In 1992, seven of the biggest writer-artists in comics teamed up, creating and uniting their art studios to form one of the first, and most successful, creator-owned publishers in the business: Image Comics. One of those creators was Marc Silvestri who, under his Top Cow Productions imprint, debuted his first creator-owned series via the newly-founded publisher, the sci-fi extravaganza known as Cyber Force.
An enduring staple of the imprint, Cyber Force has seen numerous runs over the course of its 25-year history, with a variety of top-tier writers and artists leading the team on numerous adventures across several distinct volumes with nearly 100 issues in total.
RELATED: Silvestri Decodes “Cyber Force”
With Comic-Con International set to kick off today in San Diego, CBR has the exclusive announcement of a Cyber Force revival from Top Cow as part of Image Comics’ 25th anniversary. From writers Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill, artist Atilio Rojo — and with covers from Cyber Force creator Marc Silvestri — the new series has a 25-issue monthly commitment, with no breaks. We had the opportunity to chat with Hawkins in light of the series’ announcement, and get some new details on the plot and everything that’s in store for the team’s big return.
CBR: How did the Cyber Force revival come about?
Hawkins: We wanted to do something special with the 25th anniversary of the company and Cyber Force’s launch so it made sense to do something new. Cyber Force Rebirth reintroduced a lot of these characters to readers and Aphrodite IX and IXth Generation all tied into one larger storyline. You won’t have to have read any of those to jump in here though as we have a timeline reset based on events in IXth Generation Volume 2 where Aphrodite IX killed the Chairwoman (the main antagonist) when she was seven by using the Wheel of Shadows to go back in time. We’re not playing a multiverse concept; more of a reality gets overwritten idea. I love string theory and multiverse ideas, but to base human perception there really only seems to be one linear timeline and we’re rolling with that.
So this story starts before Cyber Force is formed and takes us through a semi-familiar origin story with a few twists and a hidden antagonist that has risen to replace the Chairwoman’s original role.
What do you think makes the series relevant in 2017?
Hawkins: The idea of Transhumanism, cybernetically and genetically enhanced humans is more relevant today than it ever was. We are at a pivotal point in history where I personally believe we may be looking at an accelerated species split and part of this storyline embraces that. As we race towards the singularity and an immortality that will be available to an elite few, our time is ripe for fictional stories that toy with these concepts. Cyber Force is about the conflict between technology and humanity. We like to pretend there isn’t one and that these can be used in harmony, but the conflict exists. Are we more human than human? Or are we losing our humanity?
How is Marc Silvestri involved in the series?
Hawkins: Marc remains the creator of Cyber Force and will be developing out the stories and redesigning the characters a bit for this new series. He’ll also be doing some covers.
What Cyber Force continuity does the series take place in; is it a reboot?
Hawkins: Right before Cyber Force is created; we’ll meet Morgan Stryker and his daughter Carin before they become Stryker and Velocity and introduced the series of events that results in their becoming cybernetically-enhanced and the threat to the world.
How are you and Bryan [Hill] dividing up writing duties?
Hawkins: We bounce ideas around and plot it out together. When we write together I’ll always let Bryan take the first stab at the dialogue because he’s better at it than I am. I think we work well together and we’re fast!
You’ve committed to release 25 issues, without skipping any months. Why did you choose to do this, and what are the advantages?
Hawkins: It’s a commitment to the direct market and comic book stores and telling them they can get behind this series and it’ll come out on time and for a long time so if they turn readers onto it in their stores they’ll be able to sell it over a longer period of time. I’ve had many retailers complain to me about the skip months to get the trades out as a reason for readers to only buy the trades.
What does Atilio Rojo uniquely bring to the series as artist?
Hawkins: Rojo and I worked together on IX Generation V2 so you can already see what the series will look like based on what he’s already done. I chose Rojo because he told me how big a fan he was of Cyber Force growing up…and that he’s very timely. He’s never missed a deadline on IXth Gen, Eden’s Fall, Samaritan or any the other work he’s done for us.
What can you tease for the first arc?
Hawkins: The opening scene will showcase an attack on a megalithic Cupertino type tech company that gets completely wiped out by an army with advanced tech that earth has not seen yet at this stage. Morgan Stryker worked at this facility that was attacked. In the aftermath, every screen in the world is lit up with a message from this shadowy assailant telling them that all modern technology must be eliminated. The world must return to its dark past or it will be wiped out completely. Stryker, nearly killed in that attack, is saved by cybernetic grafts and becomes the first of a new team being developed to try and fight back against this global threat.
So there’s the trailer teaser, heh, we wanted to make it big stakes, big threats and bring Cyber Force back in a big way. We’ll also be printing for the first time the Cyber Force: Artifacts storyline that was released as a 52 week free Line Webtoons webcomic. It’ll be released in two volumes in conjunction with the new launch and the 25th anniversary of Cyber Force’s first release!
Stay tuned to CBR as more details surface surrounding Top Cow’s Cyber Force revival.
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