Wednesday, December 16, 2009


In case you missed The Life and Times of Savior 28 the first time around, the collected edition will be hitting stores today.  It's a very nice package (if I say so myself), which includes all the amazing covers by 28 illustrator Mike Cavallaro, all the alternative covers (by Sal Buscema & Joe Sinnot, Mike Ploog,  Shawn McManus, Don Perlin and Kevin Maguire.  Quite a line-up, isn't it?), pin-ups by Dean Haspiel, Simon Fraser, Tim Hamilton and Michael Fiffe (another great line-up) and excerpts from my original script.

As we rapidly approach the end of the 00's and I look back on all the stories I've written these past ten years, I can honestly say that The Life and Times of Savior 28 was one of the most challenging—and creatively satisfying—pieces I've worked on, right up there alongside Abadazad.   (I'd include Hero Squared, as well; but working on that with my old buddy Keith Giffen felt more like play than work.) You can find S-28 at your local comic shop or, if you prefer buying online, you can click right here.  But keep in mind that Amazon won't have it till early in the new year.


  1. I've been recommending SAVIOR 28 to my friends since the first issue and my TPB's on the way next year courtesy of amazon.

    I'm not a pacifist, but I came away from this feeling differently about violence in popular culture. It's a challenging work that forces readers to think about changing the world at the individual level as opposed to "the grand gesture."

    The story should resonate with everyone who struggles with self-improvement. It's a story that's both very much about politics and yet anti-political, a story with universal human appeal.

    I fell in love with all the characters and I hope you'll have the opportunity to revisit the universe you've created.


  2. If S-28 can challenge readers and make them think, David, then Mike Cavallaro and I have done our jobs.

    One of the things I've appreciated about the response to the series is that it's engendered thoughtful discussions about the story's themes. I don't expect, or want, readers to agree with all the ideas presented via our main character -- hey, I certainly don't agree with everything Jimmy said and did -- but I'm glad his life story has provoked questioning and contemplation.

    I know I've said this before but it bears repeating: in the end, Jimmy's tale isn't a political one, it's a deeply personal journey. He's a flawed human being, doing his very best (and sometimes his best totally sucks) to do the right thing, to make a positive difference in the world. Which is why I think that, regardless of one's political beliefs, the story of Savior 28 is a universal one.

  3. In my humble opinion, SAVIOR 28 is absolutely one of the best stories to come out this decade.

    As much as I dug the original Cap premise (it would have worked beautifully), I think it worked out even better since you were able to craft a unique cast and use everything you've learned over the years.

    You and Mike ought have something to be really proud of.


  4. Thanks so much, David. Your kind words are VERY much appreciated.

  5. I don't know what the availability is now, but Amazon says my preordered copy of the book has already shipped and will be here Monday. (Of course, that was before it got all blizzardy...)

  6. That's great, Jeff. Last I looked Amazon said it wouldn't be available till January. Glad it's on the way. Please check back and let me know what you think. All the best -- JMD

  7. I just read the trade paperback and I loved it. The book is great. I think the idea of having a superhero question violence is a very good one.
    My favorite line in the book (which happened in issue 1) is:

    "It's funny, y'know? and kind of Sad.
    Never all the decades I spent solving every problem with my fists-
    did anyone ever accuse me of preaching violence.
    But now...when I talk about finding another way...a better way...for us to live...
    ...they're always accusing me of ramming my views down people's throats..."

    Something I notice when hearing people criticize movies or tv shows or books is that the book is too preachy. I don't like this complaint, I think "preachiness" can be a good thing in many works of art. It makes you reflect on something.

    I liked that in your book there's two very strong characters in Savior and Dennis. One gets to hear the thoughts of the idealist and the realist. I really liked this interplay very much. It makes one question what approach is better. The story brought an issue that I hadn't seen in a comic before. Is violence the best way?

    I enjoyed this book very much. Thank you for writing it.

  8. One of the things I've found most gratifying about the response to S-28, Quique, is that -- love it or hate it -- the story makes people think and question some basic assumptions about our lives. I find that incredibly gratifying.

    Your point about preaching is well-taken. That speech you mention came from my own response to people who have accused me of preaching in my stories that deal with God and the spiritual search; yet in all the years I've been writing slam-bang super-hero comics -- which month after month show people solving problems with their fists -- I never once received a letter accusing me of preaching violence. Interesting, isn't it?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on S-28. It's very much appreciated.

  9. Thanks for responding to my comment J.M.

    I have a question. During interviews around when the first issue came out, you said that you were aiming for six issues. That you had enough story to make 12 issues but that with the tough market, it would be better to aim at 6. However, it turned out to be 5. Was this because it wasn't selling well? What would we have seen that we didn't see because of having one issue less?

    I ask that because I usually question whether I should get issues or trades. I prefer reading a story once all the issues are out, but I realize that in some cases this can hurt the chances of a story getting finished, so I try to decide according to whether the comic is mainstream or not when deciding issue versus trade. Since your name is kind of high profile in comics and IDW is not that small a company, I decided that waiting for the trade would be safe with Savior. I wonder if this was the wrong decision by preventing you from getting a sixth issue.

    By the way, I hope you have a Happy New Year.


  10. SAVIOR 28 was proposed, and sold, as a six issue series, Enrique. I was just starting on the third issue when IDW decided -- based on softer-than-expected sales of the first issue -- to cut it to five.

    To say that it was very difficult fitting the rest of the story into one less issue is a huge understatement, but I think it all worked out. That said, I would have loved the extra space to spend more time with the Lemurian and Queen Shakti, to give Jimmy's resurrection/ transformation at the end of the story more room to breathe and evolve, and to pick up a plot thread or two that had to be abandoned because of lack of pages.

    Your question about "waiting for the trade" is an interesting one. Yes, it's always helpful if folks buy the individual issues, and maybe if more had ordered the first issue we would have been able to do six. But publishers today know that lots of folks wait for the trade and they need to take that into account when making decisions like this. And, of course, a publisher has to have faith in a property, giving it promotional support as it finds its audience.

    All that said, I know, from my work with Ardden Entertainment, that it's not easy being a publisher in the current marketplace. With rare exceptions, the big sales are reserved for Marvel-DC Big Events, superstars on established characters or well-known licensed properties. It's hard for a totally new character/concept to find its way in the world and it's all-too easy for a smaller publisher to lose money. It's a rough market in a rough economy.

  11. Thanks for the thoughtful answer. I do think that more time with Lemurian and Shakti would have been nice, but I guess the core of the situation came out with the inspiring U.N speech and the nice farewell between Jimmy and Lemurian (and Jimmy and Shakti).

    Too bad that we didn't get six issues, but to be honest I didn't hear of the series until reading a review of the series on IGN. The following issues didn't get reviews on IGN and I don't think they got reviews at CBR either.

    I guess the big companies having big sales is not that surprising, this also happens in movies. Most of the movies that make a lot of money are blockbusters and a lot of them aren't very good, while a lot of very good movies don't make a lot of money.

    Good luck with other projects. I like reading your characters. Thank you again for your time responding my questions.

  12. My pleasure, Enrique. And thanks for your very thoughtful comments.