When I say Neverland, you probably think about Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle and fairy dust. If I say Neverland from Zenescope Entertainment then you probably think pin-up girl covers and have no idea what will be inside. Well, I'm here to give you a better idea of just that… because I don't just work here for Bleeding Cool, I've been a comic book writer for the last ten years and I've worked for Zenescope since shortly after they first published.
I started with them on the insanely long-titled 1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad. A swashbuckling action-adventure series that ran for twelve issues and a few specials and whose characters have popped up in most of the big crossover events. I've also done a half dozen issues of the main Grimm Fairy Tales series starting all the way back on #27 and most recently #94. I've done a few mini-series including Call of Wonderland and Madness of Wonderland combining the creative worlds of Lewis Carroll and H.P. Lovecraft. And a modern retelling of Sleepy Hollow (before the Fox TV series.)
My latest project is tying into their biggest, most ambitious crossover yet – Age of Darkness. This is a line-wide mega event that will change the status quo of every book they publish. In the Zenescope Universe, Peter Pan was the villain and the guy with the hook was the savior of Neverland. And he even got the girl. In this new series someone is using portals to transfer thing from Neverland on to Earth and it's up to Nathan Cross (Captain Hook's real name… you didn't think he was actually named Hook right?) and a group of soldiers to find out exactly what is going on.
Cross grew up in Neverland, on the run and in constant hiding. Pan murdered his brother and wanted the same fate for Nathan. Now Pan has been taken care of and Cross finds he has no place in either world. He lives for the danger and action hence he joined the group the Realm Knights, but it is causing problems in his relationship with Wendy. Cross is a man with no home and no direction and he's sent on what turns to be an almost suicide mission.
This series isn't the "if you think happy thoughts you can fly" type but rather, "there's something in the shadows and it will kill you" type. I wanted to make that very clear from the beginning… so I tapped into my horror writing background to start the book off. It's fast-paced, violent and shows just how bad-ass a guy with a hook can be.
Here are the first six pages of art from issue 1 along with a couple covers. I'm writing the series based on a concept by Joe Brusha, with art by Luca Claretti and colors by Renato Guerra. The first issue of Neverland: Age of Darkness will hit shelves in March.