Coming soon to comic shops is a new Marvel project from Paul Cornell, with artist Mike Hawthorne – Wild Cards #1, making its debut from 15th June 2022.
Spanning more than 25 novels, more than 20 short stories, released over three decades and written by more than 40 authors, the Wild Cards shared universe series tells the story of an alternate history in which the Earth is home to super-powered individuals. When a human is infected with the alien “Wild Card” virus, the odds are that they will be killed… which is referred to as “drawing the black queen.” Of those who survive, the bulk of them become “jokers,” left with some strange mutated form.
A lucky few are called “aces,” those gifted with super-powers they can put to use toward heroes goals…or villainous ones.
Now, for the first time in comic book form, see how the Wild Cards universe began with an adaptation of the very first stories in the original Wild Cards novel.
Originally begun in 1986, long before George R. R. Martin became a household name among fantasy readers, the Wild Cards series earned a reputation among connoisseurs for its smart reimagining of the superhero idea.
Based on stories by Harold Waldrop, Roger Zelazny and series mastermind and editors George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass, Wild Cards #1 introduces a whole new world, an original gritty universe shaped by the emergence of superpowers.
“It’s so influential, and this is the ground floor for newbies,” enthuses Paul Cornell. “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”
In addition to the new Marvel comic series, the book series is getting closer to the small screen. The project, from Universal Cable Prods., has been set up at Hulu, with two new series in the works for the streaming service, which will be written and executive produced by The Secret Circle creator Andrew Miller, who is under an overall deal with UCP. Melinda Snodgrass, Vince Gerardis and Martin will executive produce.
“As my fans may already know, the Wild Cards World holds a special place in my heart,” Martin said earlier this year. “So to have the privilege of announcing that an industry titan like Marvel is going to produce the narrative from the beginning as a comic book brings me no end of joy.”
Of course, it’s not the first time Marvel has published Wild Card stories, although the previous tales were new ones rather than adaptations of the stories from the anthology novels, under the Epic Comics imprint.
Paul Cornell is a writer of science fiction and fantasy in prose, comics and TV, one of only two people to be Hugo Award-nominated for all three media. He’s written Doctor Who for the BBC, Action Comics for DC, and Wolverine for Marvel. He’s won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics, and shares in a Writer’s Guild Award for his television.
Paul has also written tales for Wild Card books, so this isn’t his first sojourn into this universe, including “The Elephant in the Room”, free to read online, joining comics alumni Chris Claremont, who also wrote some stories for the long-running project.
Mike Hawthorne is an artist, designer, and cartoonist. His work has been nominated for both an Eisner and Harvey award, and he’s worked with clients like FOX Films, Universal Studios, The 76ers, Marvel Comics, DC/Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, as well as many others.
With thanks to Stuart Vandal