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JM DeMatteis' Impossible Inc Embraces the Silver Age

Writer J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League InternationalThe Amazing Spider-Man) and artist Mike Cavallaro (ShadowmanSolar, Man of the Atom) have been talking about their new limited series, Impossible Inc., for years.

The all-ages tale follows 17-year-old Number Horowitz as she and a few others embark on a cosmic adventure to travel new worlds, dimensions and parallel universes on a surreal train dubbed the Non-Local Express. Now that the IDW Publishing limited series has two issues released, we chatted with DeMatteis about the story and why fans of his work with Marvel and DC Comics should check it out.

"We both wanted to do something that hearkened back to the Silver Age -- stories that were high on imagination, low on violence; rooted in a sense of jaw-dropping wonder -- but with a distinctly modern sensibility," said DeMatteis in an interview with CBR, before saying he's honored by some of the comparisons Impossible Inc. has received.

"People that have read the book have compared it to Doctor Who, classic [Stan] Lee and [Jack] Kirby Fantastic Four, Doc Savage," said DeMatteis. "I understand (and I’m flattered by) all those comparisons, but our hope is that we’ve taken this kind of 'voyaging through time and space' genre and added something new, both in terms of our characters’ psychological and emotional journeys and the metaphysical and spiritual scope of their adventures."

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DeMatteis further elaborated about Impossible Inc.'s story, saying it's all about smashing through our obstacles as we search for our purpose in life and answers to some of life's biggest mysteries.

"At its core, Impossible Inc. is a story about search: Number’s search for her long-missing father, the genius-adventurer Goliath Horowitz and the search for meaning in a universe that can often seem chaotic and meaningless," said DeMatteis. "It’s also about our reaction to the very concept of the impossible: Do we see it as a blockade to our growth or a challenge to break through barriers and view the universe, and ourselves, in new ways? Our characters clearly fall into the latter camp. As Goliath says, 'the impossible isn’t a limitation, it’s an invitation.'"

The longtime comic book writer assured fans of his DC Comics and Marvel work (like Justice League International and "Kraven's Last Hunt") that they will find what they enjoyed about those stories and more in Impossible Inc.

"I hope the readers get the psychological and emotional exploration of my Spider-Man work, the playfulness and humor of the [Justice League International] and the humanity -- and sense of grand adventure -- that unites them both," said DeMatteis. "But these are new characters traversing new worlds -- so I hope they also find layers and levels they’ve never encountered before in my stories."

DeMatteis praised his collaborator, explaining why Cavallaro was the perfect artist to bring this story to life.

"I know that whatever I put into my scripts, no matter how challenging, Mike will find the right visual expression for it," said DeMatteis. "His art for Impossible Inc. is playful, human, dynamic and suitably cosmic. Add to that the fact that Mike is a genuinely good guy and it makes for a wonderful collaboration."

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The writer stated he completely understands that selling a comic without a popular hero featured on the cover can be a challenge, but he and Cavallaro are hopeful that their passion for this project will motivate fans to give it a shot.

"Mike and I have been pouring heart and soul into this book," said DeMatteis. "We know that, in the current market, it’s easy for creator-owned series like this to get lost in the tidal wave of titles from the Big Two, and we hope that readers that come along for the ride with Number and her team discover new worlds… in the cosmos and within themselves."

Impossible Inc. #3 (of 5) goes on sale Nov. 25.

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