Behind the Shadows: Prose to Script to Comic Page – Wrath of God ‘ A Dark Hero’s Rebirth’

Last week saw the digital release of Wrath of God on ComiXology but what some of you may not know is the Reverend, the two gun wielding vigilante who stars in the comic, made his debut within the pages of the Fallen Heroes prose novel. I thought it might be interesting to give you a little insight on one of the pivotal scenes from the comic and its relationship to the novel.

The Rebirth

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When Jonathan Bishop aka The Reverend  awakens from his coma with a new face  it was one the most important scenes for the character in Fallen Heroes and yet most people have never read the scene. I cut it from the final draft because I was scared that by revealing too much of the Reverend’s past it would diminish the mythic quality I was trying to instill in  the character.

Cy Dethan who wrote the script for the Wrath of God comic was the first person I let read the  scene and the moment he read it it gave him the central themes he wanted to explore with the Reverend.

The subject of the Reverend’s training is never address in the novel because it was not needed to be. I wanted The Reverend to arrive  immersed in his crusade and at the top of his game. Now, however, I have the wonderful luxury of being able to say to people “If you want to know how he was trained and learn more about his past then here’s Wrath of God.” this notion of making the comics 100% canon as far as novels are concerned has been something that has become more and more embedded with each new Unseen Shadows project.

What we get in Wrath of God is Cy doing a brilliant job of expanding on the Reverend’s past without diminishing any of the power or mystery of the character. It was also a delicate balancing act because we wanted a story that could stand alone and apart from the novel but at the same time reward readers of both. For me personally it was great to work with Cy on fleshing out the Reverend’s past and answering a few of the questions I never tackled while working on the novel.

Here’s  Cy had to say about how he see’s the Reverend.

“To me, the Reverend represents the purest form of personal commitment – an implacable crusader with every outward trace of humanity literally burned away. No act is too monstrous or sacrifice too great in pursuit of his understanding of justice. I needed to know what could do this to a man, and whether the madness was always in him. Hopefully, we’ve gone some way toward answering those questions in Wrath of God.”

reviscoming

The Prose

So without further ado here’s the original scene  from Fallen Heroes.

Irene had talked one of the other nurses into making her rounds for her, and now here she was for the first time in the restricted wing.  She admitted to not being very impressed; a couple of armed guards and that was about it. She walked gingerly into the room where the unknown patient was being kept. It was hospital policy to check on all patients, even those under government protection.  He was just laying there, his face hidden behind a thick layer of bandages.  There was no doubt in her mind that he was still in a coma; feeling a little cheated by the anti-climax, she moved to the door.

“Maria.”

Too shocked to speak, Irene slowly turned round to find the patient she thought comatose now sitting bolt upright, his unusual eyes, the only hint of what lay under the bandages, scrutinising her every movement.

“What day is it?” he asked, his voice no more than a whisper, but for some reason, it sent shivers through her, and the desire to be anywhere else but here was foremost in her mind.

“It’s…It’s…Sunday,” Irene stammered.  “Sunday the third of September.”

The patient sighed heavily and slowly climbed out of his bed.  “I am alive,” he said, staring out of the window.

The urge to run screaming from the room and call someone, anyone was almost too great for Irene to ignore, but before she did, there was one question she needed answering.

“Sir, I need to know, we’ve all been waiting to know since you got here, who are you?”

The patient turned from the window, and Irene found herself looking into the strangest eyes she had ever seen.  They were an unnatural colour; Irene tried to put a name to the colour…jade, that was it, jade.

The patient walked up to her and removed the bandages from his face.  “I am wrath,” he said sadly.

The Script

The “deleted scene” from the Fallen Heroes novel that inspired this layer of Wrath of God’s flashback structure served as both a partial explanation of Jonathan Bishop’s metamorphosis into the Reverend and an open question in its own right. It follows on from Bishop’s literal “baptism of fire” at the hands of the drug lord, Vincent Gonzalez, and essentially charts the agonising process of a lost and fallen man being born again.

The whole concept of Bishop’s conversion is drenched in Christian mythology in the novel, and yet framed in a profoundly alien and threatening light. I’d go so far as to say that most of my understanding of the character was informed by reading this scene in the information pack Barry sent me. The sadness, the disconnection, the violence – the essential core of the Reverend is all at work here. – Cy Dethan (Writer)  Wrath of God

1) Cut to a close-up of the Reverend, his face a freshly healed wound. There are bandages, recently removed from his face, hanging loosely around his neck and shoulders. We’re in a hospital room, by a washbasin with a large mirror set above it. The Reverend, looking notably younger than in the previous scene (with more and darker hair), is gazing at his reflection with an expression somewhere between sadness and amazement. He’s dressed in a hospital gown.

We’re going to have several timelines running through this story. As a suggestion, it might be worth emphasising each strand with its own, unique colouring style or other easily distinguishable visual device.

