Say Hello To THE HEATHENS, The New Series From AfterShock Comics

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Say Hello To THE HEATHENS, The New Series From AfterShock Comics

Aftershock has announced a brand new supernatural comics series coming later this year called The Heathens, created by familiar Aftershock creators.

Aftershock has announced a brand new supernatural comics series coming later this year called The Heathens. The comic follows a team of evil historical souls as they hunt down other historically evil souls which have escaped from hell. Aftershock is no stranger to the historical-supernatural genre (their Cross to Bear title sends Jack the Ripper to the Wild West).

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The new series is written by Cullen Bunn and Heath Amodio, with art by Sami Kivelä, colors by Jason Wordie, and lettering by Simon Bowland. Bunn and Amodio are no strangers to working with Aftershock. Bunn has been described by Aftershock as “unquestionably AfterShock’s most prolific storyteller” from even their early days of publication. Amodio is Bunn’s business partner in his production company, Hustle & Heart Films, and says that Bunn “really focuses” his writing. Previous works that Kivelä has published with Aftershock include Undone by Blood, which also had colors by Wordie. This team is full of familiar Aftershock names.

Bunn is no stranger to writing the supernatural with Aftershock, known for his works  of terror and suspense for the publisher. The story of The Heathens is historical and supernatural, with themes of redemption and villainy. When evil souls escape from hell, the Pirate Queen, Lady Shih, goes after them. However, one of the world’s most notorious killers has broken free, and it’s now more than even she can handle. Lady Shih recruits the Heathens – a historical squad of famous villains to help track down this killer. The Heathens team includes Shih, the unofficial commander of the Guangdong Pirate Confederation and quite possibly the most successful pirate in history; Lucky Luciano, considered by many to be the father of organized crime in the United States; Sonia, the Golden Hand, a famous con artist and thief from the Russian Empire; Bumpy Johnson, an American drug trafficker and former lieutenant in Stephanie St-Clair’s criminal enterprise; and, finally, Billy the Kid, the infamous American outlaw and Old West gunslinger. Aftershock describes the future adventures of the Heathens as, “From Hell they came to mete out a justice as dark as their own tormented souls.” Check out some of the interior art below:

 

 

 

The team on The Heathens is clearly passionate about their project. Bunn says, “I love infusing stories featuring those [historical] characters and time periods with a healthy dose of the supernatural. Heath brought the seed of this idea to me, and I loved it from the jump,” and Amodio is excited about working with a co-writer. Comics has seen a lot of anti-heroes (or villains-turned-heroes for specific circumstances, like Suicide Squad) the last few years, but this is definitely a unique take on that. These characters did not become contemporaries until after death and the thing linking them is, of course, that they all are in hell. The range of their crimes, backgrounds, and time periods will certainly make for unique interactions between the characters.

The range of crimes that the Heathens cover is certainly unique to this story – piracy to gunslinging to theft and drug trafficking. Other villain team-ups seem to have a more common theme (the same shared universe, similar heroes they fight against), so this disparate real-world bad guys working together is certainly interesting. History is, of course, not an unfamiliar topic for comic books (300 is historical fiction, after all), but this is a different take than readers have seen before. It remains to be seen if being from hell has given the Heathens any supernatural abilities, or if they have standard ghost powers that they use to hunt down other ghosts and must rely on the skills learned in their former lives to get the job done.

The Heathens #1 comes out on November 3, 2021.

Screen Rant comics editor Lauren Hitzhusen read her first comic at age 16 and took her high school senior photos in the graphics novel section of Borders (yes, seriously). It was truly love at first panel. A graduate of NYU’s Masters of Publishing Science program, she knew comics was the industry for her. She is a former assistant comics editor and has worked a variety of publishers in a freelance capacity. She has a passion for all-ages comics, and frequents conventions in search of the next good story (and old issues of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen).

The new series is written by Cullen Bunn and Heath Amodio, with art by Sami Kivelä, colors by Jason Wordie, and lettering by Simon Bowland. Bunn and Amodio are no strangers to working with Aftershock. Bunn has been described by Aftershock as “unquestionably AfterShock’s most prolific storyteller” from even their early days of publication. Amodio is Bunn’s business partner in his production company, Hustle & Heart Films, and says that Bunn “really focuses” his writing. Previous works that Kivelä has published with Aftershock include Undone by Blood, which also had colors by Wordie. This team is full of familiar Aftershock names.

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