Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Storm Dogs #1 from Image Comics

Murder on an alien world and four uniquely talented individuals meet at the heart of the mystery of STORM DOGS, a new series by David Hine (THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN, THE DARKNESS, STRANGE EMBRACE) and Doug Braithwaite (Justice, Punisher, Journey Into Mystery). When a series of bizarre, violent deaths take place on the planet Amaranth, a team of investigators embarks on a journey that will show each member what it means to be a stranger in a strange land—and remind them what it is to be human.

The team is led by Cassandra Burroughs, who writer Hine describes as "delicate-looking but as tough as nails." By contrast, military expert Siam Locke is "built like a weightlifter, but hides a complex and sensitive soul beneath her muscle.” Diplomat Masika Zenda is the cultural expert whose task is to ease relations with the indigenous Elohi, while forensic scientist Jered Hofman is the wild card—"passionate about life, love, sex and criminal pathology.”

"The protected status of the native Elohi means the team has to work without the benefits of advanced technology," explained Hine. "The tension intensifies when their investigations begin to reveal that everyone has something to hide."

For artist Braithwaite, the book presents some unique challenges with the creation of an entire alien planet "from the flora and fauna, to the cast of incomers and the environment they bring with them, like a blot on the landscape.”

Above all, there are the native Elohi, who are silent observers of the unfolding events. "Their dignity had to be conveyed in their statuesque and composed manner, and their culture has to be apparent through the visuals as opposed to being verbally described to the reader," said Braithwaite.

As much a part of the book as the human team and the Elohi is the exotic setting of Amaranth itself. "The natural environment the events take place in is strange and at times forbidding, but it has its own alien beauty," said Braithwaite.

"Amaranth is intriguing, unfathomable and only gives up its secrets for a heavy price," said Hine. "We're working hard to create a convincing alien world from the ground up, without losing sight of characterization and a plot that has all the twists you would expect from a science-fiction murder mystery."

"Season One" of STORM DOGS is a six-issue monthly mini-series, starting on November 7. STORM DOGS #1 (SEPT120398) is available for pre-order now. Writer and co-creator Hine spoke to Newsarama about STORM DOGS on September 11.

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