CAPTION

THIS IS NOT MY FACE

2) Pull back. The Reverend turns away from the mirror, looking lost and hopeless. A nearby nurse (Irene Dickinson, for continuity fans) steps toward to help him. She looks genuinely concerned. There are two “spook” types in dark suits, armed with handguns in the room with us, but we needn’t see them both in this panel. Just a hint of one of them partially in shot would be plenty.

CAPTION

ONLY THE EYES BETRAY HIM, AND AS I LOOK INTO THEM ONE LAST TIME I BELIEVE I FINALLY UNDERSTAND…

3) One of the spooks steps forward to intercept the nurse. He raises his weapon to threaten her. The Reverend notices, looking up sharply.

CAPTION

THIS IS THE FACE OF A DEAD MAN—

4) The Reverend gets up in the spook’s face, his expression instantly hardening to a frightening degree. He presses the spook’s pistol down firmly with one hand. Both the spook and the nurse look taken aback.

The Page

All of this work led to this final page of art bringing together that fantastic work of Cy Dethan (Script), Steve Penfold (Art), Nic Wilkinson (Letters) and Gat Melvin (Colours).

wrath page 05

Hope you enjoyed this this little look behind the scenes.

About Wrath of God

The Reverend: a holy weapon forged in tragedy and flame – a murderous martyr whose cold judgement strikes with the force of a vengeful God. Despair, for the Reverend walks among you. He is the right hand of vengeance. He is Wrath.

From the twisted brain of Cy Dethan comes this 22 page story following Fallen Heroes favourite The Reverend; a cold blooded and ruthless killer hell-bent on a path of righteousness and destruction.

 Wrath of God cover

Published by: Barry Nugent
Written by: Cy Dethan
Art by: Steve Penfold
Colored by: Gat Melvyn
Lettered by: Nic Wilkinson
Edited by: Barry Nugent
Price: 0.69p

Available at Comixology

The Heart Which Makes US – Page One Finished

The Heart Which Makes Us by Lizzie Boyle, Aaron Moran and Paul Mclaren is going great guns.  Fifteen pages have now been drawn by Aaron and Paul Mclaren has added his lettering to eleven pages so things could not be going better for the project.

As I said before this is one of Kathryn’s early adventures and a dark tale it is too. Just to give you a hint of what to expect here’s page one, complete with lettering.

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First Look at Victoria Sullivan in ‘Unseen Shadows:The Chimera Factor’

If you’ve listened to the Empire of Blood audio drama or read the Fight of Flight story within the pages of  Tales of the Forgotten then you will already have met Victoria Sullivan. The deadly Icarus Foundation investigator will be going head to head against Steph Connisbee in the upcoming Unseen Shadows graphic novel ‘The Chimera Factor’ by Richmond Clements, with art by Alex Moore and letters by Paul Mclaren.

If these two women and their respective teams can keep from killing each other for more than five minutes they may uncover a global conspiracy that if not stopped will cause the death of thousands.

Alex is already hard at work on the character design and as we’ve already given you a look at Steph it was only fair we give Victoria the same treatment.

Victoria Sullivan

 

 

 

LONDON SUPER COMIC CON SPECIAL OFFER DEALS!

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LONDON SUPER COMIC CON SPECIAL OFFER!!!

Buy Tales of the Forgotten, Tales of the Fallen and the Fallen Heroes Special Edition novel at the Special Convention Price of £20!

To celebrate our newest comic anthology Tales of the Forgotten, which will be available for the first time at the London Super Comic Con, we have come up with a great special offer. Visitors to our table (C42) during the convention will be able to pick up Tales of the Forgotten (RRP: £8.00), Tales of the Fallen (RRP: £11.99) and the Fallen Heroes Special Edition novel (RRP: £9.99) together for a convention only price of £20.00!

The special edition of the novel contains interviews, deleted scenes, an alternate first chapter as well as previews of upcoming projects.

The normal RRP for this bundle would normaly be £29.98 so that’s saving of £9.98!!!

TOTF2coverFallen Heroes CoverUS 2011-09 Tales of the Fallen Front Cover1

Other offers will be available at the table (C42) during the weekend so please ask.

See you in the shadows!

Cover for Forgotten Warriors the Sequel to Fallen Heroes is Revealed

With work on Forgotten Warriors progressing well I thought it was time to think about getting a cover sorted. I was desperate to get Junbobkim the cover artist who did such a fantastic job with the Fallen Heroes book cover and he was eager to oblige.

I had a clear idea of what I wanted in terms of the cover in that I wanted to develop a theme so that when people looked at both covers side by side they would know they were from the same series. I also knew that given her more expanded role in Forgotten Warriors that I wanted Steph Connisbee on the cover.

I did not think he could top what he did on the fallen Heroes cover but I was wrong. ladies and gentlemen I present the cover for ‘Forgotten Warriors’

ForgottenWarriors_cover

And here’s a little look at what the covers look like side by side. Now if you want to see more amazing artwork from junbobkim then please head over to his website.

ForgottenWarriors_cover