Image's Heart Attack Pits Genetically Modified Teens Against the Government

If there's one thing a certain Portland-based independent comics publisher is never lacking, it's new original content. Heart Attack -- a newly-announced title from Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment-- features pulse-pounding action and incredible abilities but as the backdrop for a story of young love.

From writer Shawn Kittelsen (Mortal Kombat 11) and artist Eric Zawadzki (The Dregs, Eternal), this series is not what readers might expect from any of the genres they could place the comic in. One part sci-fi world-building, one part power fantasy, Heart Attack is the story of teens Charlie North and Jill Kearney, who find each other in a world elevated by scientific advances but ravaged by discrimination.

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The near future predicted in this series foresees a world where genetic modification has firmly removed the devastation of disease but sometimes results in the sudden development of strange powers. As North's and Kearney's affection for each other grows, so does their preternatural abilities, leading to the age-old moral questions of what to do with their newfound capacity for destruction. Will it be a revelation or revolution?

"Way back in 2014, I had an idea for this series that was all about the future—a nightmare that America could become, if we weren't careful," Kittelson said. "But in 2019, many of us are living that nightmare daily, in one headline after another—hatred, violence, injustice, disparity, disenfranchisement and more. So while this book is set in the future, it's really about our world today. It's about how people find love in hopeless times, and how our personal bonds inspire the courage to rise against forces bigger than ourselves."

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He continued, "I'm super grateful to everyone at Skybound for the time and effort they've put into this series, and for giving me a platform to tell an unconventional sci-fi love story that's more concerned with emotional arcs than action scenes."

"All the politics, fireworks and twists and turns are just the backdrop of a story about two people who find a very special connection with each other," Zawadzki added. "What excites me about this comic is how it uses a sci-fi metaphor to convey that universal feeling of developing a crush on someone new. That feeling of being with that new person in your life is emotionally very powerful and I think we found a unique way of capturing it."

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Written by Shawn Kittelsen and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki, Heart Attack #1 goes on sale Nov. 20 from Image Comics/Skybound.

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