, this 'Repo' is a very different animal. Most obviously it's set in the future and then filled with plenty of Hong Kong styled action!"

Part buddy comedy, part action piece and part conspiracy theory, Spears and G designed "Repo" for maximum fun-ness. "I really want to push 'Repo' as far as we can and make it as outrageous as possible...But yeah, we're gonna have some fun."

"Repo" #1 ships this June from Image Comics.

CBR Staff Writer Andy Khouri contributed to this story.

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