Rascal, the savvy young heroine of Antony Johnston and Christ Mitten’s Umbral, is a thief with both feet planted firmly in the muck. She lives by her dexterous fingers, her knowledge of the city’s side streets, and an arsenal of four-letter words for anyone who stands in her way. Whispers of myth and monsters at the fringes of her world fail to turn Rascal’s head—in fact, she fears and loathes magic and its practitioners. Too bad she’s the heroine of a fantasy story.
Over the course of its first volume from Image Comics, Umbral creates a world rich with ethnic conflict, class struggle, human emotion and totally wicked looking monsters. A cast of scholars, refugees, thieves, and magicians populates its pages, simmering with glimpsed backstories and murky intentions. At its heart is Rascal, staring down a grand destiny she never wanted. As the first volume hits the shelves, ComicsAlliance spoke with Johnston and Mitten about fantasy tropes, developing character voices, and the importance of The Dark Crystal.
Formally announced at Image Expo last month, Umbral is the new dark fantasy series by Antony Johnson (Coldest City, Dead Space, Daredevil) and Christopher Mitten (Criminal Macabre, Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight) launching in November. The pair previously worked together on a 30-issue stint of Wasteland, an post-apocalyptic epic for Oni Press (that continues long after Mitten's departure), and knowing something about the work of these two creators, it's likely that Umbral is similarly ambitious in scope, world-building and genre-tweaking.
What's known about Umbral is presently as shadowy as its name, but it definitely involves magic and murder. You can see Johnston and Mitten's specially prepared "trailer" strip below.
The comics medium attempts to answer a lot of big questions: Who would win in a fight between the Hulk and Superman? "What lurks behind the beehive?" What's up with the Joker's face? In that spirit, ComicsAlliance's Matt Wilson is asking comics creators, retailers and commentators some big questions of his own.
We've already filled you in on the fact that Marvel's retelling the origins of its most iconic heroes with the "Season One" original graphic novel line starting in 2012. Fantastic Four: Season One (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and David Marquez) will roll out in February, X-
Senior Editor Steve Wacker led an all-star panel of Spider-Man talent on Friday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where the Marvel crew discussed what fans can expect from the upcoming "Spider Island" event, whereby everybody in Manhattan finds themselves in possession of the same powers as Spider-Man, as well as new series like Daredevil and The Punisher. Panelists included Zeb Wells of Avenging Spider-Man, Humberto Ramos of Amazing Spider-Man, Mark Waid of Daredevil, Ric
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