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Caleb Monroe Talks “The Remnant”

by  in Comic News Comment
Caleb Monroe Talks “The Remnant”
The Remnant
“The Remnant” #1 on sale now

As a government building explodes, a former federal agent catches a glimpse of a strange dark figure, an enigmatic survivor of another national disaster.

So begins “The Remnant,” a new four-issue miniseries from BOOM! Studios, which overlays action and suspense with supernatural mystery, with each character having his or her own secret motivations. The first issue, illustrated by Julian Totino Tedesco and written by Caleb Monroe, is on sale now, and CBR News spoke with Monroe about the project.

Monroe described the concept behind “The Remnant” as “counterterrorism with a supernatural edge.” Developed by actor Stephen Baldwin and BOOM! Studios co-founder Andrew Cosby, the series follows ex-C.I.A. man David Sacker, who survives a bombing at a Los Angeles federal building only to confront more obscure and dangerous threats. “He’s trying to retire and go on his honeymoon, but finds himself instead at ground zero,” Monro told CBR News. “And the deeper he looks into the situation, the stranger it seems. Terrorists might be the least of his worries.”

The writer said that though there are supernatural situations from the very start, “The Remnant” is still a very grounded story. “The supernatural elements are more implied than explicit,” Monroe said. “We see the natural results rather than the supernatural causes.”

One of the early mysteries at the heart of “The Remnant” involves Sacker’s young new wife, who may or may not be connected to the bombing. Another wild card is the appearance of an unknown man who emerged from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Without giving too much away, Monroe said there’s even more going on than readers may first realize. “Sacker’s wife Sarah definitely does have a secret, but it’s not what it first appears,” the writer said. “The Stranger we see in Louisiana will show up in a lot of other places, places where people are suffering. And besides the Sackers, the government and the Stranger, well… there’s a fourth group with an interest in the bombing, though they’ve covered their tracks well.”

Pages from “The Remnant” #1

“The Remnant” represents Monroe’s first major comics project, though he has published short stories in Desperado’s “Negative Burn” anthology series and self-published several comics. He landed the “Remnant” writing gig by working in comics in a somewhat different capacity. “Matt Gagnon, my editor at BOOM!, and I came up together, working at the same comic shop — Meltdown in LA,” Monroe explained. “He had seen and read my previous work, and when ‘The Remnant’ found it’s way onto his plate, he knew it would fit well with my sensibilities.”

Despite his status as a somewhat new talent on the scene, Monroe said his collaborations with Baldwin and Cosby have involved a good degree of back-and-forth. “The meat of the concept came from [Baldwin’s and Cosby’s] minds, and there was note-giving and rewriting, especially in the early stages,” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve had a lot of freedom to add my own touches and really flesh things out on the skeleton they’ve provided. So I’m both being kept on target and allowed to run free. I believe the mixed process has been a real the benefit to the comic.”

In addition to “The Remnant,” Monroe is keeping busy with several additional projects. “I have a couple back-up stories in the next two issues of ‘United Free Worlds’ from Devil’s Due,” he said. “The first one, issue #4, should be out December 31 and the next one will be two months after. I’m really proud of these stories. I think telling a compelling story in two pages is much more challenging than in twenty-two, and I’ve assembled a real crack artistic team.

“Other than that, I’m really focusing on more creator-owned work. You should see my name on lots of new things in the coming year!”

“The Remnant” #1 is on sale now from BOOM! Studios.

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