Su­per troop­ers

Di­rec­tor and ac­tor Noel Clarke is ven­tur­ing into comics, as he tells Stephen Jewell about TheTroop...

Comic Heroes - - Heat Vision - The Troop #1 is pub­lished by Ti­tan Comics on 9 De­cem­ber

Re­sem­bling Skins crossed with the X-Men, Noel Clarke’s The Troop is tak­ing an un­flinch­ing ap­proach to the tra­di­tional ado­les­cent su­per-team for­mula. Il­lus­trated by Joshua Cas­sara, the five-is­sue minis­eries will see its char­ac­ters tack­ling very real prob­lems.

“I don’t want to jump on a soap box and I’m not a teenager any­more,” says Clarke. “But when I was, the teen books, while fun, didn’t re­late to me. I was hav­ing loads of sex and I knew peo­ple who were tak­ing drugs, had been abused or were self-harm­ing. None of those books could re­ally tackle those is­sues, they could only skirt around and in­sin­u­ate be­cause the Comics Code gov­erned them all.”

Known for play­ing Mickey Smith in Doc­tor Who and writ­ing, di­rect­ing and star­ring in films like Kidult­hood and The Anom­aly, the 39-year-old is a long time comic fan. “I grew up in what at the time was a rough place,” re­calls Clarke, who hails from West Lon­don. “Be­ing mostly a loner, comics were my thing, where I could get away from ev­ery­thing else.”

The var­i­ous mem­bers of The Troop are ini­tially spread out all over the globe. “They be­come a crew of friends,” says Clarke. “The team is big but not all of them will be there at the end.”

Lead by Ter­rain, de­scribed as “an Aus­tralian girl who turns to rock”, The Troop ranks also in­clude Virus, “the youngest of the team who can give any­one any virus”; Tor­rent who can “turn her­self into wa­ter and con­trol mois­ture” and Chal­ice who is “a beau­ti­ful black woman. There are a few greats like Storm, but gen­er­ally there aren’t enough black women in comics.”

Above: Some of the ac­tion-packed scenes from the first is­sue of Clarke and Cas­sara’ su­per-saga, The Troop. Rock on.

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