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Wars are won by decisive leaders, dedicated soldiers and technology that gives you the upper hand. But after you win the wars, what happens if that technology fell into the wrong hands?
That’s what happens in this week’s Havoc Brigade graphic novel from Studio 407. Writer Neal Marshall Stevens and artist John Bosco showcase a world where a decades-long military conflict is finally overcome with the introduction of a group of soldiers piloting experimental machines known as Havocs. After peace is achieved, the Havoc Brigade and their vehicles are put out to pasture but strife begins anew when one of their own has different ideas. The Havoc Brigade was created to put an end to the war, but with the war over who is to stop a rebellious man with a Havoc at his command?
Havoc Brigade creator/writer Neal Marshall Stevens might be an unfamiliar name in comics, but he’s a big name in horror circles as writer of several horror movies including Thirteen Ghosts and one of the Hellraiser movies. Reportedly Stevens came to comics to have more of his story ideas reach the world, complaining of the complex and disappointing process of getting a film made. Stevens has a second comics project in the works titled Demon Squad, also scheduled to come out via Studio 407.
Here is a five-page preview of Havoc Brigade provided by the publisher:
What if the fictional stories you grew up reading could come to life? Sure, it’d be fun to meet Sherlock Holmes… but what if everything both good and evil came to life? In the upcoming graphic novel Fictionauts from Studio 407, a group of scientists-turned-adventurers is tasked with fighting off the threats from our fiction bookshelves before they make it to our world. Created by Mauro Mantella and Leandro Rizzo, this mixes the fiction-is-real concept from comics like The Unwritten with classic sci-fi-turned-superhero books like Challengers of the Unknown into a raucous looking, punching-Moby-Dick-In-His-Blowhole kind of story.
“[Fictionauts] combines over-the-top pulp action, humor, and high-concept science-fiction with some of the most famous literary characters of all time,” says Studio 407’s Ivan Salazar in a press release. “It’s the lovechild of Grant Morrison and Herman Melville that comic fans never knew they wanted, but won’t be able to live without!”
The titular team at the center of this patrols the metaphysical space between fiction and reality, hoping to prevent these fantastical creations from bleeding over into our reality. In the past they’ve faced off with the aforementioned Moby Dick and traded barbs with greats like Charles Dickens, but when a mysteriously named Agent X attempts to break down the walls completely between fiction and reality the team is pushed to see if they can stop the world from being inadvertently destroyed by the imagination of our most creative prose novelists of all time.
Ivan Salazar probably isn’t someone a lot of comic fans would know, but those of us on the press side have likely had some sort of interaction with him or gotten some assistance from him over the past few years. I first met him a couple of years ago while he was working for BOOM! Studios, where he worked with Chip Mosher, their former marketing and sales director. Ivan, Chip and the other members of the team worked together on several big initiatives, like press conferences with Stan Lee at the San Diego Comic Con and the BOOM! RV at ComicsPro.
Salazar left BOOM! not long ago and recently got back in touch with me to let me know he was now public relations and marketing manager for Studio 407. I wasn’t very familiar with them, so I asked him a few questions about both his old job and his new one.