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We all know stories of superheroes who take opposite approaches to fighting evil with the same end goal in mind. One is a bright avatar of hope saving the world by day, the other a dark vigilante of justice battling crime by night. But what if those heroes not only existed in the same city, but were actually the same man? That's the hook behind Alter Ego, the new graphic novel project from writer Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), artist Jacob Edgar (James Bond), colorist Kike J. Diaz (Red Sonja), and letterer Rus Wooton (The Walking Dead).
Set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, this 100-page superhero story about one man pushing himself to the brink as two different heroic personas is set to launch a campaign on Kickstarter in the coming weeks, and we've got the exclusive first look at what's in store right here.
Ace Adams is a movie stuntman who's fearless, energetic, and certain that he knows exactly how to handle anything the world throws at him. That's a good feeling to have in this version of Los Angeles, where you're just as likely to run into supervillains as you are movie stars. Whether it's a football-themed gang of bank robbers by day or a group of magic-using gangsters night, this version of Tinseltown has a serious villain problem, and Ace might just be the guy who can do something about it.
Enter Whiz-Bang, a bright, optimistic hero persona who begins saving the city by day, smiling all the while. As the man behind the mask, Ace sees Whiz-Bang as the perfect outlet for his energy and his performative nature. But crime doesn't just stalk the city in the sunshine. Los Angeles needs a night-time crimefighter, which means it's time for Ace pull double duty and suit up as The Black Dog.
“When our story begins, Ace Adams has been successfully fighting crime by day as Whiz-Bang for a year,” Cosby said. “Whiz-Bang and his can-do attitude are beloved by everybody. He’s on posters and lunch boxes. He stars in comic books, and even has his own breakfast cereal! But when Ace chooses to also defend the night as The Black Dog, the balance begins to shift and what was once a blast for Ace becomes a deadly tightrope act. He’ll be faced with impossible choices, forced to compromise his moral code, and begin to question the entire purpose of his quest to always be there and save everyone.”
Ace's decision to try and pull off a double act as a pair of very different superheroes means that he'll have to deal with very different parts of his own personalities, but it also means the creative team behind Alter Ego will have plenty of opportunities to mesh genres, something Edgar described as a key part of the book's appeal.
“In a lot of ways, Alter Ego is exactly the kind of project I got into comics for,” Edgar said. “I’m an unabashed superhero fan, particularly superheroes flavored with the kind of swashbuckling adventure tone that we’re going for. I love bringing this elevated, fantasy version 40s/50s Hollywood to life and I think readers will be really excited by the characters and world Nate and I are creating. We’re jumping from bombastic superheroics, to noir, to Old West movie sets and so much more. I think there’s an energy we’re putting into the book that I hope will leap off the page when people get ahold of it.”
But of course, at the core of it all, there's the question of what happens when one man tries to be so many things to so many people that he barely recognizes himself anymore.
“Alter Ego is all about what it means to be a hero,” Cosby said. “Can you do more good if you’re a role model to kids and the community? Or is justice best dished out by a mysterious vigilante operating in the shadows? And when one man tries to be three people…who is he, really?”
Alter Ego will arrive on Kickstarter in the coming weeks, with variant covers from the likes of Wilfredo Torres, Phil Hester, Declan Shalvey, Chris Eliopoulos, and SOZOMAIKA, among other rewards to be announced later. If this sounds like a book that's right up your alley, you can head over to the pre-launch page now to set up notifications for the start of the campaign.