Actor/writer/producer Mark Wahlberg is one shrewd businessman, and he's bringing his monetary instincts to the comic book realm in a new sci-fi project, Alien Bounty Hunter, with hopes that it will attract enough interest from Hollywood studios to launch a feature film franchise. It's sort of a backdoor approach to go about getting fans excited enough to generate a buzz that could potentially lead to much greater things, but it just might work. Say, whatever happened to starting with a great screenplay?!
Wahlberg first announced word of this ambitious creative endeavor back in March, when he provided info that he would be teaming with producer Stephen Levinson and Vault Comics to create a dynamic new sci-fi saga surrounding the character Ben Madsen and his daring exploits tracking down dangerous alien criminals and discovering a clandestine fugitive sanctuary called Lustrum.
“Some of today’s greatest film franchises originated as comics. We always try to get involved with the storytelling process from its inception,” Wahlberg and Levinson said to io9. "“Alien Bounty Hunter is one of those names where you think the title explains it all. You think you know what you’re getting but once you strap in, you’ll realize ABH is so much more than you expected.”
Alien Bounty Hunter is written by Adrian F. Wassel (The Gifted) and David M. Booher (Powerless), adapted from a story by Levinson and F.J. DeSanto (Failsafe, Cyborg 009), with art from Nick Robles (Maze Runner, Clockwork Angels). Its debut will be this year's San Diego Comic Con in July, and it will be interesting to see what the response will be with hardcore fans. At the end of the day, though, the comic needs to stand on its own merits instead of acting as a placeholder until Hollywood comes calling.
“Our goal from the start was to create an authentic world with real characters,” co-writer David Booher told io9. “Our hero Ben Madsen has some serious real-world problems. Even Lustrum, our completely alien city hidden on Earth, is divided into ‘Wards’ that take cues from familiar places like Shanghai and Brazil and the streets of Calcutta. No matter how crazy things get for Ben (and they get insane!), readers will always feel grounded in the roots of his character and the story.”
There's a new batch of artwork and character concept images for Alien Bounty Hunter in the gallery below, and tell us if you're interested in picking up a copy this summer, or if you have a spare $100 million or so to help launch Wahlberg's new film franchise.