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