The solicitations that went out the weekend of February 16th confirm the news: the relaunch of Joe's Comics, the imprint that created Midnight Nation and Rising Stars, is officially underway with the first of what will be an entire line of new, original titles.
TEN GRAND, the first title to come out from Joe's Comics, will be published by Image Comics and officially debut May 1st, with a convention variant to be unveiled at C2E2 in Chicago the week before.
The premise: Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agrees to one last job, little realizing that the man he's been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survives Joe's attempt and comes after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lies dying, an angelic force promises that if Joel agrees to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn't most people.
The return of Joe's Comics has been in the works for several years, awaiting the right time to go forth.
"The temptation to bring back Joe's Comics has been very powerful over the last few years,” said creator J. Michael Straczynski, "but I really wanted to wait until I had a collection of stories that I absolutely had to tell, that, like Midnight Nation, wouldn't let me go until they were told. Stories that could be dark, funny, deeply personal but also played out on a large stage in terms of action. As those started to show up over the last few years – often in the middle of the night, which is why Joe's Comics bears the slugline 'where it's always five minute to midnight' – I began to pull them together until I felt I had what I needed, and made the deal with Image to move forward.”
The art on TEN GRAND (interiors and covers) is being provided byBen Templesmith, the New York Times best-selling Australian comic artist and writer most widely known for co-creating 30 Days of Night with Steve Niles and Fell with Warren Ellis.
"How could I say no to working with the guy that created Babylon 5, that fairly well shaped how I think about science fiction and long form TV?” Templesmith said. "It was an honor to be asked and I can but hope to rise to the occasion.”
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