Let's be honest, glassy-eyed kids with evil intent will never drop out of style, and AfterShock Comics' chilling new horror series, You Are Obsolete, is brimming with these malevolent little tykes — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive invitation to their remote island with an advance look inside the over-sized premiere issue, which drops Sept. 18.
Written by Mathew Klickstein (Sony Pictures’ Against the Dark, Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age) and matched with alarming art by Evgeniy Bornyakov (Descendent) colored by Lauren Affe and lettered by the tireless Simon Bowland, AfterShock's disturbing thriller was inspired by the eerie naturalism of classic cult horror films married to a deadly 21st-century digital twist. Think Children of the Corn, The Others, or Village of the Damned with smartphones!
This throwback plotline follows the path of a disgraced alcoholic journalist who is called upon to cover a strange and mysterious story on an isolated European island. As the excommunicated reporter investigates further, she discovers the odd children have taken control and are somehow killing off all adults by their 40th birthdays. Now she must discover the shocking truth behind the senseless murders while staying on the better side of the hostile children’s harsh and remorseless leader … or she might be next.
When Klickstein first developed the idea for You Are Obsolete, it was conceived as a film and got him thinking about some of his favorite horror/sci-fi and psychological thrillers from the '60s, '70s, and '80s.
"We're talking masterworks like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Videodrome, The Wicker Man, Jacob's Ladder, The Stepford Wives, and In the Mouth of Madness," he tells SYFY WIRE. "The Twilight Zone has always been one of the major influences on all of my work, so that has to be thrown in there, too.
"Though it's proven to be rather hit-or-miss over the years, I'm going to throw in Black Mirror as an influence, especially the episode '15 Million Merits,' which I believe to be one of the finest episodes of television of the past decade or more. Of course, the great 'bad kid' films we all know and love so much: Children of the Corn, The Bad Seed, Village of the Damned."
"The artists they've brought on to work with me are churning out an astonishing array of material; every time I see sketches, coloring, and covers, I'm completely blown away," he adds. "Some of the stunning work being produced for You Are Obsolete I honestly believe could be framed and hung in a museum. I have been absolutely delighted and honored to be working with both the executive/admin team at AS and the artists they've connected me with for this project. I hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship. This is my first foray into comics, and they have made every aspect of it, from soup to nuts, a true pleasure."
You Are Obsolete #1 showcases an atmospheric main cover by Andy Clarke and a sinister variant by Francesco Francavilla.
Check out our exclusive preview in the full gallery below, then tell us if you'll be enticed into acquiring a copy when it arrives on Sept. 18, just in time for AfterShock Comics' pre-order deadline of the second issue on Sept. 23.