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Exclusive: Writer Jonathan Goff plugs into Dynamite's new video game series, Crackdown
Video game-based comic adaptations are becoming a popular way to provide sweet tie-in synergy, with name-brand franchises getting the full funny book treatment, like next week's Anthem from Dark Horse. Now SYFY WIRE has another exclusive peek at a dynamic new series stemming from the Xbox-exclusive Crackdown property.
Crackdown 3 officially launched on Feb. 15 to enormous fanfare, and as gamers are immersing themselves in the cyber-centric action, they can anticipate an added dimension to their sci-fi experience when Dynamite Comics zaps their Crackdown miniseries into comic shops on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
Written by Jonathan Goff (Halo, Destiny) and injected with superior art by Ricardo Jaime (The Shadow), Dynamite blasts into Crackdown's hyper-powered universe courtesy of its impressive creative team and an intuitive sense of what makes this million-selling gaming property so popular.
Set in the not-so-distant future, Crackdown exists within a modern civilized society that's more wired-up and interconnected than ever before. Deadly underworld syndicates are growing more looped in as well, forming devastating alliances and plotting a dominating criminal campaign against the planet. When an epidemic of brutal blackout attacks plunge major metropolitan regions into blackness and societal chaos, it’s up to The Agency, a force of international crime-fighting assassins, to restore peace and dispense justice by any means.
Initially hitting the market in 2007 from Realtime Worlds for the Xbox 360, Crackdown was one of the first modern games whose graphic style was meant to imitate comic book panels, and that makes this jacked-up amusement the perfect material for a fantastic series. Crackdown 3’s expansion from video game to comic serves to expand the franchise in multiple ways.
"First, the comic is an introduction/re-introduction to the heroes who serve as the vessels through which players (and now readers) interact with the Crackdown universe," Goff tells SYFY WIRE. "These heroes, known as Agents, are highly trained inflictors of justice. They work for the Agency, a global peace force that ensures peace through the forceful suppression of hostile threats to the citizenry of the world.
"In Crackdown #1 we meet an all-new team of Agents sent to handle a rising threat in the mega-city of San Reno—a new location within the Crackdown universe created specifically for the comic and brought to incredibly gorgeous life by Ricardo Jaime’s artwork. Over the course of the series we will get to know a bit more about each Agent, their enemies, and the city."
For Goff, the most rewarding aspect of this impressive Dynamite project is the artistic collaboration.
"Not just with Ricardo and the Natalia Marques, whose colors bring the whole shebang to life, but with Microsoft’s narrative and consumer products teams, specifically Dave Mongan and Jamie Zink," he adds. "But after that, the juggling act of building a story that feels new and approachable so longtime Crackdown fans can see how the story and characters fit into the larger tapestry of the franchise is no small challenge."
Having written for both the game and the comic, Goff feels he's done his best to make them feel connected thematically, tonally, and fictionally.
"And, while the attitude you hear when reading the comic will only be in your own mind and not blasting from your speakers, I think the art and story come together to provide what is clearly a Crackdown-style experience, page after page."
Take an eye-opening trip to San Reno in our expanded preview of Dynamite's Crackdown #1 in the gallery below, then sound off with your impressions of this ambitious adaptation before the first issue arrives on Feb. 20.