The fifth, and final, issue of The Life and Times of Savior 28 came out last week. As some of you know, this was a story that evolved over twenty-five years. Savior 28 started life as a rejected Captain America concept, back in the 80’s when I was writing that series, and then grew into something very much its own: a saga that spanned seventy years of American pop culture and politics. The story follows a man named James Smith—also known as the world’s first and greatest superhero, Savior 28—through his life from the 1930’s to today, with the primary focus on the Bush Years, when Smith finally realizes that the way he’s been living his life has been completely out of balance. He seeks a better way and ends up becoming a global peace activist...much to the chagrin of the government and his fellow super-heroes.
I can only think of one other comic book project that I’ve worked on in the past decade—that would be Abadazad—that has creatively challenged and energized me the way S-28 has. The series was designed and illustrated by the amazing Mike Cavallaro—one reviewer said that if Jack Kirby had drawn post-modern superhero comics they might have looked like The Life and Times of Savior 28—and our collaboration was a joy, personally and professionally. Mike and I both poured our hearts into this series and to say I’m sad to see it end is a massive understatement. The Savior 28 universe was rich and vast: there were so many stories I wanted to tell that couldn’t fit into our five issue format. Maybe one day.
Three reviews of our final issue really seemed to grok (as Heinlein’s Valentine Michael Smith might have said) the series, one from Russ Burlingame at Newsarama, one from Matt Adler at Ain’t It Cool News and one from Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool. Give them a read if you’re so inclined.
IDW will be putting out a collected edition of the series in December. It will be nice to have it all together under one roof—but I’m going to miss Jimmy, Dennis and all the rest of our characters. Here’s hoping we meet again.
©copyright 2009 J.M. DeMatteis