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Exclusive: Rob Williams on the return of Golden Age heroes in Dynamite's Project Superpowers #1

Contributed by
Jul 31, 2018

Just when you believe the skies couldn't fit one more soaring superhero, a cadre of caped crimefighters is being resurrected in a rousing new series from Dynamite, and this garrulous gang might just pique your prolonged reading interest.

Back in 2008, superstar artist Alex Ross paired up with writer Jim Krueger and penciller Doug Klauba to create a fascinating series composed of a variety of Golden Age superheroes drawn from the ranks of public domain characters formerly seen in the pages of Fox Comics, Crestwood Publications, and Nedor Comics. 

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Names like Fighting Yank, Green Lama, The Black Terror, Dynamic Man and Dynamic Woman, The Flame, The American Spirit, Hydro, The Arrow, and others were not household-name heroes for this generation, but were given new life under the capable guidance of Ross and Krueger. The Dynamite series ran for 21 issues involving two volumes and was discontinued in 2010.

Now the cool crusaders are returning in a special reboot of Project Superpowers that's bound to leave you breathless and charging for your pull shelf when the premiere issue soars into stores Wednesday, Aug. 1.

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Written by Rob Williams (Suicide SquadJudge Dredd, Terminator/Robocop) and teamed up with art from Sergio Davila (Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure), Project Superpowers unleashes a storm of superheroes from the past to prove their relevance in the modern world as a 21st-century threat is coming for us all. This 6-issue miniseries asks what dreadful secrets does The Death Defying Devil hold, will The Lighthouse rise, and will the Spirit of The American Flag take on a new host?

SYFY WIRE spoke with Williams on this thrilling revival series and learned what attracted him to the project, what it's like following the tough act of Ross and Krueger, how these World War II-era characters can become relevant in today's heated environment, and what readers can expect as the nostalgic storyline unfolds.

After the chat, check out our exclusive 7-page preview plus variant covers in the full gallery below.

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How did you arrive at this new project rebooting Project Superpowers? 

Rob Williams: I enjoy working with the guys at Dynamite and Joe Rybant asked me if I was interested in doing something with the Project Superpowers characters. That seemed pretty exciting.

How can you describe your previous associations with the original Ross/Krueger series?

I read the initial book at the time and Joe and the guys forwarded me a bunch of material since then. Anything Alex Ross [does] has this glorious sense of superhero grandeur to it, and a real love of the genre. And Jim and Alex gave the world all this rich detail. Creating a shared universe that Sergio Davilla and I are now getting to play in.

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What can readers expect from the absorbing storyline and art?

A war, effectively. Thematically it was a question of asking whether these Golden Age characters had a place in 2018. Do they resonate in a world of social media and fake news and streaming channels, etcetera? And what brings them together is having innocents to defend against an evil foe. So, just trying to streamline the whole ethos of superheroics -- to make them the underdogs and to bring them together as a cohesive team to save the day. Not trying to be too postmodern with it. Big widescreen, great looking classic superheroics.

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What do you love most about resurrecting these Golden Age superheroes?

Honestly? The freedom. It feels like this is a shared superhero universe and, at time of writing, we're the only ones playing in it. So we can bring hell down on the world and the Project Superpowers have to save the day.