SPACE, MAN

Jonathan Hick­man is the king of Im­age’s cere­bral new comic Fron­tier…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

In­tro­duc­ing Fron­tier, Im­age Comics’ gritty new sci-fi se­ries from Jonathan Hick­man.

Pitched as “like Star Trek but su­per de­press­ing”, Jonathan Hick­man’s new Im­age se­ries Fron­tier ini­tially ap­pears to re­sem­ble the dark flip­side of Trek’s utopian ideals. Set in a fu­ture where hu­man­ity is kicked out of an in­ter­ga­lac­tic al­liance for be­ing too vi­o­lent – be­fore be­ing re­luc­tantly wel­comed back when a greater threat in the form of The Ac­cursed rears his head – the one-time reg­u­lar Mar­vel scribe in­sists it ac­tu­ally has lit­tle in com­mon with the voy­ages of the En­ter­prise.

“It doesn’t share any sim­i­lar­i­ties with Gene Rod­den­berry’s vi­sion beyond ask­ing, ‘What if things went the other way?’” Hick­man tells Red Alert. “That’s some­thing I’m sure plenty of peo­ple will have trou­ble with, but if you read the two oral his­to­ries of Star Trek that just came out, you know that Rod­den­berry doesn’t like Wrath Of Khan, which is un­ques­tion­ably a greater sin than any­thing I’ll be com­mit­ting.”

Hick­man also cites Iain M Banks’ Cul­ture se­ries and Dan Sim­mons’s Hype­r­ion Can­tos books, as well as on­line game Eve Me­chan­ics, as in­flu­ences. But de­spite send­ing Earth’s Might­i­est He­roes into the depths of outer space in se­ries like 2013 cross­over In­fin­ity, he in­sists that Fron­tier is very dif­fer­ent to his Mar­vel out­put. “It might share some headspace with New Avengers," he muses, “but I don’t think it’s quite that dark.”

Hav­ing started out script­ing and il­lus­trat­ing se­ries like The Nightly New, Fron­tier also sees Hick­man re­turn to the draw­ing board for the first time in al­most a decade. “It’s not re­ally any­thing to do with the se­ries it­self,” he says. “Fron­tier was just the thing that was in my head when my sched­ule cleared up.” Bold in­deed.

Fron­tier #1 is pub­lished by Im­age Comics on 16 Novem­ber.

Hick­man says that SF has “al­ways been about what hap­pens next”.

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