Mike Costa Talks Wildstorm's "Resistance"

"Resistance: Fall of Man" was arguably the most popular launch game for Sony's Playstation 3 console in 2006, selling over three million copies worldwide. The alternate history shooter followed Sgt. Nathan Hale, an Army Ranger who, along with his British counterparts, tried to defend Britain from an invasion of alien-like creatures called the Chimera.

This past November, Insomniac released "Resistance 2," the next chapter in the saga, which already has gone on to sell over one million copies. Everything about the sequel is more epic in scope than the original, especially the storyline. Both the characters and world of "Resistance" have been given more detail and depth, and a foundation had been established for more stories to be told about both the past and future of the Chimeran conflict.

One such story will be unfolding in comics this week, as "Resistance" #1 from Wildstorm hits shelves. Written by Mike Costa with art by Ramón Perez and covers by C.P. Smith, "Resistance" seeks to fill in some of the details about what Nathan Hale was up to before fans were introduced to him in the first game. CBR News caught up with Costa to talk about his own experience with the "Resistance" series, as well as what fans can expect from the comic.

CBR: Were you familiar with the "Resistance" franchise before you came to this project?

Mike Ccosta: Indeed I was. I've been a Playstation fan since they released their first system (back when I was in high school. Ah, memories...) so I dropped the admittedly insane original price for the system in the first year it came out. Of course, "Resistance" was one of the first "must-owns" so, you know, I had to own it. I loved the gameplay, but even more so I loved the world and the characters. Cartwright was a particular favorite.

Can you give us an overview of the Wildstorm series and when it takes place in the "Resistance" timeline?

Our series is the story of the first mission of the Sentinels, and takes place in January of 1951 -- which is technically before Nathan Hale even arrives in the UK. But yes, we follow the maiden voyage of the Sentinels. By the time we see them in "Resistance 2," they're a crack team with a lot of miles and battles behind them. But when we see them in this book, they're working together for the first time, and things aren't as smooth as they'd be a few years later.

Also, we have a back-up story running through the issues which follows Jonny Grayson, the main character of the upcoming PSP game ("Resistance: Retribution"), which establishes him and his backstory, leading directly into the game.

How do you balance writing for fans of the game as well as someone who is completely unfamiliar with the franchise?

Honestly, we just wanted to tell a great story. For fans of the game, there'll be a lot of references and little Easter Eggs they'll get a kick out of, along with getting to see what happened to these characters to make them into some of the men you know from the game. But for the uninitiated reader, they'll get a large-scale summer-action-movie style story about an elite, motley team of soldiers fighting off a massive, mostly-successful alien invasion in the '50s. The premise is pretty high-concept and simple, and since we're establishing these characters for readers as well as gamers, we didn't really worry much about anyone getting lost. This is the first time most of the characters are getting to know each other, so it's a great opportunity for readers who don't know them to get to know them too.

How closely did you work with Insomniac during the writing process? Did you get to play the game at all during development?

Man, I wish. Actually, I wasn't brought onto the project until about two months before the game was released, so unfortunately I didn't get to see the development process. But that would have been awesome. And Insomniac is very involved with the comic. We discuss every script I turn in - they're constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure I keep everything straight, from dates to ranks to the personalities of the characters. It's pretty cool, actually, that they're this involved. They really care about their property, and they won't let me screw it up, no matter how hard I try.

The #0 issue that came with the "Resistance 2" collector's edition focused on Shepard, the man who would eventually become the Chimeran leader Daedalus. Is he a main character in the rest of the series?

He is not a main character, but his presence is certainly felt. He was a man that went through Project Abraham with these guys, and then went really, really bad. That's not the kind of thing that a bunch of soldiers who go through a trauma forget about.

Who are some of the other characters that will be appearing alongside Nathan Hale in the series? Will you be introducing anyone new?

Oh absolutely. On both counts. Capelli, our "main" character, and several members of Team Echo will be appearing -- but not all. Many current members (as of "Resistance 2") were not founding members, Hale included, so there will be some new faces taking their place to fill out the roster. As for what happens to those guys, well, you'll just have to read and see. Not all of them make it through the mission in one piece.

Also, for the backup you'll see James and Jonny Grayson, along with many other familiar faces like Cartwright and Parker.

What elements of the game will you delve deeper into through the comic book?

This is mostly a straightforward action story focusing on men on a mission. We get to know the characters, and necessarily find out about what was happening to them before "Resistance 2," but we keep the focus on our team. So if you're hoping to find out all the secrets behind the Chimera, where they're from and what they want, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little longer. We can't spill everything at once.

With the work you've done on "The Authority" and "G.I. Joe: Cobra," what are some of the pros and cons of writing a limited series?

Well, as of right now I haven't been lucky (or maybe unlucky) enough to know the pains of an ongoing series, but I can tell you that there's something very satisfying about having a single, tight story to tell and being able to tell it without having to worry about plotting months and years in advance. Everything I wanted to say about "Hawksmoor," I had to say it in 132 pages or not say it at all. In a way I can see how that looks constraining, but actually it's very exciting. Movies (or, for another more appropriate example, videogames) don't go on forever. They have definitive beginning, middle and endpoints that keep the story sharp and give the dramatics a lot of punch, rather than getting lost in an avalanche of other plot-points in other issues (or, at least the good ones do.) It's much easier for me to keep the tension going in a miniseries, followed by another miniseries (like a movie or game and their sequels) then in an endless succession of monthly issues.

Great. Now no editor is ever going to hire me for an ongoing. Thanks a lot, Brian!

Do you know if there are future plans for "Resistance" comics? If so, will you be involved?

As of right now, we're just focusing on getting this one finished and out there, and making it the best it can be. If there are plans for others, I don't know about them. But I wouldn't be surprised. Ultimately it'll be up to the readers, so if you guys are excited about this, tell a friend who owns the game but maybe hasn't read a comic before. Insomniac has gone way out of their way making sure this fits snug right in with the whole continuity of the world, and that's exactly the audience we're trying to reach. You guys buy enough copies and future projects will be assured. As for me being involved, I hopefully I'll make a good enough impression with this that they'll ask me back.

"Resistance" #1 from will be arriving on store shelves this week from Wildstorm Productions.

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