From the creative team of Zac Thompson, Andy Clarke, and Donny Cates, a new sci-fi series is born at AfterShock comics. Inspired by a short story from Philip K. Dick, Relay is described as spinning off from the world of Souvenir in the same way Blade Runner built off Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with ComicBook.com (what gives, Zac?!), Thompson explains the premise. The story takes place in a utopian future where conformity is the law of the land, guided and enforced by the titular Relay.
"The way I explain it to most people is this: it's as if humans were The Borg from Star Trek," he said. "The Galactic Relay creates cultural unity by controlling what sorts of information are free, it creates law, it creates progress, and it assimilates everything."
Wait, isn't that the basis of the FCC's Net Neutrality plans? Comcast isn't going to like this comic!
"It's not far off from the internet as we know it becoming a sentient presence with its own agency," Thompson explained. "Imagine that Google began to dictate the sorts of information we as a society should live by. That's the Relay."
Thompson explained how the comic would differ from other dystopian sci-fi comics, which are popular these days since art reflects life.
"One of the things that Andy and I have set out to do in this series is to show you a future that isn't caked with dirt or riddled with disorder," Thompson said. "The environment is a priority in this world. Green spaces are cherished and metropolitan areas are well designed. Cities are not riddled with crime or violence. This future is utopian but make no mistake, people are still in pain. Andy has gone to incredible detail on every page to show how people exist in this complicated context."
Head over to ComicBook.com to read the full interview, and check out the cover and some preview art below:
UPDATE: On Twitter, Donny Cates pointed out that his role on the book is as a story consultant (even if his name is currently the most headline clickable):
So, I'm more or less just a story consultant and producer on RELAY. I'm DAMN proud to have my name on it, but it's 100% @ZacBeThompson's book. I was there for it's inception, but I brought Zac on and he just crushed it. The depth of his ideas and craft are just stunning. https://t.co/LwsjB1h9of
— DONNY⚡️CATES (@Doncates) December 5, 2017