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SYFY WIRE Wesley Snipes

'Blade' star Wesley Snipes tries his hand at comics with new sci-fi sleuth story ‘The Exiled’

Meet Niles “Roach” Washington — a detective on a murder mystery that’s centuries in the making.

By Benjamin Bullard
Wesley Snipes attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.

Wesley Snipes already knows a thing or two about taking a comic book character and adapting it for the big screen. The turn-of-the-millennium Blade trilogy took a deviously delicious bite out of the dark side of Marvel Comics lore, with Snipes in the title role as the night-stalking vampire hunter possessed by vampire traits of his own.

Now Snipes is getting set to dive straight into the comics as a creator himself — no movie treatment required. Via Deadline, Snipes and his Maandi House Studios banner are teaming with Gifted Rebels and PCB Entertainment on The Exiled, a crowdfunded graphic novel that tells an original story of a detective on the hunt for a gruesome serial killer with primordial connections to the ancient past.

The Exiled is a new comics creation; one that puts Detective Niles “Roach” Washington on the trail of a series of murders that occur “in the aftermath of a deadly gas attack,” according to the report. “As the killer rips the spines from his victims, using tools over 5,000 years old, the world outcasts Roach for his theories. But his instincts keep pushing him forward. With enemies on all sides, and within, he wades into the darkness to find the killer and uncovers Earth’s darkest secret.”

The new story isn't Snipes’ first turn at crafting comic book ideas from scratch. He’s previously collaborated with Antoine Fuqua on Radical Comics’ 2010 sci-fi trilogy After Dark, and teamed with author Ray Norman on 2017’s Talon of God, an urban fantasy novel packed with angels-and-demons drama that taps into the same dark supernatural vein as Snipes’ other sci-fi work in both print and onscreen.

“Comics let you explore big worlds,” said Snipes in a statement via Deadline. “Since Blade, I have been attracted to origin stories and developing characters. Now, I get to build ‘Roach’ as a character from the ground up and I dig that.”

Making the leap from genre movie stardom to comic book creation is a phenomenon that’s having a big moment right now; one that’s even found a pipeline back from the comics to the screen. Keanu Reeves’s original graphic novel series BRZRKR broke out big as a comic book hit before Netflix picked it up for a feature film (with Reeves producing and starring) as well as an animated series.

There’s no early word on when The Exiled could find its way into readers’ hands, but it reportedly will be adapted by Gifted Rebels’ Adam Lawson from an original story he and Snipes created along with PCB Entertainment president Keith Arem. Gabriel “Eskivo” Santos (Knightwraith) and Valentina Bianconi (Seven Swords, Two Moons) are reportedly doing the book’s art and colors, respectively. Check out the project’s crowdfunding page for more details.

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